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Renovate | The house to home project part one

That one time we bought a fixer upper and began a renovation project.

house to home

We moved to California from Texas. We came from a 3600 sq ft 6 bedroom home on a nice size lot that bordered a park and only had one neighbor. And we had just remodeled it too, so we had come from brand new flooring and countertops, lovely bright natural light… and my favorite, the big garden tub. We knew we would be downsizing, and we wanted to! We knew we would have to make a few compromises because the bay area housing market is insane.

To be honest, the most compromises we found ourselves making weren’t specifically about cost. Although obviously more money would have bought more options. It was the low inventory. I would search daily, multiple times a day to wait for a new listing, and sometimes it would be days before a new one would come on. After three months we realized we didn’t want to wait any longer to be picky.

Enter the lava rock house.

Wait, let’s get a visual to go with this.14a6000d5e61ac14199d4eca4ee241d4l-m2xd-w1020_h770_q80

Actually now that I’m looking at this, I think they did a great job with the photo. lol. This room is dark. It’s SO dark. And it feels like you’re living in a cave. But, you know, plus side is for our PE class the kids just scale up and down the wall.

The house is smaller, 1800 sq ft, but it’s got a great simple floor plan that really works well for us.

Oh, the lava rock wasn’t enough for you? Check out my wet bar!wet bar

Okay, back to the point. It’s dated. It needs some remodeling both to bring it up to market value, and to make the fit and function work better for our large family.

So. Phase I

  • Remove wet bar
  • Remove lava rock wall
  • Remove carpet
  • Install hardwood
  • Knock down dining room dividing wall
  • New kitchen cabinets
  • New kitchen counters
  • Demo built in closet blocking door way
  • Add new built ins along the fireplace.
  • Close in family room wall, add door, make it fourth bedroom

Not an agressive plan at all considering we want it done the first three months in the house.

Except for, oh wait, the second we did a visual inspection in the attic we found out that BOTH walls we we want to demo are load bearing and will need to be rerouted before we can pull them down. Ok. Four months into the house.

The biggest change will be in our kitchen. We are knocking down the divider wall and adding an island.


I’m most excited about this transformation because I was able to design a kitchen from scratch. We cook a lot. And we have a large family so we run to Costco the way most people hit the grocery store so we needed some high functioning storage. I splurged in a few places to make the cabinetry work best for us as well as adding some things I have always wanted, like a pull out trash can.

I’ll be honest. It wasn’t love at first sight. But, as we’ve moved into the space and I’ve gotten to know it better, it is definitely a deep love. I love the smaller footprint. I love the neighborhood and neighbors. I love the backyard. I love how I can sit at my desk and see all of our living spaces. We are going to make lots of memories in this home. I’m just hoping not too many more are being made amidst this renovation chaos. So far only two of us have driven nails up into our feet. lol.

Keep checking back as we work through the renovation and make our house our home, you know, otherwise affectionately named “the five year plan”.

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