Before & After: A Former Schoolhouse Gets a Major Upgrade

This incredible space—and let’s be real, even this somewhat dated space is absolutely incredible before, thanks to those windows, floors, and ceilings—recently got the makeover it deserved. The results are glamorous, architectural, and extremely livable—not bad for a 100-year-old school.

It’s like an art gallery! The wall panels appear almost as if they’re sculptures, while the open spaces are satisfyingly blocky and provide playful glimpses of other rooms. The main floor is now wonderfully open and airy, with a soothingly pale, cool color scheme—with pops of mustard and brown—that makes the most of all of that natural light.

This home, a converted 1899 schoolhouse, is up for rental on Compass, with a bunch of before photos on view at StreetEasy. It underwent major restoration and rejiggering, as described by the current owner:

There was a staircase to the loft running through the main room taking up lots of space and cutting off all the light from one of the 10ft windows. We demolished it and tucked it away in the other corner of the room and beneath it, created a coat closet, half bathroom and a vestibule area with 7 ft ceilings, creating a dramatic entrance into the 17 ft ceilings of the living room. We created the glass and panel motif on the loft to create more airiness and depth in the room. We sanded down the yellow laquered floors which were from the gymnasium of the old public school that the building used to house, revealing beautiful blonde vintage wood floors.

Those restored floors are truly stunning.

Here’s a view of the living room from the loft. Notice how the staircase wall cramps the layout, making the dining table feel more like an afterthought. There’s plenty of space for the table, of course, but it doesn’t really have its own space. All of the warm colors and wood are certainly cozy, but cozy doesn’t seem like the perfect direction to go in a home with 17-foot-high ceilings.

Now the living and dining areas both have room to breathe. The black accents—poufs, television, frames, and original wood-burning fireplace—add drama to the otherwise airy feel, while the larger-scale art really accentuates the luxurious spaciousness.

As for the loft, from which this photo was taken? Let’s take a moment to appreciate real estate copywriting:

And then there is the loft up top. With 6 ½ foot ceilings, closets and washer/dryer, this is actually a usable space for anything from hearty conversation to binge watching that series on Netflix that everyone keep yammering about around the water cooler.

This is a limited view of the kitchen before renovation, but it gives you a feel for the aesthetic: taupe countertops, yellow walls, wood accents, and a stainless steel sink that clashes a bit with all of those warm tones.

Now the tables have turned: silver, black, and white dominate the room, while the lovely wood floor and red knobs (red knobs!) add a welcome bit of warmth to the otherwise coolly aseptic space. The white surfaces certainly make the most of all that natural light bouncing around from the massive window in the dining area.

Head over to StreetEasy for more photos, and check out the full listing on Compass!

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