The Sutton Apartment: Before

The first version of this post was originally posted in July 2011 on the giftable designs blog.

Welcome to our first place! It’s still full of the previous occupants’ hoarded belongings and needs a lot of work, but it’s in a full service building (with a laundry room! No more carrying 50 lbs of laundry a quarter mile every month!) and it’s in a nice neighborhood. When we walked in, we were stunned by its condition, but once we did the math and realized what good square footage it had, we were sold. It was in pretty shocking condition, but nothing a good ol’ renovation couldn’t fix!

Here is the series of snapshots I took the second time we walked in (I didn’t take any photos the first time because it was dark and I was too busy screaming and begging to leave). I’m also including a photo of some rooms once we got them cleaned out. If you get lost, the floorplan is in an old post here.


[living room. worn down parquet floors, major spackling/sanding and window replacement needed. all the outlets are two-prong and painted over a hundred times.]

DSC02087
[kitchen. appliances, cabinets, and laminate countertops from 1953 (fridge replaced sometime in the 90’s). water damaged and roach infested. to us, this is the most important room, and there wasn’t much room to cook in the 7×7′ space. it looks a lot better than it actually was, believe me.]


[foyer- coat closet on left, kitchen straight ahead. became our kitchen extension by knocking down the right side and top of the wall.]


[dressing room. heavy wood sliding doors (on the left wall) were impossible to open and filthy.]


[bedroom. worn down parquet floors, major window replacement needed. broken closet doors, no functioning outlets.]


[bathroom. major water damage on all walls and ceiling. rusty tub full of bonus roaches (I didn’t include them in the closing docs but I guess they wanted to stay), outdated/broken fixtures. you can see the extent of the water damage in the bottom picture. thankfully it was all from a previous incident and dry when we got there.]


[all outlets were two-prong and painted over a hundred times.]


[windows. once we got all the old belongings cleared out, we realized there was condensation between the panes of glass. the building also required that we replace the window unit air conditioner with a through-the-wall unit (replacing the heater below). so that promised to be a super fun project!]

So there you have it. Obviously the renovation was a necessity. We closed on it in early December 2010, got all our approvals by late February 2011, and finished the bulk of it mid-May 2011. Each room posed its own challenges, so the next few posts will outline individual room renovations and final (renovated) photos. It’s amazing what you can do with this many blank, white walls!

❤ v

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