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Why YouTube is your friend (and other things I learned while renovating)

The good news: every renovation will come to an end. The bad news: until then, there’ll be quite a few challenges to navigate. Luckily, Melanie Kieback – who turned a rundown Berlin apartment into a charming retro haven ­– has some handy tips, from tuning into YouTube tutorials, to getting help from mum. Covered in dust and masking tape? Read on.



1. I couldn’t wait to move in, so immediately kicked off work on three spaces – the living room, kitchen and bedroom. The result: small moments of progress are diluted, and you lose motivation quickly. My advice? Work room by room. 

2. Had I ever tiled a room before? No. Who taught me? YouTube! Of course, the result will never be quite the same as a professional’s work, but if I look at my kitchen now, I can say, “I’ve done that.” And that’s a pretty good feeling. (You might find our MADE How To Guides useful too!)

3. I’m a big fan of the idea of people tackling renovation projects independently, but it’s okay to get help. I’d recommend getting an extra pair of hands on board for things like ripping out old kitchens, or painting high ceilings. I had help from my mum and I’m so proud of what we achieved!

4. Removing plaster, drilling into walls, laying new floors. All this work takes a toll on your health, mentally and physically. So take a break every now and then. It really is okay to spend the occasional weekend doing something else. It means you can pick up where you left off, with healed blisters and new energy. 

5. Once the hard work’s done, take your time with choosing furniture and do your research. I really had no clue which style I’d go with. The only thing I knew I wanted was a green velvet sofa. Everything else happened over time. 

6. When it comes to decorating, mix old with new for a characterful finish. Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong decade ­– I love old-fashioned things like vinyls and record players, and bits that are new but look old.



Want to shop Melanie's look? Click here.

Article written by: Lisa Wenske

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