Sight Unseen: Historic Home Transformation in Detroit

When Wes Borland and Carré Callaway crossed the country from Los Angeles to Detroit and first stepped into their new home in the historic Boston-Edison neighborhood, they had no idea what they were in for.

Taking a huge gamble and buying the house without ever actually seeing inside, the pair had plenty of exciting – and terrifying – work ahead of them. 

How did Wes and Carré's risk pay off? Check out how the pair breathed new life into this 1920s house, ahead. 

Master, Before: The window on the back wall posed a logistical problem for the bed placement, so Wes designed a headboard that frames the window rather than blocking it.

Master, After: Wes and Carré worked to transform their master suite into an oasis with elegant, personal touches including a custom, built-in headboard reminiscent of the era in which the house was built. 

After: Wes and Carré worked to transform their master suite into an oasis with elegant, personal touches including a custom, built-in headboard reminiscent of the era in which the house was built. 

Walk-in Closet/Dressing Room, Before: This former nursery was the perfect size for a walk-in closet/dressing room.

Walk-in Closet/Dressing Room, After: The wallpaper and gorgeous chandelier are finishing touches to the walk-in closet/dressing room that keep the integrity of the house's original period design in tact.

Walk-in Closet/Dressing Room, Before: This entrance was now unnecessary for Wes and Carré's walk-in closet/dressing room and needed to be walled up so that new custom wardrobes could be put in. 

The door will be removed along with the built-ins. New custom wardrobes will be added.
The door will be removed along with the built-ins. New custom wardrobes will be added.
The door will be removed along with the built-ins. New custom wardrobes will be added.

Walk-in Closet/Dressing Room, After: Check out those shelves! Plenty of storage space for bags, boots, heels and more. 

Master Bath, Before: This cast iron tub was original to the master bath. But, unfortunately, it had to go. 

Master Bath, After: Out with the old, in with the new! While Wes and Carré were disapointed they wouldn't be able to salvage the original tub, they were more than happy with the new soaker that was installed.

Master Bath, Before: This vintage master bath suffered from serious layout issues. The toilet needed to be relocated and the shower had to be opened up to make the bath more functional.

Master Bath, After: Relocating the toilet allowed for more space and a much better flow for the master bath. 

Kitchen, Before: The kitchen was in need of some serious TLC! The cabinets as well as the appliances were falling apart – it was a gut job. 

Kitchen, After: With the help of updated appliances and new cabinetry, this cozy kitchen is now a highlight of the home.

Butler's Pantry, Before: The butler's pantry offers incredible storage in these elegant, aged cabinets. As for the flooring, it had to be replaced with new hardwoods in order to add a more polished finish to the room. 

Butler's Pantry, After: The new cabinetry looks right at home with the original cabinets in the restored butler's pantry. While the refrigerator was relocated to the kitchen, a cabinet that was salvaged from the kitchen took its place. But the real pride of the butler's pantry is the dumbwaiter, which Carré restored to its former glory.

The new cabintry looks right at home with the original cabinets in this restored butler's pantry.
The new cabintry looks right at home with the original cabinets in this restored butler's pantry.

Dining Nook, Before: The kitchen's dining nook was too boxed in. Wes and Carré needed to remove the wall at the far end to make the room more a part of the kitchen area.

The kitchen's dining knook is too boxed in. Wes and Caree plan to remove the wall at the far end to make the room more a part of the kitchen area.

Dining Nook, After: Wes' light fixture is the perfect accent to this beautiful dining nook. Stainless steel shelves with adorable succulents were also added along the wall for a modern touch.

To add a modern touch, stainles shelves with succulents line the wall of the kitchen's dining knook.

Dining Room, Before: The doorway did little to differentiate between the foyer and the dining. 

Dining Room, After: The addition of glass French doors allow for separation while not completely closing the dining room off from the rest of the house.

The addition of glass French doors allow for seperation while not completely closing the dining room off from the rest of the house.

Dining Room, Before: The original woodwork and arched windows are key focal points in the dining room. The goal of the renovation was to make sure those elments shined even brighter.

Dining Room, After: To liven up the dining room, the floors were sanded and stained a darker shade while the outdated wallpaper was replaced with a fresh coat of paint. The large, arched windows balance the dark walls and floors, keeping the look formal and elegant without being too dark.

Art Studio, Before: The natural sunlight and tile made this an obvious choice for an art studio. 

Art Studio, After: The paint on the doors in the former sunroom was stripped off in order to match the woodwork in the living room. And, with the addition of Wes' custom built pallet, the art room studio is now a functional space for Wes and Carré to create. 

Living Room, Before: The living room was way too monochromatic. It needed a splash of paint to mix things up.

Living Room, After: A coat of white paint along the doorways went a long way in transforming the living room into a more inviting space. 

Foyer, Before: The foyer wasn't in need of too much improvement other than a darker stain for the floors and a fresh coat of paint.

Foyer, After: The darker wood floor and walls add a formality that was missing from this stately foyer. The glass door next to the stairs was replaced with a clever bookshelf door which leads to Wes and Carré's speakeasy. 

Guest Bedroom, Before: This space makes for the perfect guest bedroom, and Wes has something special in store for this room. 

Guest Room, After: Sleepovers are a must in the new guest bedroom! Wes' bunk bed is truly a work of art. With the addition of the trundle bed, this room can comfortably sleep three.

Guest Bath, Before: The guest bath was a tired space. The plaster panels with fake subway tiles needed to be removed as well as the vintage sink.

The guest bath is a drab and boring room. The plaster panels with fake subway tiles will be removed in favor of adding real subway tile.

Guest Bath, After: Real subway tiles replaced the fake ones, helping to give this neglected bath new life. 

Guest Office, Before: This odd room, which also has an entrance to the terrace, was in need of a new purpose. 

Guest Office, After: Now, as part of the guest wing, this space functions as the guest office. It includes a reclaimed wood wall to add a level of coziness to the room.

Terrace, Before: The floor of this terrace was completely rotted and needed to be replaced before it could be safe to use.

Terrace, After: The replaced floor and railing now make this terrace safe to use, and it's a great space for Wes and Carré to enjoy their morning coffee or entertain friends.

Recording Studio, Before: This leak in the basement almost prevented Wes and Carré from realizing their dreams of being recoding studio owners and – along with the wood paneling – needed to go. 

Recording Studio, After: Exposing the brick wall adds to the rustic charm of the live room, but also makes for a great, bright sound for recording.

Recording Studio, Before: The old bar was an incredible period piece. Sadly, it was beyond repair. 

Recording Studio, After: The smaller bar, as well as the salvaged stools Wes and Carré found, help to create a more fun atmosphere in the updated basement. 

Control Room, Before: Wes and Carré needed a space large enough to accommodate all of the equipment necessary for recording and the built-in separation between basement spaces made this space perfect for the control room.  

Control Room, After: The control room space was completed with French doors, guitar racks and comfortable seating for those long work hours. The custom pedal shelving is not only an interesting visual piece, but highly functional, allowing for easy pedal selection.  

Yard, Before: Wes and Carré's yard allows ample space for an entertaining area. It just needs a few special touches to take it to the next level. 

Yard, After: The rustic space is the perfect complement to Wes and Carré's period home. With a pergola, fire pit and comfortable seating, this is an ideal place for kicking back and enjoying the outdoors.