This Tudor-Style Home Renovation Pairs Classic Style with an Updated Layout

blue living room
Photo: John Bessler

After years of neglect, this Alabama home is transformed into a breathtaking space worthy of a spot on the small screen.

01 of 24

Before: Deteriorating Tudor

tudor home exterior
John Bessler

Constructed in 1926, this Tudor-style home in Mobile, Alabama, had only two owners before Danny Lipford, builder and TV show host, decided to update it for a modern family. He bought the house in 2008 and began planning the renovation, which was documented in a TV series titled The Kuppersmith Project in honor of the home's longest owners.

Although the house was built well, it had recently been neglected and was falling into disrepair. Uncontrolled humidity had led to rot and mold, so windows and trim needed to be replaced. Plus, lead paint meant the walls had to go. The team decided to take the structure down to the studs and rebuild.

02 of 24

After: Total Transformation

large tudor style home
John Bessler

Lipford's design team carefully recreated the house's classic Tudor Revival style. The renovated home, including the primary suite addition, features cypress shakes and half-timbering—common features of Tudor Revival structures.

03 of 24

Before: Unusable Entry

fireplace against pink wall

Before built-in storage and a drop zone were put in the entry area, the living room was an awkward space with lots of pink paint, much of it already peeling away.

04 of 24

After: Hardworking Entryway

storage cabinets
John Bessler

Semicustom kitchen cabinetry creates a makeshift mudroom area and provides lots of storage near the front door. Now, instead of an unusable entry space, there's a spot to hang jackets, stow bags, and showcase books and accessories. The design team topped the cabinetry with crown molding to keep the room's trim looking continuous. Window-shade fabric repeats on pillows to unify adjoining spaces. Baskets that are about an inch narrower than the open cabinets ensure they're easy to pull out.

05 of 24

Entryway Divider

Entryway
John Bessler

Like many older homes, the front door used to open right into the living room, leaving no separation from the entryway to the seating area. Now, a narrow console table greets guests at the door and offers a graceful drop zone. A folding screen shields an immediate view of the living room, while mirrored panels reflect light streaming in from the nearby windows.

06 of 24

Before: Boxy Living Room

living room before

A boxy layout and dated window treatments didn't do anything for this small gathering space. Instead of peeling pink paint, the updated living room shows off soothing blue-green walls and tailor seating that enhances traffic flow through the narrow space.

07 of 24

After: Living Room Makeover

blue living room
John Bessler

Tight living room quarters called for airy, scaled-down furniture. A round, glass-topped coffee table makes navigating the small space easier, while a round lamp table tucks discreetly into a corner without weighing down the visual space. Light blue walls create a soothing backdrop for a mix of colors and complementary patterns found in throw pillows and furniture.

08 of 24

Living Room Details

Desk
John Bessler

A screen of hinged panels offers graceful separation between the entryway and living room but can be moved when the living room needs to stretch. Less room means each piece of furniture needs to be hardworking. In this room, a narrow desk nestled between the partition and sofa offers an elegant workspace. One of the chairs nestles in at the desk but can be easily moved to add extra seating in the conversation area, too.

09 of 24

Living Room Makeover Details

Throughout the house, it's hard to tell what's original and what's not, which is just how Lipford planned it. "As people walk through, I love it when someone asks, 'Where's the old and where's the new?' Perfect," he says. Watch and learn more about the Tudor home's living room transformation.

10 of 24

Before: Dated Dining Space

dining room

Like many dining rooms, this one sported an awkward layout and a too-narrow entrance. Rotting windows and damaged trimwork needed to be replaced, and it desperately needed fresh color and accessories to update its look.

11 of 24

After: Bright, Inviting Dining Room

traditional dinning room
John Bessler

An expanded doorway and consistent color palette create a seamless transition from the casual living room to the informal dining room. Classic lines in the dining set emphasize the traditional character of the home, while slipcovers on the side chairs create a relaxed and welcoming feel. The mix-and-match seating from different furniture lines adds to the casual charm.

12 of 24

Dining Room Details

dinning room buffet
John Bessler

Smart furnishings help the small dining room live large, even though the room's footprint is unchanged. Dishes are stored on an etagere tucked into the bay window instead of a closed, bulky buffet. The open storage space transforms colorful dishware into pieces of art, reducing the need for much artwork elsewhere in the room. A stunning bank of windows keeps the short-on-space dining room open and inviting.

13 of 24

Before: Staircase Eyesore

wooden staircase

Old homes offer character but need a supporting cast of color, materials, and furniture to really sing. With pink paint, scratched and worn woodwork, and an old runner, this awkward space was due for an update.

14 of 24

After: Bold Staircase

patterned wallpaper and stair runner
John Bessler

Surprising animal prints and a gilded side table create a glam look near the traditional stairway. The playful mix of patterns and textures transforms an often-overlooked space into a conversation starter. This vestibule is located just beyond the home's entryway in the living room and serves as a passageway into the kitchen and family room at the back of the home.

15 of 24

Before: Too-Tiny Kitchen

1950s style kitchen white cabinets

Last renovated in the 1950s, this small galley-style kitchen was outdated and closed off from the rest of the house. Its deteriorating condition pointed to a complete redo.

16 of 24

After: Hub of the Home

kitchen island and stools
John Bessler

A spacious kitchen was part of an addition to the back of the home, an update that brought modern amenities to the classic home. The previous kitchen was small, closed off, and lacked charm and efficiency. Now, the kitchen is a testament to thoughtful planning and smart style. With much of the storage accomplished by lower cabinets, fewer upper cabinets are needed, making the room feel even more spacious. The long island was designed to accommodate everything including food prep and homework space for the kids. The mix of white and brown cabinetry creates contrast and provides a color scheme base for other kitchen elements such as window treatments and backsplash tiles.

17 of 24

Kitchen Drop Zone

entryway drop zone
John Bessler

A drop zone on the opposite side of the kitchen, next to the back door, adds another layer of modern convenience to the home. A comfy bench provides a place to put on shoes, and baskets in cubbies below the bench are in place to corral mittens, hats, and other out-the-door necessities. Shelves and cabinets provide additional storage and a short run of counter space is ideal for sorting mail.

18 of 24

Hidden Storage

built-in drop zone unit
John Bessler

A slender cabinet makes use of the space at the end of the built-in drop zone unit. The door opens to reveal a small shelf and a sliver of space outfitted with hooks for keys, dog leashes, and umbrellas.

19 of 24

Pantry Details

dark wood breakfast station
John Bessler

Built to look like a piece of furniture, the pantry cabinet includes a handy breakfast station and built-in microwave. The clean-line cabinets in a dark wood respect the home's classic style while accommodating modern taste.

20 of 24

Updated Family Room

family room with patterned accents
John Bessler

To better accommodate today's lifestyles, Lipford added casual gathering areas at the back of the house: an extended kitchen, a family room, and a new back porch. Adding almost 1,300 square feet and expanding doorways throughout the home created an open, flowing floor plan. Taking over space once occupied by a screen porch, the new family room becomes an extension of the kitchen. The inviting room enhances the home's casual gathering space with plus furniture dressed in pretty indoor-outdoor fabrics that look attractive while resisting everyday spills and dirt.

21 of 24

Outdoor Living Space

porch
John Bessler

The original house had a dilapidated screen porch tacked onto the side that was only accessible from the central hall and kitchen. Now, the house features an enclosed porch that folds neatly into the new addition. Two sets of French doors lead to the new family room and updated kitchen. With its access to multiple living spaces, the new porch is perfect for entertaining. The porch features fabrics that complement those in the adjacent rooms.

22 of 24

Relaxing Primary Suite

traditional style bedside table with lamp
John Bessler

A side addition contains a spacious primary suite and carefully replicates architectural details from the original home for a unified look inside and out. Included in the new addition, the main-level primary suite offers an escape for the adults. Colors and patterns—soothing blues and botanical prints—reflect the home's proximity to the coast. Classic furnishings, such as the charming end table and vintage bed frame, reflect the area's French and Spanish heritage.

23 of 24

Primary Bedroom Details

sitting area by windows
John Bessler

To ensure the addition felt like a part of the existing house, much attention was given to the details. For example, the bay window in the new primary suite echoes the bay window found in the dining room and creates a cozy little seating area drenched in natural light. Charming floral curtains can be pushed aside to reveal the entirety of each window, making the room seem larger and more open.

24 of 24

Primary Bathroom

blue bathroom with large tub
John Bessler

Although the old primary bedroom had its own fireplace, it was forced to share a bathroom with the rest of the house. The new main-level primary suite, however, features dual closets and a luxurious primary bathroom. Here, glass-front French doors open to reveal a generous soaking tub that adds to the relaxing, spa-like atmosphere of the entire primary suite.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles