Dreaming of putting down roots in an area filled with beautiful architecture and historic charm? Savannah, GA, might be the perfect place for you.
But be prepared: Buying a century-old home in a city like Savannah can mean repairs and construction are in your future. Therefore, it helps to see before and after photos of a successful renovation. One fine example is this gorgeous five-bedroom carriage house. The 3,000-square-foot gem is a polished property that incorporates original details and doesn’t skimp on luxury.
The house’s prime location—on a picturesque corner lot surrounded by trees covered in Spanish moss—clearly played a part in attracting a buyer. But there’s no denying the power of a thoughtful renovation and design changes. The previous owners purchased the home for $420,000, gave it a head-to-toe overhaul, and sold it for a whopping $1.2 million in June 2022.
Below, with the help of some housing experts, we zoom in on the design choices that transformed this property into a welcoming place fit for a family.
Working with a largely blank slate, the previous owners turned this bedroom into a dreamy oasis. The brighter palette helps create a more inviting space and enhances the sunlit room.
“A brightly lit bedroom feels cheerful and welcoming, making it more appealing to potential buyers. As you can see, the natural light coming from the many windows also bounces off of the white and light-colored furniture and brightens up the room, making it look larger and more spacious than it actually is,” says Rinal Patel, licensed real estate agent and co-founder of We Buy Philly Home.
The neutral accents, like the roller shades and bedding, help create a calming, relaxing vibe that makes the space perfect for unwinding after a long day, Patel adds.
The previous owners also made the wise decision to keep the closet doors and the bulk of the trim, says Jordan Fulmer, a real estate investor with Momentum Property Solutions in Huntsville, AL. And he points out that installing new hardwood throughout the house helps provide continuity between rooms.
“One upgrade that buyers will love is the new recessed lighting. A single light fixture often does not provide enough light in a room. Since most recessed lighting is dimmable, homeowners can adjust the intensity to their liking,” says Fulmer.
The dining room
The incredibly dark and dreary dining room also received a brightness upgrade.
“You’ll see that the owners turned what was once a haunted-looking space into a bright and airy one—perfect for holding dinners and entertaining guests,” says Patel.
She also points out that modern furniture and new light fixtures completely change the look and feel of the space, making it more inviting and appealing.
Fulmer agrees, adding that the new statement light fixture modernizes the space and that the brightness of the recessed lighting can be adjusted based on the occasion.
When comparing the before and after photos of the kitchen, it’s almost hard to tell you’re looking at the same house.
“I can tell the kitchen is where they spent the bulk of their money and effort. Everything is brand-new here: flooring, cabinets, island, countertops, appliances, and lighting,” says Fulmer.
The contemporary space is more than just visually appealing, says Patel. “The kitchen layout was well thought out and designed to maximize storage and functionality without sacrificing style.”
She also loves the panel-ready fridge that’s designed to blend in with the rest of the soft blue cabinetry.
Fulmer points out the new windows and lighting that help brighten the space, as well as the marble island and backsplash that add a touch of luxury.
The living room
The savvy buyers saw the potential in this room as soon as they set foot in it. And thankfully, they knew to keep those lovely architectural details like the built-in bookshelves and the statement fireplace, which acts as a focal point for the room.
Patel points out that the buyers did a great job keeping the room light and bright with neutral tones and furniture.
“The rug and coffee table help add a touch of warmth and coziness to the room and make the space look expensive and well-designed,” she says.
Fresh paint and new hardwood floors also add value to the space.
The powder room
You know the saying “Too much of a good thing can be bad”? That was the case with the original powder room, which had way too much ugly wallpaper. The previous owners chose an updated version of the old blue wallpaper, a large botanical print that adds personality to the space.
“The bold wallpaper that they used would not work all over the house, but it makes sense when used sparingly in a small room like this,” says Fulmer.
Other contemporary touches like the brass hardware, gold mirror, and stone sink complete the look.
“Since it’s one of the first rooms guests will see when they come over, it’s important to ensure the powder room looks its best,” says Patel. “This powder room does just that, which is why it adds value to the home.”