This Is How You Renovate a 100-Year-Old House on a Tight Budget
The Boise house is the right balance between dark & moody and light & airy.
Older homes are beloved because of their character and history, but renovating them isn’t the most budget-friendly undertaking. You never know what you’ll uncover when gutting rooms or changing up the layout. For this 1902 five-bedroom, two-bathroom home in Boise, designers Sam Salinas and Kirsten Grove of We Three Design had that particular challenge of restoring and updating the home while staying on a tight budget.
“Our clients wanted the home to feel historical,” Sam says. “They didn’t want to lose out on the history that surrounded the story of this house. The biggest goal in this design was to stay in budget but create a place that guests talk about for years to come.”
Sam and Kirsten pulled dozens of historical images from around the world during design development. “The common theme included dark and moody paint colors with a variety of textures and patterns,” Kirsten adds.
To stay on budget, they really worked hard to use materials that weren’t too expensive. “We chose historic paint colors to give each room a new lease on life,” Sam explains. “We also made sure to use materials that made sense in a 1902 home. All of the art and accessories were sourced from local antique shops or thrifted which really pulled the entire design together in the end.”
And since the clients were the third owners of the home, some updates were already made, like the kitchen—there wasn’t anything structural to fix, so paint and interesting details were used to upgrade the room. They kept the original cabinetry and painted the fronts; and they also painted the brick backsplash the same color as the walls. A faux tin ceiling was installed for a historic-looking detail, while the moody monochromatic look for the stove alcove makes for a chic and sophisticated statement.
While the kitchen didn’t need a complete overhaul, the bathrooms did—they were both fully gutted. That moody dark palette was brought to both spaces, with one bathroom getting an eye-catching floral wallpaper and gilded fixtures; while the other bathroom has a black-and-white palette and a dark wood vanity.
After the renovation, the home holds onto its historic character, while also feeling modern and updated for 21st-century living. Sam and Kirsten attribute the success of the project to three very important things. “With any historical project, you need the 3 P’s. It’s unbelievable what you can do with paint, patience, and perseverance!” Kirsten says.