Modernizing an older home without scrubbing away its charm and character is a delicate art. Sometimes it takes an expert eye to identify which features should stay (embrace that original wood trim) and which features should go (so long, dated kitchen cabinetry). Enter Laura McDonald, Lead Designer at Bungalo, an online homebuying platform where shoppers can browse, finance and purchase beautifully renovated homes in five cities across the United States.

McDonald recently revamped a four-bedroom, three-bathroom ranch-style home in North Dallas, Texas that was built in 1979. “When we found this house, with its captivating mid-century elements and vast two-story great room, we immediately connected with its architectural elements and recognized its dream home potential,” explains McDonald.

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BEFORE

Photo: Bungalo

AFTER

Photo: Bungalo

From the outside, the 3,400-square-foot home left little to be desired. The roof was leaky and the exterior siding desperately needed to be replaced. “But even beneath years of neglect and clutter, it was clear that this home still had its mid-century personality intact and it was a true gem,” says McDonald.

BEFORE

Photo: Bungalo

AFTER

Photo: Bungalo

McDonald and her team boosted the home’s curb appeal by repainting the original brick a crisp white, salvaging and restaining the oak wood siding, and replacing the weathered roof. “The future owner of the home can move in knowing they won’t have to pay to replace this big ticket item any time soon,” she adds.

McDonald describes the home’s light-filled living room as “instantly inspirational.” Built-in structures, including a bar and storage cabinet, were removed to create a free-flowing floorplan and the dingy carpet was ripped out in favor of light hardwood. “We knew we wanted to refresh the space in a way that would highlight the clerestory windows and large panes of glass — the connection to the outdoors and abundance of natural light are what make this room so warm and inviting,” she says.

BEFORE

Photo: Bungalo

AFTER

Photo: Bungalo

To create contrast in the bright and white living room, McDonald painted the two-sided fireplace a dark shade of navy. “It adds a pop of visual interest and ties it all together,” she offers. The dining area, which was previously situated on the other side of the fireplace, was relocated to an adjacent room with airy, vaulted ceilings.

BEFORE

Photo: Bungalo

AFTER

Photo: Bungalo

“The kitchen was taken down to the studs, and thoughtfully renovated with the contemporary buyer in mind,” notes McDonald. To reduce costs, she kept the footprint intact, but chose to incorporate white flat panel cabinetry, wood floating shelves, and quartz countertops with subtle veining.

BEFORE

Photo: Bungalo

AFTER

Photo: Bungalo

The breakfast nook area looked like a blast from the past, complete with cheap laminate flooring and dizzying wallpaper. McDonald simplified the space, retaining the large bay window and swapping out the ceiling flush mount.

BEFORE

Photo: Bungalo

AFTER

Photo: Bungalo

“We renovated the master suite to feel soft and serene,” says McDonald. A formerly forgotten-about fireplace, hidden behind a writing desk and treadmill, was repainted a warm beige. It now serves as a stunning focal point and is anchored by two comfy lounge chairs. “We created a relaxing sitting area overlooking the private yard,” she adds.

BEFORE

Photo: Bungalo

AFTER

Photo: Bungalo

The his-and-hers master bathrooms proved to be the most expensive, yet most impactful renovations of all. “Both master bathrooms were gutted to create a wet room with [a] freestanding tub in “her” bath, and a large frameless glass shower enclosure in “his” bath,” says McDonald. “We wanted to double up on a spa-like environment, upgrading the spaces with floating wood vanities, modern large-format tile, and polished chrome fixtures.”

BEFORE

Photo: Bungalo

AFTER

Photo: Bungalo

BEFORE

Photo: Bungalo

AFTER

Photo: Bungalo

After more than a year of renovations, the spruced up home now eagerly awaits a buyer. When asked to describe the project in one word, McDonald calls it, “Timeless…with a twist!” To take the home from mid-century modern to this-century modern, she opted to “highlight the charm, and not overpower it with too many details.” The finished product is an elegant, pared back abode we would gladly put an offer on.

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