Sometimes you have to tear something down before you can build it up again.
Sometimes you need a fresh, clean and new start.
Our apartment is such a case.
The building is from the 70ies. My mum bought the place in the 80ies I grew up there for the first 10 years of my life. And I've really come to despise some things in this apartment, for example - well actually, anything in the color brown, for starters. You might remember how much I hate that color....
So this time, I'm gonna show you some photos from the work in progress...
First inhabited in the glorious decade of brown and orange, the old kitchen had the authentic 70ies charm with orange (!) cupboards and rust brown wall tiles with flower pattern... The original bathroom was even worse, with red flower-patterned tiles and a moss green, very weird and kinda spongy floor. My mum had the bathroom renovated at some point in the 90ies, I don't remember when, but it's really nice now. Thankfull. One less room to deal with, haha.
Sexy 70ies wall tiles!
Okay, I don't wanna sound ungrateful or anything. It's just that growing up in this apartment I came to dislike many things, and I also think that my huge dislike for the color brown originates from that time. I am very picky when it comes to interior design and furniture, for example I don't like too dark types of wood or too bright/colorful furniture. I was able to convince my boyfriend to keep our future furniture nice and monochrome. I have a very acute eye for clashing colors, even if it's only two different types of wood. And I can't imagine myself living in a place with, for example, a huge red sofa or a purple kitchen, because as awesome as the color might seem now, I bet I'd grow tired of it in no time. So I think that monochrome furniture is much easier to be happy with for a long time, as I can change the details and decoration such as pillows on the sofa or pictures on the wall, that might be very colorful, whenever I like to. But I can't throw out a big sofa after three years if I start to hate the color, you know what I mean?
For example, I would go crazy in this room, painted by my brother and his fiancé in red and yellow x_x
So, we decided to paint the walls white too. I've been living with yellow-tinted walls for my whole life and next to the color brown I think the color I despise almost as much is yellow (at least as wall painting). People always say that you should paint your rooms in "warm" colors and that pure white is too "cold". But I like it cold :) When we moved to our new house, I insisted that at least my ceiling is painted blue, and asked for the yellow paint to be diluted a bit more for my room (I wasn't allowed to paint the walls pure white for the aforementioned reasons ...). My boyfriend's room in his parents' house was actually painted completely black, haha. It was really awesome (and really impressive to 16 year old little me), and it was okay for us in our teenage years, but it's not something I would want to have in one of our rooms in the apartment. I also think it wouldn't look good in any of our rooms.
Do you know ingrain wall covering?
We had ingrain wallpaper all over the place. It's supposed to make the wall look "livelier" or something, and help to hide small scratches etc. But the wallpapers in the apartment were covered with approximately 15 layers of paint, so there wasn't much left of the ingrain anyway, haha. On the other hand, it really helped to remove the wallpapers, as the wallpapers were super thick. We used a steam cleaner to wet the wallpapers beforehand, and thus were able to pull most of them off in very large pieces at once. It was actually a lot of fun to do that and we were super quick with it.
Another big issue were the floor tiles in the hallway. My uncle had done all the tiling when my mum moved in, and if it hadn't been for the color (brooooown D:) I would have definitely kept them because they were put in a very cool pattern and placed super accurately to fit into the room perfectly. But.... I hated that color already when I lived there... sorry uncle, but I had to do it!
My stepdad and my boyfriend's dad both told me it's gonna be super difficult and I'd probably do a lot of damage to the floor and it will be expensive to fix it etc.... But I decided to give it a try anyway in a far corner of the room I started with hammer and chisel, and it turned out the tiles were much easer to remove than thought. So my boyfriend's dad brought a percussion drill and I threw out the tiles within half a day. My hand hurt so much the day after that, haha! But it was also a lot of fun! During my childhood when we built our house, I wasn't allowed to do any of the "men's work". I was basically only allowed to touch two things: brushes and brooms. I cleaned the construction site, I painted walls and wooden slats, but other than that, nothing. It was super frustrating and boring because I actually wanted to learn all the cool stuff too like the names of the tools, how to use them, how to tile floors etc. So this time, I insisted on doing stuff like this myself. I didn't even let my boyfriend help me with the floor tiles... sorry!
So, right now the place is kinda in ruins. It's hard to imagine that we're supposed to live there in a few weeks time. There's a lot of unexpected repair work and problems that came up halfway through, such as water stains due to a broken window sealing, and mold under the wallpaper near the balcony, where the wall needs some repair apparently... But we're so much faster than anticipated that we actually slowed down a bit and are taking a slower pace now, because we haven't even ordered a new kitchen yet and it will likely take 6-8 weeks to be delivered anyway. Likewise we haven't decided on a sofa because the one we want is really expensive and we are not sure if we should take it or save the money for something else... The other furniture is rather easy as it will mostly be Ikea and other "ready-to-take" items. I might even get a little make-up table in our bedroom ^o^
We already bought the new floor tiles that will be used for the hallway and the kitchen, and a new floor for the "office". And a lot of white paint for all the walls. Today and on Monday the new heaters will be mounted (and then taken down again so we can paint the walls behind them), and we are currently waiting for an offer from a carpenter for new doors. Because - you might have already guessed it - I don't want to live with these f... ugly dark brown doors ^^"
So we're hopefully soon done with the "tearing down" part, and soon will be able to start the "building up" part. I guess both is kinda fun. But the first part was the more scary one. Actually seeing all these things that were "the same" for so many years and really a big part of my childhood, literally come apart in front of your eyes or even by your own doing.... it's crazy. But it's good. Because I want to make this a home for myself and my love, and not live a remnant of my childhood. This is one of the reasons why I wanted to throw out my mum's bed, despite it still being in a good condition, and rearrange the bedroom, despite it's limited space. I just don't want to "live" the same way my very own mother did. I also want to paint one of the old wardrobes that was in my bedroom as a child, which will now become our office room. I just don't want to continue where I left of 11 years ago, when I moved out of that place. I want to start over again, and make this my own "home". I am very, very thankful that my mum worked so hard for me, so that I can now have this apartment and change it the way I want, and live there by my own now. I am so grateful, and I hope she will also like the changes I make and be happy for me when everything is finished.
Coming soon: Hopefully we will already have finished the painting & new floor ^^ Stay tuned!