Before & After: A Buenos Aires Apartment Is Restored to Its Former Beauty, and Then Some

updated Feb 20, 2020

Before & After: A Buenos Aires Apartment Is Restored to Its Former Beauty, and Then Some

updated Feb 20, 2020
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Square feet
Sq ft

Name: Martin, Lucas, and Fernet the dog
Location: Balvanera — Buenos Aires, Argentina
Size: 1,000 square feet
Years lived in: 3 years, owned

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When you enter Lucas and Martin’s Buenos Aires apartment it feels like a time capsule; the building is so old its construction predates the Obelisco, a famous city landmark. And the amount of detailed craftsmanship this flat has is hard to find in the city. When this couple saw it for the first time they knew it was a gem that needed a little care, so they embraced the challenge of renovating it.

Lucas is a flight attendant—and spends many nights sleeping away from home—so it’s very important to him to have a nice place to come back to. Meanwhile, Martin, who works from home, appreciates having a calm place to work and be creative. Though the remodeling project was extensive (as you can see from the before photos sprinkled throughout the gallery), spending time, energy, and money paid off for the couple. The hard years of renovation are over and now they can’t be prouder of the result. The apartment fits all of their requirements, especially one: having a lovely place to entertain their friends.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: We wonder sometimes because it’s kind of hard to define it. We like classical things and recycle antiques but at the same time we love some industrial influence here and there.

Inspiration: At first we looked at a lot of magazines, old school, I know. But now most of it comes from Instagram and brands’ catalogues.

Favorite Element: We love the desk; it also holds a special place in Martin’s heart because it used to be his grandparents’ kitchen table. Also I think we have made really great things with the lighting.

Biggest Challenge: Our biggest challenge was EVERYTHING. Doing the whole renovation was really hard. But I think the hardest part was the kitchen. We tore down a wall, replaced the floor, and all the kitchen hardware was custom made so you can imagine all the stress we went through.

What Friends Say: They love it! Our house is a gathering place full of energy; we love to entertain and our friends love being spoiled.

Biggest Embarrassment: The water stains. The apartment is old so we have piping problems sometimes. Once a fortune teller told me that those stains were the souls of the sisters that used to live here.

Proudest DIY: We made the bookshelf that surrounds the desk. It was the first thing we did completely in our own. The design part of it was fun but we underestimated the time it would take to complete.

Biggest Indulgence: We were looking for something great for the entrance and that antique console was a rare find; that’s worth every penny. We are really happy with it because it’s a perfect match for the apartment.

Best Advice: Never give up! If you ever go through a renovation you will feel tired in the middle of a mess not knowing when it is going to end. Having a nice place is a lot of work and requires a lot of dedication. But it’s also a self discovery journey so relax and enjoy the ride!

Dream Sources: We would love to incorporate some of the Almodóvar aesthetic. So our dream source would be an almodóvar’s props auction.




  • Dresser — Antique find 
  • Key holder box — IKEA




  • Plants — Inherited from friends who moved abroad


  • Pendant light — Souvenir from a Mexico trip
  • Throw — HM Home
  • Duvet Cover — Casa Ideas
  • Nightstand — Belonged to Martin’s Grandmother
  • Framed buildings print — Josefina Jolly



  • First aid box — IKEA
  • Glass cabinet — Flea market find
  • Haircare products — Sir Fausto



Thanks Lucas and Martin!