“We came to Miss Havisham’s house, which was of old brick and dismal…I saw everything within my view which ought to be white, had been white long ago, and had lost its lustre, and was faded and yellow.”
– Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
Ever feel like you’ve walked into a haunted house? That’s how this client’s newly acquired property felt the minute I entered its doors. It was built in Santa Monica in the 1920’s and appeared to have stayed in its original form. Many homes from this era are undergoing renovations to bring them into the 21st century. The house was bought with the intention of tearing it down and building a dream home on the land. Due to permits and regulations within the city, it was going to be at least a year until my clients would be able to start the demo. They were in a pickle as they were paying the mortgages on a rental, and now this one as well. I suggested that we do some cost effective remodeling so they could live in the new house until they were able to start building from the ground up. They were thrilled with that idea, and here is how we made grungy become glam.
There was only one bathroom downstairs, which made it a focal point for guests. We decided to have some fun in this space and give it a stunning Perroquet wallpaper from one of my favorite designers Nina Campbell. This beautiful sink was salvaged from a bathroom upstairs and fit perfectly within this chic new space. Old vinyl floors got new life with Hollandlac paint, another one of my go to staples. The crisp white baseboards and sink were the perfect accents to the dramatic black backgrounds.
The guest bath before the transformation.
The Master Bath had quite a transformation. Marble tiles were used for new floors and to create a new shower. Keeping costs to a minimum, we purchased them from Home Depot for $3.99 per sq. ft. A serene paint for the walls, Dunn Edwards Silver Spruce is a perfect choice. The tub is an original claw foot and is as heavy as it looks (my contractor got quite a work out!) It was completely intact and the sides had aged into such a beautiful patina, I was determined to make it work in a fresh new space.
Before shot of the Master Bath.
This space was not in as bad of shape as some of the others. I loved the penny tile floor and knew it just needed a good scrubbing. We painted the dingy walls in Silver Spruce like the master, keeping it fresh and serene and making the white subway tile really stand out and look brand new behind the tub, another original from the home.
Before shot of second upstairs bath.
This bathroom was going to be for her sons to share so we had some fun and made it a bit more masculine than the others. I love the juxtaposed tile, as I opted to have it laid in the opposite direction of the existing white subway tile. A rustic looking sink with a modern feel is from the Martha Stewart Collection at Home Depot.
Before shot of Bathroom number 3.
I loved the depth that the wood paneling added, but the color of the wood totally dated the room. We went with a beautiful greige paint and carried it over to the fireplace. The simplest touches can turn a room brand new. For an extra touch, we lined the back of the shelves with another of our favorite wallpapers by Nina Campbell. The traditional chandelier was replaced with modern.
Before shot of the living room.
A double closet was created by refinishing an existing alcove and adding a second to maximize storage. White molding gives the closets a polished, built in look.
Before shot of alcove turned closet.
Stain and paint can make all the difference. The floors and stair railings were stained in ebony for a dramatic entrance to the house. Big changes on a tight budget make the house modern, fresh and liveable. I never met a remodel I didn’t like.