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Before & after: Renovation of small apartment in Milan, Italy

James Rippon James Rippon
Modern living room by Arch. Andrea Pella Modern
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“Maybe this year we will finally get around to renovating the house?” How many times have we said this to ourselves? Often many times, perhaps too many. Be it a broken pipe, some faulty wiring, new heating, or a fresh lick of paint, sometimes you need to just bite the bullet and procrastinate no more. As you will see in this once dilapidated apartment in Milan, Italy, it would take a lot more than some fresh paint to transform the space to become liveable once more. If you yourself are in the midst of a home renovation, check out this amazing project that is a perfect example of what hard work can achieve.

A huge task ahead

As you can see, more than a simple facelift is needed to change this decrepit and unused apartment. A complete overhaul of the walls, ceiling, floors, electrics and water pipes is needed to make it habitable. Say goodbye to that god awful pink and see what Arch. Andrea Pella was able to accomplish.

Here, we get our first glimpse of the phenomenal amount of work that has gone into this renovation. You would have no way of recognising this entrance as being from the same apartment. Looking like it belongs in an apartment in a newly built block, this image shows anything is possible when it may seem like there is no light at the end of the renovation tunnel.

The lounge before

Rearranging the original layout was one of the objectives of this painstaking project. With no windows in the lounge area, maximising the natural light was vital to breathing fresh life into the renovation.

The drastic changes needed meant the structure of the spaces had to be reworked, creating new partitions, and the inclusion of a false ceiling to hide all the necessary electrics that were to be added. These also provided better thermal efficiency and sound insulation.

… And after

What a transformation! A sleek and stylish lounge, perfectly suited for the hip Italian city. A beautifully tasteful monochrome palette reigns supreme, with the bright white walls maximising the light. Heated floors were also added to the apartment, to help combat the cold northern Italian winters.


A jet black closet lines the space between living and sleeping areas.

The kitchen

The blacks, whites and greys that feature prominately throughout the home continue into the kitchen.

The bathroom before

Looking like it belongs in a 20th century jail somewhere in South America, the old bathroom needed rebuilding from scratch. As with the lounge, the architects were able to enhance the space with natural light.

The bathroom after

Who could have guessed this would be the same space? This new bathroom is fit for the pages of any glossy interior design magazine.

White out

Lastly, we see the bedroom, decked out in all-white, offering a serene and calm atmosphere; the perfect place to rest your head after a day in the office.

This project perfectly shows how any house or apartment, no matter how run down or lifeless, can be turned into a space anyone would be proud to call home.

Want to see some more before and after projects? Then check out these ideabooks:

Before & after: An incredible attic transformation.

Before & after: 50s West Sussex home renovation.

Which colour scheme would you have chosen in this renovation project? Let us know your ideas in the comments below.
Whitton Drive by GK Architects Ltd Modern

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