6 tips to modernize apartment blocks

Stylishly furnishing old-style apartments is a topic many city dwellers have to deal with.
Old buildings are simply part of the German and pan-European cityscape and enjoy their special architecture
great popularity. The design traditions of classicism and
It is the Art Nouveau style that comes into its own on the facades of these buildings and reflects in the interior spaces. Especially in the big city
old-style apartments are historical witness of demographic change
and especially the rural exodus, which continued unabated with the beginning of industrialization
persisted. Considering that the old-style apartments that are so popular today
in the past mostly simple, purposeful dwellings of the
Working people are aware of why these apartments often
peculiar layouts, thin walls and a bad one
Own insulation. Many design pieces hide these beautiful living spaces, which we want to meet with the following furnishing tips. See for yourself how our experts use modern concepts
use to the traditional architecture of old buildings

Set up old apartment buildings: tradition and modernity in harmony

Not modernity and tradition met here when setting up this old apartment, but tradition and future! This is what one would think when one compares the inventory with the surrounding architecture of the old building. Let's take a closer look at how our expert deals with the time-honored walls. We want to start with the walls of the room: no classical stucco decoration surrounds the kitchen, but white plastered surfaces, which bring to light their interior in selected places. The exposed masonry is not only on the wall, but may also serve as a replacement for the otherwise common tile mirror. This forms the center of the kitchen cabinets, which surround the wall section in bright yellow. But not only here a break in style can be seen, even within the kitchen inventory, breaks the design with habits, namely on the adjacent side in gray a very different color. The center of this kitchen in the old building is a bright, futuristic hemisphere. To promote the futuristic mood, a bright blue light strip flashes under the kitchen island.


Less futuristic, but extremely modern, it was when setting up this old apartment. A checkerboard pattern stretches across the floor and, with its even geometry, is a pleasant contrast to the recessed round arch, which is the highlight of the kitchen wall. This round arch could once have been a door or passage in this old building. Now walled up, without being completely filled in depth, this wall section offers a spacious niche for storage space. The original floor plan was thus elegantly integrated into the contemporary ambience of the kitchen. At the beginning we already mentioned that the original floor plans can make it difficult to modernize old buildings. If the living concept benefits from removing and displacing one or the other wall or turning a passage, as in the example of our expert, into a room wall or niche, you should not hesitate!  

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A typical tubing room of an old apartment was obviously furnished here. This bedroom reveals its year of construction due to the charming round arch that is visible above the window. Even fine stucco can be seen on the ceiling of the room, which is barely more than 2.70 m wide. In order to make the small room not cramped, colors should be used sparingly. Our furnishing expert uses this photo to show how it's done and gives home textiles the strongest color in the room. A dark purple wearing the curtains, which not only rich and strong, but above all pleasantly warm affects our sense of sight. Dark colors at one end of the room lend narrow rooms an optical depth that we perceive as room-enlarging. Here, the characteristic high ceilings should be used when setting up old apartments to the advantage. In the photo, put on the purple curtain shawls at the top of the wall and dress them down to the bottom. The entire wall height is thus emphasized and attracts the view of the beholder. Again, with this detail in this tubing room creates an optical illusion, which benefits the modern decor of this old building apartment.

Sliding doors

Old-style apartments are particularly stylish and authentic, if the abundance of historic building elements is maintained. These include the wooden parquet floor as well as the stuccoed ceiling and the finely crafted wooden doors. Classical here are hinged doors that cover a generous wall opening with two doors. Often closes when opening such doors, a spacious living room or it is the view of a passage room. Apartment owners, who order a renovation of their historic rooms, use the construction element of the hinged door to make an old-style apartment tastefully. For this purpose, areas of non-load-bearing interior walls can be opened and these large-area doors can be fitted. Various door manufacturers have models in their assortment that perfectly match the image of classic gullwing doors. Alternatively, there is the possibility of modernizing old-style apartments by setting up a breakthrough old barn doors, which also consist of two wings or function as a wide sliding door. This new design method not only breaks with the time-honored style of the old building, but above all unfolds its charm in breaking our viewing habits. 


Rarely does it happen nowadays that one obtains an old apartment which bears all the characteristic elements of historical architecture. In the past, these classic structures and components were not always popular, so that stucco rosettes were rendered unrecognizable by multiple strokes, previous owners lowered ceilings and wood floors covered with floor carpets. Kitchens and bathrooms were usually modified with tiles so far that the authentic impression of the old building completely disappeared. However, this flair can be reconstructed if you know how. Modern one sets up his old apartment, if the bathroom design follows traditional models. What sounds like a contradiction, simply explained, because the traditional bathroom does not correspond to what we know. Instead of the usual stone tiles for floors and walls, these surfaces show up in modern furnished apartments with as little difference as possible to the other living spaces. 

This means that the floor is covered with a parquet and walls and ceilings are decorated with opulent stucco. Naturally, it is not recommended to install real wooden floorboards in a wet room. However, wood-effect bathroom tiles are available commercially to authentically recreate historic bathrooms. The same applies to the decoration of walls and ceilings with wood paneling and stucco. These components can be purchased in specialty stores or you can even access the toolbox to make stucco moldings and rosettes of your own design. In the last step, a non-stick surface is applied with a special varnish that protects against moisture and mildew.

storage space

Practical storage space for washing machines, dishwashers and Co. was actually not planned in the floor plans of old-style apartments. Why, explains itself, because devices of this kind did not exist to the construction of the old buildings yet, so that these houses were supplemented only with the time around the today usual water connections. This shows that old-style apartments are not only furnished in a modern way, but are constantly being adapted to modern style by renovation and refurbishment. When creating storage spaces, it is therefore worthwhile to become active yourself and to develop fixtures for intelligent storage solutions with the help of interior planners or carpenters. You will be inspired by this idea book for further interior design ideas for modern living.

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