Before & After: A "Bottom of the Barrel" Apartment Rises to the Top

Before & After: A "Bottom of the Barrel" Apartment Rises to the Top

(Image credit: Camil Tang Photos Studio, Mint & Den Stay)

Andrée-Ann's Montreal studio was a bit of a shock to the system it its original state. After some bigger-than-expected changes the space is bright and charming.

(Image credit: Camil Tang Photos Studio, Mint & Den Stay)

From Andrée-Ann: Our partner found this amazing place and sent us photos via text. The photos were underwhelming, to say the least. At the moment, it reminded me of a shady "bottom of the barrel" apartment - I'll leave it at that. When we visited, this very brown, apparently windowless and light deprived studio had everything you'd never dream of. It had dirty linoleum, a crumbly bathroom with damaged and poorly kept grout, a broken closet door and - in addition to being cheap - the floor was crooked. A faint yet persistent smell of packaged ramen noodles, cheap air freshener and cigarettes lingered in the air. This was what would soon become the airy, stylish, and bright apartment it is now, with enviable luxe-appeal, designed by Studio Mint and Den Stays.

(Image credit: Camil Tang Photos Studio, Mint & Den Stay)
(Image credit: Camil Tang Photos Studio, Mint & Den Stay)

The renovation took about two months and it cost $14,000. Setbacks were a lot of mold in the washroom and around the windows. This made us steer the project into a more major renovation. The crooked nature of the building made the tile and kitchen installation tricky to "cheat the eye" for a good finished result. We also added moldings on the walls and ceilings to add a "je ne sais quoi" to the feel of the place.

(Image credit: Camil Tang Photos Studio, Mint & Den Stay)

Now the space is so bright and feels like a posh Paris flat in Montmartre. I wouldn't do anything differently.

(Image credit: Camil Tang Photos Studio, Mint & Den Stay)

Words of advice? Get a good handy person - skilled with old and crooked buildings if that is your situation. If you are dealing with a tight space, plan to minimize how many times you need to shuffle things around to do your work as a cost reduction factor. Sometimes, paying extra time or money to completely clear-out a space prior to the reno will make the work quicker, in turn saving you money.

Thank you, Andrée-Ann!

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