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Before and After: Rags to Riches

Leigh Leigh
Country style house by Briand Renault Architectes Country
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French architects Briand Renault are going to show us today how they can completely transform a home, while retaining the charm and character of the original structure.

Today we are going to see a true rags to riches story, where excellence and precision play a role in enhancing and ultimately, changing, a space. 

As Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.”

Let's see how a home can be made absolutely excellent. 

Before: Overgrown and Falling Apart

“Never give in–never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”—Winston Churchill

The photographs of the home before these fantastic designers intervened show us just how run down and decrepit this home used to be. Overgrown trees, bushes and shrubbery crowd this space—there is no beautiful garden to speak of—while the home itself is unloved and obviously hasn't been cared for in some time.

The roof reveals giant holes, while the windows and doors look like they are falling apart. It almost looks like a haunted home!

Before: A Pile of Rubble

“The vision that you glorify in your mind, the ideal that you enthrone in your heart, this you will build your life by, and this you will become.”—James Allen

From this view, we can see how run down this home truly is, with bricks and rubble all over the place. The grass has been eroded by the sand that is piling up. It looks like a construction site!

It's such a pity, because this home is made up of beautiful, sandy stones and has real character. This needs to be capitalised on!

After: Charming

“The mind is the limit. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it, as long as you really believe 100 percent.”—Arnold


The designers have gone to work on this home, fixing up the roof (and including an impressive skylight), so that it is now a gorgeous, brand new, charcoal-coloured roof that looks sleek and modern. 

This new, stylish roof complements the stone cottage, where we can see how the designers have incorporated the original materials from the old home. This is fantastic, as it allows the character and charm from the previous home to remain. 

The garden has been completely fixed up with a manicured lawn and beautiful, little pot plants. The designers have even included a little terrace with charming furniture, where the inhabitants can enjoy the afternoon sunshine. The purple and yellow adds wonderful colour and life to this space. 

After: Cosy and Modern

Make each day your masterpiece.—John Wooden

If we take a glimpse inside this home, underneath the skylight, we can see the designers have formed a beautiful, modern attic space that is cosy cottage meets industrial chic. 

The materials in this space are very neutral—wood, cement and glass, which is all you need when you have sunlight filtering in through the skylight or the stars overhead.

The designers have placed simple furniture in this living room area, including wicker chairs with subtle cushions. This allows the architecture to be the true hero and focal point of the space. 

Have a look through these living room products for inspiration for your own home. 

After: Light and Bright

“The greatest achievement was at first, and for a time, but a dream.” –Napoleon Hill

In this space, we can see how the original structure merges with the modern enhancements, creating a wonderful, charming space. Don't you love the large, glass window that runs across the entire length of the wall? Even though the space is small, it opens the whole room up. 

The designers have paired this space with darker furniture, which makes it very warm and cosy. Modern lamps hang from the ceiling, in this open plan living area. Lighting is so important when it comes to the living area, you want ambiance and romance!

Don't you think this home is absolutely stunning, showing just how far a dream can go?

If you like this transformed home, then you'll love this: Square home with so much to offer.

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