A couple weeks ago Joanna shared some photos of our teeny 500 square foot apartment on A Cup of Jo. I have a lot more pictures and details about hunting for the apartment and renovations so this week I’m going to share some of them. I love a good before and after and this one was pretty crazy. When we signed the lease we agreed to manage the renovations ourselves and we spent two weeks (with the help of Paul’s parents) painting the whole apartment and hiring contractors to do floors etc. It was an exhausting project but we were thrilled with the results. (Just a warning there are some scary “before” pictures.)
Click through below to take a peek…
The landlord was willing to foot the bills of the renovations except the painting. We knew right away that we wanted to paint everything white. It reflects the light so well and makes everything feel so much bigger. We laughed that we finally had a chance to paint our apartment any color we wanted and we chose white! I know someone will ask but I don’t remember the exact color, we just went to the paint store ans asked for their most popular white paint. We got a quote for the painter and it was $1000! It seemed like a lot and we figured the apartment was so small we could finish it in a day or two. Biggest Mistake Ever! It took almost a whole week of three people painting non-stop. I’ll never make that mistake again. Painting took forever! We hired a contractor to rip up the carpet (that had been eaten by a dog!) and to refinish the floors. The wood was naturally a caramel color but we decided to have it stained a dark walnut. When we were done it felt like a completely different apartment.
I liked the wood color on the cabinets but the moulding had been painted white and the two-tone was too much. We decided to paint the cabinets all white and of course paint the walls white. I intended to replace the countertops at one point but we never got around to it. The white dramatically opened up the kitchen and made the cabinets feel lighter. The flooring was just cheap black and white vinyl but feels so iconic and we love it. The old fridge was non functioning so we ordered a new one and had it delivered.
The apartment had some mold issues (!) so we had a contractor friend come in and treat them with a mold resistant base before we painted them white. We have had no mold issues since we’ve lived here. We love all the light this room gets!
The bathroom was a little scary. Specifically the clawfoot bathtub. We use the tub a lot with kids and I knew we needed to do something drastic so we would feel comfortable using it everyday. We ended up having it sanded and resealed which made it as good as new. We also painted the walls white which made a big difference in this small room.
Our bedroom is actually a sunroom. We love the light and think it is kind of like sleeping in a treehouse. We painted the walls white (are you seeing a pattern?) but weren’t totally sure what to do with the weird linoleum flooring. My decorator friend Grant Gibson recommended we have wall to wall custom jute carpet ordered from Abbey Carpet. It was fairly inexpensive and I installed it myself with just an exacto knife.
While it was a lot of work, it was really great to be able to decide what our apartment looks like. We both really loved the results and I think it is so satisfying to transform something with potential into something wonderful.
Those are all the before and after pictures! Stay tuned for all the detailed photographs and sources over the next few days.
All after pictures by Heather Zweig