The architects Jon Gaiser and Audrey McEwen decided to purchase this 1970s San Diego townhouse with the only one intention – to use it as a blank-slate new abode. They made decision to stick to their budget but to still make an impact. You are wondering how they did that. Their promise was to not buy something that they can’t afford. So sticking to the original floor plan, home’s footprint and buying appliances and materials at great prices, help them to stay on track with the budget.
For one modern and bright look, the architects use light, clean and minimalist materials. For this room most of the original structure stays untouched, the couple was very lucky to find a house with lofted ceiling and an open loft bedroom. After buying this great property, the trained architects recreate the plan of the house using Google SketchUp.
The thing that intrigued the couple at first place was the interesting geometry of this 1977 townhouse, but everything else was bland and beige.
After the renovation, a virtual interest is added by the bamboo-clad openings and refurbished and handcrafted décor. As the couple’s desire was to have a very basic material palette, it was very easy to stop on bamboo’s ecofriendly nature and strength. We clearly can see how covering all the wood and flooring, the bamboo creates uniformity.
Some of the furniture was inherited but only the midcentury pieces were bought on eBay and Craiglist and after that, they were refurbished. Their great creation is the Alexander Calder-inspired mobile.
McEwen’s father also helped to the couple. He is talented woodworker and he build the hallway bench, the living room console, dining table and other pieces.
A pantry between the dining area and the kitchen looks like is closing off from the adjacent living and dining area.
AFTER: the pantry was moved to the other side of the entry and thus way a more seamless entrance was created to the bar and dining area. The design of the dining table is made by McEwen and built by her father. Our favorite furniture is the Mies van der Rohe MR chairs that were found on Craiglist. We cannot miss and the bamboo panels which offset the uniquely angled kitchen space.
It is not a surprise that the most expensive renovation was the one for the kitchen, costing about $18,000. Demolition cost $13,000 along with installation of new drywall and plaster, cabinetry, appliances, and electric and plumbing work.
Owners attributes most of their financial plan luck to timing. As the house’s renovation started during the spring and summer time, most of the annual and semiannual sales helped them cut down on expenses.
For this poorly lit and outdated-looking kitchen were especially designed these dark cabinetry, mismatched appliances and fluorescent lighting.
AFTER: the most expensive part of the kitchen is the Pure White Caesarstone kitchen countertop that cost about $3,500. For one extra-clean look in combination with the countertop, it was added an integrated stovetop.
As you can see the old staircase was not very eye pleasant.
AFTER: the owners choose for the steps one affordable carpet, which they found on local manufacturer’s warehouse. For one simple but statement-making bannister in the staircase were chosen these strong 14-foot bamboo rods.
The McEwen are really huge fans of bamboo. The light finish of this design element enhances the bright overall atmosphere that the owners wanted to achieve.
Before the renovation the old lofted bedroom and bathroom was felt very open to the main living area. Only this tiny awkward column and low half wall keep the space more concealed.
AFTER: as you could see one higher partition makes miracles. The living room is more separated now and the new wall holds all the wiring for the Nelson Bubble Lamp, which is hanging from the ceiling.
Aside the bedroom it is placed the master bathroom with two sinks and private shower and also toilet area.
For extra light it was added a small windows in the bathroom.
Cookie vanity materials, bare lightbulbs and bland carpeting made this bathroom to look very drab and depressing.
As you can see the bathroom is very luxurious, but it costs only $4,000 because of couple’s careful budgeting. Also they set and cut the tiles themselves and found good deals for the rest.
The most surprising cost was the one for lighting as couple replaced it with LED and eco fixtures. Also all the switches and outlets were upgraded, because McEwen doesn’t like when they all are mismatched.
Because McEwen wanted one succulent garden in the backyard so she kept the tall cacti that was already there. The area has low maintenance thank to the brick patio.
For one warm vibe during the night, there are string lights hanging from the arbor. For more spacious look it was added large mirror.
For a conclusion we asked them if they could do anything differently. The owners have the opinion now although you will save some money when you make the demolition on your own, you definitely need someone for help as the work is hard. For one total renovation of your home you need to be financially and emotionally committed.
And if this was not enough for you, have a look at another really inspiring home in San Diego: