Entries in renovation (131)


A reader's home - a taste of France part 1

Catherine (of the blog Taste of France) has been following our blog forever, and kindly emailed us recently with some photos of a couple of 17th century apartments in Carcassonne, France that she owns and renovated over the past year. Not an easy feat it seems as she had to adhere to strict requirements of the Batîments de France (and expensive headache). It started as one gigantic (2000 square foot) apartment that we split in two because there were two entrances. That meant adding a kitchen and bathroom, but our possibilities were dictated by the historic authorities. The last renovation seemed to have been in the 1970s; we changed all the windows, wiring, plumbing and had all the ancient tomette floors restored. It was a challenge, with 2-foot-thick stone walls (just try running wiring through that), and other walls made of straw and lime. But it was above all a labor of love. We decorated with antiques. The furnishings either were bought from the previous owner or come from local brocantes, flea markets and the like. Also leboncoin.fr which is the French equivalent of craigslist. I made the drapes myself. You can’t buy 3.5-meter drapes readymade, and custom was out of my budget. The apartments are vacation rentals and we don't see the attraction of going on vacation in France in a place that has the same Ikea furniture found around the globe; everything is locally sourced. The building is older than Haussmannian, dating to the 1600s, but it was renovated a century later with lots of high-relief moldings above the marble fireplaces. Doves, flowers, lutes.... I'm seriously ready to start scouring the internet for a deal on a flight to France so I can shack up here. So gorgeous!!!! Here's the link to the Airbnb listing if you're interested in a dreamy France vacay. (Stay tuned tomorrow for the other apartment). 

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Glebe House Tour 2017 - House #1

I had the pleasure of touring a home on Sunday in the Ottawa neighbourhood of the Glebe that will be part of this year's Glebe House Tour. The tour is September 17th and I look forward to this event every year. Getting to wander through people's homes that they have lovingly restored/remodeled/redecorated in this incredible neighbourhood is soooo much fun! And I get the added bonus of a couple of personal tours each year. This home is the first of 2 I will be featuring on the blog. This one is extra special because it just so happens that my husband and I visited this home 2 years ago just before the current owners bought it. This home was built in 1912 and the current owners are only the second to have owned it. When we first saw the home 2 years ago it was virtually untouched from its original state and was quite a frightening grouping of small, cramped rooms. The current owners basically gutted the entire 4300 sq ft home, including the doctor's office addition at the rear, in a 13 month renovation. There is now a 3rd floor apartment accessed through the right side of the house, and the main floor and basement of the addition at the rear is now a functioning Airbnb (I was unable to tour it as there were people renting it). The owners acted as general contractors and designers during the renovations. The transformation of this home is incredible, it is soooo spacious and I love that it is now open-concept on the main floor. Also love that they managed to reuse some of the old doors. 

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Bringing traditional back to a Brooklyn Brownstone

A Brooklyn Brownstone done right, IMHO. This home had lost much of it's original detail during a previous owner’s renovation and with traditional interior design details and custom millwork, we were able to transform this home back to its traditional splendour. Some of the highlights include a custom master closet and built in banquette in the kitchen. By New York-based interior design firm Marks & Frantz.

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Stealth House

"A heritage listed grand terrace-house is re-configured in the form of a three-storey home to create a sense of place for a young growing family. In a dense urban setting where heritage takes respectful precedence, natural light, privacy and accommodation form the battlefront and are achieved in large by stealth."

Inner city Sydney living taken to the next level. Stealth House by MCK Architects.

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A renovated Victorian carriage house in England

I am experiencing some serious heart palpitations over this renovated Victorian carriage house, especially the absolutely gorgeous kitchen. This property was converted into a home in the 1950s but had fallen into disrepair until the new owners purchased it in February 2016 and began a complete renovation, and the result is all kinds of awesome. The middle section of the home houses the open concept kitchen/dining room/living room (16 metres in long, 6 wide, and 4 high). In the remaining parts of the house are two more sitting rooms, six bedrooms, a large utility room and a huge, modern office space that is in the former garage/carriage storage area. O M G this is massive and stunning inside and out. Available as a location home via Shoot Factory, designed by Laura Butler-Madden.

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