Before and After: A Dark House Becomes a Fresh and Vibrant Home

When we went to view our house, there were a few other people looking around, one of whom was a friend of mine. After the viewing, I asked her if she was interested, "nah, it was way too dark," she said. We bought the house anyway (it was the only house we could afford in the area) and the first thing we did was completely whitewash all the walls and lighten the floors - it made an immediate difference! 

This beautiful Hamburg home made me think of exactly that! Susan and her partner bought the property in 2019 and spent 8 months renovating it, transforming it from a dark property to a light, fresh and vibrant Scandinavian-inspired living space. Keep a look out for the soft blue shades, vibrant colours and Susan's own fine art!  Here are the before and after shots: 

Kitchen before 

Kitchen after

A new Reform CPH kitchen was put in and the tiles were exchanged for a wooden pine floor, giving the space a distantly Danish look and feel! 

Neon red is said to be one of the big colours of the year, and so easy to bring into the home, in the kitchen an Adhoc stool does the trick! 

One of Susan's own fine art prints 'Zone de Baignade' hangs on the wall. 

If you refer back to the top of the post, you'll see a glimpse of the light-filled dining space on the far side of the room. Three Flowerpot pendants hang over an antique table. 

The sitting room leads directly off the kitchen.

Sitting room during the building work

Sitting room after

A soft blue shade has been used on the wall, tying it in with other areas of the home and wall to wall shelving has been placed up and over the door - something you often see in danish homes (like this one). 

Hall and Stairs before 

Hall and stairs after

Despite ripping out the tiles, Susan has still used stone in her hallway in order to ensure a practical entrance. 

The runner was removed from the stairs to reveal wooden steps. The original banister has been painted black and white. 

Landing before 

Landing after 

The floor has been sanded for a lighter look and the walls and doors have been painted in fresh white and light blue. 

Susan's 'Neighbourhood' fine art print hangs over a simple IKEA stool at the top of the stairs. 

Upper staircase before

Upper staircase after

I couldn't resist sharing these snapshots of the upper staircase which leads to a third floor! I love the way Susan has captured the before and after - taking the look from dark and dingy to light and bright! 

Bathroom before

Bathroom after

The bathroom has also been gives a fresh, light overhaul and A DIY stool and striped bathmat add a touch of colour. 

A glimpse into the bedroom reveals a retro chest-of-draws against a soft blue backdrop. 

All in all, a really fabulous transformation! The level of work that has gone into this renovation is immense, but it's really paid off! 

The light wood floors make a huge difference to the overall look. If you have solid wood floors, it's surprisingly easy with a sanding machine and the right floor treatment (we did it in our house too). I love how Susan has applied touches of colour through paint and art too. You'd be forgiven for thinking this home is in Copenhagen, it has a very danish feel to it! 

Is there anything that stood out to you about Susan's home? 

See more snapshots from Susan's home and find out about the colors she has used in her home here. You might also like to discover her online shop for limited edition art

Click here for a load more before and after features. Some of them are simply amazing! 

I hope this before and after tour has filled you with inspiration for the week ahead! 



Photography courtesy of @hej.susan - shared with kind permission. 

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Before & After: A Rundown Cabin Becomes a Vibrant Danish Summer Cottage

It's safe to say that when Ida Lundsteen and Edward first bought their summer house in Ejby Ådal - an hour west of the danish capital - it needed a lot of work! But the handy Danish pair could see its potential - both inside and out - and set to work themselves to transform it. Today, their hard work has paid off and they have an idyllic retreat in which to unwind in their spare time. Read on to see the before and after pictures and feel truly inspired!

Dining area before

Dining area after

The wood panelling was painted white, and the floor sanded down and treated with a white soap finish. A window was added to allow light to flow through from the side extension. Today, the dining area is bathed in natural light - a perfect spot to enjoy meals on chillier days! 

Kitchen before

Ida and Edward reconfigured the house, moving the kitchen to an area in the sitting room - formerly occupied by an old electric heater. 

Sitting room before

Looking at the pictures above, you can understand the sheer level of work that they have put into the renovation - completely gutting parts of the house. 

In the sitting room they added a lovely nook (with storage) in which to unwind with a book.   

Sitting room nook after

Bathroom before

Bathroom after
The small bathroom was completely updated. The sink was moved to the opposite side of the room, tiles ripped out and a new floor laid. Today it looks fresh and modern in black, white and brass. 

Side extension before

Side extension after
Ida and Edward built an extension onto the side of the house - adding a work space and practical mudroom. 

Garden and terrace before

Life at a Scandinavian summer house is all about enjoying the great outdoors. Doors are thrown open in the morning - and life spills outside to take in the long summer days. 

But for Ida and Edward - there was work to be done. The garden was completely overgrown and although there had been some form of patio, it needed to be worked over from scratch.

The pair built a large wood deck completely by hand - almost doubling their living space in summertime. They also capitalised on sloping land by adding built-in seating to the side of the decking. 

But my eye is on the sunk-in bath. So simple, yet such a clever idea. 

Patio before

Patio after
After a lot of hard graft, clearing foliage, pulling up the old patio and creating new decking - the family now have a wonderful outdoor dining area where they can gather and enjoy summer days long after the sunsets! 

How incredible! It's even more impressive knowing that they did it themselves, don't you think? 

Is there anything that stood out to you in particular?

The decking before and after couldn't have come at a better time for Per and I as we were discussing laying our own decking up at the cabin this summer. We were already feeling inspired by Per's brother who laid decking himself last summer - and now, after seeing this, we're feeling really empowered! 

I hope this lovely danish cottage as given you plenty of inspiration too. You can see more pics over at @bare_byg.

Other Danish summer cottages to love: 

You also might like to check out the before and after archive for other renovations. 

And finally, I can't sign out without a final comment on the bath. I've seen many outdoor baths before (see 15 outdoor bath and shower ideas) - and the incredible wood burning bath at Settle hideaway, but this is the first time I've seen a simple, ordinary bathtub sunk into decking. What a great idea! I could just see myself having a soak there, glass of wine in hand. How about you? Would you like to see how it looks in winter? Here goes: 



PS I mentioned yesterday that I would be sharing my latest studio update today, but the post isn't quite ready - sorry! I look forward to sharing it on Monday instead! 

Photography: Ida Lundsteen, shared with kind permission. 

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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
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