It is done! The apartment is now ready for us. It took us just roughly six months to get a facelift for the whole mess in there. With some small amount proud I show these results as it was real hard to manage it this far.
In April we started the renovation process and in the beginning I still thought it would be just a few weeks of work for us. How naive I have been. It took us already a week to get all the furniture of the previous owner out and another week to literally scrub the dirt from the roof and walls. To add to the horrors of renovating an apartment came the wallpapers, floor, bathroom, kitchen, windows, pipes and in between cleaning, cleaning and cleaning some more. But now we managed it, the DIY Project (okay, 85% done by us the rest by professionals) is finished. Our new home is done and we can move in.
Our new home offers us 90m² (968.75 sqf) of living space, which is more than double what we had before in Finland. Finally we have a separated kitchen, an own bedroom and even a room for little Nathan. Luxuries we dreamt of for the past years are now becoming reality.
Right now I don’t even want to enter any hardware store ever again and with luck I don’t have to do so for some time now. Some furniture is still missing such as the dining table and the TV stand as it was broken when delivered yesterday…
I won’t show Nathan’s room yet, as it resembles more a storage room rather than a baby room and we still have some great ideas for it which I will post once it is done (It will be great, really great, at least for small children!). Here are some before and after pictures, I am myself still amazed just how much this apartment changed.
The renovation of our new home started in April during our trip to Germany. Perhaps new home is only a half-truth as it is on one hand our new place to be but on the other hand it is also a totally rundown apartment from 1972.
The previous owner lived there since 1976, tried to keep all useless junk in the apartment and to make matters even worse, he smoked there the entire time inside and in the end even up to 3 cigarette cartons a week! I believe now you may start to create a picture on just how messed up everything was there when we started. Sadly I don’t have pictures from before we started throwing stuff out but the several in the gallery might give you some idea how we struggled. These pictures were taken after most stuff had been thrown out and only some basic furniture was left.
I can’t give you any blueprint of the layout (sure I could draw one myself now but I am a bit too lazy for that) so I mention only the basics, 90m²/~968ft² with bedroom, children room, kitchen, bathroom, dining room, living room and most importantly for our little bunnies: a balcony.
In April we managed only to remove all the old stuff including furniture, wallpapers, carpet flooring and tiles in bathroom and kitchen. Especially the wallpapers proofed to be very hard work as nearly every room was decorated with Ingrain wallpaper, a nightmare glued to the wall…
Mother-in-law and my wife also helped a lot during the renovation process by cleaning the old radiators (there are several old cast iron ones!) and repainting them several times until they reached once again a nice white surface color. As the ceiling was very yellow due to all the smoking for so long time we had to prepare it before painting. This preparation meant we had to “scrub” the ceiling several times with a brush and washing soda until we could paint on few layers of special anti-nicotine color. At least my wife had some fun already by choosing the new wallpaper for each room with special focus for the baby room. Sadly we had not time to start put new wallpapers on the room for little Nathan as some guy still needed to fix a huge crack in the wall! (40 years ago the roof was leaking water in and that part of the wall settled a bit resulting in a crack in the wall…)
Now during our time back in Finland some professionals are installing new windows and water pipes as those two things are the original setup from 1972 and not working anymore as intended. In September we will then finally move to Germany but we will have to stay with my parents for at least a month as the apartment is far from ready. Tile and wood flooring are still missing and not to forget that there is no bathroom or kitchen yet. After all that we will have some busy time buying new furniture as we are selling most of our old stuff here in Finland to make the whole moving process a bit easier to handle.
Yes, we made it. We actually survived the ship cruise to Germany without too many difficulties. Friday we went onboard the ship which left Finland at around 5.30pm and we arrived in Germany saturday(left the ship) around 11.30pm. As you can see it was a rather long trip, especially when you got only a tiny cabin for three persons, a baby and two bunnies…
I know, you want to see pictures but I have to disappoint you as I forgot my camera in our car and by the time I realized it they had closed the car deck. But on our trip back to Finland in three weeks I will take some pictures so you can see that tiny cabin from hell (of course nothing compared to public transportation in China during holidays!).
To sum up the trip:
I drank a lot of coffee in the restaurant
Bunnies start to be very smelly in a closed room after two hours (very very smelly!)
Mother-in-law does not hear anything at all when she is asleep (baby pooped out the smelliest and deadliest thing out ever so I was something close to screaming in agony upon seeing/ smelling it but she did not react at all…)
Trying to spend more than 14hours in a small bed is really hard work
Restaurant on ships charged inhuman amount of money for a simple buffet
Last but not least, baby does not care at all when drunk people are running and shouting all over the hallway
Now we are finally with my parents so little Nathan was able to see his German/ Finnish grandparents for the first time as well as his uncle. I checked out our new future home and don’t want to even start with the renovation because it will be serious hard work due to its very poor/ desolate condition. However I will just have to push through these weeks and have to try my best to make it a little more homely for later! After the apartment is done some when in the future I will post some before and after pictures and before I forget, I will have some weird stories about mother-in-law to share with you again by next weekend.
And now I am done for today, a bit exhausted from everything and I just realized that I used a lot of exclamation marks in this article! However I promise you something easier to read for next time so don’t be too harsh on me now.
P.S. this is my 50th blog article, time to celebrate for me by doing some sports 🙂