Ideas + Inspiration, Tours

Living in a Pickle Factory (and 4 More Unique Home Conversions)

One of the greatest things about modern design is the concept of taking old, traditional designs and re-imagining them in new and exciting ways. There are table lamps that can charge your phone, console tables that can extend to the length of a full dining table and even mirrors that double as a television. However, the reinventing of designs isn’t limited to furniture, lighting or decor. It even extends to where you call home.

Abandoned barns, former factories and warehouses, fire stations and even old schools are just some of the types of commercial buildings now being renovated and transformed into modern dream homes. Inspired by this idea of redesigning an old building into a new home, we rounded up five of our favorite modern home conversions.

Connecticut Barn

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Tucked away in Wilton, Connecticut is a barn completely renovated into a modern dream home. Before it was transformed into a house, the old dairy barn was partially destroyed in a fire. Specht Architects restored the exterior of the structure to resemble the original look of the barn and mirror the other barns on the property.

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However, the interior was completely redesigned to be a modern, open space.

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The mix of the old, rustic exterior and the new, modern interior, as well as the bright, open floor plan, make this house truly breathtaking.

Chicago Church

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With a little imagination, many different commercial or public buildings can be transformed into modern homes, as this turn-of-the-century church (and award-winning home conversion by Linc Thelen Design) in Chicago proves.

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Rather than tear the abandoned church down, the exterior and structure of the building were preserved. Meanwhile, the interior was completely transformed into a single-family home with seven bedrooms and six bathrooms.

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During the renovation, the owners chose to keep the church’s original stained-glass windows as an ode to the building’s original purpose as well as an awe-inspiring detail.

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While I love the completely open floor plan of the common living space, just imagine how breathtaking it would be to cook dinner while looking at this grand, colorful window, or wake up every morning to these exquisite pieces of art.

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Chicago School

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On the other side of Chicago is another unique, modern home located in a renovated 1880s school building, designed by Sullivan, Goulette & Wilson Architects.

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Inspired by the open spaces of the former school building, the owners wanted a home that focused on large, communal family spaces for hanging out and spending time with each other.

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My favorite part of this home renovation is the mix of old and new. The original, exposed brick in the walls contrasting with the new, hardwood floors and colorful furnishings is warm and inviting.

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Philadelphia Pickle Factory

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Details kept from the building’s industrial origins enhance the interior design of this old pickle factory turned modern home and workspace.

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Rather than completely renovating the whole interior, pieces of old factory equipment and parts of the original ceiling were incorporated into Bright Common‘s redesign of this three-story, 1880s building. In addition to preserving a piece of the building’s history, the inclusion of the factory equipment adds a one-of-a-kind detail to the home.

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I can only dream of the interesting conversations had around the dinner table sparked by the pieces of equipment from the old pickle factory.

New York Caviar Warehouse

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The building that once housed a rich, flavorful delicacy is now a luxury New York loft. The open space of this old caviar warehouse made it the perfect location to be transformed into a modern home by Andrew Franz Architect PLLC.

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Embracing the exposed brick and original wood beams of the 1884 building as part of the design, this loft takes on an historic and industrial style.

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My favorite part of the home is the open staircase that leads to an urban garden. The garden is enclosed by glass walls so the lush, green plants can be seen from the open living space.

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So the next time you are looking for a new home, consider that old commercial building down the street. It could be just the amazing, creative space you’ve been looking for all along.

Becca Bird

Becca Bird

Becca is a Senior Site Merchandiser for YLighting and a firm believer in the idea that sometimes more really is more. As a lover of bright colors and bold patterns, Becca loves for her affinity of color to transcend into all aspect of her life - from her clothes to her home decor. When not at work, Becca can often be found online shopping, watching the latest scary movie, or brushing up on her fun facts.

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