Name: Tracey and Jason
Location: San Francisco
Size: 1,700 square feet total (1,200 SF main floor, 500 SF bottom floor)
Years lived in: It's complicated (see below).
Tracey, a graphic designer, and Jason, a software engineer, bought their 100+ year old home about 5 years ago with plans to renovate it on their own. After some demolition with the help of friends, they realized the job was bigger than anticipated so they enlisted the help of professionals. For the first 2 years, they lived in a tent inside the house (since it had no walls, heat, or electrical outlets) while they planned the renovation and got permits. Then, they moved into a 400 square foot studio during the 2 years of construction. After a long process, Tracey and Jason finally moved into their finished house in December 2008.
When Tracey and Jason purchased their home, it had already lost all of its Victorian charm due to a lackluster remodel so there were no period details worth salvaging. During the demolition, they not only discovered remnants from the previous owners' pasts (the house had been owned by three generations of one family), but also a fireplace hidden in a wall and 12 foot ceilings covered by 9 foot drop ceilings. Tracey documented the trials of the long and arduous renovation in a book, although they could surely write another with the lessons learned. Even though they had to fit their new home into the existing footprint of the old, Tracey and Jason managed to create a beautiful, bright space they happily call their own.
My/Our style: Eclectic comfortable. We lean toward antiques and industrial objects but have a healthy respect for modern style.
Inspiration: Nature, nostalgia and the passage of time.
Favorite Element: The natural light we get from all of our skylights and windows.
Biggest Challenge: Our living room and office/gym have been very difficult for me. Finding furniture just the right size and style has been a challenge. Also, how to use the space just hasn't gelled yet.
What Friends Say: Our friends and neighbors can't believe that it is the same house from before the renovation. People are drawn to our color choices for the kitchen and our bedroom.
Biggest Embarrassment: I still have not straightened the face plates on the light switches and plugs.
Proudest DIY: Transforming our bedroom dresser. It was trashed when I got it but I liked the size and the price (free). To my surprise after I scraped all of the bubbling laminated wood off the front of the drawers and painted the rest, I was left with a piece I really love.
Biggest Indulgence: Our Viking stove and refrigerator.
Best advice: Be patient and true to yourself and your space. You will save a lot of money and frustration if you just step back and spend some time in the space before going out and buying stuff to fill it up.
Dream source: The sets of old black and white movies, Paris.
Bedroom: Dresser - yard sale left over; bed, nightstands and lamps - Ikea; hope chest - my father made it when he was a teenager; art work - Nicole Etienne.
Guest Bedroom: Desk - yard sale; daybed - CB2; mirror - Goodwill find; painting - by my great great grandfather.
Living Room: Large couch and table - Atmosphere; small couch - bought from a friend; chair - Ikea; sideboard - yard sale find; art work by Anna Kuperberg and Nicole Etienne.
Kitchen: Table - antique store in Healdsburg; pie saver - Goodwill; chairs - Ikea, shelves - Elfa.
Bathroom: - Hanging candelabra - yard sale find.
Other artwork: Tracey Hufteling, Joshus Carey, J. Health, Marcia McDade and unknown SF street artist from the 60's.
(Thanks, Tracey and Jason!)
Images: Jessica Watson