Monday, August 19, 2013

Renovating the Budapest Apartment: The Great Reveal

After two months of travel, I am back in Hawaii with lots of happy memories, and many many pictures.  As promised in the spring, the first order of things is to show you how the apartment in Budapest had turned out.

It took over a year of construction and two more years planning beforehand, but it is looking great! Not to ramble on more, here are the photos, let them speak for themselves.

The lamps in the space between the living room and the kitchen 
are converted from pottery.

Looking from the living room towards the dining area. 

The mirrored built-in to the right of the glass doors holds 
coats and shoes. Reflecting in the mirror is the kitchen.

At the intersection of the kitchen, dining area, and living room
are more built-in cabinets for easy storage. The door in the 
background leads to the hallway and staircase upstairs. 

There are two entries to the apartment, the door by the kitchen 
(on previous photo) and the double glass doors from the garden.
The bowl on the shelf is a good spot to store keys.

A peek into the living area from the kitchen. 

Looking through the other opening from the kitchen. We wanted 
to have the space completely open, but it was not to be. 
However, I really like how it turned out!

The living room sofa is from Ikea and opens up to a very
comfortable queen size bed to accommodate extra guests.

Looking out though the double doors to the terrace in the garden.
It is the perfect spot for breakfast in the summer.

Hardwood floors unite the living area with the bedroom beyond. 
The sliding double doors add privacy at night.

The kitchen has Ikea cabinetry and lovely granite countertops.
There are still a few unfinished areas here, like the kickboards
 or the cover for the fridge. 

The knobs and cup pulls throughout the apartment are from

Pretty during the day, the pottery lamps are spectacular at night.

The stovetop and oven are from Bosch.

Opposite the kitchen is the dining area, with its custom built circular

The dark blue custom cushions for the seat are still in production.
Toile pillows and table by Ikea.

The only plant I dared to purchase. I hope it stays alive...  

The antique chandelier found online came from Holland. I am hoping 
to purchase matching wall sconces too.

Here my plant is on the windowsill. The windows look out 
to the garden and terrace.

The dining area from the garden. Marble slabs finish the newly 
created window openings on the outside.

A view through the bedroom into the bath.

The bedroom features a built-in daybed, extra shelving and 
drawers for easy storage.

The built-in surrounds the window and creates a cozy nook for 
reading or a nap. Large drawers hold bedding, while smaller 
ones on the side are ideal for clothing.

Because we are a family of five, it was important to create sleeping 
space for five people in the small apartment. This built-in adds 
that fifth spot in style. Toile bedding by Ikea.

The "view" from the bedroom window is lush, green and private. 
I am planning on some short of curtains or shades for this 
window, to darken the room for a daytime nap.

The bathroom features the same granite as the kitchen. 
Faucets are from Italy.

The custom built-in for the sink includes storage drawers beneath 
and a washer behind the door on the left.

A clear glass wall separates the sink and toilet area from the shower.

On the other side of the bedroom, opposite the window, built-in 
wardrobe stores clothing, suitcases or blankets.

The queen sized bed and white bedding is also from Ikea.

Finally, a closer look at the circular terrace. The garden is a project 
for the future, but I love it even in its green wilderness state.

So here it is. Our little place in the Buda Hills. Special thanks to my uncle, Jeno Kovacs, for being an awesome general contractor, and to Anna Felcsuti of Matesz Architects  for the drawings, permits and design advice. Do you like how it turned out? As for me, I can't wait till I get to go back to it again! 


  1. Dear Readers,
    I was lucky enough to be one of the 1st house guests to enjoy the Budapest Apartment. It is a cheery space that is so simple and smart. The design uses every square foot to function. I loved the city and the apartment. It felt like a perfectly positioned nest up in a tree in the Buda hills. I hope to return someday soon.
    Thank you gracious hostess!
    the Salmonsons

    1. Dear Jodi,
      Your visit made our summer in Hungary extra special. I am looking forward to many more adventures together in the future!