Before and After: A Remarkable Whole-House Renovation, Room by Room


This is a very special treat: a whole house renovation! Since the entire home has been transformed, we’re going to speed right through, room by room, so you can check out all of the highlights of this incredible home.

This seaside home was renovated by The Designory. (They refer to this as the Bronte house because it is in the Australian beach town of Bronte and not, as I excitedly assumed, because of the powerhouse literary sisters.) In addition to a ton of photos, the designers also shared all of the shopping resources, though know that most of the retailers are Australian.

The previous dining set was very nice, but it certainly didn’t have the presence of this one. Those chairs are like sculptures, and they work perfectly with the new painting. That work of art and its scale truly transform the open-plan, in-between dining space into its own room.

I’m going to level with you: I haven’t quite figured out how the after photos align with the before pictures, but we’ll muddle through together. This is… a lot of brown. I know earth tones were all the rage in the ’70s—and, actually, any of these elements would work pretty well on their own—but this is a lot. Say farewell to those bricks…

…because they’ve been replace by ultra-cool concrete-effect walls. I’m not sure whether that’s paint, wallpaper, or some other treatment (The Designory’s post refers to “rendered walls”), but I do know that it’s to die for. Also infinitely covetable: that television-fireplace monolith has such a striking presence in the center of the wall. The new floors are incredible, and tie in nicely to the new shelving bases, while the sofa and painting provide a dramatic focal point in this airy room. Bonus points for arranging the sofa so that it faces the window, yet still has a perfect view of the TV and fireplace, as does the chair.

Before, this little nook was very cozy and perfectly fine, but the elements were a bit haphazard and the elements didn’t seem to fully occupy the space.

Now this is a room! The pale walls, floors, and storage are the foundation for the grey rug, sofa, and pillows and the warm tones of the leather chair, stairs, side table, and bookshelves. The new room is cozy without feeling dark, and minimal without being stark.

More brick and brown in the before! That peninsula provides lots of work and eating space, but peninsulas always feel much more limiting than islands. You can’t walk around them. The main things this kitchen has going for it are enormous windows, which were preserved during the renovation, thank goodness.

Not only are there still two huge windows, but the third was replaced with three large windowed doors! That is a lot of daylight streaming in and bouncing off the new white cabinetry and the shiny, sculptural ceiling lights. Those lights join forces with the incredible slab of marble that tops the dark island—in which an imposing cooktop is set—to create a true centerpiece of the room.

The new kitchen also has more storage than the old, thanks to the addition of open shelving and drawers and shelves in the island. The new doors lead to a lovely patio, creating a feeling of openness, ensuring that the additional storage and generously proportioned island don’t crowd the room.

Here was the very respectable master bedroom, complete with a very cobalt blue accent wall, cool pendant light, and beautiful hardwood floors.

But here’s the perfectly kick ass master bedroom now! The picture rail across the deep, dark accent wall ties together the two white walls, and the black and white bedding adds to the monochromatic effect. The nightstands, bedside lamps, paintings, and frames all add warmth (and can easily be switched out when the mood hits). The floor-to-ceiling storage is enviable, adding practicality without crowding the room with endless dressers. I love this room: it’s serene and sexy at the very same time.

Once again, a very nice bedroom! I assume this one belonged to a child, possibly a girl, and the poppy lamps and gorgeous art provided a modern update to the old-fashioned furniture.

But this is a kid’s bedroom for the 21st century! The rosy tones of the previous iteration are still there, thanks to the wall paint, oversize pillow, window seat, and graphic art. The grey bed and rug (as well as the flamingo) provide a neutral foundation for all of the pink hues, while the white bedding, cabinetry, and woodwork keep things light. My favorite aspect is that super-clever shoe cubby below the cabinets. Every room should have one!

Phew! There is so much more to this whole-house makeover, so head over to The Designory for all of the amazing after photos and shopping details.

Thank you The Designory!

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