Name: Juliet and Matthias
Location: Hollywood Hills, California
Size: 1400 sqft single family home
When Juliet and her husband Matthias were ready to buy a house in Los Angeles, Juliet typed up a detailed checklist in Excel and handed it to their real estate agent.
Within a week they had signed on a home in the Hollywood Hills.....
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The day after closing the deal, the demo began. Because of Juliet's impeccable logistics skills, and her confident sense of style ("simple, clean, straightforward lines"), three months later, Juliet and Matthias could boast a 1400 sq. ft. home freed from termites with a new kitchen and bath.
Juliet says that when she saw the house for the first time, she was struck by the open floor plan. Now that all the work is behind them her favorite things are the act of walking in the front door and saying "I love this house", then turning towards the kitchen and being able to say, "I love it. I love this kitchen!" "It turned out just the way I wanted it to."
Juliet is an artist, a former computer programmer and, at the moment, lucky enough to spend her days photographing and marketing the architectural and design work of Marmol Radziner in Los Angeles. As a result, she was able to engage the assistance of the firm's cabinet makers for custom construction of the cherry wood cabinets for the kitchen and bath; to get one of the firm's designers to draft detailed plumbing, electrical and design drawings that would be taped to the wall and would serve as both the bible and security blanket for the duration of the renovation process; and to peruse the industry catalogs and samples housed in the firm's interior design department. All of the other necessary elements she found on the internet.
Very concerned about the aesthetic impact of her choices, Juliet also insists on great and lasting quality within a restrained budget. One way to help achieve that balance was to buy all Jenn-Air appliances for the kitchen, and all Grohe fixtures for the bath and kitchen, but to seal all the cabinetry with clear satin Min-Wax polyurethane and to paint the entire interior of the house herself over a series of weekends. In fact, due to primary commitments elsewhere, almost all the work done on the house was completed on weekends.
Everyone who worked on the house—demo/installation crew, tiler, cork floor layer, plumber and electrician—knew their discreet tasks and were greeted by all the materials they needed when they arrived on site. As the general contractor for this whole adventure, Juliet made sure of this. Initially, Juliet tried to hire a professional general contractor, but when he arrived to give an estimate and was apprised of her system and capabilities, he told her, "You don't need me, you can do this yourself". And so she did. And she says she would do it again!