Zach & Heather's Home Sweet Home

Zach & Heather's Home Sweet Home

Alison Gilbert
Sep 17, 2010

Name: Zach, Heather and Moxie
Location: Pasadena — California
Size: 1200 square feet
Years lived in: 1 — owned

Heather and Zach moved to Los Angeles about 3 years ago after living in Boston for almost a decade They rented an apartment in Pasadena, and watched while the housing market took a dive - they finally decided it would be a great time to jump in and buy. And jump in they did! They bought a 1940's traditional fixer-upper in Pasadena last September and proceeded to make it into a dreamy modern California oasis.

With the help of Zach's dad and a local contractor, the couple moved the entrance of the house, opened up the kitchen, built a gorgeous addition with a master bedroom and bathroom, put in a new wide deck, ripped out the front lawn to put in more water-friendly garden beds and desert landscaping. The results are incredible.

It's not just the physical transformation that Heather and Zach's little house has made, it is the detail and care in their decorating that makes their house a cozy yet exciting place to hang out. Zach's artistic parents have created one of kind art pieces that grace the walls. His father created a stained glass windowpane for Zach for his 30th birthday that hangs in the master bedroom and infuses color on the sunlight that filters into the bright white room. He also made a mosaic piece commemorating a family trip that hangs outside on the deck. Zach's mother, talented at the craft of rug hooking, made a symbolic rug for their wedding that hangs above the bed in one of the guest rooms.

One of the most exciting parts of living in their house has been the discovery of all the edible goodies growing in the backyard! Over the last year, Heather has discovered her backyard is flush with Oranges, Lemons, Tangerines, Figs and Apricots! Not to mention the vegetables she started growing in her own this season… the two could practically host their own farmer's market!

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Clean lines, lots of wood, natural light, a dash of international flavor. You might call it modern Arts & Crafts? Casual and comfortable, with lots of mementos from our travels. We always seem to use lots of dark reds, blues, greens, and grays.

Inspiration: Pasadena is filled with beautiful Arts & Crafts bungalows – we love walking around the neighborhood and seeing what other people have done with their homes. Zach's father was our architect for the renovation, and he also brought lots of fabulous ideas, like cathedral ceilings, solatubes, and glass blocks in the bathroom. And Heather spent fair bit of time on interior design sites during the renovation, endlessly bookmarking and sourcing.

Favorite Element: Our kitchen. We're sort of obsessed with it. We cook, eat, read, work, and relax there. The cutting board for the kitchen island was one of the most expensive things we've ever bought, and completely worth it.

Biggest Challenge:The 1940s lemon yellow-tiled guest bathroom. We have not totally solved it yet…

What Friends Say: Hard to believe it's the same tiny, dark bungalow we bought.

Biggest Embarrassment: Sanding and painting the lemon yellow tile on the bathroom floor before the renovation – and then having it destroyed by all the work. Oops. Better sequencing next time!

Proudest DIY: The huge redwood planters that Zach and his dad built for our vegetable garden.

Biggest Indulgence: Custom ten-foot-long maple cutting board for the kitchen island.

Best Advice: Check in with your contractor every day to make sure you're on schedule. Buy something you love everywhere you travel. And get a good camera – photos make for wonderful, inexpensive art!

Resources of Note:


    • Donkey bag and traditional coat: Cappadocia and Istanbul, Turkey
    • Table: Joe Flikkema Woodworks; Mayville, NY
    • Armchair, ottoman, chairs, side table: Barn Furniture Mart; Van Nuys, CA
    • Carpets: Kazakhstan and Afghanistan
    • Lamp: The Gamble House bookstore; Pasadena, CA
    • Curtains: Ballard Designs


    • Cabinets: Home Depot
    • Island: Old World Butcher Block
    • Old storage boxes: Antique Tobacco Barn; Asheville, NC
    • Carpet: Afghanistan
    • Shelves: Room and Board
    • Chairs: CB2
    • Pendant lights: Barnlight Electric
    • Origami light: Tortoise; Venice, CA


    • Stars: Bliss; Boulder, CO
    • Chairs: Beirut, Lebanon
    • Bed: Mattress Discounters
    • Shelves: Container Store


    • Table: Joe Flikkema Woodworks; Mayville, NY
    • Bottles: left behind by previous owner
    • Wedding cake topper: Zach's grandparents (and used on our wedding cake)


    • Chair: Heather's grandmother's chair (reupholstered)
    • Bookcase and night table: Family hand-me-downs


    • Chair: Heather's grandmother's chair (reupholstered)
    • Desk: Family hand-me-down
    • Baskets: Pottery Barn


Thanks, Heather and Zach!

Images: Alison Gilbert

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