We had someone over for breakfast yesterday morning. We got talking about homes, the challenges of finding a new apartment within a modest budget in a great location, and the lack of availability. After exchanging notes about the travails of living in a home with mosaic flooring and underneath of sink home to generations of roaches, we wondered what takes precedence: location or floor plan?

It is a well-known fact across the world that homes are often decades old in the heart of any city or well-developed neighborhoods.

In this case, the home had both the factors, location and floor plan, in its favor. The only thing going against it was its age. So what do you do? Renovate, of course.

If the foot print of your home is sufficient, location awesome and it’s just the outdated flooring and wear and tear of the fittings that you are grappling with, then a renovation will save you tons of money than selling/buying a newer apartment.

This 1,463 sq.ft in Santiago, Chile was completely remodeled in 2016.  As you can see, the apartment shines in natural wood and as if it has returned back to its former glory. I’m going to use this beautiful renovation to illustrate how to make your remodeling project a success.

Renovate all at once

The best way to go about a renovation project would be to move out of the house for a few months. Take a place on  rent close by. My suggestion would be do it all at once instead of room by room because this will drag on for years.

This Santiago Apartment Is a Practical Lesson in Renovation


Wooden flooring is a great option for renovation. The ease of laying and time taken to install cannot be compared with relaying of tiles. Most houses that are decades old were either fitted with 1*1 tiles or mosaic flooring. Now, tiles will have to fixed over them increasing the height of the overall flooring. Laminated wooden flooring should be a preferred choice.  It’s just a myth that wooden flooring cannot be cleaned with water and must be carefully maintained. Yes, you cannot dunk it with water but a clean sweeping should be sufficient and mopping two days a week will keep it clean. that way I find it easier than vitrified tiles. For high traffic zones such as the living and drawing room, go for a better quality. For kitchen and bathroom, you don’t have a choice but to relay tiles.

Wooden flooring is a great choice for renovation

Fittings and Appliances

Change all the bathroom fittings and redo the kitchen in entirety. This in itself is half the job accomplished. Faucets and taps with time look aged, show the wear and tear and become outdated in model, too. Get new chrome fittings and tiles. The devil is in the details like that thin strip of patterned tiles on on end.

bathroom fittings

bathroom fittings

Window Treatment

One distinctive feature of olden homes are the smaller sized windows. If there is an option, get sliding windows fixed. This will open up the space in ways you didn’t imagine.

window treatment for renovated homes


Kitchens often came fitted with just a Cudappa slab and concrete shelves beneath them. This is one space I reckon that will take up the maximum amount of effort and time. But, treat this like an opportunity to change the layout for hob, fridge if it isn’t working out well currently. If you have an utility or an extra balcony attached to the kitchen, then take down the wall. This will extend the kitchen. You can use the extra space for washing machine, dish washer, or put up a table for entertaining, or use it as pantry storage. Whatever works for you.

Check out some latest kitchen designs here for inspiration.


As you can see here, a table with those nifty shelves has made this nook so much better now. The niche is brilliantly used by adding built in wooden shelves.

Extended kitchen in renovated home

A balcony is extended into the kitchen


IC: Arcop

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