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Before & after: From ruins to riches

Alissa Ugolini—homify UK Alissa Ugolini—homify UK
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Old, abandoned and neglected buildings often have huge potential, sometimes even more so than new builds. The large footprint, antiquated walls and even timeless details cannot be replicated, creating a home that will be unique in more ways than one. In the home we are privileged to tour through today, we see an old Blacksmith's workshop, more commonly known as a Forge, recreated as the subject of a rather unusual metamorphosis. You will see a building that has fallen into a terrible state of disrepair, and marvel at the transformation that has taken place. Take a look…

Before: The old forge

In this first image, we can see what the building looked like prior to renovation. The age is obvious, sitting at around the one hundred year mark. Worn and poorly maintained, portions of the brick wall and plaster are falling off, resulting in a finish that looks anything but desirable.

After: The new exterior

The façade was completely renovated, and the dilapidated sections we saw earlier have been plastered and repaired. The house now has a fresh and clean look. On top of this, extra openings have been installed into the exterior envelope through the means of additional windows and doors to ensure more natural light can penetrate the property. 

Before: The rear

The old forge was hidden behind several industrial-looking buildings, giving the property a unique atmosphere and a lot of potential. The architect may choose to retain certain elements to accentuate or remove them. But what could one possibly make of this old, dreary courtyard?

After: A new terrace

Wow—what a upgrade! The neglected courtyard has been transformed into beautiful terrace. Now, it's a fantastic place to spend warm summer evenings with family and friends, or in solitude. A true oasis of relaxation, the space is surrounded by subtle wood accents and greenery. At night, the large windows provide a warm glow in the courtyard.

Open plan living

From the inside looking out, it's clear to see why it is so much more exciting to renovate an old build rather than start from scratch. The interior of the house is characterised by plenty of natural light and a muted colour palette. The white walls are the perfect backdrop for this open space. Large windows brighten the space, with the view of the courtyard acting as a nice backdrop. The furniture and decorative elements are finished in soft tones to complement the overall aesthetic. 

The dining area

Remnants of the old forge remain through exposed rafters and structural elements, yet have been updated with a new lick of paint that doesn't mask, but rather complements the age of the building. As evidenced already, the interior has a distinctly Scandinavian feel which has been put together with vintage pieces of furniture. White and grey tones form the dominating colour scheme, and are interspersed with various wooden elements. Though one might think such a muted colour palette would be banal, the atmosphere in this room is anything but. Thanks to the wonderful material textures it feels warm, welcoming and cosy.

The kitchen

The same theme above is continued into this Scandinavian style kitchen. The space can be described as modern and functional, with an interesting monochromatic aesthetic. This area and the ones before are separated by a difference in flooring—as you can see, no pale timber floorboards are in sight. Instead, we see a sea of white and grey-veined tiles that look fresh and sleek.

The bedroom

Lastly, but definitely not least, our final view before we say goodbye to this unique home is inside the bedroom. Again, a melange of white and grey is present, with interesting mid-century pieces of modernist furniture. The exposed brick wall to the left adds texture to this muted and subdued space, with the skeletal framework of the desk and lamps helping this often bulky objects to disappear into their surroundings.

If you enjoyed this minimalist dream, check out the following ideabook: homify 360°: A minimalist Japanese home.

What is your favourite aspect of this before and after? Let us know in the comments section below.
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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