From a “killed” three-room apartment to a dream house: modern classics on your own.

When Galina’s family bought a three-room apartment in a Stalinist house, it was in terrible condition – they had to redo everything. The stylish modern space was decorated without the help of designers: the result was a Stalin-era dream with white moldings, herringbone parquet and floor-to-ceiling French windows. The heroine lives in the apartment with her husband and two children.

True, the repair process was not without mistakes – read our article for details.

About the start of repairs and redevelopment

Dismantling took 21 days and 800 bags of garbage! Initially, we did not plan to dismantle it, because most of the walls were uncoated: we thought we would just hang wallpaper or paint them, and keep the beautiful stucco molding and ceiling rosettes.

But when the renovation began, it became clear that the difference in the walls was very large – up to 8 cm. The ceiling was very crooked and the plaster was so bad that when we wanted to save the rosette from the ceiling, the workers began to knock it down, and half the ceiling collapsed.

We didn’t do any redevelopment because it’s a standard good three-room apartment, and we have two children of different sexes—in the future they will need separate bedrooms. We decided to leave everything as is, although there was a temptation to combine the kitchen with one room and make a large kitchen-living room.

I would call the style of the apartment modern classic. It was not chosen by chance: this is a Stalinist house, I wanted to maintain its atmosphere and history. The interior contains stucco moldings, moldings on the walls, and a lot of gold details that add shine.

About the kitchen

The kitchen was in the worst condition: the wallpaper was painted with oil paint. The guys knocked them down with a hammer and even burned them out with fire, so the dismantling took a long time.

The main problem in the planning was the wall adjacent to the main part of the kitchen: it is of non-standard depth. We couldn’t put a refrigerator here as we dreamed of. Therefore, the refrigerator stands separately in the corner. For the same reason, we had to make the kitchen in the shape of the letter L, and also saw down the countertop.

Tabletop made of laminated chipboard. The apron is made of marbled porcelain tiles, like in the hallway on the floor – I wanted to support the general concept. I really didn’t want to make a baseboard for the backsplash, so we laid the countertop first and then the backsplash. We chose a black artificial stone sink; I ordered a convenient faucet on AliExpress – it has two spouts for regular and drinking water. Above the sink there is a dryer with doors that open 180 degrees.

I store household items, cans of cereals and a tray of vegetables in the drawers – it’s convenient to get them out of here. There is a trash can under the sink and a bag holder on the door. We also included a dishwasher, a bottle holder, a three-burner hob and a 45 cm oven.

I have always dreamed of having a round table in the kitchen. Our table is white, made of MDF, with gold tips on the legs. The Viennese chairs that my husband and I restored ourselves go well with it.

About the living room

When I thought about my dream home, I imagined opening the door: in front of me were white walls, oak floors and a huge window. This is exactly what we got. The huge clad windows are the crown jewel of our living room. This is my husband’s idea. Children love to sit on the resulting cozy threshold.

In the soft area there is a three-seater fold-out sofa and coffee tables from IKEA, which I spray painted. The chair is different in color, but harmonizes well with it. Behind the chair there is a shelving unit from IKEA, on which I placed my husband’s photographs, books and toys.

There are several lighting scenarios in the living room – evening for watching TV, bright (when guests arrive), stage (for children’s concerts) and curtain lighting. The walls are painted white, and they are also decorated with moldings that separate the soft part from the dining room. In my dream, there should be a large table with pink chairs, but before the housewarming guests arrived, we borrowed a folding table from my husband’s parents – it fit well into the interior and began to serve as a console. I picked up a beautiful mirror at IKEA that follows the shape of the table.

We left some free space for our daughter, who does gymnastics and often trains here. My husband and I also play sports here.

About the bedroom

The bedroom is small – 15 sq. m, but quite cozy. Here we placed a large bed with a lifting mechanism and a large wardrobe up to the ceiling. Of course, I dreamed of a dressing room, but after calculations we decided to make a hinged wardrobe – it is quite spacious. We store the New Year tree on the mezzanine.

On both sides of the bed there are airy bedside tables with night lamps. In the corner of the room is my feminine corner with a round mirror on a belt, an IKEA nightstand and a chair from an old apartment.

In the bedroom we sewed curtains to order – they match the color of the bed. There are also two lighting options – a chandelier and spots above the bed and dressing table.

About the nursery

My daughter dreamed of a big nursery. In order for it to be spacious, we sacrificed redevelopment – we did not combine the kitchen with this room. Here is the only wall in the apartment covered with wallpaper: my mother thinks that children cannot sleep next to painted walls – they will be cold. There’s no point in arguing with your mom. The wardrobe for my daughter was bought at IKEA, and I ordered a cute butterfly handle on AliExpress.

The bunk bed was made to order. According to my idea, while the baby is sleeping with us, the lower floor looks like a sofa. When he moves into the nursery, we will put a limiter – this will be his crib. There are convenient storage drawers under the bed.

The work area was created along the entire window – it turned out to be large. We assembled it ourselves: bedside tables from IKEA, a tabletop like in the kitchen and legs. Chair from IKEA. Above the table hang shelves with books, and above the shelves there are watches that I cut out myself.

There is also a baby area with a table on which he plays, sculpts and draws. The house is made of slate magnetic paint. We store toys in an IKEA shelving unit.

About the hallway

The entrance area is paved with marbled porcelain tiles. Here we made our first mistake: we did the renovation without a designer, and no one told us that white grout and a hallway are incompatible things. On the walls, the moisture-resistant washable paint is gray, but at a certain angle it turns purple or pink.

In the hallway there is a shoe rack from IKEA – we changed the handles to gold ones. Above the dresser is a large custom mirror, glued in place and framed by two pendant lights with gold accents. We installed a comfortable ottoman, and above it are our shields, which I plan to hide.

About the corridor

The corridor is large, almost six meters long. Since there is porcelain tile in the hallway, and laminate in the rest of the apartment, the question arose – how to join the floor coverings? We chose a brass threshold to support the accents throughout the home. My dream apartment had a French herringbone floor in an oak shade. We found such a laminate, but despite the fact that it is class 33, the surface is very susceptible to moisture. I don’t recommend it to you.

In the corridor there are two load-bearing beams that form a niche – we decided to make a large closet here. I drew it and sent it to our furniture maker. Facade – MDF in white film. One department has become a utility department (a stepladder and a router fit well here), others store a first aid kit, bags, documents, hats and gloves, and outerwear. Furniture makers usually say that in order for clothes to hang comfortably, a depth of 55 cm is required. Don’t believe them! Everything fits well in 50 cm.

About the bathroom and toilet

Our toilet and bathroom are separate. In the bathroom we used several finishing options: marble, gray tiles on the floor, pink tiles on the wall. I think it was a good decision that we didn’t add the tiles to the ceiling – we managed to avoid the feeling of a well. Here is a cabinet that we made to order. It was not possible to hide the washing machine behind the facade, so we made a small cabinet and a washer-dryer under a single countertop.

My husband chose the bathtub: it is more square than the usual ones. We chose a sink to match this style. We hung a large illuminated mirror and a lamp. Stretch ceiling with built-in lamps. 

In the toilet we digested the risers of hot and cold water – previously they were in the bathroom, but now in the toilet. As a result, we created a niche where we hid shelves with cleaning products and counters. An installation was also hung. The toilet used marble-like porcelain tiles and gray tiles on the floor.

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