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The Best Historic Home Renovations from HGTV Stars

April 29, 2022

Could adding a new chapter to a storied home's saga be the ultimate renovation high? Allow the pros to demonstrate how thoughtful restoration and creative adaptation resolve residential cliffhangers in style.

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Photo: Windy City Rehab

Who Says You Can't Teach an Old House New Tricks?

There’s a special kind of thrill in watching a seasoned pro restore a home’s faded glory for a new generation of occupants. Brand-spanking-new conveniences are nice, but when you can retell a classic story in a thrilling way? That’s peak renovation satisfaction. (Case in point: This spectacular Chicago kitchen that Alison Victoria of Windy City Rehab revived with a 13-foot island, bold blue color and a pine-cabinet-turned-wine-bar that’s original to the Civil-War-era home.) Take a spin through HGTV stars’ very best historic before-and-afters.

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Photo: Lauren Noess. From: Nicole Curtis and Rehab Addict.

1920s Bungalow, Before

Nicole Curtis of Rehab Addict got to this abandoned, neglected North Minneapolis bungalow just in time. Though the original woodwork was in comparatively good shape, other portions of the home were crumbling — and the whole property was due to be demolished by the city.

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Photo: Lauren Noess. From: Nicole Curtis and Rehab Addict.

1920s Bungalow, After

Behold the power of paint and a little TLC. Nicole covered the dining room’s lackluster blue walls with a coat of creamy white paint that complements the restored quarter-sawn oak’s rich color. Believe it or not, the previously-woeful floors simply needed sanding and refinishing to glow against the built-in cabinets and trim. With little more than a handful of lush house plants and a dining set, this space is now ready to welcome another century’s worth of guests.

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Photo: Rick Osentoski / AP Images

1870s Mansion, Before

Built in the Venetian Gothic style for a dry goods merchant, Detroit’s Ransom Gillis House is a landmark that had been unoccupied since the 1960s. When HGTV and Nicole Curtis stepped in to revive it, once-grand areas like this foyer were skeletal spaces in need of floor-to-ceiling reconstruction.

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