Let us say at the beginning that we are all for renovations that stay true to original design intent and architecture. For instance, we wouldn't try to update a 1950's ranch into a modern farmhouse. That being said, adding an overtly modern space to an old building or updating the windows and doors to an old brick facade is innovation we can get behind. Think of a juxtaposition that complements by contrasting. Think of the modern glass Louvre Pyramid entrance to the grand Louvre Palace.
This kind of renovation not only protects the past, it showcases the best of both worlds. It must be a breathtaking experience to walk into the wide open space above. On the outside, the off colored brick and different thicknesses of mortar from decades of repairs only further juxtapose the modern glass wall and increase the effect.
The photographs above bring another favorite idea of ours to the party: White, painted brick. The Maison de Maitre by Hans Verstuyft is a home in Gent, Belgium, that had fallen into disrepair and instead of trying to recapture what was lost, the architect went in a stunning modern direction. The iconic modern furnishings push the home even further into the future.
If one isn't in a position for something as dramatic as the addition of a glass room, one can achieve a similar effect by adding overtly modern furnishings to a well aged room. Our Pacific Heights flat in San Francisco was one floor of a Victorian row house built in 1890 and it was the perfect host to our collection of modern furniture.
At first glance the above may look like an Apple Store in the back yard, but imagine having breakfast in the most peaceful and inspiring room of the house.