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Converting Churches into Homes: 12 Renovations for the Soul

Is doing a church to home renovation tugging at your soul? If so, you’ll like this roundup of one dozen examples of converting churches into homes. Some church conversions are ultra modern, some are traditional, some are funky. They have juice bars and wine bars and swimming pools. They’re spread around the world – people are converting churches from Australia to England to The Netherlands to Canada and the USA. And not just converting churches into private homes. If you don’t fancy doing a renovation yourself, but would like to live in an old converted church, rest easy. Lots of them are being converted into condos by architects and designers. And if your commitment is less, but you’re still curious – rent one short term. In the cottage country just outside Toronto, Canada, there’s a church conversion vacation home on the Kawartha Lakes for rent. And it’s got a swing in the middle of the room. Hey, when you’re converting a church – anything goes. As you’ll see below.

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This Queenscliff, Australia Methodist church (above), built in 1888, was converted into a magnificent private residence. The ceiling is most incredible. Listed for sale by RealEstate.com.au if you’re interested.

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A charming 3-bedroom, 2-bath loft duplex in the heart of Jersey City hits the mark for anyone looking for less than a whole church. And no cathedral arches were harmed in the converting of this 1860s church into a hip home. Listed by Prime Real Estate – under $1 million. We’ll take two.

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Even Linc Thelen, Chicago architect/designer extraordinaire, admits that converting a church into a home can be a challenge. But he rises to it with this incredible renovation. And you have no idea what lies behind those church doors – until you look. His fireplace is brilliant and his light fixtures are always so interesting.

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Converting churches to private homes is happening in the Netherlands, too. Here, we have the masters – Zecc Architects – executing this renovation to the highest of standards. The church may be short on width but it’s long on style. The dining room is so true to the original church with its long pew-like table. And the kitchen is to die for with its sleek look and stained glass. Heavenly.

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Coverting the Knighstbridge Church into residences was one of the largest projects of its kind in recent history. The project was executed with great style and was offered for sale in 2013 for £50 million (today’s equivalent of roughly $78 million). Once owned by the writer of Miss Saigon and Les Mis, it has every amenity imaginable, including a pool and a juice bar. And oh, it’s just a stones throw from Harrod’s, if you get bored with it’s 11,000+ square feet of luxury. Redevelopment by the award winning team of Howes & Rigby.

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And if converting churches to single-family homes is a challenge, converting churches to condos would be even more so. But mission accomplished with this incredible condominium of 24 apartments just steps from Toronto’s High Park. The former Methodist church was converted into ne, two and three-bedroom units – offering an affordable chance to live in a church conversion in city. The penthouse suite (the crowning glory) was recently listed for $1.5 million.

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Converting this 1892 timber church into a home worked like a charm for Bagnato Architecture of Melbourne, Australia. The gothic style timber church has great bones and great fittings. We love the mezzanine level sitting room and the top level space, styled after a New York loft. And the wine cellar. And the pool. Heck, we love it all.

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The Church Conversion, by Gianna Camilotti, was all about converting this church into a contemporary, ultra-modern residence. When the interior designer found the Spicer Memorial Church Hall School up for sale in north-east London – she knew she was home. And she converted this church into her dream home and office.

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Coverting the Clayfield church into a luxurious home in Brisbane, Australia was tasked to WG Architects. And they did a splendid job with the 1867-built structure. The place has a country feel with a bit of tropics thrown in. But it’s also sleek and streamlined and modernized. Lots of shiny surfaces and high ceilings. And a pool. Don’t forget the pool!

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This gothic revival church in San Francisco was perfect for converting into one very large single family home. With original doors and hardware and hand-painted ceilings – the cavernous space would be an experience to live in. Before putting it on the market, the owner spent $3 million renovating it. It has since sold.

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Not sure if you really want to live in a converted church? Would you like to try it first? Just hop on over to Air BnB – and rent this charming vacation home. The Manilla Church Guest House in the Kawartha Lakes awaits. And there’s a swing in the living room! Summertime, and the living is easy.

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Haddad Hakansson Design Studio had a big job – converting the First Baptist Church of Watertown, MA into eight luxury condo homes. The church was built in 1886 and a large part of their mandate was to keep as many original pieces as possible, including the wooden beams and exposed stonework. And they even designed space in the bell tower, to capture the sweeping dramatic view. And the penthouse always gets the best ceiling!

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