This project was so much fun because I got to put my own spin on the classic, timeless, and so perfectly SoCal mid-century modern design aesthetic. If you haven’t seen the full episode yet, you can you can watch it on iTunes HERE and on Amazon HERE.
MJ and Mike had lived in their house for seven years and, while nothing was particularly terrible about their home’s design, there was nothing particularly great about it, either. Looking at the house told you nothing about the people who had built a life inside of it, and even Mike’s own father would drive by their home every time he visited, mistaking it for all the other more or less identical homes that surrounded it. MJ and Mike were ready for a change, and I was ready to step in and help!
After getting to know the homeowners, I had a pretty good idea of what they were looking for in their dream home, and I came up with a plan to put their $100,000 budget to good use.
Demo day started on a chilly SoCal morning. (I say chilly, and yes, I realize I am wearing a tank top, but come on! You’re not supposed to have to wear jackets around here!) We warmed up quickly, though!
Wood floors, tile floors, kitchen cabinets, tile counters, and appliances all had to GO! But not so fast. The stubborn exterior wall refused to budge.
Notice Sean’s delight and my chagrin when deciding we would need to bring in the big guns (aka a skidsteer, aka a bobcat, aka a big fun toy that makes demoing walls a LOT more fun) to move the fortress wall.
Once we were done tearing everything apart, we got started putting it all back together, with MJ and Mike in mind every step of the way.
Custom wallpaper, a killer floor tile pattern and custom honeycomb shelves were all steps towards customizing this house to reflect the homeowners’ tastes, personalities, and lifestyles.
When my sister-in-law, Heather, stopped by to drop off a custom-made dog bed, I roped her into sticking around to help put on all the finishing touches. When you’re part of my family, you never know what you might get convinced to do on any given day! (Seriously. You might stop by to pick up a package and end up decoupaging my entire laundry area, instead. #truestory. )
With the house looking its most mid-mod meets J-Roth fabulous, it was time to re-introduce Mike and MJ to their new home.
I love-love-loved seeing the joy on their faces when they first pulled up. Honestly, I might have been as excited as they were about this crazy new design. I would be so proud to call this house my home, and I’m always anxiously awaiting confirmation that the homeowners feel the same way.
That’s me, smiling with such genuine enthusiasm that my face legit hurts at the end of every reveal day.
Now, check out this “before & after” shot of the exterior. (There is always something so satisfying about a good before & after photo. It’s like all your hard work and design goals and the feeling of a job well done wrapped up into one perfect little photo coupling.)
Let me walk you through the exterior design from left to right:
1.) We removed the “fortress wall” and built a new, lowered, horizontal slat fence. This opened up the front of the house, making it instantly friendlier and more inviting.
2.) We installed clean, classic, bright white board and batten siding.
3.) We updated the entryway by removing the GIANT brick columns and installing a custom, lime green front door. SO mid-mod!
This is a pic of the homeowners practicing for their Christmas card family photo in front of their snazzy new front door. These two crack me up!
4.) We removed yet MORE brick from the garage and installed a beautiful, modern, and smooth stucco finish to the exterior. We also said sayonara to the upper fan windows and installed a brand new custom steel garage door, made to mirror the front door and really tie the whole exterior design together.
5.) We planted a full landscape to soften the hard lines of the architecture, using white gravel in place of mulch to really make the plants pop.
And, just like that, it was time to take MJ and Mike inside. There was so much custom goodness all around, I didn’t even know where to start! Previously, there was nothing inside this house that the homeowners would have, or did, select for themselves.
Maybe, if done in a well-considered and design savvy manner, pink stained cabinets and not-quite-white tile counters could be considered timeless and even newly trendy. (That’s a BIG maybe.) But, builder grade design is builder grade design no matter what part of the century it was built in. Houses have a real feel, or energy, when they’ve been designed with care, specifically for the people who live there; on the flip side, you can feel when a home has been built for everyone and no one all at once. It’s like the feeling of shopping in a big box store versus in an independently owned local boutique.
Let me break down what we did to help bring the interior of this house from box store to boutique:
1.) Replaced the tile and laminate wood floors with new hardwood floors.
2.) Removed the wall between the kitchen and dining room.
3.) Resurfaced the fireplace and installed a terrazzo tile hearth.
4.) Installed a custom light installation in the living room.
5.) Created an original wallpaper design using menus the couple had collected from favorite restaurants from around the world.
6.) Replaced everything in the kitchen but the kitchen sink. Actually, we replaced that, too! (You can read a full blog post JUST about this amazing kitchen HERE.)
7.) Installed a particularly awesome hexagon tile that “spilled” into the wood floors of the living room. Yup, I look pretty proud of myself because I AM. The floors turned out to be SO amazing!!
8.) Reconfigured the laundry room so that it was way more functional – and cuter, too!
And just like that, Mid-Century Modern met Jasmine Roth and it went swimmingly, if I do say so myself. Don’t forget to read the KITCHEN INTENSIVE on this episode, and also check out the SHOP THE LOOK blog post for a quick and easy resource on where to find some of the decor and accessories featured in this home. Peace, yo!