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Before and After? Or Happily Ever After?

First of all, I should explain that Dianne likes to “name” our houses. She was inspired by Martha Stewart who names all her properties, like “Turkey Hill” and “Skylands.” And who doesn’t want to be a Martha?

Anyway, our houses are named for location, appearance or whatever else strikes us. Our current residence (and hopefully our last!) is dubbed Holly Hill for its stunning location and bushes with the bright red berries that attract the deer and birds in the winter.

Ten years ago, Dianne and I fell in love with this charming mid-century house. Set on a hill, it was a little bit "George Jetson Meets the Beverly Hillbillies" and it needed LOTS of love.

Our first phase of remodeling was a big one—we knocked out walls, expanded the living area, incorporated the downstairs basement into the living area and created the kitchen of Dianne’s dreams. It's all about the appliances featuring a built-in Thermador refrigerator and six burner range, a couple of Bosch convection ovens and dishwasher. Dianne realized at that point she had found true love. It’s all about the appliances. (Read here to check out her blog about true love—the appliances! She makes me laugh.)

The second phase was to restore a deck to the house and boy, that was a project! Five steel beams were placed 20 feet into the ground to support the deck. It’s likely the safest place in the Bay Area to ride out an earthquake!

We have now moved onto the third major project—the primary bedroom update and ensuite. It’s a biggie. It’s in the permit stage now and we will provide an insider’s view of the project as we move through it.

Meanwhile, enjoy a little tour of our happy place! And if you need a little assistance finding YOUR happy place or need a list of handy people and contractors, let me know.

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