For those of you who are new to the project (i.e. those of you whom I haven’t bored silly talking about the apartment for the last 6 weeks!) the following is a list of the work that we need to complete in the coming months. We can’t start until the end of February, so until then, we’re doing research on what is necessary, if we can do it ourselves and where to find the professional in the event that we can’t do it ourselves. Each of these items has about a million smaller points under it, so I’ll just list the major work:
- Change the electrical system to conform with modern standards (it was last updated in the 70’s so at the moment it’s “non-conforme” as they say in French)
- Separate the heating from one boiler system for the whole building to individual boilers per apartment
- Move the bathroom from it’s current location at the corner of the apartment to an interior space
- All of the cosmetic work following these major works – including restoring the hardwood floors, putting down a new bathroom floor, and poured concrete floors in the kitchen & winter garden.
Phew… All of this while trying not to damage any of the existing features, in place since 1920! Check out the vitrine of the guy having a smoke on his break below. The glass panels are really special!
On top of all of this, we have a 100m squared garden, which we need to split from our neighbour’s garden by creating a long garden path where there are currently large bushes. So there’s heavy work to do outside too, but that will come a little later.
At the moment we’re in research mode. When I browse design sites or conduct Pinterest searches about DIY, I notice that there is a tendency to do DIY work for as cheap as possible, often with the worst of materials. This is not true of everyone, of course, but the tips and tutorials for this kind of work lean towards using cheap fabrics, hot glue, sprays, plastic, etc. It’s hard to find DIY tutorials on the cheap from found objects, second-hand pieces or furniture passed down through families. There are many beautiful images of these sorts of thing, yes, but not so many DIY tutorials for renovating. It’s always along the lines of “87 ways to hide those ugly curtain rails for under $25.” You know there’s going to be a suggestion to use a a no-sew glue in there somewhere. It could be because I’m searching in English and a lot of the posts come from the US where it seems work can be seen as temporary as it will be updated again in a few years. Any work we do will be expected to last for the long haul…
Our approach is somewhat different. Not better or worse, but a different way of approaching DIY and renovations. Meh, this is my blog, our way *is* better! 😉 It’s far more ecological – we’ll avoid new buys as far as possible, including materials such as fabric, etc. As far as possible our pieces are going to be found, bought second-hand or donated by family and friends. Any of the upgrade work we do, we’ll try to use the best techniques that we can find. On that, we’re incredibly lucky. We’re surrounded by talented craftspeople and know a thing or two about renovating furniture and rooms ourselves. There will be the odd IKEA feature, but who doesn’t love a little slice of Sweden at home?!
Coming soon: Are you as excited as me about my bathroom cabinet!?