7 Unforgettable Before + After Transformations From 2023!

If you’re looking for inspiration for your next renovation project, these seven incredible ‘before and after’ transformations are just the thing!

From a budget-friendly reno (using ingenious hacks – like upholstered pool noodles for banquette seating) to a tiny apartment’s stylish overhaul, we saw all manner of amazing transformations in 2023. Take a look below to see some of our favourites.

Lucy Feagins

Inside Hannan House 2‘s recently renovated kitchen. Photo – Derek Swalwell

Reconfiguring the kitchen bench and the overall layout has opened the space up to the garden surrounds. Photo – Derek Swalwell

New light breccia-veined marble benchtops soften the home’s earth tones. Photo – Derek Swalwell

A Modernist Beaumaris Home’s Textural Kitchen Renovation

Hannan House 2 is one of the many significant and enduring modernist gems in Beaumaris.

Designed by original owner and artist Shirley Hannan with the help of architect Joe Palliser, the home was built in 1973 on subdivided land from the artist’s previous home, Hannan House 1. It also happens to be where the current custodian of Hannan House 2 grew up!

The owner engaged Alexi Robinson Studio to complete some sympathetic updates in the kitchen that have improved — and preserved — the nostalgia of the entire abode.

Read the full story here

In the living room. Vintage sideboard and 1970s art print from Angelucci 20th Century. Vintage table lamp. Paper sculpture by Gerard Van Dyck. Innovation Living sofa bed. Jardan cushion. Walls painted Porters Paint Newport (Half Strength). Ceiling painted Porters Paint Mist. Photo – Amelia Stanwix

The tonal bathroom. Walls and ceiling painted Dulux Land Light. Custom Oxalis Stool by Bootleg Studio. Jardan Nelly Wall Sconce in Rust. Nood Co Shelf Oval Basin in Peach. Brushed gunmetal tapware and hardware by ABI Interiors. Kaldewei Cayono Bath by Reece. Photo – Amelia Stanwix

Sancal dining table from Kezu. Cozoni Nela stool. IKEA cabinets customised with dark sage fronts by Ren Studio. Artwork: ‘Antipodean Dream’ by Heidi Yardley. Photo – Amelia Stanwix

The Parkville apartment is now unrecognisable from its once-dilapidated state!

An ‘Unliveable’ Retro Apartment Turned Playful + Personal Home

When Nina Siska came across this Parkville apartment, it was unliveable, with mouldy ceilings, stained walls, and peeling paint.

The listing wasn’t lying when it described the art deco pad as a ‘renovators delight’, but Nina saw the potential in the retro details and wooden floorboards that were hiding under carpet.

With the help of Studio Co & Co, Nina has renewed the 90-square-metre apartment, creating a bold peachy kitchen and eclectic interiors, styled with art and furniture from some of Melbourne’s best local creatives!

Read the full story here

The dining room. A newly-created banquette seat features built-in storage and upholstered pool noodles as the curved seat backing. Photo – Jacqui Turk

The existing house arches were retained in the renovation. Photo – Jacqui Turk

A feature shelf suspended from the ceiling provides space to grow herbs indoors. Photo – Jacqui Turk

Before + After: A Major Transformation Of A Suburban Melbourne 1980s Brick Home (With Plenty Of DIY Inspo!)

Across Australian suburbia there are thousands of classic brick homes just waiting to be revitalised through clever cosmetic renovations.

This recently completed project by interior designer Jono Fleming, landscape designer Inge Jabara, and builder Tim Clark shows the potential of these properties. Bunnings engaged the expert team to transform every room of a Melbourne 1980s house, using DIY wherever possible, and the results are major!

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The transformed kitchen! Photo – James Geer. Styling – Natalie James.

Tapware by Astra Walker. Terrazzo tiles from Signorino. Photo – James Geer. Styling – Natalie James

Stone mantlepiece from Southern Stone. Furniture from MCM House and Globe West. Photo – James Geer. Styling – Natalie James

Before + After: A Dated Brick Home Turned Coastal Holiday Pad

After snapping up a brick home in the Mornington Peninsula, – one of Melbourne’s most coveted holiday home destinations – Danielle Ogrisetti set out to transform the old property into a timeless family beach house.

Fast-forward 10 months, and the house’s dark timber features and dated tiling had been replaced with new joinery, floors, and elegant stone accents. It’s perfectly coastal and virtually ‘unrecognisable’.

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‘Plywood wraps the most hardworking parts of the house — the spaces where domestic labour happens — and frees up the rest of the floor plan to create the openness the client was yearning for.’ Photo – Ben Clement

‘A generous kitchen is placed centrally. It has the best views — out to the garden via a new glazed sliding door, to the living room, and to the front door.’ Photo – Ben Clement

Additional materials include custom stainless steel bench tops and shelves. Photo – Ben Clement

Installing the new kitchen was the biggest job of the apartment transformation. Photo – Kate Bowman

A 1950s House Transformed (But Not Extended) With A New Kitchen + Floor Plan

This circa 1950s brick veneer home in Thornbury, Melbourne once had a tricky, compartmentalised floor plan typical of its era.

The owners recently came to architect Gab Olah seeking a reworked layout for a more open and connected home, including a new kitchen.

Gab didn’t add to the home’s footprint (he actually reduced it), but successfully transformed the house by relocating the previously closed off kitchen to embrace the living room and garden.

The hero material — radiata plywood — was driven by the client’s budget, and features across new walls, ceilings, sliding doors, and joinery. The results speak for themselves!

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Mini Mansion is located in the intriguing Ruthven Mansions (1911-1914), in the centre of Adelaide, less than 100 metres from Rundle Mall. Photo – Kate Bowman

Installing the new kitchen was the biggest job of the apartment transformation. Photo – Kate Bowman

Before + After: A $40k Makeover Of A Historic Adelaide Apartment (That You Can Stay In!)

Adelaide’s Ruthven Mansions (1911-1914) is a distinct building combining Gothic and art nouveau influences that was one of the first multi-storey apartments in Australia.

The last 100 years have seen the loss of original internal details, but painter and illustrator Billie Justice Thomson saw potential to reinstate one apartment to its former glory.

In three months and with a $40k budget, Billie created a playful, inspiring accommodation that celebrates the building’s origins.

The apartment, aptly named Mini Mansion, is located in the heart of Adelaide, and it’s available to book now!

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A mid-century inspired kitchen renovation by Studio Barbara takes a Glebe apartment back to its 1960s roots. Photo – Dimitri Tricolas

‘We used routed circle finger pulls for each door, and were able to fully conceal the integrated rangehood within the floating joinery, making the kitchen feel more along the lines of a custom furniture piece as opposed to a working space.’ Photo – Dimitri Tricolas

Structurally, internal non-load bearing walls were demolished to open up the previously enclosed kitchen and create an open-plan space. Photo – Dimitri Tricolas

Before + After: A Sunny Modernist Makeover Of 1960s Sydney Apartment

This 1960s Glebe apartment had been renovated in the past, but not in a good way. The original modernist kitchen had fallen victim to a cheap 1990s makeover, yet its cramped and enclosed layout remained.

In a recent renovation, Studio Barbara reversed these previous updates by reinstating a mid-century inspired kitchen and opening up the floorplan.

The kitchen is now the vibrant heart of the apartment characterised by mustard yellow glass doors, checkerboard lino flooring, and textured oak cabinetry.

Read the full story here

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