In March of 2010 I purchased my first home.  These before and after’s reflect six and half years of sweat equity, HERO financing, and professional help when necessary. Shout out to Zeppelin, my son, for all of his hard work.  

In November of 2016 I received a very generous offer the first day it was on the market for over asking, and appraised value. 

The vinyl siding couldn’t go fast enough; so on the first day I started with the removal of the garage door window pane inserts!

Exterior upgrades included an Energy Star rated roof with three solatube skylights. the glow coming from the roof top is the skylight -light kit. The green glow is the neighbors  unfortunate light pollution left over from an 80’s security plan.  Resysta siding replaced the cracking vinyl. Behr’s: looks-black, but is actually dark purple,  Bahus was used for the trim and garage door.  I also replaced the lawn with drought resistant landscaping supported by converting the sprinklers to a drip irrigation system. A matching bench/ irrigation valve cover adds dimension to the once ominous wall.


Replacing the front door was always a priority.  The 42″ wide solid mahogany ETO door and operable sidelite became a focal point.  The front step was widened with a local natural stone to compliment the wall.


front entry, dining/den & living


I opened up the wall to the dining room / den.  The split finished door’s exterior is stained mahogany while the interior received a clear finish keeping the mahogany grain fully exposed.




Since the space wasn’t a legal bedroom and the existing window would not easily meet the egress requirements to make it so, I opted for direct access to the garage and laundry. The teak cabinets, a $150 find on craigslist, fit perfectly into the former closet. Functioning equally as well in both dining and office environments.

kitchen & more living 

Working with the existing remodeled space I pulled the black more than the previous focus on beige/blush from the granite’s color pallet. Thus the black porcelain tile and glass subway tile backsplash creating the opportunity for a repeating pattern. On a recent visit to the Exchange in downtown Los Angeles, good flooring decisions were confirmed.  







One of the most transformed spaces was the hall. The dark square at the top of the first image was a piece of plastic covering the hole to the attic space where a light bulb hung down that doubled as the hall light fixture. A Solatube skylight with light kit makes all the difference.


This suburban hall storage had to go. 

 Replaced with Ikea shelving. 

main bath

Bringing in natural light with another solatube skylight was transformative. More than once guests would exit to inform me that they were unable to find the light switch to shut it off.  The tub received a touch up, I installed a new water conserving toilet, out of the box vanity top, sink and faucet, light fixture and mirror.   On a photography note:  I was able to get all the elements of this room in one shot!

master bath and bedroom

Yes, the custom yellow ceiling; to match the pots, was a risky choice. Yet with the grey marble dual vanity top and new sinks nothing but compliments flowed from the relaxing space. Note the natural light coming from the third Solatube skylight above the shower. The existing tile stayed in both bathrooms.


Suite Z for Zeppelin & then staged for guests.

Bedroom #3