Home Renovation

Current Home Renovation: 1970s House to Modern Home

Stewart fell in love with this split-level, 1,900 square feet, 2-1/2 bath, 4 bedroom house. Which was a big jump from the apartment rentals we were used to. The thing was, the house was a fixer-upper. And neither of us had any experience with home renovations. We just knew there were some fixes that needed to be done before we were able to move in. We also wanted a design update. With a small idea of where to start. This is the story of how we are giving this 1970s detached single-family home a modern and contemporary update.

A little back story… we are currently located in the Bay Area. One who recently moved here and the other grew up in California. We are newlyweds and started looking for a house after we got engaged. We both have an interest in smart-technology with a modern and contemporary taste for home design. Both of which were non-existent in these neighborhoods. It only started becoming popular in the last few years. We also have a pretty different idea of housing expectations from each other. I am used to having the option of being able to purchase a house from a new housing construction (for a decent price). While Stewart is used to seeing overpriced neighborhoods with older houses.

Modern VS Contemporary

I use modern and contemporary separately because they are considered different categories. I’ll try my best to use the correct term when talking about the design. I found this article which does a pretty good job of explaining the difference between modern vs contemporary, if you are interested in reading.

The short version is, modern is a defined style characterized by: white walls, neutral colors and natural materials (timeless). While contemporary describes what the current popular design style is: (such as) folding glass wall systems and redwood siding. Which might not be considered “contemporary” 25 years from now.

Here are some examples of the modern and contemporary house styles:

Floating vanity by The Furniture Guild

Floating vanity by The Furniture Guild

Redwood siding by Heydt Designs

Redwood siding by Heydt Designs

We definitely like the modern minimalistic style, open spaces and lots of natural light. With the contemporary glass wall systems and redwood sidings.

So we went to open houses in a few different neighborhoods. Hoping to compare and understand each neighborhood better. It was hard to decide on a location, house and price. Eventually we compromised and bought a fixer-upper close to our dream location. Since the house needed some work, we were able to get it for a bit cheaper than the other houses for sale in this area. Buying a fixer-upper also meant that we could renovate it to our style. Stay within our budget in a nice neighborhood and potentially sell it for more in the future.

Current Status of Our Home Renovation

As of writing this post, the house has been gutted and mostly empty. Some major structural work has been done. We have put in a new roof, and waiting for the skylights to be installed.

Current home renovation

Gutted Front Facade for Redwood Siding

Load-bearing Wall Removed

Load-bearing Wall Removed

Current home renovation

Kitchen area with recessed lighting wired and prep done for sky lights.

With still have a lot left to do and stories to share along the way. We hope that you will find our modern and contemporary home renovation interesting. And maybe even help inspire your space. If you have any questions feel free to send us a message.

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