In response to your query I have listed several tips for renovation projects that I used on my own home recently. The project was an 8,000 sq. ft. structure overlooking the Pacific in Malibu. The following ideas were employed to transform a tacky early nineties house with no specific style identity, with a great floor plan and an outrageous view into a warm and authentic looking ”Tuscan” villa. I even gave it the tag “Villa Sancti Di Bella Vista”.
Idea 1: I salvaged two antique iron balustrades that had an Italian feel, added a slab of marble that blended with the venetian stucco of the house, designed a unique shape and edge detail and instantly I had two six foot long table used for serving in my outdoor dining room.
Idea 2: I repurposed the antique Malaysian door, formerly the “front door” of the house, to be the gate to my “Secret Garden”. It is 10′ x 4′. I had a sturdy iron frame built that is freestanding and then surrounded it with a hedge. Upon opening the door, one is struck by the ocean view revealed.
Idea 3: I removed all carpeting from the house and replaced it with walnut floor that was hand-planed meticulously to look as if it was reclaimed from an old villa. It was made in 36 inch parquet squares traditionally used in Tuscany. I found the sofa table in the gutter on Robertson in Los Angeles and had it refinished in a warm light ash distressed finish.
Idea 4: I repurposed two antique Chinese temple corbels as the “arms” for a 16′ built-in banquette in my outdoor dining room.
Idea 5: I recycled two antique leaded windows. One I use here in the bar I designed. I placed a new mirror behind it before installing the window. It’s held into place with moulding. I used ”seeded” glass on the cabinet doors to add to the authenticity. The second window was used in my husband’s shower to give him natural light from an interior wall. Outside the shower is a hallway with a big window opposite.
Idea 6: To give my kitchen the feel of an historic European country home, I used different mouldings on every section of cabinetry. My intention was to emulate the practice of acquiring individual and unmatched pieces to assemble a kitchen. I hve Acanthus and Dentil over the stove, Egg and Dart over the Sub Zeros that have been encased in an “armoire” and Rope moulding on the smaller cabinets. The Cornue Fe stove is reminiscent of the past.
Idea 7: By adding stone to the exterior and interior the home gains instant history.
In addition, I replaced white vinyl windows with dark wood windows. Of couse, the final touches were added after we moved in. It didn’t take long for us to batter the place to death with just our daily living, constant entertaining and utilizing every inch of our home for crafts, play, large and small animals, muddy feet from hikes, lots of sand and many more assorted messy endeavors! I call it ”the patina of life”.
I hope that gives you plenty of ammo to undertake your project! Good luck and please let me know if you’d like any more info!
never look back!
If any one has any great renovating tips to make a house look aged, please write in and I will post your wonderful ideas!
susanburgerlivingbeautifully.com. I specialize in lifestyle design. I also am an avid equestrian, athlete, biodynamic gardener, stylist, hostess, cook, artist, photographer, chicken keeper, philanthropist, mom and wife.