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Reader's home - a jaw-dropping renovation

Angela sent along the following email to Jo and I about her home:
Six and a half years ago, we bought a bungalow in the suburbs of Chicago, and rehabbed nearly the entire thing. Several months ago, my husband accepted a job in another state, so we will be relocating and just put it up for sale (sad...). I was going through the before and after images, and just shuttered when I looked at the before. I kind of can't believe the end result, and thought I'd send it your way.
She sent a post from her blog for a peek and I was immediately stunned into silence. I wrote back saying what a HUGE transformation it was. She responded:
Yes, it was huge. And so was I went the transformation took place (I due a month after we started rehabbing) -- so we just moved ahead to get it all done, but honestly, it was all kind of a blur. It really just hit me when I was doing the comparison photos. We are very proud of the place. I know people thought we were crazy, but we saw the house, looked past everything and knew exactly what we wanted to do with it. We did have to have an architectural company lay out plans to get it approved by the village -- but we used the architect from my family's company (they are in the cemetery business, so it was a bit of a side track from what they typically do).
It really is shocking how the result is SO much more modern and updated and if she hasn't already sold this house (after being on the market now about a week) it won't be long now!

Here are some before photos (the only thing remotely worthy is that dining room wallpaper!)...

And here are a couple of after photos - YES, it's the SAME HOUSE!!! (Many more after the jump!!!)

Reader Comments (41)

They did an AMAZING job! I love it

1 Feb 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRobynne

Wow!! Now that is inspiring...especially because we've just moved into our own (third) fixer-upper. That stove made my heart skip a beat...but overall the entire project is stunning. I can only imagine what it must have been like to live through but the efforts seem well worth it, and I hope paid off for the family. Hope they also got to enjoy it for some time!

1 Feb 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTamara

WOW. and I thought our renovating project was full on (see blog). They have done well if they lived there during the whole process! We luckily had a place to stay through the worst of it, but still hard work!!!!

1 Feb 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMari Vaage

Thanks Kim and Jo! This is very fun to see. Now, I just hope we can find new place without completely renovating it again. (I'm not so sure that will be possible).

1 Feb 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAngela

This is my dream kitchen and I've actually cooked there in reality! Anyone with the soul of a chef would to well to purchase this incredible home! Really, It is even more impressive in person.

1 Feb 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMel

So incredible! Whoever snatches this one up will be getting a true work of art.

1 Feb 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKari

oh my god that was SO much fun to look at! I love that loft area with the sofa and tv...what a great place to read. xo

1 Feb 2011 | Unregistered Commenter.amanda

it was great to look at!

1 Feb 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDesign Elements

If you would have shown me only the "after" interior shots I would have thought, wonderful, modern, interior. Hurrray! But upon seeing the exterior shots, I tend to think, over-remodel, insensitive to period/design of the house. Sorry.

1 Feb 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbungalowbill

This is a very good transformation. Beautiful colors and removing the ugly wood paneling has brought in so much light. Excellent job with the kitchen and the floor. Absolutely love the selections.

Holy cow that is an awesome redo! I like a more modern look in an older home. Even a house likes a facelift. :)

1 Feb 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHMC

Great first floor.

It looks as if they -- the designer and owners -- ran out of electrons when it came to the bedrooms. The exterior looks worse. That bright red brick makes the house look like an old-school firehouse.

Gross is an understatement when toilets sit within bathrooms and not in their own separate room.

1 Feb 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAl Wayswright

My jaw literally dropped! That is amazing!!

1 Feb 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKelly Anne

I tend to agree with bungalowbill.

1 Feb 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGiselle

holy cow, that's incredible!!! Wow... talk about inspiring. What a dream, too, to remodel an older home. (though parts of the older decor was totally cool now... those walls were "outta sight." :)

1 Feb 2011 | Unregistered Commentermisty

amazingly inspiring, thanks for the post

1 Feb 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMaia

Absolutely amazing! I love all the open space and light. I wouldn't believe that from the outside.

1 Feb 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBethanie

What a lovely re-do! Hopefully someone who appreciates this will get it!

1 Feb 2011 | Unregistered Commentermari anne

the robots are awesome!!!!

1 Feb 2011 | Unregistered Commentersheila

wow! well done!

1 Feb 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWendy

I don't like what they did with the exterior! That red brick is awful, the original was so much better. And those flimsy curtains all over the place!

1 Feb 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarolyn

Ahem. To the person who is condoning separate WC's for the toilets: huh? Have you ever been to a bathroom outside of suburbia?? Unless, of course, you are from 19th century England, which I am sure you are not. I wager to bargain your frame of reference comes from sects of plywood "colonials" and "french country" masterpieces bordering the older neighborhoods of Chicago. We don't do separate turlets, love.

Also, the brick was not changed on this house, the tuckpointing was. That is what created the more reddish hue. I know because I used to walk my dogs by this project during the reno. And no, I am not a close personal friend, just a neighbor who is glad this place transcended its 1960 renovation to become a viable home for a contemporary family. And isn't that what urban renewal is about? (Also, I am a vintage buff... but please Bungalowblows, arts-n-crafts isn't always the answer, especially when no original details remain.)

This type of responsible renovation, which preserves an exterior while updates an unsalvageable interior, should be congratulated... not criticized.

1 Feb 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

I think this is a gorgeous remodel. I agree a little bit with Al that it looks like the owners ran out of muse when they started doing things upstairs. But even there, the basics are there. I know that it isn't what you'd expect from looking at the outside, but really, that style of house might not be everyone's cup of tea. And in a place where finding a good house is difficult, whether it be budget, location, whatever, I think it's fine to go a little against the cutout. Just my opinion, though : )

Lovely pics! I'd definitely consider the house if I was in the market in Chicago : )

2 Feb 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAsh

Kitchen reno was the best part...it's always the biggest challenge and the biggest return in investment. Love this... :)))))))))))

2 Feb 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJEN RAMOS

Was that really brick wall paper in the original kitchen or was that just me thinking that? Man, people do some weird stuff...

2 Feb 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

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