From a 1927 communal apartment to a stylish three-room apartment: do-it-yourself renovation (+ before photo).

Yulia is a financier, and in her spare time she enjoys restoration. Together with her husband, she purchased an apartment in a Stalinist building: previously it was a communal apartment without a full bathroom, but our heroine managed to turn the old home into a beautiful interior. On an area of ​​58 m² there was a kitchen, a living room, a dressing room, two separate bedrooms and two whole bathrooms! Take note of these life hacks and get inspired to make stylish renovations on your own.

About renovation and planning

Our Stalin building was completed three times: the foundation of four floors was laid in 1927, in the 50s the fifth floor was completed (we are on it), then two more floors were added in the 70s. When we bought the apartment, there was a communal apartment here: many families lived, absolutely everything had to be demolished and replaced. We went to the inspectorate to approve the redevelopment.

The main feature of the apartment (and a discount for us) was that it did not have a bathroom, only a toilet. Therefore, only in the area of ​​a small corridor were they able to build two compact bathrooms. The interior does not have a specific style, but due to the high ceilings and window sills, I wanted to keep it classic. For example, elements are used in doors and antique chandeliers. The children’s room and bedroom were made small, the living room is comfortable, there is no dining table in the kitchen (but the living room makes up for it).

About the kitchen

One of the walls was deliberately left without cabinets: I wanted to create the effect when you are sitting in the living room and don’t see any clutter. A hob is installed, but there is no hood – this is prohibited by SanPin, it was not done on purpose (there is gas in the apartment). But they provided a cool tap for filling a kettle or a large saucepan – filtered water is supplied here.

The surface in the kitchen is marble: I wanted the countertop and window sill to be made of the same material and the same color. Many people are afraid of marble because it is porous – all stains are clearly visible. But mine is dark in color, you won’t see them. They abandoned the table, but left a wide window sill and even moved it out a little – it can be used as a place for breakfast with a beautiful view.

The natural refrigerator made of Stalin buildings has been preserved: there is an opening to the outside, it is cool here not only in winter, but also in summer. We store canned food in it and set up a minibar.

There is no microwave in the kitchen, which I really regret: we thought we would use the oven. There is a 45 cm dishwasher. We also knew that all built-in refrigeration cabinets are usually of small capacity – we didn’t want that, but we saw a full-length model without a freezer. We bought it immediately – it was the first thing. But we need a freezer, so we found a place for a small separate chamber.

Dispensers are built into the countertop by the sink. True, there is not much space for storing dishes.

They did not hide the gas pipe in a box: I believe that this is a natural element of every apartment. They specially provided a gap so that it would be open.

Tiles from a Spanish brand were used on the floor – they refer to the Metlakh classics; the color of the squares was chosen to match the shade of the facade. We left a niche for the battery. Above it I hung a clock that I inherited from my father – it was the first thing I decided to restore. This is where my hobby came from.

I have very beautiful doors with forest elements and glass inserts – this was my second purchase, before the renovation and layout.

About the living room

Through the mirrored doors you can see the kitchen – this is very convenient. A dining area was decorated in the living room – an antique chandelier hangs above it, and electrics were installed in it (previously candles were inserted into the chandelier). A window sill made of natural stone greatly enhances the interior – each room has window sills of a different pattern. We bought them from leftovers to make it on a budget.

There is a “long-suffering” bookcase in the corner: I decided to hide it and paint it the same color as the wall. Over time, something else will appear here. It seems to me that everyone should have only round tables in the dining area – it’s very convenient and visually harmonious. The chairs were inherited: in my opinion, these are Romanian models from the 70s.

There is also a sofa in the living room. There is solid oak on the floor. I advise everyone to splurge and buy good flooring and quality doors.

There is also a closet in the area between the corridor and the living room: it performs a household function, we store useful little things in it, a vacuum cleaner and some seasonal clothes. The joint between the floor coverings of the hallway and the living room was made from a cork expansion joint.

About the bedroom

There will be several life hacks here on how to save money on spectacular things. The first is the headboard and the bed itself. We have a regular orthopedic base with a mattress placed on it; for the headboard we simply ordered a slab according to our dimensions and mounted it with huge screws.

I used two bedside tables: at that time I was just starting to restore wooden furniture. At the planning stage, we decided that there would be a workplace here: we provided a niche. The next life hack is a kitchen cabinet above the appliances. Due to the black base it is not visible.

The table was made from the same material as the headboard of the bed. It was supposed that there would be just a table here, but we decided to keep the beautiful edge of the slab and extended it visually – we got a convenient shelf where you can put a cup of coffee.

In the bedroom and children’s room there is a breather – it is not an air conditioner, but it creates the effect of an open window.

About the dressing room

They didn’t add an additional door to the dressing room; they closed it with a curtain, which created the effect of an additional window, and it turned out to be very convenient.

About the nursery

This is the smallest room in the apartment – only 9 m². We chose a light yellow shade for her – I wanted to add sun. The paint is washable.

They provided a workspace for the child and decorated it practically with their own hands: I came up with the idea of ​​making the tabletop flush with the window sill so that it would become an extension of the table.

We ordered a tabletop to fit, installed it on the drawers, attached wooden legs to them – due to the height of the legs (they can be cut), we were able to adjust them so that the tabletop was at the same level as the window sill.

We also made decor in the form of a flower on one of the walls: in fact, there used to be an air duct here. We thought about leaving it – it’s great, there’s a hood in the child’s room. When we arrived, the room smelled only of cigarettes. We filled this hole and then added decor.

There is an engineered board on the floor, slightly different in color from other rooms, but visually it is not noticeable.

Also, at the design stage, we planned a niche: theoretically, it could have been sewn up on top, but we left it – in an apartment you fight for every centimeter

About the hallway and corridor

The corridor was built on the territory of the former living room. There are Spanish tiles on the floor and American paint on the walls. Chinese lights and switches are the simplest. The corridor is very bright, a lot of color: you might have noticed this technique in galleries – paintings are hung against the backdrop of bright walls. We did the same. And the accent is provided by a strangely shaped shelf with a very cool shade of marble.

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