Swedish Expat Transforms His 10sqm, RMB 400 a Month Beijing Dump Into a Cozy Apartment
If squeezing yourself, and all your stuff, into a claustrophobia-inducing 10-square-meter basement apartment sounds like a nightmare, then prepare to have your expectations exceeded, and then some.
Markus Persson, a young Swedish expat who arrived in Beijing last year, turned this sordid Beijing hovel:
Into a bright and cozy one-bedroom home:
How'd he do it? The Home & Garden Television network details Persson's foray into home makeover via this post by Toutiao. The post describes how he convinced his landlord to hire professional contractors to help him fix up the barren walls, unsafe tangles of electrical wire, and unfinished ceiling.
After the walls were redone and coated with a new lick of paint, new flooring was put in. Measures were then taken to prevent further leakage from above, at which point the apartment had already begun to look much better.
After that, it was up to Persson and the contractors to apply the finishing touches; everything from decorations in the tiny courtyard outside to the soft furnishings at foot of his bed.
"By the end, the place finally made me feel like I was at home," Persson said. The revamp only took six days.
Best of all: His rent is only RMB 400 per month. If you didn't think your apartment was overpriced before, then Persson's steadfast determination to better his surroundings certainly should make you think twice about the state of your digs.
In one of the post's photos, you can see the logo of the contracting company: 优舍轻装 (Youshe Qingzhuang). You can reach them at 400 993 8876 to see if they can perform equal miracles on your digs. The post doesn't disclose how much Persson paid to have the changes made, though whatever he forked over appears very much worth it, considering this is what he started out with:
Creative revamping of tiny living spaces, along with forward thinking downsizing, seems to be a growing trend in Beijing. We can surely thank soaring rent rates for that, as well as tightening school district policies both in Beijing and other first tier cities that attract families in droves and, in turn, drive up the cost of living in many good neighborhoods. Aside from Persson's story of giving his snug space a face lift, Toutiao also recently ran a story about another guy who made use of an even tighter spot:
These tiny digs reminded us of Japan's microhomes (which you can read more about here and here) especially with its collapsible/foldable components. It must be said that despite the ingenuity behind such a house and even though it has running water, we couldn't imagine living in this space unless you had something to prove to David Blaine.
Whether you call it innovative interior decorating, or just making the best of your surroundings, such outside of the box approaches are helping Beijingers feel less boxed in and are making their money go a lot further than it otherwise would in a regular apartment.