Madrid Renovation Project Part 3: The dirty work

I’ve been wanting to tackle this post for a while but I put it off more than once. Where do you start when you have to report on a project that has lasted for over two complete months working full time? I have more than four hundred pictures documenting the process and my daily visits to the flat. Quite something to sort through, wouldn’t you say? For those of you, unfamiliar to this blog, first of all welcome. You can find some previous before pictures and posts about this renovation project here and here. Now grab a cup of coffee or tea because I have loads of picture to share with you.

Maybe I should start by saying that this process has been extremely fulfilling to complete. It was the first renovation I was in charge off, and I wasn’t taking any chances: This had to be a success; Disappointing the owner who had entrusted me despite my lack of experience wasn’t going to happen. The entire process was time demanding, stressful at times, utterly fascinating and a real learning process throughout. I am very grateful that I found the contractor who led the renovation as I realize that it was quite an undertaking, and that so many things could have gone wrong considering some of the technical difficulties we encountered. Reviewing those four hundred pictures I realize the extent of what was achieved. Even though I did have a very clear vision of what this flat could look like, bringing it to life and seeing it with my own eyes was truly rewarding, and I dare say that I am quite proud of the result.

Before I start showing you some pictures taken during the renovation, here is a small teaser of the editorial shoot that we had three weeks ago. Holly from Avenue Lifestyle came to Madrid, styled the place and took some beautiful shots which you will be able to discover soon on her blog.

Emerald Green Interiors Renovation process

Now let’s start with the dirty work. We started off with a good round of demolition and taking out everything there was left in there: floor tiles in the living areas, bathroom and kitchen fitting and tiles, doors and a wall. Demolition is a wonderful mess. It doesn’t take much time (relatively speaking) and you can see real changes from one day to the next. I loved it!


Once we had a clean slate (so to speak), the existing roof windows were increased in size, a new one was created in the second bedroom, the outside bedroom wall was taken down to increase the room’s size onto the terrace, and a metallic structure installed to support the roof where the wall between bathroom and kitchen had stood. The roof extension was done with reclaimed tiles my contractor found so that the extension wouldn’t be too noticeable.


Unfortunately the old wooden beams that were taken out couldn’t be reclaimed for further use as the wood showed advanced signs of decay. We moved on to creating the opening on to the terrace and finally bringing in the light into this flat that desperately needed it. The pipes for the new gas heating system were laid, the false ceilings showing signs of humidity due to a failing isolation redone, and an evacuation for the new bathroom’s toilet created through the elevator shaft during a spectacular acrobatic act.IMG_4228IMG_4260IMG_4263IMG_4425IMG_4426IMG_4431IMG_4457

Then the tiling work began: first the walls of the bathroom and kitchen in mat white metro tiles, and then the made to order cement tiles ordered in two similar shades of grey. The terrace did get a new flooring as well with large grey exterior tiles.


The carpenter and his team worked for two weekends in a row, working Saturday and Sundays to install the two centimeter thick planks of massive oak flooring and to create the wardrobe in the main bedroom.


When all this was done and once the walls prepped, the final work could finally start. The painter came to apply the first of many cosmetic treatments the flat was to receive. (this is if I take the tiles and floor out of the equation)


Now comes the point where I should be showing you at least a few pictures of the final result. Alas, this post has already reached and exceeded the length of a decent post and those not having access to a high-speed internet connexion must already been quite mad at me. So if you can bare with me, I’ll share those pictures with you tomorrow in a dedicated post. I do hope you enjoyed a little insight in the process despite my quite, often too, realistic pictures all taken with my phone.I wish you a wonderful evening and look forward to sharing more images with you tomorrow.

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  • Wow, it’s so impressive! Both the “after” on Holly’s site, as well as your realistic “behind the scenes”. Loved seeing what was behind your gorgeous view & renovation pics on IG these past few months. I’m really impressed by the timing, only 2 months to get all this work done?! Well done Corinne! Bravo!ReplyCancel

    • Dear Judith, thank you so much for your kind words. It was a lot of work but the result shows how much it was worth it.ReplyCancel

  • Bo

    This is gorgeous! The perfect combination of simple, elegant and rustic. Would you mind sharing where the white cabinets next to the sofa are from? I’m looking for something similar.ReplyCancel

    • Dear Bo, thank you so much for your compliments. The white cabinets behind the sofa are simple Besta storage units from Ikea with high gloss, push open doors. Have a great day.CorinneReplyCancel

  • I admire people who revovate their places and then go all the way!
    Cleaning out my shelves is already upnerving to me. But taking on bathrooms, walls and stair?? I probably would move until it is done 🙂
    On the other hand the results are great and very well worth it!ReplyCancel

    • Hahaha Yvonne, this is probably why my clients hire someone like me, who weirdly enough gets a kick out of doing it. Well now if you ask me to clean out my shelves that’s another story 😉ReplyCancel

  • This is a stunning renovation! Wonderful job, Corinne!ReplyCancel

  • amazing progress .. congratulations!ReplyCancel