Incredible transformation of a typical 59 m² panel without a designer (before and after photos)

Our heroine shared approximate estimates, practical tips and even mistakes that should not be repeated when renovating apartments.

Our heroine Anna talks in her blog about how to create paradise in a nine-story building. Shares inspiration and practical advice. Today Anna told her story about how she made renovations in a typical three-room apartment without a designer.


We did the renovation in 2017 without a designer and started with issuing a technical passport and legalizing the redevelopment through the MNIITEP company. According to the engineering project, we managed to combine the bathroom and toilet, demolish the wall between the corridor and the living room, make an opening in the load-bearing wall of the kitchen and move the dining area to the living room.

In addition, it turned out:

  • remove the mezzanine,
  • connect the corridor to the bathroom,
  • isolate the passage room by erecting a partition, thereby creating an additional room for a wardrobe-storage room,
  • insulate and attach the balcony to the nursery.


From the very beginning we knew for sure that we wanted an apartment in light colors. And by adding and changing color accents according to the seasons or mood, we make sure that the apartment always looks interesting.

Inspired by beautiful interior photographs on Pinterest, we did not stick to a single style in our apartment, but used different ones – Scandi, Provence, boho.

Lifehacks to increase space

To make the apartment seem larger visually, we used several techniques:

  1. Lots of mirrors. We have them in all rooms. And in the living room we installed six identical mirrors next to each other above the sofa and got a false window that lets more light into the room.
  2. No bulky furniture.
  3. Lots of light colors (furniture, textiles, accessories).
  4. Glass cabinet doors and open shelving deepen the space.
  5. We installed a countertop along the window in the kitchen, with no drawers underneath. This design looks lighter and does not clutter the kitchen.

Repair errors

  1. Lack of heated floor in the bathroom. Having not foreseen this moment, we were forced to hang a second (electric) heated towel rail, which left no room for installing a drawer for storing bath accessories.
  2. Small tiles and white grout in the “wet” area in the bathroom. Due to the large number of seams, as well as hard water, the white grout turned yellow, and the area began to look untidy. Now I would install larger tiles or use a different grout color (like silver gray).
  3. Sockets. Initially, we did not calculate how we would arrange the furniture in the apartment, and in the end it turned out that some of the sockets were superfluous, and in some places there were not enough of them.
  4. Lighting. We basically only have overhead lighting throughout the entire apartment, so there is no way to dim it for a romantic evening mood.
  5. Skirting board. We installed the baseboard in the same color as the laminate, and, in my opinion, it looks less advantageous than the tall white option, which visually raises the walls.
  6. Doors. We decided to save money on them, but in the end we got very low quality, and besides, the glass slots do not allow us to create complete darkness if the lights are on in the neighboring rooms. And the color is not entirely successful; white doors would look much better.

Top tip

For those who are now planning a renovation, I would advise them to develop an eye for detail, study interior blogs, watch room tours on YouTube in order to decide what they really like and choose the right style. To avoid unnecessary expenses, I would recommend planning a picture of the interior in advance in your head or with a designer, in order to consciously approach the choice of furniture and decor, and not buy in a row the things you like that will not fit at all.

Photo before renovation


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