Repairing a 69 m² old building on your own for a little money (before and after photos)

Maria lives with her husband and two children in a three-room apartment in the city of Cherepovets. Our heroes purchased the Stalinka in 2021 with an old renovation, but in just three months, on their own, without a designer and with minimal investment, they created a very cozy interior with bright accents. Maria revealed the details of the renovation, shared useful tips.

About the start of repairs

Initially, the apartment was quite well-kept and clean; two pensioners lived there. We got excited about it and immediately started planning the renovation right there:

  • old floors must be removed, joists replaced and a new floor laid;
  • the walls are terribly crooked – plaster, putty, paint;
  • mezzanine in the corridor – for demolition;
  • the wall between the living room and kitchen is to be demolished;
  • replacement of electrical and plumbing;
  • replacing the front door;
  • replacement of interior doors;
  • stretch ceiling.

About furniture

All the furniture – cabinets, bed, tables, chairs and even the decor with dishes – are IKEA. I love it very much for its range, prices and quality, and, of course, for the fact that it is easy to supplement. We placed an online order on the website, and four days later everything was delivered to our home.

About finishing

The difficulty arose, of course, when leveling the walls: many times more material was needed than planned. We didn’t do it directly under the level, because a lot of space was already “eaten up” by the alignment. Nevertheless, we are pleased with the result.

I really wanted to preserve the airiness of the high ceilings, so the walls were painted in light colors. Plus, we understood that there had to be a certain feature in the interior, so we came up with a green sofa and a green wall behind it.

About the nursery

The eldest son is crazy about dinosaurs and everything connected with them. This is how these ancient reptiles appeared on the walls in his room.

Implementing the idea turned out to be quite simple and interesting. These are nothing more than vinyl stickers from AliExpress, although all the guests at first think that we painted them ourselves.

About the bathroom

My pride is the bathroom and toilet. It seems to me that we managed to some extent to preserve the stylization of the old foundation there. The 15×15 tiles, retro shower, and even the green walls also convey the spirit of those years.


















The bathroom area is only 3.5 m², and it was necessary to accommodate a bathtub, sink, washing machine and a cabinet for storing towels and other household chemicals. A small plus is that the room has a niche just for a wall cabinet and a washing machine.

A shelf with decor looks very atmospheric in the toilet. It was simply not enough, since the room is quite narrow and high, and this decor solved the problem. Also in the toilet there is forced ventilation directly into the ventilation duct. A very cool thing: the absence of moisture and unpleasant odors is guaranteed.

About the hallway

We were lucky that initially the apartment had a storage room with a mezzanine at the entrance. Many people remove them during renovation and install, for example, a wardrobe. To date, this is the only unfinished object during the renovation, so I can’t show you what’s inside yet. The louvered doors for this “seasonal closet” were purchased from Leroy Merlin. It is very convenient that they are made of natural solid pine needles: you can paint them any color or leave the material natural.

Repairs were done both day and night, some of it ourselves, they hired guys to dismantle and level the walls, installation of new electrical wiring was done, of course, by trusted specialists. In terms of time, we did everything in three months of intensive work.


Having analyzed everything, already living here, I will say: do not be afraid of the old foundation. It’s really warm and quiet here. What can we say, we have only nine apartments in the entrance: this is not a high-rise anthill where you can hear your neighbor’s kettle boiling.

Photo before renovation

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