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21 Historical Buildings With Modern Interiors

Historical buildings often fall into disrepair to the point of ruin. But there is a great trend of restoring and remodeling as well as converting these old houses, churches, and barns into habitable modern dwellings. While such property might cost more because of its historical significance, you can control and budget the renovations. And if extensions and architectural restoration doesn’t suck out a lot of funds, you may enjoy quite a luxe contemporary interior design.

Grand Trunk in Montreal

Grand Trunk Row House 21 Historical Buildings With Modern Interiors
Grand Trunk Row House by

Designers Mark Fekete and Viviana de Loera redesigned their own row house in Montreal. Dubbing a project Grand Trunk, the duo gave the 1880 home a bright remodeling with an industrial touch.

Featuring wooden beams and industrial columns, the house’s white interior is filled with popping bright accents and cool design elements like chalkboard sliding barn doors.

Vacation House in Greece

Vacation House in Karyes by Plaini and Karahalios Architects
Vacation House in Karyes by

Built in early 20th century this two-storey building became a vacation home in 2015. Preserved stone work painted white in the lower areas sets an ancient tone to the otherwise contemporary interior.

The living, dining, sitting rooms as well as the bathroom are done in beautiful agate green to visually separate public and private quarters.

Alemanys 5 in Spain

Alemanys 5 by Anna Noguera Nieto
Alemanys 5 by

Alemanys 5 is a pretty old house in the heart of Girona’s historical quarter. Architect Anna Noguera Nieto preserved the exterior and a huge part of the interior, but added plenty of modernity to the 16th century townhouse with glass features.

Besides the glazed partitions separating different rooms, the house enjoys a green backyard outfitted with a swimming pool, a lawn, and a dining area.

Ca’ Spineda in Italy

Ca' Spineda by Giovanni Fabris
Ca’ Spineda by

Ca’Spineda is one of the older historical buildings that has been restored to a habitable state. Built in a distant 1560, the residence features a fitting simple interior design.

The white walls and floors contrast with the old wooden beamed ceilings. And industrial accessories and furnishings complement the plain rooms.

Villa Monja in Montenegro

Villa Monja by Enforma Studio
Villa Monja by

Villa Monja hails from the 19th century, but the designers filled it with plenty of contemporary elements that ease the space restrictions between the rooms.

The original stone work and untreated wood stand out against glass staircase railings and metallic accents.

Restored Corner Building in Belgium

House G-S by Graux & Baeyens architecten
House G-S by

Project House GS is a 19th century corner building in a Belgian city of Ghent. Overlooking the water and an old cobblestone street, it stands out with a black facade and generously-sized windows.

Inside, it is juxtaposing the black painted stone walls with white stucco surfaces, while wooden beams in the vaulted ceilings give it a farmhouse vibe.

Chapell on the Hill, North Pennines, England

Converted Chapel on the Hill by Evolution Design
Converted Chapel on the Hill by

Churches were the most in-demand historical buildings for conversions until recently. The restoration trend has swept the housing market like a wave. And while now it’s more trendy to convert some other specialized buildings into homes, churches have certainly found their niche.

This English chapel stood windowless before it was turned into a mid-century modern home with an open layout and a farmhouse kitchen. Red window frames now give it a modern touch and a bright pop amidst the green and stone grey landscapes.

Sant Agustí Cloister in Barcelona

500-year-old cloister conversion by MINIM Design
500-year-old cloister conversion by

This is probably one of the best historical buildings to become a contemporary home. A 500 year-old Spanish cloister with arched entryways and windows looks breezy and cool.

The all-white interior forms an open layout. Each area has characteristic architectural elements to it, but the color scheme never changes, keeping the spacious home light and bright.

19th Century House in Lucca, Italy

19th century house renovation by MIDE architetti
19th century house renovation by

Historical from the outside but contemporary through and through on the inside, this over century year-old house has the most stylish interior design.

Packed with original accents like wooden beams and stone work, each room comes dressed in black and white or white and natural wood.

Renovated House in Chamoson

Roduit House Transformation by Savioz Fabrizzi Architectes
Roduit House Transformation by

Historical buildings often require quite a lot of restoration work. In this 19th century house, the architects enhanced the grey stone with concrete, and added bright accents to make the interiors look livelier.

Comprising living/dining room, office, artist’s studio, cellar, and an exhibition gallery, this is a no ordinary village home.

16th Century Barn in Sheffield, England

Cat Hill Barn renovation by Snook Architects
Cat Hill Barn renovation by

Barns make great homes, and they are aren’t as expensive. This English barn has gotten a major contemporary update with huge windows and sleek interiors.

Designed in white and grey color scheme, the new residence uses soft furnishings and knitted rugs to create a sense of homely comfort, all the while preserving the historical look.

Factory Jaffa House in Tel Aviv

Factory Jaffa House by Pitsou Kedem Architects
Factory Jaffa House by

The fascinating Factory Jaffa House is over 300 years old. Looking the part at least on the outside, this is one of those historical buildings that scream history from every inch and corner.

The interiors feature modern and contemporary decor, of course. Sleek reflective surfaces and 21st century furnishings make for better, more comfortable living.

Contemporary Church House in Haarlo, The Netherlands

Contemporary church renovation by Leijh, Kappelhof, van den Dobbelsteen Architects
Contemporary church renovation by

This Dutch church looks deceptively old. Step inside, and you’ll see the cleverly planned design filled with practical solutions.

High vaulted ceilings dictated an open plan in loft style, so the architects used bright red and black to accentuate and demarcate certain areas.

Restored House in Scaiano, Caviano, Switzerland

Scaiano Stone House by Wespi de Meuron Romeo
Scaiano Stone House by

There is a distinct stone work by which you can recognize a really old building. Irregular stones with a rough texture is a dead giveaway.

It also looks kinda cool when juxtaposed with ultra sleek contemporary materials like glass and concrete. Scaiano Stone House additionally uses unusual planning to get the most of this historic property.

19th-Century Home Outside Paris

19th century house by 05 AM Arquitectura
19th century house by

This luxe abode sits in Saint-Maur-des-Fossés, France. Painted white, the house looks as luxurious and detailed on the inside.

It takes advantage of the big windows and French doors to illuminate the spacious rooms. In some of them, color accents add more character to the decor.

Old Home in Lewes, Delaware

Old house revival by Robert Gurney Architect
Old house revival by

This one may not look as old, but it’s a late 19th-century house that, understandably, required some renovation.

Architect Robert Gurney filled the house with modern and contemporary decor, using such materials as polished wood and stainless steel. The exterior, though, was preserved and kept according with the tradition.

Carved Hotel in Matera, Italy

Italian Cave Hotel by Manca Studio
Italian Cave Hotel by

This building is a part of Matera’s historical cave dwellings. Dating back thousands of years ago, these make for a challenging site for contemporary design.

Manca Studio rose up to the challenge with their neutral furnishings, wooden elements, and creative lighting.

19th Century Building in Germany

19th Century Pünktchen Project by Güth & Braun Architekten and DYNAMO Studio
19th Century Pünktchen Project by and

This stylish lot is a joined work of two firms called the Pünktchen Project. They wanted to give a classic building a modern twist, and totally nailed it.

While it looks pretty modernist from the front, inside there is plenty of stone work that gives away its age in most beautiful way possible.

15th Century Dalmatian Stone House in Croatia

Dalmatian House by Antonio Zaninovic
Dalmatian House by

Delightfully old but surprisingly sturdy, this little house in Croatia is everything you’ve ever dreamed about and then some. Think high vaulted wooden ceilings and exposed stone, contemporary interiors and a stone swimming pool.

Beautiful greenery adds special charm to the old home, sprawling across its immediate surroundings built with the same stone.

Three Cups Chalet Renovation in Portugal

Three Cusps Chalet by Tiago do Vale
Three Cusps Chalet by

This is our most favorite restoration project yet. A small 19th century palace with a quaint name of Three Cusps Chalet that looks like it’s been made for street photography.

Architect Tiago do Vale turned the three historical buildings’ insides into a loft-style dwelling with pristine white walls and sleek furnishings.

Renovation of Apartment in Les Corts

Renovation apartment in Les Corts
Renovation of apartment by

An Apartment in Les Corts looks like any other contemporary home, only it hails from the 19th century. It has a clever layout that separates public and private areas. Each zone flows very seamlessly into the next one. Only its tiled beamed ceiling and stone walls give away its history.

Historical buildings sound like fun, but they require a lot of investment. Be prepared to shell out bucks for utilities and amenities. You’ll probably also need a lot of interior work done. There is a certain charm to live in a place with a history, though. So if you come across such opportunity, seize it.