A Home Restoration That Respects The Past

Julia Thomson Julia Thomson
Método deRose Campo Alegre, Sede da Ordem de Mérito das Índias Orientais, ShiStudio Interior Design ShiStudio Interior Design Commercial spaces
Loading admin actions …

Sometimes when you open the door to a home, you know from the start that it's a special space. Such is the case with this home. Despite dated decor and rundown -- even vandalized--rooms, the potential was obvious.

The house was an old building full of history and interesting features. Over time, it had been neglected and abandoned.  But under the careful and creative direction of SHI Studio, Sheila Moura Azevedo Interior Design, this formerly damaged villa was transformed into a clean, bright home full of character and style.

A charming villa

The beautiful white plaster facade welcome visitors to this home. The perfectly proportioned half-round steps rise to the doorway like tiers on a cake. The original stone trim around the arch has been meticulously maintained. Simple decor like a single tree in a bright blue pot and an airy lantern over the entry allow these original details to stand out.

Before: Dark, dated and dingy

Step inside--and back in time--and we discover what SHI faced in this restoration. Dark woodwork, dim interiors and detritus throughout the rooms camouflaged much of the original beauty.

After: A welcoming foyer

Now in the bright and clean entry hall, the potential of the space is obvious. The original wood herringbone floors were restored, as was the unique carved woodwork on the stairs. White paint on the doors and trim modernized and lightened this small foyer, making it a welcoming space for visitors and family alike.

Check out these hallway renovations for more inspiration.

Before: Heavy decor obscures original features

Despite its white walls, the original living room was anything but bright thanks to heavy draperies, dark furnishings, a heavy red brick fireplace and clutter everywhere.

After: A bright and cheerful living room

Now the living room is a bright, sophisticated and cheerful space. Removing the old window coverings revealed beautiful diamond pane leaded windows. The designers kept the original wood finish on the bay window frames, making this the standout design feature of the room. The built-in sofa was reupholstered in a warm shade of brown, further anchoring this cozy alcove.

Before: A stained and dirty fireplace

The red brick of the original fireplace dominated the living room, overwhelming the space.

After: White walls allow furniture and art to pop

Painting the brick a warm white makes the whole room feel clean. The fireplace moves into a supporting role, allowing the windows, furnishings, art and accessories to set the tone for this cheerful room.

Before: Clutter, clutter everywhere

Another room, another bad window treatment, another red brick fireplace. But note more herringbone floors under all that mess.

After: The power of paint

This room's transformation shows the difference you can make just with a coat of paint. Formerly stained walls are freshened up with a warm beige and the fireplace gets a coat of white. Removing the too-short curtains floods the room with natural light, making this the space for the family to gather.

Sophisticated sitting room

Between the ornate hardware on the restored pocket doors and traditional furnishings, this room could feel stuffy. But throughout the house, the designers used pops of red to inject cheerful notes to the decor. In this sophisticated sitting room, neutral grasscloth wallpaper is the backdrop for a stunning red Chinese-style credenza. Across the room, a pair of red armchairs invite visitors to enter and take a seat.

Bold powder room

This bathroom breaks with the white and beige walls we've seen so far to embrace the accent colour as the main event. Bold red walls, an ornate gold framed mirror and a pendant light with an oversize fringed (!) shade show the designers aren't afraid to make a statement. An antique wood table has been converted to a one-of-a-kind vanity with the addition of a sleek vessel sink.

Before: Underused lower level

Is it a bowling alley? Is it a swimming pool? Nope. It's just an inhospitable lower level. But thanks to the height of the foundation, the windows are a good size and the room is large enough for just about anything.

After: Divided space supports multiple functions

The designers smartly divvied up the large space of the lower level to create several smaller zones. A bathroom was added at the end of the space. Green glass tiles are fresh and clean--and a much more modern colour palette than the blue carpet that blanketed the space before.

Rather than fighting the long narrow space, the designers took advantage of it, adding loads of built-in storage and creating a very useful mudroom area.

Before: Scary bathrooms

While much of the restoration involved retaining original elements, the bathrooms had sustained too much damage. All of the fixtures, walls and flooring were removed for a complete fresh start.

See some inspiring--not scary--bathrooms.

After: A fresh start

The after for this bathroom is nearly unrecognizable. The designers smartly kept the fixtures all in the same locations. As a result they did not need to run new plumbing, and costs were minimized. There's lots to look at from the curvy paneled vanity to the watery tones of the glass tiles on the walls to another (!) fringed shade on the light fixture. However, the standout feature in this bathroom is the vintage clawfoot tub. The style of the tub aligns with the era of the house itself. Shiny claw feet, an ornate faucet and the sunny yellow paint on the outside of the tub make this fixture a show-stopper.

See more beautiful tubs.

Kitchen ties it all together

We finish our inspirational tour in the kitchen, which ties together many of the elements we've seen throughout the house. The original wood floors, plaster crown molding, white-painted baseboards and neutral walls provide a backdrop that is timeless. Within the room, the designers have injected their own unique style, through the sleek red-orange cabinets, statement light fixtures, modern dining chairs and the rustic wood table. The result is a unique design perfectly suited for this home's new life.

Do you see the potential in the before shots? What are your thoughts on the after?

Do you see the potential in the before shots? What are your thoughts on the after?

Need help with your home project?
Get in touch!

Highlights from our magazine