They spent only a little money on repairing this two-room apartment.

Together with designer , we tell you how to renovate an old small apartment and fit into a modest budget.


It was impossible to remodel an old two-room apartment in a five-story building, plus the customers had a limited budget for renovations. Designer Marina Merenkova was not at a loss: in order to accommodate everything necessary, the dining table was abandoned in the kitchen, the workspace was placed in the bedroom, and the washing machine was placed under the sink. And budget finishing and “good old” IKEA helped save money.


The clients are a young family without children. On 40 square meters, designer Marina Merenkova had to place, in addition to the main zones, a cozy place for reading and storing books, a home office with a desktop computer, and organize “smart” storage.

We had to abandon the redevelopment: the walls cannot be demolished. As a result, the kitchen remained tiny. “But we were able to place everything we needed, even a dishwasher,” says the designer. — Yes, the linear set is small, but we took wall cabinets up to the ceiling, and replaced the stove with a two-burner hob.

We also replaced the dining table with a bar counter: it was made from the same wooden tabletop that was used in the set. Plus we added several hanging shelves.”

The bedroom has several functional areas: a bed and a workspace. The living room is designed for relaxation: the main space is occupied by a TV area and a place for reading. I’m lucky that there are two windows and a lot of light.

I had to tinker with the layout of the bathroom. The previous owners, instead of a heated towel rail, had a homemade structure made of a cast-iron radiator with a tap; the toilet stood almost close to the washing machine, and it was inconvenient to use.

“We installed a special sink with a flat siphon above the washing machine and made room for the toilet. The most unexpected thing is the box in the bathroom. We all, including the builders, thought that the risers were sewn in there. But when dismantling began, it turned out that this was part of the load-bearing wall, and the risers were located with the neighbors. I had to get to know my neighbors,” Marina Merenkova smiles.

The budget for renovations was limited, so we saved as much as possible. And also on finishing. Dulux paint was used for the walls, light-colored laminate and tiles were laid on the floor.

Of course, there were some exceptions: for example, the tiles on the kitchen apron were from the Spanish company Mainzu. It cost more than expected, but these are the things that decorate and “collect” the interior around itself. Therefore, the customer bought it without hesitation.

IKEA helped us place the necessary storage systems and stay within the budget. It was there that the author of the project found an open rack for outerwear and shoes in the hallway. The cabinet system in the TV area and the glass showcase are also from a Scandinavian brand – they fit perfectly into the interior.

For the walls, the author of the project chose complex colors: deep blue in the bedroom, gray-turquoise in the rest of the rooms. This palette immediately created the mood of restrained Scandinavia. To prevent the interior from appearing dark, light floor coverings and white furniture were used.

“Of course, we tried to save on almost everything – except for the construction crew and hidden work,” says Marina Merenkova. — The furniture was partially selected from IKEA, some was bought in stores in Nizhny Novgorod and ordered online.

There was almost no budget for decor, so we made do with improvised means: for example, the composition in the bedroom was made from wooden frames coated with gold paint. It turned out stylish and inexpensive.”

Photo of the apartment before renovation

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