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Entries in Renovation (32)



Everything great always starts with a vision, like this fantastic lofty home in San Francisco's Mission district. Originally a Lucky Strike cigarette warehouse, the 1925 concrete building was converted into this sweet nest for British-born electrical engineer Clive McCarthy and his wife. After seeing the potential of the structure, he decided to buy it with hopes of transforming it into the contemporary home it is now. The whole building was gutted to create spacious areas for each room of the house, leaving the rawness of the original architecture seep through the design. How's this for industrial chic? Happy weekend!

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Here we go again. Another week starts and I'm all pumped up to continue working on a project that's almost completed and start planning for a new home office I'm about start. But before I get too busy with my to-do list, I want to share with you this gorg home in Houston, Texas. Right in the middle of the city's artsy district, and only minutes away from the Museum of Contemporary Art, the modern abode is drenched in natural light and exquisite sophistication. With a balanced mix of new and vintage pieces, the decor is right up my alley. And to reflect the spirit of the neighborhood, the owners have proudly displayed their small art collection in strategic places in every room. Isn't it sensational?

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• Written by guest blogger Margaret Jules

Your level of indulgence in luxuries is decided by your budget, and giving a new look to your home could be one of those luxuries. Whether an internal or an external makeover, the project might range from painting the walls of your house, to new flooring, and even buying new furniture for your dining room or living room. So if hiring an interior designer is your splurge of choice, then you must take a closer look at your budget so you can get what you need from your designer. However, there are various factors which could help you define your budget. Here are a few tips that will help you get there.

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In keeping with the renovation theme, today I want to share with you this light and airy Swiss home owned by industrial designers Anette and Fredrik. When they found the old, dilapidated house in an overgrown apple orchard, they immediately saw the potential and fell in love with it. After months of renovating it, the couple created a modern home with delightful details. Simple but tastefully decorated, this house has layers of visual interest. I'm so glad they decided to leave the wood planks on the wall. They add character and reveal a bit of the property's history. A job well done!

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Originally an oil mill from the 1700's, this breathtaking house is home to architect Durval Dias Junior. It was its typical rural architecture that made him fall in love with the abandoned structure and inspired him to renovate it into this beautiful refuge he now calls home in Mallorca, Spain. At the time of decorating it, Dias decided to go modern to contrast the elegant architectural austerity. He combined new clean-lined pieces of furniture with vintage industrial touches, always with discretion and comfort in mind. The use of a soothing palette of natural colors (white, black and earth tones)‚ essential materials (wood, stone and iron) and ancestral resources such as concrete, unifies all the rooms. Without a doubt, this is another case when tradition and modernity go hand in hand in perfect harmony.

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A Show Stopper

This 1930s hunting lodge in Wilton, Connecticut, has been gorgeously transformed into a contemporary home by Amsterdam’s UXUS Design firm. While maintaining the classic American style and paying homage to the heritage of this 2,339 square-feet house, the designers used an unexpected fusion of American and European design inspired by rustic luxury. The lodge is filled with fun and amazing pieces like my all time favorite Dear Ingo lamp by Moooi (in white) in the foyer. The colors used are soft and quiet, except for the deliberate injection of orange to add some spark to the space. Altogether, this chic hunting lodge is most definitely a show stopper! Don't you agree?

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Living In A Mill

Not all designers are lucky enough to have the chance to take an aged oil mill from the 19th century and transform it into a warm and charming refuge. But interior designer Marie-Laure Helmkampf didn't think twice about embarking on this fantastic project in the French city of Nimes. The rehabilitation was complete. Most of the almost-ruined structure was demolished and built up again respecting the mill's original style. Her idea was to create a fluid floor plan which she likes to refer to as a “barn-loft”. Her recipe: a soft palette consisting of white, beige and light wood mixed with a strong evidence of retro furniture and mid-century classics. The result: a cocktail of pure essence and cosmopolitan charm. Mill like it!

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A Parisian Diamond in the Rough

The moment I started my love affair with Paris, I knew right away I wanted to live in this magical city at one point in my life. That dream hasn't come true yet, but I know deep in my heart it will someday. But for New York interior designer Kein Cross, it already did. When I was browsing through The New York Times Home & Garden section yesterday, as I routinely do on Thursdays, I came across his wonderful story telling how he was able to make his longtime dream of moving to Paris come true. He was lucky to find this adorable 18th century courtyard house near Notre Dame, ”it was a diamond in the rough.” With the help of a contractor, his design expertise and the use of black, white and gray, he was able to transform this 19 feet wide by 6 1/2 feet deep two-story tiny house into a gem. Of course, with lots of ingenuity and the clever use of mirrors, Cross made it look more spacious than it actually is. But don't take my word for it. You must see the before pictures to fully appreciate the incredible transformation. His story got me all excited and got me thinking, and it reaffirms what I've always believed: we must follow our heart and live our dreams. Happy weekend!!

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