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Popular in Home Improvement

Victorian Home Renovation

Like many Victorian homes, this 1870s house has long, narrow, and compartmentalized. The renovation challenge: maintain the Victorian feel, while opening up the space.

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    Everything in this slideshow

    • Comfortable Elegance

      In the front parlor, the homeowners duplicated and rebuilt moldings to add to the room's architectural details. A series of built-ins with lighted display shelves were crafted around a new fireplace, which creates a cozy focal point. To maximize floor space, clean-lined furniture was added to provide comfortable elegance and avoid crowding. Natural light from large windows illuminates the space.

    • Transitional Spaces

      To improve traffic flow in the narrow Victorian home, passageways were widened, allowing a see-through view of the main level. Natural light now fluidly flows throughout the space.

    • Home's Central Hub

      The main-level hall is rich with Victorian architectural details -- beautiful trim and the crafted stairway railings. From here, the homeowners are able to access parlors a powder room, the dining room, kitchen, family room, and stairs to the upper level. A charming light fixture hangs in the entry and pays homage to the period-style of the home.

    • Victorian Inspired Architectural Details

      During the renovation of this home, the homeowners' top priority was to preserve architectural detail. When the existing details were too time-worn to be preserved, they built new items in the same style. This bracket is an example of the craftsmanship used in replicating the intricate details.

    • Light & Bright Dining Room

      Situated in the central part of the home, the dining room had just one wall with windows. By widening the doorway openings to the others rooms, natural light from other rooms spilled over to the space. To maximize the effect, the homeowners used white and light-neutral paints, which reflect the light.

    • Stylish Beverage Center

      A beverage center in the dining room was built for easy entertaining. It adds convenience for serving guests but also adds a style statement to the dining room, which lacked an architectural focal point. Outfitted with a faucet, refrigeration, storage, and counter space, it's both beautiful and functional.

    • Updated and Spacious Kitchen

      This light and beautiful kitchen kept its original U-shape design while gaining four times the countertop area after the renovation. The extra space was gained by eliminating an exterior entrance door, installing a range to replace a cook top and wall ovens, and extending the peninsula. High ceilings, tall upper cabinets, and light from the family room windows make it appear larger. By adding vintage-style features, such as reproduction brackets and medallions, the kitchen boasts period charm and modern convenience.

    • Beautiful Accents

      Above the range, a piece of trim with a Victorian-style carving honors the home's past. Blue-and-white blown-glass panels add a unique and striking element to the kitchen.

    • Design Consistency

      A family room was added during an extension of the house in the late 1980s by the previous owners. Even though it lacks the architectural details found in the original structure, brown and gray furnishings and flooring visually connect the room to the other spaces.

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      Wall of Glass

      When the 1980s addition was built by the previous homeowners, they smartly added glass doors with transom windows, making it the brightest room in the home. The doors can be folded back to enjoy the temperate Bay Area weather. On warmer days, the operable transoms allow warm air to escape and keep the home comfortable.

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      Peaceful and Private Patio

      The homeowners are able to enjoy a private two-level outdoor space that's accessible from the glass doors opening from the family room. The lower level is surfaced with on-grade wood decking. A fence, with wooden planks arranged horizontally, screens the backyard from neighbors. Hardy bamboo and other tall plants also help maintain privacy.

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      Detailed Exterior

      Because the house is freestanding, it's naturally lighterthan some homes in the neighborhood. Most of the houses are built side-by-side and only have windows on the front and back to let in light. Although built close to its neighbors, this home has the advantage of having windows on all four of its sides. Like the interior, acute attention was given to the preservation and restoration of the exterior.

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      Handcrafted Victorian Inspired Exteriors

      Years of neglect and numerous remodels had stripped the home's exterior of its original charm. The handy homeowner took cues from neighboring homes to craft new millwork for the front facade. The home boasts crisp and refined lines that its original builder would appreciate.

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      Next Slideshow Before and After: Home Exteriors

      Before and After: Home Exteriors

      Maximize curb appeal with an exterior makeover. See how these 24 facades went from ordinary to unforgettable.
      Begin Slideshow »

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