Intro to the remodel NOT from hell

Join us on what we hope is not the remodel from hell.  But let’s start at the beginning:

We just sold our beloved home of 15 years where we hosted dozens of birthday, engagement and just to get together parties, graduation and prom after parties, and celebrated countless moments of success, cried over sad times and rejoiced during engagements, marriages and new babies.  This beautiful home holds our lives in its walls and I will miss it forever.  But, alas, it is time to move on and enjoy the next “passage”.  Therefore, we have chosen to return to the first home we ever owned together, a 2000 sq foot townhome smack in the middle of San Diego.  But before we can move in it is absolutely necessary to take care of some deferred maintenance (to say the least…after all, have you ever heard of a tenant that did any type of maintenance?).

The first step in any remodel is to start interviewing contractors, right?  Being committed to due diligence we interviewed a prominent design and build firm that took our relatively simple kitchen and master bath remodel and turned it into a $215 thousand dollar job.  We said buh-bye and ultimately wound up with a young and eager contractor with good references who did the one thing no other contractor seemed to do…he listened to what we had to say.  I am going to withhold names of all we work with at this point just in case they don’t work out.  After all, it would be hard for Rick to represent himself in a slander suit since he doesn’t do defense work!

The purpose of this blog is to share our experience along with some cool design ideas that you might be able to incorporate into your own home or remodel and I am keeping my fingers crossed that it is all positive.  I am the ultimate optimist, aren’t I?  Let’s start with the before pics….as you look at these please be kind.  Remember that the home is 30 years old and has been a rental for 15 of those years.  I promise the after photos will be worth the wait!


downstairs bedroom built in desk area in closet space


existing pantry

another view of the kitchen/family room

OY! Truly the kitchen from hell, drop ceiling and all. Just wait for the new wont believe your eyes.

old pantry area in kitchen/family room. You can see the breakfast bar off to the right

small family room looking into backyard…dont you just love those levelors!

About hayniedi

What about me? In a nutshell I am a middle-aged interior designer and freelance writer, mother of an amazing 27 year old daughter, wife to my semi-retired lawyer husband and step-grandma to two delicious babies. From my earliest memories I have been fascinated with interior decorating and love to share my passion for beautiful rooms with anyone who will listen. Join me on this blog as my husband and I enter our empty nest years and move back into the first home we bought when we were first married that has been a rental for the past 15 years. I will share our experience with remodeling as well as other ideas and thoughts that I hope will inspire you.
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19 Responses to Intro to the remodel NOT from hell

  1. Thanks for following Your
    Squarefeet, hope we can help make life a little less stress full


  2. Kathy Parker says:

    Diane I have no doubt you will make this home beautiful and your own again. Just think less space also means less cleaning plus you are in a great location. Easy to get everywhere, close to restaurants and as empty nesters you can pick up and go when you want. We all have many chapters to our lives and I think this will be a good journey in a new direction. I really look forward to sharing a glass of Chardonnay (I’ll bring it) in your new home.


  3. Looks like a fun journey. I hope it all goes smoothly (at least for the most part) and you get exactly what you want. Can’t wait to follow along!


  4. Oh wow, looks like you and I are definitely on a similar journey with remodeling. I can’t wait to see what you do with the white box kitchen. Mine is completely gutted right now waiting on the Ikea kitchen that I’m going with. I’m sure you will whip this place into shape in no time. Best to you on your journey! Thanks for stopping by,


    • hayniedi says:

      Thanks for visiting and for the encouraging words….I look forward to all your changes as well. If only I had your Dad…are you sure he doesnt want to move to San Diego?


  5. Sharon says:

    I am happy your house sold. I know it is tough to give up on a “dream” house but as you say time to move on to the next chapter. Deep down you will have fun remodeling this condo. Chuck and I always loved that condo. I hope we will be visiting it and you soon.


  6. Barbara says:

    Hi Diane, been there, done that!!! Remodels are always surprising, and the best part is the satisfaction of sitting in the new environment you have created when all is said and done! We will miss you in east county. I love all your great ideas for the seasons……


    • hayniedi says:

      Thanks Barbara…we will so miss it out here but in reality we are only 10 minutes away! hopeyou guys have a great summer and look forward to seeing you when I share the big reveal!


  7. Sharon says:

    I can’t wait to see what you do with the place Diane! You have a nice blank canvas to work with.


  8. This is so exciting. It looks like you have a great white blank canvas to work with. It’s neat that you have the chance to fix up a home in which you once lived. I’m 24 years old and just bought my first house, so I am in the process of making it my own. I’m sure that you will make this space wonderful. I’ll be sure to stay tuned for the “after” pictures.


  9. Bill Vidano says:

    Good Luck! Don’t forget the burlap touches and the painted sconces.


  10. Lisa says:

    I am so excited to go on this journey with you, Diane…
    I know how bittersweet it is for you and Rick, but if there is one thing I have learned in the last 12 plus months it is that life is a series of new beginnings. We are defined by how we navigate all the twists and turns.
    Bravo to you for jumping in with both feet! I can’t wait to see the after pictures!!
    Much love to you…


  11. Sheryl Bowlin says:

    Its so white! So not you!


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