Before and After: A Dated House Becomes a Fresh Mid-Century Modern Home

I think it's time for an awe-inspiring 'before and after', don't you? It's the only way to truly understand what can be achieved with a little (OK a ton) of vision and hard graft! Even if your home is just the way you want it, an incredible reveal is a pure joy to ogle at. In the case of this beautiful house in Ottewell, Canada, it took the masterful eye of interior designer Kristina Lynne to transform an outdated, stuffy living space into a light and airy mid-century modern home. Let me talk you through it. I hope you feel as mesmerised by the transformation as I am!

Kitchen before

Kitchen after
Kristina opened the kitchen out and used high end warm wood cabinet fronts from Kitch on IKEA units. This is a trick I've grown to love. Using IKEA basics helps to keep the price point down while adding high end pieces where it counts (cabinet doors, worktops, taps etc) will evoke a unique, high end look and increase your enjoyment of your new space!  

I also really like the concrete countertops which add an industrial touch while a textured honeycomb backsplash and open white shelves keep the style fresh and relaxed. Lovely! 

Sitting room before 
If it weren't for the wall-to-wall shag carpet (I mean, seriously, that had to go, right?!) the before is pretty cool in a whisky swigging, mad-men-esque kind of way. But wait until you see the 'after' and you'll quickly decide, like I did that light and bright is the way to go!

Sitting room after
At a first glance I wondered if Kristina had raised the height of the ceiling to reveal beams - and then I realised that actually it's just the effect of the white paint! Painting the beams in a contrasting colour also helps to bring this wonderful feature to life - they were completely lost before!  

One of the biggest changes was blocking off the second door - which served no purpose, making space for useful built-in shelving and a reading corner! The whole room was also given a fresh white update which helps to capitalise on the light pouring in from the panoramic window. Love it! 

An Eames lounge chair* , but of course - what better piece to use in a reading corner and help create a mid-century modern vibe? The only problem is, you could get stuck there for hours! 

Bedroom before

Bedroom after
I am so glad that I was not the one to have to scrape all that stuff off the ceiling. I've done something similar in a previous flat and to say it was unpleasant job is an understatement! But whoever put the hard graft in to even out the walls and white wash them has done a sterling job!

 Bathroom before

Bathroom after
Moving the loo to the side of the room to create room for a shower was key to the success of this space. It's even making me wonder if we should do away with our bath upstairs and put in a lovely shower like this instead. I wonder if I'd miss the bath? Do you enjoy baths?

A huge amount of work also went into tiling the space, re-plumbing it, laying a new floor, as well as fitting a new bathroom cabinet.

Entrance before

Entrance after
Kristina ditched the small closets, red carpet and linoleum floor in favour of hand cubbies, a great bench / coat hook area and tiled floors. The result is a fresh and clutter free hallway. 

What an incredible transformation! Great work Kristina! 

I'm going to look at the Malmö house market in an entirely new way from now on! 

What did you think off this renovation? 

You can see more of Kristine's projects (as well as some really inspiring 'before and after reveals' here). 

If you love a before and after as much as I do, check out this archive (there are some incredibly talented people out there!). 

Have a lovely, sunny day friends. Stay safe, stay well. 


Photography courtesy of Kristina Lynne, shared with kind permission
*affiliate links


  1. Lovely home. We also have popcorn ceilings in most of our house, and last September we hired someone to remove the drywall and then put up new drywall in our living room and dining room. It was total chaos obviously! Fortunately we were able to be away when that was being done, although our cat (who lived through the whole thing) will never forgive us :)

    1. What a job! Definitely the right option to leave it to someone else, having been there myself I totally feel for your cat!!!

  2. The style of the house reminds me very much of my own - I have a similar little entry with one flight of stairs going up and another one down (although I think this features the back door) but it is more open, and although tiny, at least the entrance is 1.5 story high (that's its saving grace).
    This is what I would like to do with my living room, remove the attic and give the room a bit more height (unfortunately, in the 1960's, the houses were built with ceilings a bit too low).
    I would only prefer if the beams in her living room were stained wood, a bit more rustic.
    But over all, a very nice transformation.

    1. Your house sounds lovely Alena - and similar to this too! I think the living room in this space is incredible. I like your idea with the rustic beams, it will bring some warmth. Niki

  3. While there are many nice updates, those original cedar ceilings are hard to come by in Alberta and it's a real travesty they were painted. I think the space would have been more inviting and had more warmth if they'd tried to keep the ceilings and did the other updates.


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