Recognizing the renovation potential of an old house is an art form in itself. Here's how one old and boring bomb became a bold and modern home in brick.
You find places like these advertised as
a handyman's dream or ’ideal for a DIY enthusiast:. Houses like these can often be lemons, but with help from homify's expert renovators and interior architects, the most drab and unassuming buildings can be transformed into bright, modern and incredibly livable homes.
The first clue to the renovation potential of this curious South Korean house was the unusual brick facade, constructed in a style that resembles streamline moderne or art deco. An oddity anywhere in the world, it's especially rare in East Asia.
Inside, however, a great deal of work had to be put in to bring the home up to scratch. But, with a little hard work and a whole lot of imagination, what was once a cramped and dark abode was opened out into a fresh and light-filled home.
While typically functional and typically tiny for a typically compact Korean house, this kitchen looks like it's been thrown together with little thought for good looks. Ill-fitted storage and cupboards are set above and below a stainless steel bench top that looks bought for a bargain from a third-rate restaurant liquidation sale, capped by a stove that's more camping than worthy of a proud home cook and complete with an exposed gas hose to remind you just how much of a fire hazard your house can be.
The installation of slick white kitchen storage, new tiling, a built-in sink and stovetop-oven combination with deep black lower storage space providing a striking color contrast is all it takes to move this kitchen – still small but far more practical – into the modern world. The fridge-freezer, previously stacked awkwardly against one wall, is now set flush with the wall, making even better use of the space.
Warped linoleum in an unmentionable color, a thoughtless, ragged fake lace half-curtain draped unceremoniously over the hole in the wall that acts as the passage between the kitchen and the living room are all evidence of dementia rather than design. It might be a sunny day outside, but you'd never know with the cheap frosted glass on the external windows, framed by dark and heavy wood, admitting little natural light.
Adding floor to ceiling windows with pared-back, white frames, ingenious multi-paneled sliding doors for the entranceway, and light-colored parquet flooring to make the most of the house's natural orientation towards the light has changed the living room from a dark cave to a spacious, sunny zone that's a pleasure to behold, and even better to kick back and relax in.
The unusual frontage of the house was the last element to be given a full overhaul. The gnarled and weedy garden, creeping ever closer to the house and threatening to tack over, was trimmed right back, allowing even more light to make it's way to the front windows. The brick was given a thorough sandblasting too, but was kept largely unchanged. Crusty as it seems in this pic, this uncommon architectural feature held a lot of promise.
Painted an elegant concrete blue, justice was served to the rather beautiful sculptural forms of the house's external brick structure. A wooden trim was added in the archway that frames the front door, matched by weatherproof timber decking for a handsome mix of wood and stone textures. Resembling nothing less than a station master's house, this sensitive restoration has created a house that the owners can be proud to live in.