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What's Old Is New Again: 4 Ingenious Home Transformations

Whether a restyled former synagogue or a transfigured community theater, these four properties have been painstakingly, fashionably modified, respecting each one’s provenance while introducing architectural and aesthetic innovations.

Sonoma’s Ruby Stone Building

 
Ginger Martin | Sotheby’s International Realty – St. Helena Brokerage

History meets modern luxury in this distinctive 6,743-square-foot property just a block from the Sonoma Plaza. Since its construction in 1906, the building has served as one of the first ice-producing facilities in Sonoma County, a cooperage, a brewery, an art studio, an armory, and a bed-and-breakfast. Revitalized in 2023, it now consists of a main residence with terrazzo and Tasmanian oak flooring and an elevator, a guesthouse with a gym or wellness suite, and a swimming pool and spa.

Tribeca Gem

 
Amadei Hettinger Team | Sotheby’s International Realty – Downtown Manhattan Brokerage

This former retail space has been cleverly converted into a uniquely chic residence on a delightful cobblestone street in Tribeca. In addition to a light-filled open-plan living, dining, kitchen, and entertaining space with soaring ceilings, cast iron columns, and poured concrete floors, it features three bedrooms, an office or library with a towering wall of built-in bookshelves, and on the lower level, a spacious, private recreation room along with a bath, versatile storage rooms, and laundry facilities.

Light-Filled Contemporary Loft

 
Kristi Ambrosetti | Sotheby’s International Realty – East Side Manhattan Brokerage

In the 1980s, a group of artists purchased this onetime synagogue and transformed it into light-filled loft spaces. The last of these available in the building, this 1,900-square-foot home is currently owned by a renowned designer who has created a unique collection of stylish living spaces combining prewar and contemporary charm. Highlights include roomy living and dining areas; a bright eat-in kitchen with a breakfast bar, stainless-steel appliances, and treetop views; two centrally located baths; an office alcove; and two restful bedrooms.

Charming, Versatile Property in Carmel

 
Kathleen HendricksTJ Bristol | Sotheby’s International Realty – Carmel Brokerage

This building—a beloved local theater until 2014—has been thoughtfully rejuvenated. In the airy space formerly occupied by the stage is an inviting 1,764-square-foot home with stylish open living, dining, and kitchen space; a primary suite with a walk-in closet; and a guest bedroom and bath. The remainder of the building is dedicated to two offices and a one-bedroom apartment, all currently rented. The revitalized gated backyard includes colorful landscaping, patio space, a hot tub, a pool, an outdoor shower, and a freestanding four-car garage.

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