The Manhattan Beach Remodel


I have a creative side and when I get to work on a remodel it is like fire through my veins. I absolutely love it. Interior design is a passion of mine and this project turned out great.

The project was a Manhattan Beach bungalow built in the 50’s. 3 bedrooms 2 baths. It needed to be updated, nothing had been changed since the 50’s when it was first built.

The kitchen and each room was walled off which made the place feel cramped and smaller than it needed to be. So we knocked out a wall between the kitchen and dining room and made an open area living space. We put in a new header beam which braced the ceiling where the wall used to be. We had to clear the structural engineering with city. The open floor plan brought in light, and modernized the home up to today’s style.

We redid the bathrooms. tile plumbing and electrical. They were all working but super dated. This was mainly done for preventative maintenance. That brings up a good point. Everything in a remodel isn’t always sexy design. Some things need to be replaced just because it is necessary for the longevity of the house. In fact, these types of structural elements are the first thing that should be considered in a remodel.

The home now has all new lighting. We put in recess lighting and dining room chandeliers. Everything is LED which is now the legal standard.

The kitchen has all new appliances. All Thermador a quality brand and since they were all from the same company they all have the same look for a more cohesive kitchen design. This brand of appliance is good for resale value as well.

I had some constraints with my design. I had to keep the color scheme white and grey and trendy. Which, if you know me, lots of color is kind of my thing. So it was actually nice to be forced out of my comfort zone and deal with contrast, light and physical form as design choices rather than complimentary colors and mood.

Since the home is white and grey, the one point of color really stands out, the turquoise and glass front door. It is a Dutch door, you can open the top and leave bottom section shut. This is great to allow light and air into the house while still being able to keep pets and small children inside.

The landscaping is all drought tolerant. I decided to put in turf rather than grass it still looks nice and has zero maintenance. There are succulents of varied sizes and shapes in both the front and back.

I was working with a great contractor and we got it done in 3 1/2 months.

So now you know what we did, here are some of the things that we decided not to do. We did not put a/c in. It is not common to have a/c so close to the beach. It isn’t necessary and just adds extra cost. However, all of the venting is intact just in case the decision is made to add a/c or when the home is sold the new onwers still have the option to add it if they choose to.

We left the windows intact because they were fine and didn’t need replacing. The chimney did need replacing however, the expense was not worth the investment. There is no gas and it is illegal to burn wood in the fireplace. So, the fireplace is for aesthetic purposes only.

When doing a remodel it is always important to consider why you want any particular section of the house remodeled. Is it for your enjoyment? Maintenance? Resale value? Once you clearly (and honestly) answer this question then you can more easily put a value on the item and judge whether or not the cost is worth it. If the remodel is for maintenance then the value is the greatest. If the remodel is for enjoyment then the question becomes what are the necessary functions or traits that will maximize that spaces enjoyment. If the remodel is for resale value then the question becomes will I be able to sell the home for more than I would have before I made the improvement, and if so, will I be able to sell it for more than what I paid for the cost of the improvement? There are a lot of times when it is better to let the new owners remodel the aesthetics of a house rather than do it yourself. They will have the ability to change it according to their own taste.

And there you have it, the anatomy of my remodel.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *