Alex's New Red Studio

House Call

Name: Alex
Location: Bucharest, Romania

Last year, my wife and I bought ourselves a small apartment in Bucharest, Romania. We found an apartment on the seventh floor of a nine story building with 45 apartments in our wing of the building. We're just outside the central area — a 20-25 minutes walk to the city center.The apartment used to belong to the architect Horia Reit — his best known work is a villa near Brasov, Romania. He moved outside the city and sold to the guys we bought the flat from.

The advantage of buying a house that belonged to an architect or to an interior designer is that you don't have to ask yourself where to put everything (starting with clothing, ending with plates). Reit did a great job breaking the wall. He was a single guy so he transformed a two-room apartment (one bedroom, one living-room and a kitchen) into a studio. He broke down the wall between the kitchen and the living-room and the wall between the living-room and the bedroom, creating one big room — separated by a light wall and a sliding door made from polycarbonate.

The guy was so smart, he created his own dressing-like drawer on the bedroom walls, a nice utility space in the kitchen and another space above the main entrance. He removed the doors from the small hallway that was used to enter the bathroom and the bedroom, using the space to enlarge the bathroom, separating it from the living-room with a glass brick wall.

When moved, we found a mess. The windows weren't washed inside or outside like for years, and it looked horrible. The only things we kept from the old apartment, after removing the flooring and the handmade furniture, were a few wooden boxes for clothes and the kitchen and bathroom tile, the windows, the entrance doors and the kitchen and bathroom furniture.

We worked on a small budget — somewhere around $6,000 dollars — and had to rebuild the apartment. From yellow and light blue we went for white and red. We removed the flooring and put in cement; in the living-room, there were spots where the height of the cement layer was around 14 centimeters. We put some sort of parquet, sandstone tiles in the kitchen and the bathroom, repaired the plaster from brick walls and painted from scratch. We installed new lamps.

Besides the remaining furniture and the egg-like chair, we opted-in for IKEA (as I said, we were on a small budget). The apartment is yet to be finished, even after a year. We should put a door between the living-room and the bedroom, but as long as we're only two and no kids involved, it's fine for now. We should repair small stuff that remained unfinished after the workers left us (of course, after getting all their money).

I think we have a cozy home and I've satisfied my need for red. Most probably, it's not the most stylish apartments of all, maybe it's not as an interior designer would have made it, but it's ours and we love it. Despite the fact we're sometimes sorry for throwing away all the furniture the architect made with his own hands. but when you see the new bright white walls, you feel like you'd make a sacrilege putting back the old wood.

Thanks Alex!

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