Before & After: An Arts and Crafts House in Austin

Areader named Katie wrote me about this renovation: “My husband and I bought this amazing property known as The Brady House, a 1910 Arts & Crafts house with City Landmark designation in Austin’s Judges Hill neighborhood.” Here’s how it looks now:

They own Avenue B Development, a remodeling and development company focused on historic house renovations.

Front Entry Before:

Front Entry After:

Singer Carole King lived here in the late 70s. She played this 1899 Wissner piano when she was renting the house. How cool that it’s still there!

The staircase and entry aren’t the only things that got a makeover. The piano is looking a lot better, too:

Living Room Fireplace Before:

Living Room Fireplace After:

Kitchen Before:

Kitchen After:

Eat-In Corner Before:


For more photos and information about The Brady House project, you can see a slideshow of the house and visit their Restoration Blog.

Now that it’s finished, it’s on the market–check the listing for all the details. Thanks, Katie!

P.S. Love dramatic makeovers like this one? Visit my Before & After page!

Another Great Reno Project:

A Bungalow in Atlanta (See the After!)

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  1. 65andcounting says

    Phew. That’s some fabulous renovation. Of course, they are lucky to own their own renovation company to make the work more affordable than it would be for you or me. That’s some mean money poured into this house. Only they know if the neighborhood will sustain asking $1.5m but I’m guessing if they live in Austin, they already know they bought a gem worthy of a flip.

    The nosy me wants to know: what they bought it for and how much they have in to it. Understand if that’s too personal but I’ll ask anyway.

  2. Christina from Dallas says

    Wow wow wow! That is one of the most dramatic makeovers I’ve ever seen. It turned out beautifully. It’s perfect!

  3. Cristina says

    Oh my gosh! Love this renovation! This is by far one of my favorite houses you’ve profiled, and it’s in my home town. Judge’s Hill is extremely expensive, but I can surely dream of owning this house one day.

  4. RJ says

    My favorite “before and after” to date! Love this house. I like the fact the interiors retained Craftsmen detail, but with a modern appearance. WOW!

  5. Richard says

    The thing I don’t like about craftsman houses is that the interior is always so dark. This house shows how white paint can fix all that. Nice job. Also fun to see a piano again, they are disappearing. In 1979 US piano sales were 275,000. In 2007 only 62,000 pianos were sold.

    • says

      I thought the same thing about the piano… you just don’t see them very much in modern homes. They look great in historic homes, even if they are just props.

  6. says

    That is a stupendous renovation! What inspiration. I just love that the piano was still there. Who the heck just leaves a piano like that to go to possible ruin?? I would move in there in a heartbeat!

  7. martha says

    Beautfiul! Love that they painted the woodwork. I used to feel it was sacrilegious to do that, but over the years have totally changed my mind. This renovation had to be very expensive and they did an amazing job.

  8. says

    Beautiful! Very, very nice! This is what I dream of doing! We’ll see, since we will be buying a house this year! The one we have our eye on is an old farmhouse, so we’ll see!

  9. says

    Be still my heart! I’m considering a move to Austin to be near my family. Too bad this is way out of my price range. The one thing I would not have done (since they redid this house to sell it) is to do the wallpaper and very bold wall colors. Anyone moving into a house in that price range would probably already have furnishings that won’t work with the dramatic wall treatments.

  10. Amy T. says

    I’ll be a voice of dissent here. No doubt they put in a TON of work, but I much prefer old homes to look true to their time period. It doesn’t need to look dark or old-fashioned, but very little of their re-design reads 1910 or Arts & Crafts to me. I think a house can be fresh and modern without losing the charm of the original style.

    • Carolyn says

      I agree. The colors, the decoration, the kitchen all read today and don’t relate to the Craftsman aesthetic at all. To each his own, I suppose, but is this really any different from when they put a mid-century kitchen in a bungalow in the 50’s or 60’s and now everyone derides that look? At least they used appropriate Craftsman style trim, most noticeable in the kitchen breakfast room, where they tore out the newer skinnier trim – the area must have been added/expanded/enclosed at some time and not part of the original.

  11. says

    Sorry, I really wanted to like it. But for me, the renovators of the Atlanta house got it right, and this one is soulless.

  12. Tracy says

    Just lovely!! I think painting the woodwork really brightened things up! And I especially love the provenance of the Carol King piano in the front hall! That is something that should always stay with that house and makes it even more special! Thanks for sharing! I love the before and afters and yes, the nosy neighbor in me would love to know the “before and after” cost vs what they sell it for too!

    • Easton says

      On zillow this is currently listed at $735,000 and says ‘bring your contractor’. On the realtor listing page it is listed for $1.3 million. I’d love to know how much they spent on this amazing reno. I’m guessing somewhere in between the two numbers depending on the profit they want. I checkout out the comps in the neighborhood and it seems all over the place. They go from $3 million to $900K. Will be interesting to see if this sells. I’d love to live here! But not for $1 mil +

  13. Kelly says

    Wow, that’s amazing! I always admire people willing to take on a makeover of a historic home!

  14. Mary says

    Amazing transformation! There isn’t one room I didn’t love.

  15. ShabbyChick says

    Amazing to live in a house that Carole King once lived in…..and that piano!!!! This reno turned out very nice! It’s not completely my taste, and some of the aesthetics are too modern for an arts and crafts, but it still looks wonderful overall. 😉

    • ShabbyChick says

      I just went back through the pics again and I’d like to revise my statement. The house remains completely classic (except for the glaringly modern bathroom), but the furnishings are decidedly modern. That is what was poisoning my eye here. Without their furniture I could move right in and cozy it up in no time! It’s getting past the staging that might be tricky for some…. 😉

  16. carrie says

    I like what they’ve done. It’s very pretty, but I am curious about the bricks. They were black in the before pics and red in the afters. Since it is a landmarked house, how did they get permission to change the color of the brick?

  17. Maria says

    Really a lovely job! The only thing I’m not fond of is the full height tile in the kitchen. I’ve seen a few like this of late, hoping it’s not a trend. Much rather have the space for art/etc. Makes a room echo-y and kinda cold IMHO. Also, not sure I’d opt for all glass uppers, but that’s often easy to change.

    I’d have a hard time painting woodwork in a craftsman, but I’m almost always thrilled with the results. It was the cost effective and really pretty solution here.

  18. Cyndi says

    I love how painting the woodwork brightens it up. I’m coveting the multi colored pillow in the living room. The wall color in the bedroom is beautiful. So calming.

  19. says

    Oh, what a transformation! I wonder if Carole King lived here when she recorded “Tapestry” – one of my favs.
    Thank you always for showing us so many marvelous homes.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia 😉

  20. Becky says

    Wow is right. How fun it would be for Carole King to see–also makes me want to re-do my home!

  21. Jo-Ann says

    Stunning!! Is there any way to find out the paint colours used?

  22. says

    Arts and Crafts is my first love! I know you get a ton of email, so I’ll let you know here that I referenced HOH on a post today regarding my blog redesign, and that I used your blog as a reference point for a good/clean/classy look. So thank you!

  23. Kim says

    What a beautiful renovation! Craftsman homes are one of my favorite styles.

  24. Megan Hull says

    That’s amazing! I’m ALL for the painted woodwork. I love that wallpaper in the foyer.

  25. says

    That tile in the kitchen is amazing. I love the size of them. I think it will look even better after it has been cooked in, slept in and lived in. I will gladly accept the challenge.

  26. Tracie says

    Before=haunted house!

    After=dream house!

    AND Carol King’s piano? I am green with envy!

  27. Dean says

    I’m not usually a fan of painting original woodwork (especially in a craftsman), but this renovation is beautiful! They retained the detail and the aesthetic while creating a fresh new look. Love it!

  28. The Country Girl says

    Interesting to see a renovation, rather than restoration, of a Craftsman house. I’ve never been a fan of all that dark or oak wood in original Craftsmans, but I am not sure having all painted surfaces really works, either. Certainly modernizes it, though.

  29. jcrn says

    This looks very clean and bright. It is an amazing transformation. i confess that I am partial to the darker woods of many craftsman homes but this one certainly looks lighter this way. The piano is wonderful and I think the curb appeal is phenomenal!

  30. Jean says

    Oh. My. Goodness. This is my absolute dreamhouse. I wantt it so much!!! Thanks, Julia, for showing us this gem. Off to pin…

  31. Liz says

    I was amazed at the number of people who liked the painted woodwork! Paint cheap wood, not gorgeous original Craftsman wood (most likely quartersawn oak)! One of the things that creates such warmth and charm in a Craftsman home is the beautiful woodwork, which is why I had to check out the Atlanta remodel. That is a beautiful example of a Craftsman that radiates light and warmth. Big, big difference from the Austin house!

    • tammyCA says

      Bingo! Preserve and restore the original…that’s the hallmark of a Craftsman.

    • lara jane says


      This house is actually more “depressing” to me with all of the woodwork painted than if they’d left it “dark.”

      Good for them for rescuing this house and bringing it back to life, but it will look horribly dated in 10 years, whereas if they’d RESTORED rather than RENOVATED, it would have been beautiful forever.

  32. Rebecca C. says

    Another voice that does not like it at all. I am sure that this house was in horrible shape before. That kitchen was scary. The woodwork was probably not strippable and needed to be painted. But this house is now not a Craftsman. Too modern, too much white, too much wallpaper that is not in the Craftsman vein. Glad you were able to salvage the house though. So many people would have torn it down. I do love the outside. The inside though is just too bright and modern.

    I’ve seen way too many houses lately in my neighborhood that have been neglected. People flip them, painting and tearing out everything that is old.

  33. says

    Arts and Crafts houses can be so dark inside, but the use of white and the bold contrasting wallpaper has made the house bright and airy. I always love looking at before and after pictures. How amazing that the piano was restored and remained with the home!

  34. says

    I already know I’m hooked on homes, quiz or not!!! But now I think I’m going to be hooked on your blog, love these before and afters. I’m now signed up for the email feed…..

    I’m in love with this home…and even though we only just completed a reno, I’m now ready to pick up and do another after seeing these. Beautiful….

  35. says

    Love, love, love it.

    I am surprised there was not more whining about painting the woodwork.

  36. says

    What a great transformation, it’s totally changed, there is no comparison between both situations before and after. It’s really worth admirable house renovations. I have never seen such kind of unique changes before anywhere. Thanks for sharing this inspirational photographs of the home transformation.