Before and After: A Truly Transformed 366-Square-Foot Apartment Kitchen

This 34-square-meter (366-square-foot) Moscow apartment might not look like too much right now, but its owner saw potential and had it transformed into a rather roomy—bigger than at least two of my apartments anyway—Airbnb rental apartment. Unsurprisingly, the kitchen is the heart of this (temporary) home.

This renovation was created by Kovalchenko Anna of Essenziale, who wisely stuck to a limited palette—black, white, and wood—throughout the small space.

I have chosen the Scandinavian theme with neutral color scheme—predominantly black and white, which looks very stylish and contemporary. To add warmth to the space I have used lots of texture and little decorative details—photos, vases, posters, and textiles.

The organic warmth of the wood floors, tabletop, and shelving, along with the old-world charm of painted brick, certainly add warmth. Here’s how this project came about:

Apartment of only 34 square meters [366 square feet] with one bedroom, separate kitchen, and balcony. It is located near the international airport Vnukovo in Moscow. The owners of this apartment wanted to rent it on Airbnb—mainly for transfer passengers who would wait for their flight. I was asked to create a “hotel-like space” that would have the coziness and comfort of a home.

Nailed it. Sometimes it’s difficult for a black-and-white home to feel cozy, but this one certainly does. I love the vibe of this kitchen, and the open shelving is absolutely perfect in a vacation property: There aren’t a million things that will need to be stored, and this way guests don’t have to open every single cabinet just to find a mug. The matte black cabinetry is so sophisticated, the scrolled shelf brackets add softness to the modern space, and I will never not be envious of those kitchen washing machines. They’re so tiny! Equally delightfully tiny: that darling single burner. It’s perfect for vacation: It gives you the option of cooking, without allowing you to do complicated cooking that dirties multiple pans. I would much rather have a single burner than a microwave in a rental, and this solution is an enormous aesthetic improvement when compared to the stove in the “before” photo.

What did it take to transform this apartment into an inviting vacation rental?

The general budget was around $25,000 and I had to find some budget options for materials, furniture and decor. The renovation was done within around six months.

This project is very well done, and I envy the travelers who get to stay here!

Thank you, Kovalchenko Anna and Essenziale!

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