After 4 months of renovating, I was happy to see that ‘Phase One: Destruction’ was coming to an end. Our apartment was now a shell of its former self.
By this point we had:
• Removed the old wall and floor tiles in the bathroom;
• Sanded down the paintwork from the beams;
• Taken down the bedroom mezzanine, turning two low rooms into one big one (note the green line in the photo below which shows the old position of the mezzanine);
• Removed the old crumbling plaster from the walls;
• Exposed the original stonework;
• Installed insulation and removed the former ceiling;
Seeing it all stripped down I was worried that with such drastic changes we were destroying part of the soul of the place. (I was also worried that we had bitten off much more than we could chew…as all preliminary budgets and timeframes went out the window!).
But rather than destroying the apartment, I saw it more as its centurial cleanse! Away with the crumbling walls, the dated bathroom tiles and the stained paintwork … what we were doing was removing the tired, decorative aspects and bringing the history back, in the form of the wooden beams, the stonework, original ceiling and window heights and natural light. After all, these features are what make these old properties so charming.
By bringing these aspects to the forefront, our renovating mantra quickly became clear - we wanted to enhance these features and work the rest of the decorative scheme around them. In a way it was simple, by taking a step back and discovering what lay beneath, our apartment then showed us the way forward!