Thursday, November 7, 2013

Casablanco: we finally moved... new house tour

This post is a departure from the regularly scheduled triathlon talk but for the last 16 months, my husband and I have been renovating a house we bought in San Francisco so I thought I would share some details... and several people asked for photos so this is an easy way to share pics.

- June 2012 : we bought a 3 bed/3ba house in Cow Hollow that needed serious electrical, heating upgrades. It had low ceilings, lacked much daylight and was very compartmentalized. It did not fit with our "open plan living" lifestyle. But it did have a huge garage, two car parking, plenty of space for bikes and was in a fantastic location.

- June to Sep '12 : worked with architect/designer, Vin Leger, to design an open plan house with 3 beds/2.5 ba, adding skylights, raising ceiling heights as well as seismically upgrading the structure and integrity of the house

- Sep to Dec '12 : requested bids from four separate local general contractors. The highest bid was almost twice the price of the lowest bid! We opted for the lowest fixed bid but knew that the GC had included allowances for finishes since the ultimate price would depend on what we chose and this was subject to change. Of course, I did not realize how low the allowances were until we started choosing things like floor and discovered my choices were 2x the allowance. #expensivetaste

- Jan - Oct '13 : I watched the contractors slowly destroy then build our house back up. Nothing remained of the old house besides the exterior walls. It seemed like they made a lot of progress January through May but as they started the interior finishes in June, progress started to slow... The cabinet maker was busy so instead of 4 weeks, cabinets took 8-10 weeks, same with the countertop team and other subcontractors that my GC had less control over.

- Oct 30th '13 : We moved in! There's still a long punch list of little things to fix, and they are still finishing the deck and back yard but we finally live in the home we designed. It's been quite the process.  When we bought the house, we figured we'd be moving in by March-April of this year but we ended up 6 months behind plan. Also, the final numbers are not yet in but I think we will have ended up spending around 35-40% more than we wanted to! I have definitely lost a lot of sleep and gained more than a few gray hairs in this entire process but we are psyched to be finally living here.

Below is a little photo tour, starting downstairs with the yard (!?!), master suite, laundry room and garage and then heading upstairs for the open plan living area and two more bedrooms, bathroom and half bath.

Back yard and deck still a work in progress!

Sliding glass doors in master suite
Master bedroom: a king size red bed!

Sliding glass doors separate sleeping area from den area of master suite

My dream closet!
Even Blanco gets some closet space #ishare

Master bath

Master bath shower: controls on outside!

Laundry/mud room : luxury for city living!

lots of bike hanging space


living room, view back to entryway stairs
Dining room

Rear stairs descend to master suite

Living room

Kitchen island

View of kitchen from rear stairwell/walk-in pantry

Dining room, kitchen view from top of entryway stairs

Living room/kitchen view from top of entryway stairs

dining room and 3-sided fireplace

Dining room and hallway to upstairs bedrooms
Bedroom #2 : Cal's bedroom

Bedroom #3 ; still unpacking

Family bathroom


  1. Gorgeous! Congrats!! What a long process, but hopefully it makes waking up each morning in your dream house that much sweeter!!

  2. Nice! Congrats!! Looks so modern! :) Our moving day is next week! We almost got into a similar scenario with buying a house that needed major upgrades, but in the end found a house that had already been through the process so lucky for us it's move-in-ready...

  3. Absolutely beautiful!! Simply love the design and of course the closet! It will be so nice to be settled for you finally! Happy for you and Blanco!

  4. WOW !!!!!!! it is beatiful it looks fabulous!!!

  5. Thank you for a photo-filled post! Your house is truly beautiful, glad that you have moved in, though, a little late as what was expected. And true to what you said, buying a house and making it your own is a long process that could be stressing and tiring. But it's also so fun, right? Congratulations!
    Armandina @ Tennessee Churchill Mortgage

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