Before and After make-over photos are fascinating. Not only do they show off the design prowess of proud designers and homeowners, but they always hold lessons for us all when it comes to designing and furnishing our own interiors.
Recently we ran across these before and after photos and were floored by the dramatic differences we saw. Most of all, we felt there were a few basic design lessons that any of us could take away from this makeover, even spending a fraction of the money spent in this particular reno. Just take a look at the above living room transformed below:
What a difference, huh? And here’s more. Here we have a before view into the dining room:
Here’s a before of the kitchen:
What’s the take-away of these before and after photos?
1) Less is More. Yes, these homeowners have made a whole lot of structural changes that involve paring down. The ceiling beams are gone, along with arches and mantles. But just the furnishing choices alone are enough to make a dramatic difference. In the case of the living room, two bulky chairs and a couch were exchanged for one streamlined sectional, freeing up more floor space, while providing ample seating. The small plants on the window sill are gone, along with the curtains, another bulky china cabinet, radiators, footstools and tchotchkes. In the kitchen, upper cabinets disappear. In their place, appear simple open shelves. The space is one simple, light-filled space with a built-in storage cabinet.
2) Pops of bold color make a difference. The above photos show a space that is mostly brown — brown couches, chairs, tables and furnishings. Without all the dark wood, and with the addition of a sizzling bright orange over dyed oriental, the “after” photos sizzle, without trying too hard. In the dining room, bright purple and patterned chairs add more color and spark, as do the patterned curtains in the dining room. Lighter wood tones feel much more modern than the dark wood in the before.
3) Lighting adds drama. A dramatic pendant lamp in the living room, and equally dramatic wineglass chandeliers in the dining room give these rooms a panache they lack in the before photos. The black down lights in the kitchen make a modern statement without dominating.
Here’s another view of this amazing transformation:
So if you’re hankering to effect a change at home, try getting rid of some furnishing, adding a little color, and adding new lighting.
A bold L shape defines a courtyard-hugging house just outside the town of Santa Maria da Feira in Portugal.
Its rather curt exterior is entirely clad in concrete panels that are tinted a matte black.
By contrast with its dark concrete exterior, the interior has light golden pine and white walls and ceilings.
So the interior spaces are warm and bright.
The dark exterior opaque façade is black prefabricated concrete panels.
But warm wood lines a corridor that soaks up sun and contains the bedroom wing of the L, with the master bedroom suite at its end. Read the rest of this entry »
The owners of this house wanted to feel like they were on holiday every day, simply alone with the sky and the sea.
But while the view ahead was fantastic, the fairly cramped site, perched high over the Pacific Ocean in suburban Sydney, Australia, was closely surrounded by large houses to the sides.
Rolf Ockert designed the house of their dreams, by clever optical illusions that open the house up and out to the sea and the sky – only to the front.
By making the space surprisingly high, the architects take advantage of the only extravagant space available: the sky.
These high side walls are also topped by a slit view of boundless skies, while blocking views of the neighbors. Read the rest of this entry »
Industrial spaces have become fashionable places to call home. Just check out this old Amsterdam auto repair shop, converted into a living space by James van der Velden, a Dutch designer who bought an old auto repair shop in 2012. The space was being used as a storeroom but van der Velden transformed it into a striking residential space. Van der Velden’s vision was a masculine, easy-going style utilizing plenty of texture and contrast. He wanted his space to have a “collected,” casual feel and it looks like to us, he’s succeeded.
His living room showcases this philosophy. Nearly everything in it was bought second-hand. He is especially proud of a couch bought online which had just the “worn-out” look he was looking for.
One of the best parts of his space is a 75 square foot interior atrium which connects all the spaces in the former garage. The gridded-glass construction is graphic and bold. While the atrium is not large, it floods the garage with light and allows van der Velden to grow a small garden.
Here’s another view:
In the kitchen, industrial lighting, white subway tile, black track lighting and open shelving continue that workshop feel.
Here’s another view:
You enter the home through the garage.
The vintage vibe continues in the guest bedroom where the bed platform was made out of wooden pallets, and the headboard is a vintage map:
In van der Velden’s bedroom, a large piece of leather hanging from a steel rod serves as a headboard. Vintage movie theater seats line the wall.
We love this space for walking a line that is not an easy one. It’s industrial and masculine but warm and cozy. It’s vintage and eclectic, but bold and modern. It’s personal, and in our opinion, utterly beautiful. Congrats to van der Velden on a project well done!
BAK Arquitects have built a family home on sand dunes on the coast of Buenos Aires near the city.
Lit up like a lantern at night, the transparent house looks inviting.
It is an L shaped house with a public wing and a sleeping wing.
Per the clients wishes, it is the utmost in austerity, built entirely in concrete.
The all-concrete kitchen furniture allows for no mistakes or design revisions.
Both the workbench and table surfaces are honed to a high sheen.
A concrete table extended into a dining area off the workbench in the kitchen will never be able to be moved an inch this way or that.
One hopes this concrete built-in furniture won’t go out of style any time soon: concrete structures built in Ancient Rome are still around 20 centuries later.