Before and After: This Reno Is a Chip Off the Communist Block

I’m going to be straight with you: some of you are going to fall in love with this amazing mauve cabinetry and hardware. Don’t get attached! It’s not long for this world, and there’s plenty to appreciate in this renovation.

This project was done by Something We Design, and I envy the teeny washing machine. Plus, wall ovens always look cool, I am utterly flummoxed by the corner stove, and that concrete wall is to-die-for:

A lovely surprise was the revealing of the construction’s original precast concrete wall. We fell in love with its texture and decided to leave it visible.

That is one of the most fortuitous renovation discoveries that I’ve ever seen! What an amazingly cool feature that would probably cost an absurd amount of money to create from scratch.

Here’s a little backstory from Beatrice Marta of Something We Design:

The kitchen is part of a typical ’80s communist apartment from Romania. Due to its orientation, the space did not benefit from much natural light. The old finishes and furniture were starting to seriously deteriorate. The initial electrical system of the building was not planned to accommodate all the appliances for a contemporary household.

I was wondering if perhaps the mauve cabinets weren’t in quite as good shape as they look in photos. Always something to remember when we’re bemoaning the removal of unique features!

This is such a sweet dining area! There’s an interesting palette at work here: white cabinetry and floor, grey concrete wall, and black wall and table, with wood and red highlights. We often see white, grey, black and wood kitchens, but generally the colors are more interwoven. Here, there are defined zones of color.

The renovation has greatly improved the life of Beatrice’s family:

We love that the space is much more luminous and inviting. It is beautiful and practical at the same time. We love the modern vibe it has. We really enjoy spending more time in this room now and also hosting dinners with our friends and family.

Having the table in the kitchen gives guests a spot to sit whilst the cooks cook—and keeps them out of the way!

So many skinny, shiny mauve cupboards! They are fascinating, as are the white structural elements attached to the ceiling (those did survive the renovation). This renovation turned out to be a major undertaking:

The process took about two months. All the old finishes have been stripped. The plumbing, electrical wiring and the furniture have been replaced. We brought in help for the plumbing and electrical part as well as for the plastering of two walls which needed more work than estimated.

Always wise to bring in outside help when a remodel gets overwhelming!

I love the notion of a storage unit raised just enough to fit shoes underneath it—and very well-lit shoes at that. That under-cabinet lighting probably acts as a nightlight, very helpful when arriving home at night.

Here’s Beatrice’s advice, now that this renovation is complete:

The advice for those considering a renovation project in general, is to be patient and open to whatever comes along. Of course, plans are great but one should always be ready for uncertainty as well.

Thank you, Beatrice!



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