Name: Leah and Mike
Location: Ocean Beach/Outer Sunset neighborhood, San Francisco, California
My husband and I just finished renovating our 1940s, 800 square foot home near Ocean Beach. We fell in love with the neighborhood, the east/west light in our house, and the huge backyard. But we knew we'd have to do a pretty significant renovation — there were no appliances in the kitchen when we bought it, and the bathroom was a pretty depressing pink and brown tile (that we almost lived with but made a game-time decision to tear out).
We had an amazing contractor that was in and out in three weeks (!) and his crew did most of the heavy lifting and knocking down walls. We had a really tight budget and timeline (since we had to move out of our previous apartment), and my husband and I did the finishing work ourselves (painting, tiling in the bathroom, and sanding and refinishing the floors). We'd never done any DIY before — we just watched a lot of Youtube videos and crossed our fingers.
My favorite part was choosing the accent pieces — I loved finding lighting from Cedar and Moss and brass hardware from Schoolhouse Electric. Our new neighbor makes surf and skateboards out of recycled skatedecks (Iris Skateboards), and he was awesome enough to make us our kitchen butcherblock out of the skatedecks.
Luckily my husband and I have a similar aesthetic (vintage modern, clean lines, somewhat minimalist). He reins in my flea market addiction. We only bought one new piece of furniture when we moved in (the couch) and designed using everything we already owned (primarily vintage finds, pieces picked up on travels, or hand-me-downs from my parents).
I love how cozy and comfortable our home feels, and it truly is ours after the blood, sweat and tears we put into it. I even love seeing the little mistakes in our subway tiling every time I shower. It was definitely an exhausting and stressful process, but so worth it in the end. I would love to share it with Apartment Therapy readers after all the hours I spent poring over other apartments and houses on your site as we were gathering inspiration!
Thanks, Leah! Leah's interior design and styling business is called Field Theory.
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