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August 9, 2013
These six homes are contemporary gems in disguise: traditional on the outside, but strikingly modern within.
Traditional Victorian facade in Australia

With its brick-and-sandstone facade and intricate iron details, an 1880 bungalow in Adelaide, Australia, looks like a beautifully maintained relic of the 19th century.  Photo by James Knowler

 

  

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Courtesy of 
James Knowler Photography
Originally appeared in This Luminous Australian Renovation Packs a Lot Into a 23-Foot-Wide Lot
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open dining and living room area with Koura pendant lamps

Inside, however, the home's abstract accents and glass walls are as modern as its exterior is traditional; it's a surprising combination of preserved history and progressive design. Photo by James Knowler

Photo by 
Courtesy of 
James Knowler Photography
Originally appeared in This Luminous Australian Renovation Packs a Lot Into a 23-Foot-Wide Lot
2 / 12

From the street, it would be easy to assume that Mike McDonald's home is merely one of Oakland, California's, many restored Victorians. Photo by Jason Madara

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Originally appeared in Modern Victorian House Preservation in Oakland
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red wall concrete floor ground level office restored Victorian

The reality is much more complex. McDonald was faced with the challenge of preserving a home that dates back to the 1890s, while making it structurally sound enough to live in. His solution was to lift the entire house off the ground so he could rebuild its foundation; while he was at it, he updated the interior, making it clean and modern. Photo by Jason Madara

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Originally appeared in Modern Victorian House Preservation in Oakland
4 / 12
In 2006, when couple Barnaby Grist and Ellen Goldberg hired Bassel Samaha and Heather Hart, of <a href="http://samaha-hart.com/">Samaha + Hart Architecture</a>, they came to the husband-wife design team with big plans. The couple wanted to keep the existi

Don't be fooled by the demure 20th-century charm of this San Francisco home; its mint-and-white exterior hides an adventurously modern addition in the back—the result of its latest renovation. Photo by Sharon Risedorph

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Originally appeared in Noe Valley Renovation
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The living room, opposite the kitchen, provides a lounge area outfitted with a Womb chair and ottoman and Tulip coffee table by Eero Saarinen for <a href="http://www.knoll.com">Knoll</a> and a Delano sectional sofa by <a href="http://www.spheredesignsfurn

From bright furniture to glass partitions to a geometrical, terraced porch, each detail of the home's addition is another point of contrast with its facade. Photo by Sharon Risedorph

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Originally appeared in Noe Valley Renovation
6 / 12
Modern 18th-century farmhouse in Sweden

It would be difficult to find a better example of the stereotypical farmhouse; a three-building summer retreat in Sweden comes complete with A-line roofs, wooden shingles, chunky chimneys, and red walls with a white trim. Photo by Åke E:son Lindman

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Originally appeared in Modern Meets Traditional in a Swedish Summer House
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Truedatorp interior kitchen area

But unlike its exterior, the vacation home's interior has been redesigned for the 21st-century. Wood floors and furniture tie into the overall rustic aesthetic, but the chalkboards on the island and the blue wall of the kitchen are two notable components of its modern bent. Photo by Åke E:son Lindman.

Originally appeared in Kitchens We Love: Part 2
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A small deck off the back of the main house is protected from the wind and supported by a small grassy mound.

Blue from top to bottom, the Geometrie Bleu vacation home in Canada's Magdalen Islands stands out as an adventurous update of a typical rural home without leaving old architectural styles behind. Photo by Matthew Monteith

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Originally appeared in Blue in the Facade
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The office space above the kitchen looks out onto the great room.

The home takes its experimental design further on the inside, though; a sleek wooden island and a set of elegant chairs contrast with the traditional look of exposed rafters. Photo by Matthew Monteith

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Originally appeared in Blue in the Facade
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Balcany facade of Italian architect Benedetta Tagliabue's home

An 18th-century flat in Barcelona had a palpably imposing historical beauty even before it was renovated, but its exterior looks more like a tourist attraction than a private home. Photo by Gunnar Knechtel.

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Originally appeared in The Barcelona Home Like No Other
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Living room with white plaster walls and yellow Eames chair

Architect Benedetta Tagliabue wasn't intimidated by the grandeur of the crumbling flat when she decided to save it. She started to make her home's interior completely modern, but told the decorating crew to stop before they finished painting over the walls completely when she was struck by the bold contrast between original stone and an unfinished layer of paint in her living room. Photo by Gunnar Knechtel.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in The Barcelona Home Like No Other
12 / 12
Traditional Victorian facade in Australia

With its brick-and-sandstone facade and intricate iron details, an 1880 bungalow in Adelaide, Australia, looks like a beautifully maintained relic of the 19th century.  Photo by James Knowler

 

  

Photo by James Knowler. Image courtesy of James Knowler Photography.

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