Home renovation in four steps - step four

Home renovation in four steps: step four

We are so excited for this final step.

You see, now we get to believe we helped some of you design your perfect home, or at least inspired you to start thinking about beautifying your apartment and simplifying your everyday life through interior design. Because maybe, some of you read our Home renovation in four steps series and thought: “I really think I can do this!”

Because you can do this.

If you follow us on Instagram, you know we have this #motivationmonday thing going on. One of our favorite quotes from brilliant Bernard Tschumi is: “I always insist that architecture is not about the knowledge of form, but the form of knowledge. But we [architects] are not the only ones who have the right to talk about this form of knowledge, others can talk about it, too.”

We are architects who are also bloggers. Sometimes, we like to think we design cards. Petra loves photography and Tina wants to write a children’s book. Probably about a little girl who loves water but hates when her hands get wet. #greatideaforabook

So yes, you can do this.

To prove it to you, in our final step we will not show you yet another amazing interior, designed to its last detail, by a team of professional architects and designers.

We will show you a home. A simple home, from our favorite decorator who works in a designer furniture store, but is sometimes a flower designer plus a make-up artist.

Do you see what we mean? You can be a pharmacist but still design your kitchen so beautifully that an interior design blog decides to feature it.

But how to do that? How to consider your SWOT analysis, prioritize what will be the biggest improvement for your home and your life, combine everything you learned from others, and design your apartment?

Designing a dream home

The thing about remodels is, there’s always something that has to stay. Sometimes it’s hardwood floor you don’t really like but was so expensive. Sometimes it’s a newish kitchen that is too okay to remove. You have to find a way to harmoniously combine features you don’t even like, with things you love. And if those are not matching in any way, should you give up on things you love?

Remodels are not really about choosing your favorite materials, textures, and furniture, it’s about creating an ambiance. A calm atmosphere where everything seems to be in place.

Home renovation in four steps - step four: NiM living room | upgradesign
NiM apartment – living room // photo: © upgradesign *featured photo

She loves cozy interiors, but with sloping ceiling, it was impossible to style any kind of curtains that would add texture to space. Colors evoke moods, but to paint those walls in any color but white – and emphasize the irregularity of wall surfaces, was not an option. She didn’t try to hang the curtains nor to paint the walls. She searched for other people’s solutions and realized she didn’t like any of them.

Everything she stumbled upon convinced her that nothing but furniture should be changed in her living room.

But the furniture is actually everything you notice. It sets the ambiance. It is colorful but also calm. It is simple but also bold. There are designer armchairs (one of ours favorite armchairs) combined with a DIY pallet coffee table. That kind of contrast is quite welcomed.

Hardwood floor came with the apartment. We asked how come she decided to buy a cabinet made of a different kind of timber. Because, you know, putting two kinds of timber on top of each other is considered controversial where we come from.

She said: “I refuse to be a type of person who buys only white furniture, to avoid dealing with different colors and textures. Besides, what if I buy a cabinet that goes perfectly with the floor, but then decide to renovate the floor? I’d finally have the opportunity to choose ideal floor finish, but couldn’t do it, because everything else I own, matches the floor I don’t even like.”

Yes, time plays important role in the interior design process, whether you choose to do everything in short period of time, or constantly change little things and slowly approach to the final result.

To organize pretty furniture in a big living room is not really a challenge for a decorator. However, the interior lighting design was a challenge. She’s the one who talked us into writing a post about interior lighting. And in our opinion, did an amazing job in her apartment.

Home renovation in four steps - step four: NiM dining space | upgradesign
NiM apartment – dining room // photo: © upgradesign
Home renovation in four steps - step four: NiM kitchen | upgradesign
NiM apartment – kitchen // photo: © upgradesign
Home renovation in four steps - step four: NiM workspace | upgradesign
NiM apartment – workspace // photo: © upgradesign

By reading just a little about interior design, you’ll realize there are so many rules that lead to a fool proof method for designing anything. And when dealing with something you can’t solve, you’ll know that someone, somewhere already solved that design issue. Or at least that there are bloggers who’d be happy to write an entire post about it.

And instead of ceiling lights in weird places, you’ll end up having one line of neatly arranged lamps, built in the suspended ceiling – which provides ambient light for cooking in the kitchen and working in the home office. You’ll end up with focal glow – pendant lamps that define social parts of your apartment – dining area and kitchen island. Also, floor lamp that defines lounge area but feels more casual and mobile. You’ll know how to create a contrast of light and shadow to separate different parts of one very big space.

You’ll be able to take control over your interior.

What we love about this apartment, is the fact the ambiance from the social area is not forced in every part of the apartment. There’s a room for a little girl (written about here).  It’s very simple and stylish like the rest of the apartment, but it is kind of dreamy rather than bright. Just like a little girl’s room should be.

Home renovation in four steps - step four: NiM baby room | upgradesign
NiM apartment – baby room // photo: © upgradesign

Although everything in the apartment is beautiful, lack of storage space was very frustrating.

Since storage room was not a possibility due to the layout of the apartment, while searching for inspiration, she stumbled upon varieties of closets used as storage space. And there was a perfect spot in the hallway for that type of closet.

You know, the one where coats, shoes, iron, drying rack, vacuum cleaner, wrapping paper, holiday decorations, broom, detergent bottles, tools… can be kept.

Using the logic from examples, she organized her closet. Notice how shelves in the drawing are not on the same heights like they are in the examples. She knew what must fit in, and how big those elements are. She measured those elements. Functionality was a priority.

Plus, the shelves, of course, can’t be seen through the closet doors.Home renovation in four steps - step four: NiM built-in storage design | upgradesignSince it is not really a statement piece of furniture, it is completely white, without knobs, almost unnoticeable. And so useful.

Home renovation in four steps - step four: NiM storage space | upgradesign
NiM apartment – built-in storage // photo: © upgradesign

Identify problems. Prioritize tasks. Find inspiration. Design your dream home. It is really that simple.

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