10 Best Before and After Renovations

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By: Emily Davies-Robinson
Published: September 9, 2015
Last Update: February 26, 2023
It’s always exciting to see a space transformed after a renovation. The more dramatic the makeover, the better. Here are a few of the world’s most elaborate facelifts.

1.  Renovated Factory, Spello, Italy

Designer Paola Navone led the transformation of a 200 year-old former tobacco plant and warehouse in Spello, Italy which saw the space turned into a gorgeous modern home incorporating a mixture of industrial and vintage styles. Through incorporating accents of intricate patterns and textures, the 5,300-square-foot space was given a remarkable renovation by painting the entire interior a clean coat of pristine white paint. By retaining the original vaulted roof and wooden beams in the factory, it still retains some of its historical charm. Plush-couch-in-white-fits-in-with-the-beautiful-color-palette-of-the-gorgeous-Italian-home factory 2 factory3

2.  Clock Tower Penthouse, Brooklyn, New York

Brooklyn’s iconic clock tower located in the trendy DUMBO (down under the Manhattan bridge overpass) neighborhood was transformed into an upscale triplex penthouse. Listed at $18 million, the penthouse offers an open plan with largely neutral interiors with a modern décor. The real jaw dropping element of this renovation is the four operational vintage glass clocks which outline the exterior of the building, providing remarkable views of the New York City skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge. clocktower1 clocktower3 clock tower2

3.  Refitted Firehouse, St. Louis, Missouri

A husband and wife photography team purchased an abandoned firehouse in downtown St. Louis, transforming it into a combined home and office space. They kept the majority of the building’s original features, including the garage door and fire pole. They renovated the entire interior in a Scandinavian minimalist style and have installed larger new windows in order to add more sunlight to the space. The firehouse’s garage has been converted into an open concept reception area and office space. firehouse1 firehouse2

4.  Revived Post Office, Paintsville, Kentucky

At risk of being demolished, this 1930s-era post office was purchased by a collector who wanted to own a piece of Americana. This converted space includes 14-ft ceilings, garden room, and a two-story library. Many of the building’s original fixtures have been preserved and repurposed into stunning pieces of furniture, such as turning an old mail sorting station into a unique kitchen island. post office1 postoffice2 postoffice3 postoffice4

5.  Gas Station Home, New Orleans, Louisiana

This nearly hundred-year-old former gas bar was purchased in 2003 by an artist who transformed the space into a comfortable living space. The unique interior includes a modern kitchen, a rooftop deck and a modern industrial aesthetic. The design also includes one-of-a-kind elements including sconces made from old car headlights and a staircase landing crafted from an original hydraulic lift.  The exterior has been preserved to still look like a working gas station—complete with a restored sign. gas station1 gas station2 gas station3

6.  Remodeled Library, Portland, Oregon 

This elegant home is a former library which has been transformed into a comfortable, urban family abode. High ceilings, tall book shelves and a warm color palette make the space feel ultra-inviting, eliminating any shades of its former self. As an homage to the house’s past, ladders can be found leaning on the original bookshelves, giving each room a unique look.  library1 library2 library3 library4

 7.  Water Tower Home, London, England

Built in 1877, this Water Tower in England’s capital plays host to a gorgeous family home. The two-story structure includes four large bedrooms, a family living space on the lower level and pristine white interiors which make you forget you’re living in a century-old structure. Large windows give the owners a remarkable 360-degree view of the London skyline. water1 water2 water3

8.  Transformed Barn, Caceres, Spain

After facing neglect for many years, this abandoned stone farm in picturesque Spain has found a second life. While the exterior was left mainly unchanged, the interior of this private family home has been turned into a sleek, family-friendly home with breathtaking views of the Spanish countryside. The exterior stone wall has remained intact in order to maintain its historical charm. shed1 shed2 shed3 shed4

9.  Luxurious Watchtower Apartment, Florence, Italy

The luxurious and exclusive Tower Suite is a single apartment spread across 65 square meters, offering a birds-eye view of historic downtown Florence, Italy. The stunning modern interior includes dark, wooden floors, exposed beams and a sculptural metallic staircase connecting the apartment’s multiple levels. Large windows have been added to allow for natural ventilation, while the terrace lounge extends the stunning interior outdoors. watch1 watch2 watch3 watch4 watch5

10.  Converted Countryside Church, England

Stylish or sacrilegious? Maintaining the original stain glass windows and fixtures, this abandoned stone church has been transformed into a cozy family abode complete with a cemetery in the side yard. One of the home’s more unusual design choices includes converting the apex of the sanctuary into a master bedroom. church church2 church3 Photos provided by http://www.decoist.com/