Emily & Aaron's Condo Renovation: The Big Reveal

Emily & Aaron's Condo Renovation: The Big Reveal

Renovation Diary
Nov 5, 2014

Name: Aaron and Emily Choi
Type of Project: Full remodel, including the kitchen and two bathrooms
Location: La Jolla, California
Type of building: Condo; 1300 square feet

After having seen the original look of Emily and Aaron's condo, complete with not-so-charming vintage touches (like yucky green carpet in the bathroom), it's hard to believe this is the same space. We've been following along with them through the whole project, and now it's time to take a look at the finished product.

Before: The bathroom, complete with yucky carpet.
After: Yucky carpet no more.

From Emily:

The funny thing about home renovation is it never feels like we’re done. Even now, I can make a list of things we still need to work on, but for all intents and purposes, the contractor is out, we’re moved in, and it finally feels like home!

Before: Looking from the dining room into the kitchen.
After: A view of the brand-new, not-brown kitchen.

While we wanted the house to have our style and reflect our personalities, we really are just thrilled that we’re done. Overall, considering that we did all this on a budget, we are pretty satisfied with the quality of materials we chose. We tried to invest money in things that we knew would get a lot of use, like countertops and flooring, and to save our money in other areas, such as bathroom fixtures. All in all, I think this strategy served us well in the end.

The living room, pre-renovation.
The living room after.
Another view of the living room.

We love how the staircase turned out. The decision to open up the stairway and create a work station seemed arbitrary at first, but made the most impact on the overall flow and design of the home. Some might prefer storage there instead of a desk but for us, a laptop work station close to the kitchen is a plus.

Another view of the kitchen, with the staircase on the left.

One of the best parts of designing a kitchen from scratch was obviously tailoring it for our needs. I love that we were able to hide the microwave below the counter, build in extra bookshelves for cookbooks, and install a floor to ceiling wine rack. We also installed outlets near cupboards that were going to store large appliances so that we wouldn’t have to carry them across the kitchen to find an outlet. Little things like that make this kitchen perfect for our family.

Our indoor dining area.
Our outdoor dining area.

We are also taking advantage of the weather in La Jolla by getting a lot of use out of the outdoor deck space. One of our best decisions was having the deck furniture custom made so that it would fit into that nook perfectly. It’s not a very large nor attractive space so by having furniture that fit, it allows the space to function more effectively. Whenever we have a few friends over, we are usually having our meals out there.

The bonus room before.
The bonus room after, in its new capacity as office.
Another view of the office.
The master bedroom.
The master bath.

Upstairs, we converted the bonus room into an office/studio. Now that we have the furniture in there I can’t imagine what else the room would’ve been used for. The size and shape of the room is perfect for a two person work space. As for the bathrooms, I’m happy to report that I’m still in love with the floor tiles.

Those beautiful floor tiles (seen in the guest bath).

Congratulations on your new home, Emily and Aaron! Readers, check out the full series to see the whole renovation process, step-by-step. And be sure to join us tomorrow for a full budget breakdown.

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