Before and After: How a $225,000 reno turned this creaky Pelham Park house into a modern wonder
Goodbye fading colours, cramped quarters and vintage vibes. Hello black and white, vaulted ceilings, and European elegance
A three-bed, three-bath century home with a big backyard, just east of the Junction. Previously purchased in 2020 for $830,000, it just sold in February for $1,349,900 following a massive renovation.
The former owner of this house initially intended to move in after renovating. Her buying agent, Andrew Mangantulao, had experience with such overhauls, so once the deal closed, he stayed on as project manager.
With a budget of $225,000, the goal was to create an open-concept space inspired by the owners’ travels in Europe. “She’s into Scandinavian design, which is clean and neutral,” says Mangantulao, “but also Parisian design, which mixes in more ornate looks.” They started with a complete gut job, stripping the house down to the studs. The project was completed in 2021, though the owner has since moved into a larger home to accommodate her parents.
Here’s a look at how the renovation came together.
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Funky tile flooring—purchased at Home Depot and inspired by French handbag company Maison Goyard—immediately greets guests upon arrival. That new archway mimics those of a hotel on the Greek island of Crete, named the Blue Palace.
The owner wanted cast iron balusters like the ones she’d seen in Paris, so she tore down an entire (non-load-bearing) wall to feature her stairwell. She also removed the wall at the back of the living area to create one open space from the front of the home all the way to the kitchen.
Here’s a reverse view of the space from the revamped kitchen. They replaced the dated basket-weave flooring with white oak herringbone throughout. They also installed an Opti-Myst fireplace near the front, which uses ultra-fine water mist to mimic flames and humidify the space. “We added it because it helps hide a vent that leads to the upper floor,” Mangantulao says. That light fixture, from Leclair Decor, echoes the arch in the foyer.
In the kitchen, the team moved the stove closer to the window, allowing space for the new fridge. Then they added a quartz kitchen island. The minimalist cabinets draw from Scandinavian design.
The owner relocated the relatively new washer and dryer to a closet on the second floor and then transformed this space into a mudroom, kitchen pantry and powder room—with tons of contrasting matte-black-on-white for drama.
When the contractor went up to the attic to investigate the roof, he discovered these vaulted ceilings above the main bedroom. “It was pure luck,” says Mangantulao. They incorporated them and added a custom banquette with storage.
The ensuite bathroom used to be quite small and dreary, so Mangantulao stole about a foot of space from the adjacent bedroom, which allowed him to add a double vanity and a closet for linens. The revitalized shower comes with large-format marble slabs and a storage niche.
The basement was once a separate bachelor apartment with its own washer-dryer. Today, it’s an open rec room and gym. There’s another bathroom down here that also got some fresh paint and finishes, and that glass stair railing provides a bit of elegance.
The exterior also got a facelift. Glass railings along the porch let in more light; the terraced flower boxes and edged-in front lawn make for low-maintenance gardening; and the new stone walkway completes the statement.
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