Just as the markets started crashing in September of 2008, Lisa Hoffman and her husband bought their first house in Oakland, California. Thankfully, they weren't afraid to roll up their sleeves, dig in, and do most of the work themselves—all on a very tight budget. The photo above is the sad-looking living room prior to their renovation. (Check out that wallpaper!) See what it looks like now, as well as more photos of their newly renovated home:
Lisa tells us:
The improvements we've done not only look great, but most of them are sustainable (reuse) and energy saving. Our biggest savings came with doing the work ourselves and enlisting friends to help with larger projects. We learned so much—from creating our first tiled backsplash with pieces collected from Urban Orr, to laying carbonized bamboo flooring and installing a heated floor in the bathroom to keep our toes warm without having to heat the whole house in the winter. One of my favorite pet projects was our reuse of the old kitchen cabinets. We saved the wood we tore out and mixed in some recycled lumber from the ReStore and a few pieces from friends and created a unique patchwork floor over the concrete in the old garage that is now our office. There is still more to do, but we now have a cozy nest that we love!
You can see many more photos of Lisa's home and the progress they're making at her Flickr page.