1970s Condo Renovation Before and After

In my opinion, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing renovation progress! My 1970s Condo Renovation Before and After has been a post in the making for a few years. I originally bought the condo as a major fixer upper at the end of 2015. It was a painfully slow process but now looking back now, it was very rewarding experience. In the meantime, I have now sold this place and moved onto my next project, a 1960s bungalow where I can live out my grooviest life. The “after” photos are courtesy of my realtor, Patti Proctor, and we taken by Cheryl Silsbe.   

Dining Room

My dining room was the first area of my condo that I publicly revealed. This was mostly due to the fact that not a lot needed to be changed in here in the first place. The walls were extremely yellowed so a fresh coat of white paint was in order. Before we did that, I took down the vertical blinds, my personal nemesis when it comes to window coverings, and ripped out the ugly carpet. I originally wanted to do polished cement floors but it would have taken me a century to buff out the concrete so I opted for a faux wood look instead. All that was left to do after that was to find a swag light with a long enough cord which I talked all about in my Dining Room Reveal post. It was surprisingly elusive.

Living Room

It feels like a cop out even mentioning this as a seperate room since it’s attached to the dining room and bar area but I make the rules around here so let’s talk about it like it’s a seperate space. Even though I know it’s not. For the longest time I had camping chairs as my living room furniture. I was a blogger with a dark secret – my house was not a home by any means. Those were weird times. Eventually I tore out the carpet and took down the severely stained silk curtains; I wish they could have been salvaged! Those were replaced with the same flooring that was throughout the condo and velvet curtains from IKEA. 


The Bar

Again, this isn’t a seperate room but you will have to humour me here. I took out the velvet arm rest that was attached to the bar. It was weird. Everything else I kept exactly the same aside from changing the floor and lightbulbs. This little nook was what originally sold me on the condo when I first saw it. I even made an episode of Cocktails with Sandy – the Spicy Caesar in it.

The Kitchen

The kitchen was a real wild ride and one of the rooms that had a complete overhaul. We stripped it completely down which included replacing a piece of drywall due to what appeared to be mould. I’m still trying to figure out why anyone would have saloon doors in such a small kitchen – those were the first to go. Then the hideous textured wallpaper, crooked cupboards, burnt olive countertop, stained linoleum, and old appliances. When I stay everything, I mean it. I bought my appliances from Costco, the cupboards from IKEA, and the countertop from Habitat for Humanity. The subway tiling I found in a second hand store in Arizona for super cheap. Big thanks to my dad for really making the kitchen come together with all his skillz.


While my bathroom was being reno’d I had to move my life into the kitchen as it was the only working sink. I do not miss this phase. Also, I left the blue plastic on my kitchen cupboards for the longest time because I had a feeling I was going to be selling it sooner than later.

What an improvement! I ended up going with a smaller fridge just so it would be flush with the wall and countertop. Nothing drives me more insane than when an appliance sticks out in a weird way. Clean lines and surfaces!!!! (If you’re a fan of Absolutely Fabulous, you know.)

The Bedroom

Mostly this room just needed a little refresh which included new floors and paint. And of course new curtains! The rug in here was a stained pink number that matched the stained glossier pink drapes. Yikes. Check out the link below for a full video room tour.

My Bedroom Tour

The Hallway

The only redeeming quality about the entrance was the built in shelf with the undermount lighting. It was exactly what any 70s pad needed and another design detail that attracted me to the property to begin with. More beige textured wallpaper had to come down, linoleum had to be peeled, and walls needed to be painting. We even replaced the lighting as it resembled the brass display cases elderly ladies have for their miniature crystal figurines. Not for me! The final touch was painting the inside of the front door a glossy black. 

Bathroom #1

Where do I even begin with bathroom number one? The unit above me was under renovation and the really amazing plumbers they hired managed to drain both their toilet and bathtub through my ceiling fan and hatch. It was a nightmare and was the reason why I didn’t go to SXSW despite having media accreditation. I will never forgive them for that! I digress, I recently rewatched the video I took of the water coming through the ceiling – my advice for anyone in a shared space situation like a condo: always take photographic/video evidence. If you’re a woman, tradesmen will always try and make you feel as though you’re over exaggerating the situation and talk down to you. One cannot deny live footage of water pouring out of a ceiling. Thanks to that, I had my drywall replaced and a dehumidifier brought in. They tried to tell me it would dry on it’s own, that it wasn’t a big deal, I refused to be quiet until they did the right thing. 

The rest of the bathroom reno was very chill. This is a short list of what we did:

  • bought a new sink / vanity / faucet from IKEA because the old ones were HIDEOUS
  • wayfair gifted me this cute circular mirror
  • sanded down + painted the tub white
  • left the tiling because I really loved it
  • spray bombed the light fixture silver because I also loved it and wanted to repurpose it (it’s amazing what you can do with spray paint!)
  • added towel racks and changed the lightswitch plates

En Suite Bathroom

This room pains me a little. In my heart of hearts I wanted so badly to save this majestic wallpaper but it was not meant to be. It was damaged in many spots. In addition to that, I would have to keep the terrible counter over the toilet too which meant keeping the janky vanity as well. RIP that foil beauty which was an absolute nightmare to remove. We ended up having to re-drywall over the entire washroom because the wallpaper destroyed the walls. I ended up losing a few inches on square footage in the washroom because of that but it was no big deal since it was already absurdly larger than it needed to be. There were two closets in there too! The sink and vanity I bought from IKEA, the mirror was gifted from Wayfair, and I kept the original lighting to because it was rad. My dad painstakingly figured out how to replace the metal closet doors with all mirrors – my favourite!

Me doing my best impression of a Goblin muppet from the Labyrinth

1970s Condo Renovation Before and After

Thanks so much for coming along on this renovation journey! For my next project, I’m thinking of updating as I go along rather than waiting for a huge reveal – let me know if that interests you! I didn’t bother including the two other bedrooms because not much changed in them that was worth noting – flooring and paint! If you want a complete tour of my condo, check out My Home Tour post below. I hope you enjoyed my 1970s Condo Renovation Before and After.