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Ep. 11: Making A House Feel Like A Home
Do you guys remember Wendy and Annette and their cookie-cutter 1948 bungalow?
Here’s the breakdown:
The Home Owners: Wendy & Annette
The Budget: $65,000
The DL: The home that once worked for these two on-the-go flight attendants no longer accommodates the needs of their now family of three.
The Plan: Create custom storage solutions in all areas, add outdoor living space in the form of a new front porch, and open up the floor plan for light, bright first floor living.
Once we went over the reno-rundown with the homeowners, it was time for them to pack up and head out so we could get to work. We were careful with demo so that we could donate the majority of cabinets, appliances, and even some of the plants from out front.
Q: If all of that was working just fine and donatable, why remodel?
A: Just because something works, doesn’t mean it works FOR YOU. This was a lovely home that just wasn’t functioning optimally for this family. But all that was about to change.
We started work on the front porch addition right away. This would instantly expand Wendy and Annette’s available living space by allowing them to use a big part of the lot that had never been used before. And since we live in Southern California, it’s ALL ABOUT the indoor/outdoor living!
Then it was time to work with Brian to design two custom built-in storage solutions.
There were custom projects galore in this house. I wanted to incorporate all the things Wendy and Annette do on a daily basis into the project, in order to make this house feel like their home.
A smoothie station, snack bar, bespoke built-ins, and several custom art projects all served to personalize the design.
And then, just like that, I found myself putting the finishing touches on the home.
Would Wendy and Annette like everything we’d done? Would it feel like home? It was time to find out.
And…they loved it! Hugs all around.
Let’s walk through the design. I’ll start with the exterior, from left to right:
- We removed the old landscaping and replaced it with fresh, full, colorful plants and trees.
- We painted the body of the house a warm, friendly Riverway Blue.
- We removed the standoffish metal screen door and replaced it with a welcoming wood entry door in Nurture Green, and a cute little hand-painted “hello” sign. New, classic house numbers and a wall-mount mailbox complete the entry.
- The new front porch boasts a unique railing design and a standing seam metal roof, both of which serve to set the house apart from others in the neighborhood. We also hand-stenciled the concrete landing to give it the look of cement tile.
- We updated the garage door by removing the dated, plastic umbrella window inserts and painting it a fresh Cityscape gray.
Shop similar entry accessories and decor:
Shop similar front porch accessories and decor:
Now it’s time to go inside! I’ll walk you through the design and specs for the entryway, living room, and dining room. The kitchen, as always, get’s its own separate post, which you can read here: Ep. 11: Kitchen – Making A House Feel Like A Home.
The key to this entry concept: “A place for everything, and everything in it’s place.” With Wendy and Annette coming and going more than most, their small entryway with zero storage space was not cutting it. We designed a custom built-in cabinet to accommodate their rolling suitcases, travel totes, paperwork, kid detritus, and more.
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Similar to the entryway, the main goal behind the living room’s design was to create a multi-purpose living area. This room had to work as play room, entertaining area, laundry folding station, and gathering place. We used another custom built-in cabinet to help organize laundry and toys. We also reoriented the seating areas and used furniture with a slightly smaller scale.
Check out the cabinet made to fit the laundry basket, and the pull-out folding board. It almost makes doing laundry exciting! Almost.
And of course, we had to add some greens to the mix.
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This dining room was dated and dark. It boasts the brown-on-brown aesthetic we see so often in homes we are called into. Dark brown leather, brown wood, wood floors, tan walls. The browns go on for days.
We added more light into the room by replacing the windows with french doors that open out onto the backyard. We also chose a lighter paint color for the walls, and used pops of color throughout the room to make it feel cheerful and bright.
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And there you have it. Let’s call it #bungalowlight. All the bungalow charm with half the calories. Light, bright, and breezy. (And don’t forget to read the Ep. 11: Kitchen – Making A House Feel Like A Home for the full rundown on this episode’s kitchen). Peace, y’all!