Katarina Köln, 32, a freelance artist and content creator and her husband, Roman, an internet marketing consultant, have lived in Germany since childhood. They started dating at the age of 15 and have been married for 11 years.
The couple’s dream home in the Bavarian Forest, near Nuremberg, was originally meant to be a vacation home. But then it was inhabited by an elderly woman for 15 years, whose brother sold the house upon her death. Today, Catherina and Roman live there with their two cats, Teddy Bear and Minnie Mouse.
When the couple first saw the house, they found that nothing had been done there for a long time.
Describing the condition, Katharina told The Epoch Times: “Many things were still in original condition from the 1960s: old wallpaper and carpeting, low ceilings, a non-working fireplace, a broken old bathroom. The windows and front doors were also in poor condition.”
However, the couple was clear from the start that they wanted to own a small house with a large, overgrown green plot of land.
“The plan was to make everything as simple and sustainable as possible; it should be fun and extraordinary, functional and simple at the same time,” said Katharina.
At the beginning of the renovation process a year ago, the couple set out to renovate almost everything in their home. They hired a building surveyor to see what they could do themselves and what they could outsource.
The couple got the roof insulated by outside contractors before taking on the rest of the work themselves.
“We always inform ourselves well before every project; of course, everything has to be done professionally and safely,” Katharina said. The home becomes something very special, and of course, we save money in the process.”
Spending between £60,000 and £70,000 (approximately $73,500 to $85,800) on materials for the entire redevelopment, Catherine and the Romans sanded and partially sanded the walls, widened and reframed windows, installed interior doors, and placed Wooden floors, bathroom renovation area. They “opened the roof”, sanded the original ceiling beams, and laid ceiling tiles.
However, its renovation is not yet complete, according to Catherina. The couple plans to clad the sloping rooftop with timber, swapping out two more windows, exchanging the porch and entrance doors, building a bathroom with bathtub and guest toilet, and erecting new fencing to enclose two proud versions of the garden: a sauna and a hot tub.
The entire house prides itself on the simple, nature-loving beauty of the couple throughout. Catarina’s artistic eye also helped bring to life the couple’s visions; “As an artist and an insider blogger I have endless ideas,” she said.
Catarina has revealed that she plans to finish the entire renovation process by the end of this year.
Like any project, Catarina and Roman faced some challenges, and the process wasn’t all that smooth.
The old house “always has surprises in store,” Katarina said, adding that it’s common to deliver materials late and reschedule projects. For example, a late window delivery forced the couple to climb into a large window that opens with shingles and construction foam all winter long.
But taking regular breaks and making time for other pastimes helped the couple cope with setbacks, and “carry on with new vigor and motivation over and over again.”
As for the results of what has already been accomplished, Catarina said they love every angle, but are particularly impressed with the result of sandblasted ceiling beams and window expansions.
“It feels great knowing we made everything with our own hands, plus if you do it yourself, it will turn out just the way you want it,” she explained.
Today, the artist and her husband have abandoned the urban discontent of the past and are looking forward to returning to their new home.
“It feels so good to live in the middle of nature,” said Katharina. “As an artist, the environment inspires me a lot and gives me the peace and energy needed for my work; since I prefer to draw trees, plants, flowers and animals, the environment is of course perfect for me.”
The couple, who do not have children yet but are “dreaming of adopting soon,” hope their renewal will inspire others to believe in and implement their dream projects. Katrina also advises always do your research, consider safety first, and put sustainable materials first.
The artist shared snapshots of the renovation on Instagram, and says her followers are “always very surprised and curious” because the couple worked to create it all themselves.
She told The Epoch Times, “I often get messages [saying] How much my content motivates them to design their homes. This makes me very proud and happy! ”
Watch the video:
(Courtesy of Katharina Colin)
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