by Дизайн студия Александра Скирды ВЕРСАЛЬПРОЕКТ

The radical renovation of a crumbling home!

Dan Cape Dan Cape
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Homify's before and after renovation ideabooks are rarely so radical! You'll think anything possible after you see this makeover of a small apartment in Ukraine. 

It's painful to look at the pre-renovation photos of the interior of this small apartment in the Crimean city of Simferopol. They look like wire service photos from journalists covering the ongoing conflict in the region, but happily they are merely the shots taken after the damp and neglected hovel had begun to be stripped back to its bare structural essentials, ready for interior architects and designers from Versalprojekt, led by Alexander Mow and with studios and offices in both Simferopol and Sevastopol, to get their hands dirty with a renovation that seems all but impossible considering the state of disrepair on display. 

Let's take a look at how a good strip-and-scrub-down followed by a thorough and thoughtful refurbishment can work wonders on what might seem a lost architectural cause. 

WARNING: contains graphic images of horribly mutilated home interior. 

It's hard to believe that this…

What do you see here? A compact and comfortable single-roomed apartment that's made good use of limited space. In this shot alone you can see the front door, flanked by a couple of tasteful black and white photographic prints, a sunny living room area in the foreground, a small desk an office chair, laptop and printer combo and bookshelves hung above for a same-room study space, and a cosy recessed enclave for a double bed raised up above storage units that double as steps. 

… could be rescued from from that!

It's hard to look at, and harder yet to believe that the sunny and sensible room above was somehow pulled from the wreckage you see here. Remnants of damp stained wallpaper with a nauseating, vomit-green floral motif cling to the walls, also suffering from water damage, and the floor is laid with tasteless, grimy faux-tiling linoleum. It gets worse.

But it gets better

A major interior refit like this means taking the structure back to its bare essentials. This photo of the rubble strewn living room, taken from the entranceway you can see in the first photo, show the extent to which the builders specializing in restoration and renovation had to demolish before they could fulfill their job description. You can see the promise, though, the apartment is graced with a small balcony to enjoy on warm summer days. 

When you really need to go

This image speaks for itself, really… While this image might, with a lot of charity, evince a moody image of a lonely Dark Ages throneroom, needless to say a major bathroom refit was in order for this apartment. The results are incredible. 

Bathing beauty

The new bathroom installed in the apartment is anything but gloomy. It's small, like the rest of the home in terms of footprint, but all the mod cons have been fitted together with practicality and pure style both placed foremost in the design. You can see the door to the bathroom in the mirror, set above a contemporary bowl-shaped sink atop a gorgeously grained bathroom storage cabinet. The wood of the cabinet matches the beautiful, long herringbone platform in place of your usual bathmat when you step out of the modern shower cubicle, step into the bathroom itself and up to the sink and mirror. 

Even a necessary evil like the water heater unit (note: a new, modern and up-to-code installation) is set behind a frosted glass panel, diffusely lit, just like the rest of the discreet lighting in this clean and inviting bathroom – a nice touch is the color control of the light beneath the sink and cabinet, making ablution that bit more atmospheric in this space. 

A step closer to bedtime

Let's take a closer look at the clever setup of the 'bedroom'. This is a single studio apartment, meaning the living area, bedroom and kitchen are all contiguous. Everyone knows that for a good night's sleep is a good idea to separate your bedroom as much as possible from the rest of your home. Versalprojekt's ingenious solution, rather than to resort to a 'murphy bed' or pull-down wall bed, is to set the bed into a recess and raise it up above the apartment's overall floor level. 

You can curtain it off for extra privacy, darkness and noise reduction, but best of all is that this design allows a set of steps leading down to the parquet flooring of the main living space to double up as under-bed storage space, two pairs of drawers that slide out. It's also a very, very cosy place to put your head down. 

Room with a view

Taken from up on the bed platform, this photo shows how drenched in sunlight the apartment is, and how a little renovation can maximize the presence of natural light, filtered here through a diaphanous second curtain that conceals access to the small balcony outside. 

The simple but comfortable living room is furnished with a contemporary couch (also a sofa-bed for when visitors fold themselves out of the woodwork) and a sidelamp, set across a rug that really pulls the room together from a television and some simple wooden shelving. 

Utility in action

A more comprehensive view shows off most of this little apartment, but again how much can be done in such a small space. Sunlight spills over the couch and a chic glass-topped coffee table you can see the ergonomic office chair to the left of the picture, and you get a good view through to the kitchen, which has also gone extensive renovation and refitting. 

Define kitchenette

More of a fully equipped kitchen than most apartment's of this size could boast, this crucial space in the home was, after the bathroom, the place that needed the most interior architectural attention. With wall panels and storage space below the polished black benchtops fashioned from the same Scandinavian-style timber that's used throughout the design, this kitchen looks as good as it works. A black granite floor matches up with the workspaces perfectly, and adds a little more ostentation to the humble, utilitarian dwelling. 

Next time you hit the wall…

… remember, nothing has more potential than a blank canvas!

If you're planning or in the middle of a renovation project for a smaller-sized or sorely design-deprived apartment but find your creativity gauge wavering around zero, relax and refuel with these inspirational design ideas from homify. 


Redecorating a drab 40 square meter apartment.

Just 33 square meters but housing all the mod cons.

The before-and-after transformation of a spooky Japanese home.  

Closets for those with big storage problems but a small apartment

How to get more from your modern (and small) kitchen.

- Feeling thirsty after demolishing your small apartment? Trust us, there's room for bar! This one's on the house. Cheers. 

Have you reached the limit when it comes to renovating your apartment?
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