Top 9 Renovations of 2020

Top 9 Renovations of 2020

Out-of-the-box thinking led to the stunning transformations nominated for this year’s Dwell Design Awards.

From midcentury homes in need of TLC to rescued 17th-century ruins, the nominees for Best Renovation aren’t afraid of change. Get familiar with the projects below, and then cast your vote in the 2020 Dwell Design Awards before December 16.

Curving Glass Walls Give this Traditional Beijing Home an Otherworldly Appeal

A derelict courtyard residence gets revitalized with a sinuous, glass-walled pathway.

Slatted doors allow natural light through while still affording privacy in the second bedroom.

Timmins + Whyte carves out a sun-soaked haven in a heritage-listed Melbourne home.

Whitewashed Tasmanian oak slats line the ceiling of the kitchen, which is designed to be hard-wearing for a family with a passion for cooking. Custom joinery surrounds the space.

When the Los Angeles–based firm Stayner Architects purchased Wave House in 2018 for $360,000 from the City of Palm Desert, little did they know what lay buried beneath. The house had remained vacant and in disrepair for years before father and son began the painstaking process to assess and upgrade the home’s infrastructure and efficiency.

The living room features restored white terrazzo tile floors extending out to the patio while the adjacent bedroom connects to the back of the white L-shaped concrete block wall. The wood dowel construction of the ceiling was stripped to reveal American ash and veneer, and the space is furnished with stylish midcentury wood upholstered pieces, emphasizing a desert palette.

Artist couple Nick Cave and Bob Faust work with Carlo Parente Architecture to craft a creative space in a 1920s industrial building in Chicago.

Artwork in the living room includes a painting by contemporary American painter Barkley L. Hendricks, a sculptural floral work by Nick Cave, and a portrait by Parrison.

Jonathan Tuckey doesn’t so much whisper to old buildings as listen to them. Known for his innovative updates to historic homes, the British architectural designer was the obvious choice when his friends Al and Francesca Breach decided to bring new life to Nossenhaus, a centuries-old stone-and-timber structure they’d bought in the Swiss village of Andermatt. 

A look at the ground level after the revamp, now home to the Vinothek 1620 wine bar. The fireplace is from Austroflamm.

Designed by a little-known architect in 1949, the now streamlined home honors its original bones.

The designers raised the floor in the sunken den and painted the dated paneling Cotton Balls by Benjamin Moore. "We hardly ever used that space, and now we’re in there all the time," says John. The credenza is a vintage find from Sunset Bazaar, while the Blok horizontal sconce is from WAC Lighting.

This warehouse conversion by Ian Moore Architects also features an equine genetics laboratory and an enormous garage filled with classic cars.

The focal point of the terrace is one large potted frangipani tree. The planted edge against the brick wall works to visually soften the space.

Will Gamble Architects revived a crumbling, 17th-century structure with a svelte addition of steel, brick, and glass.

The firm also designed the new kitchen space, opting for a contrasting darker palette.

Sculptural plywood walls weave new life into a 19th-century Parisian apartment while preserving its historic Haussmannien features.

The new wooden walls stop short of the ceilings, preserving the moldings and the outline of the historic floor plan.

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