Today is an exciting day, at least for me. Because today I am posting a blog post that has been in the works for more than a year. Almost 2 years ago I decided that my living space needed an upgrade for various reasons. I owned too much stuff, most of the furniture I possessed was old and not my cup of tea and I had never really decorated a space to my needs and wishes. So I decided it was time for a makeover at the end of 2013. This post shows you the before and after pictures side by side and at the end of this post you can find a video where I quickly take you round my studio.
This picture shows the before and after pictures of the corner of my 30 M2 (or 90 ft2) studio apartment that probably saw the biggest change. It is my office/ dining area where I actually spend most of my time. This is where I sit and blog, eat my meals, read books, listen to music, prep classes, answer e-mails and do whatever people do. The picture on the left was taken in October 2013. The picture on the right in April 2015. If you have any questions about anything you see in these picture or in the video below, feel free to leave a comment.
These pictures show work in progress. This is the end of 2013. Before it got to this stage, I first cleaned up and got rid of so much stuff. I got rid of 25 – 30 thrash bags worth of stuff I no longer needed. Most of it was old papers from my student days. I still had every scrap of paper I had ever collected during that time. I also downsized my CD and DVD collections and gave away 200 or so books via Facebook give away pages and a local charity that gives books to shelters and people who cannot afford to buy books. The next step was to sell off or donate excess furniture I no longer wanted. Once all that was done I did a first round of furniture shopping at Ikea.
What I really wanted was more space. Or at least to create the feeling of having more space. Which not only meant downsizing my belongings, but also thinking through where to put my furniture. I think the picture of this corner of my house best shows how I achieved it. Because my studio is teeny tiny and comes with NO storage space, I have to make do with what I have. I have tried to hide most of the ‘mess’ by putting a shoe rack in front of it or keep it in the corner as much as possible. To optically open up the space and create more coherence I decided to reorganize my bookcase last summer by color and size rather than alphabetical order.
I also came up with solutions to try and have some sort of color scheme going on. Since I am renting this space in a house that has monumental features which you are not allowed to change or touch, it can be quite challenging. The fact that my bed is situated on a raised platform helps as it keeps the space from being too much like a bedroom and it opens up the opportunity to have a couch and a living/ entertainment area. I bought the two tables with storage space to again try and clean up any messes. Clothes that I want to wear the next day or my pjs no longer drift around the space, but are not easily tucked away. Color scheme wise I went with red, grey and wood as my main colors. I even bought new bedding which was more neutral, not only to match the color scheme, but also to tone things down a bit. There was simply too much going on before.
Finally there is the part with the fewest changes. I just gave this part a good clean out and that was that. The only thing I replaced was the 4-drawer set. It’s the same one, but this one matches the wardrobe. The wardrobe I already bought a few years ago after my first one fell apart. I mainly changed the inside of my wardrobe and added some drawers to maximize use of space. If you would like to see what’s inside just let me know.
Please watch the video if you would like to see a full tour of my studio apartment:
Obviously this is far from perfect, but I love how it turned out. Things I’d still like to do are to buy buy different curtains, replace the carpet and give the whole space a good lick of paint. The curtains are a no go because I’d have to have them custom made and they would cost me a small fortune (my windows are over 2.5 meters tall). Also, I would need to replace the curtain rods and I am not allowed to do that as my ceiling is listed as a monument (as is the fire place by the way) and so I am not allowed to drill any new holes. It is also the reason why my ceiling is a different color from the rest of my walls: I am not allowed to paint or alter it myself. The carpet got wrecked years ago when a handy man came to fix the floor. The hole he fixed is still there, so every once in a while I need to open it up to get it filled up again. Which is why I never bothered to replace the carpet.
What do you think of my makeover?