Since we started Reklektik Interior Studio, we have wanted to show you an exciting flat renovation throughout the entire process, from the planning to the finishing touches. In the first part of our series, we presented the process of finding the perfect apartment, the second part was about how we prepared the offer and timeline, and the third one about the possible blueprints. This part is about the mood boards.
First, let’s see where we are now!
We have presented both possible blueprints to Vica and Tamás, and we explained the advantages and disadvantages of each. The young couple had the same opinion as you, our dear followers, and they decided to go with Version 1. The decision was made quickly, as Tamás didn’t want to give up his isolated office space, and it was important that this version came with less demolition, so is more cost-effective.
Just a reminder, this is how the first version looks like.
Meanwhile, we have received the engineer’s approval for demolition, the demolition of the walls in either version of the blueprints wouldn’t cause any danger. Now that we know what the result of the renovation should look like, we asked for cost estimates from three general contractors. The outcome of these inquiries will be presented in the next blogpost.
Vica and Tamás would like to move into their new home as soon as possible, so the demolition has already begun. Tamás agreed with one of our previous contractors that while we are fine-tuning the designs and summarizing the offers, they could begin the to prepare the flat for the renovation. According to their agreement, the demolition of the walls, removing the sawdust, wallpaper, and taking away the construction waste should be finished in two weeks.
As we couldn’t find the original blueprints of the building in the City Archives, the demolition was a rather exciting process. It was only after starting the demolition that we found out that the walls are super thin - when the original upper middle class apartment was broken into smaller flats, they didn’t really focus on the quality of the separator walls they installed. To satisfy the demands of the modern age and keep a good relationship with the neighbours, we put extra insulation in the walls next to the kitchen and behind the toilet, which already required modifications in the designs.
The fate of the original floor was a still unknown: we wanted to keep it, because it suits the flat’s mood well, but it was cracking in several places, and was broken or deficient in many rooms. After the construction workers observed it closely, it became clear that the parquet was impossible to save, so in the end we had to remove the whole floor. It’s important to mention that like in most buildings built in the beginning of the 20th century, there was a serious amount of slag under the floor. Slag is a good insulation material, which is a post-combustion residue of fuel in power plants and smelters. It was also cheap in that time. With some types of slag, radiation is a serious problem, so you have to turn to the experts at the National Research Institute for Radiobiology and Radiohygiene to discover how bad the situation is. In our case, we didn’t have to do this, as Vica and Tamás decided to have a brand concrete floor put in, which is very heavy. Because of the load capacity of the ceiling structure, the slag must be removed from the whole apartment before we start working with concrete.
While the preparations are ongoing, we are proceeding with answering questions regarding the design. The purpose of a moodboard is to present the feeling of the new apartment, based on the interior references that our clients choose for themselves - usually from Pinterest, or that we choose with them in our first meetings. This way get a picture of which way we should go and what the result everybody is happy with would look like. The inspirations that we found to be a good fit for both the new place and the owners’ taste are collected in a folder.
This process usually takes a few days. This is where our client’s purpose for the apartment becomes really important: renting it out for long or short term, selling it, or moving into it. For example, if someone wants to rent out their flat, we try to design something that can easily be adjusted to different needs, as we don’t know anything about the new tenants. As Vica and Tamás will move into their apartment, it’s important to make it match their personal needs. Personal meetings and discussions help a lot in this, as it makes it easier to create designs that fulfill their dreams, and it is also easier for them to figure out which of our ideas they will say yes to or reject. If someone is planning to sell their apartment, or rent it out, the goal of the interior is to suit a wider audience.
Once we have enough source materials and we have put together a list of furniture, we put together a mood board with Photoshop, to show our clients how different materials, textures and colors work together. We place everything next to each other on the designs, as we need to focus on the the overall impact (the entire flat, and the building too), not only the way the rooms look as individual entities. This helps the interior designer’s work when creating the final designs, and the client receives a clear picture of what the result will be.
In order to make the decisions easier, we create two very different mood boards in the first round, and the clients usually choose quite easily which road they would like to take. If they don’t like any of our designs, we go to a third mood board, and in most of the cases, these experiments are enough to define the final directions. The word ‘final’ is extremely important here, as the approved blue print and the mood board mark the closure of the first design phase, and all detailed plans of the second phase will be built upon these results.
In the next part we will talk to you about the finished mood board, and we’ll update you on the renovation process.