Before-and-after pics: Storage room transforms into studio apartment

Karin Matz Arkitekt

When architect Karin Matz purchased a rundown studio in Stockholm, she knew she had a lot of work ahead of her. The space had been used as a storage unit for 30 years and was now a deteriorating room with no electricity, worn walls and rats as tenants. Five months later, Matz had brought the space into the 21st century while honoring its history. 

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    Before-and-after pics: See a storage room transform into a studio apartment

    Architect Karin Matz purchased a rundown storage room in 2012 that she knew could be a cozy home. After a trip to IKEA, a visit from the electrician and five months of work, she turned the space into a studio apartment that reflects its past and its present.

  • Before-and-after pics: See a storage room transform into a studio apartment

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    When architect Karin Matz saw a Stockholm studio for sale that had no electricity, worn walls and rats as tenants, she didn’t shy away. Instead, she took five months to transform the space into an updated version of its old self.

    Before Matz purchased the studio in 2012, the space had previously been used as a storage room for 30 years.

    Karin Matz Arkitekt / Karin Matz Arkitekt
  • Before-and-after pics: See a storage room transform into a studio apartment

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    “There was lots of paint almost falling off of the ceiling,” Matz told TODAY.com of the studio’s condition when she purchased it. “There was some wallpaper and holes in the walls. The bathroom had a toilet and sink but no floor, light or electricity.”

    Karin Matz Arkitekt / Karin Matz Arkitekt
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    Matz fell in love with the apartment’s light, however, and given the housing shortage in Stockholm, she decided to make it work for her. She updated the apartment with the essentials, like a kitchen and electricity, but chose to preserve the look of the worn walls and ceiling to honor its past.

    Karin Matz Arkitekt / Karin Matz Arkitekt
  • Before-and-after pics: See a storage room transform into a studio apartment

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    Karin Matz Arkitekt / Karin Matz Arkitekt
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    “This apartment had been like this for 30 years,” Matz said of her decision to keep some of the aged parts of the space. “That was so fascinating for me and I found that more interesting than new wallpaper.”

    Karin Matz Arkitekt / Karin Matz Arkitekt
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    She transformed one section of the studio with a contemporary IKEA kitchen, a loft bed and hidden closet underneath the mattress. Matz chose light colors for the renovated section to reflect sunlight into the rest of the studio.

    Karin Matz Arkitekt / Karin Matz Arkitekt
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    Karin Matz Arkitekt / Karin Matz Arkitekt
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    The renovation took approximately five months. “There were lots of bad holes in the walls and a bad corner that had to be fixed,” she said.

    Karin Matz Arkitekt / Karin Matz Arkitekt
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    She chose to maintain an open floor plan as an effort to keep a tidy appearance.

    “All clothes were also open because I have a history of being very messy," Matz said. "I wanted a layout where it would be easy to put all things into their places. It also makes me cleaner, otherwise the place would look like a battlefield.”

    Karin Matz Arkitekt / Karin Matz Arkitekt
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    Karin Matz Arkitekt / Karin Matz Arkitekt
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    In what would become the studio's living room, Matz saw potential to create a doorway to the bathroom, which originally was only accessible by the front door. "It would then come out and penetrate the old part," she said.

    Karin Matz Arkitekt / Karin Matz Arkitekt
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    "I really think that by having these two extremes present at the same time in the same space, you read both of them clearer," Matz said about having the old features mixed in with the new.

    "You also have the possibility to imagine what the whole space would be like if it was like one of the two. Making a framework which triggers imagination is very fascinating.”

    Karin Matz Arkitekt / Karin Matz Arkitekt
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    Karin Matz Arkitekt / Karin Matz Arkitekt


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