before and after

before & after: ground floor transformation

by Kate Pruitt

This ground floor renovation of a client’s home by architect Marianne Amodio is one of my favorite large-scale Before & After projects of recent months. It reminded me that sometimes taking away some of the layers that have been added to an old home can be the best way to help an interior realize its most beautiful state. I love the focus on all the natural, raw materials, and the all-tile bathroom is the perfect ultramodern complement to the minimalist look. I wish my apartment had such good, solid bones to work with, but I think if I took a hammer to my home, I wouldn’t find anything nearly as pretty as this :) Amazing job, Marianne! — Kate

Have a Before & After you’d like to share? Shoot me an email with your images right here! (Low res, under 500k per image, please.)

See more of Marianne’s ground floor transformation after the jump!

Time: 9 months

Basic Steps: This renovation was realized with the principle of exposing the layers of history evident in the 1927 home. The contrast between old and new is proudly pronounced: Original red brick fireplaces are revealed, their chalk inscriptions from previous owners left behind; old fir beams find new life as stair treads, and vintage fir planks salvaged from the demolition become a crafted herringbone feature wall. The concrete floor is uncovered, contrasted by shiny new tiles. A spectacular cool blue wet room and powder room adjoin a new master bedroom; the headboard is the vintage brick fireplace.

The advice I have for people who are trying to tackle a similar project is to keep their minds open to the elements that their home has to offer. This old home really had a story to tell, and by paying attention to this heritage, rather than discarding it as old or ugly, we were able to bring in a layer of authentic warmth. I would recommend that people attempt to see things with new eyes — that what we may impertinently disregard as ugly or old can actually contain seeds of real interest. Also, execution is key. Taking something old and re-purposing or refurbishing it takes great care, craftsmanship and attention to detail. We had a wonderful, creative contractor in Novell Construction, who were equally as excited as we were about doing something unique. — Marianne

Suggested For You


Leave a Reply

Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, that comment on people's physical appearance, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.