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Before and After- the Exterior

When I found out that our aluminum siding could be painted, and I didn’t have to wait and save up for new siding, I was so excited!  The old color was fine, but didn’t really make a statement.

Here is the before:

The house needed a little injection of fun.   We are Dr. Who fans.  If you have never seen the show Dr. Who, the main character travels through time in a blue police box (like a phone booth), called the Tardis.  Anyone who enters the Tardis comments “it’s bigger on the inside.”  Since we often get the same comment by guests to our house, we knew that the house had to be Tardis blue!  When it was complete, it still wasn’t quite right.  I mocked up some color choices and asked our Facebook friends to vote on the trim.

Yellow was the overwhelming favorite, so we ran with it and here is the result:

Details: body color- Indigo Batik by Sherwin Williams.  Door- Squash Blossom by Behr.  Porch- Behr Porch and Floor in Silver Gray.  Trim- Behr pure white



Before and After- the Lofts

Using the attic space was key to making a 600 square foot house do-able for a family of 6.  We tried to keep the girls from even seeing the dark, scary looking attic before the renovation was complete, but they snuck a peek and were HORRIFIED.   We are often asked about the older kids’ reactions to the house.  They never had any concerns about the size of the house, but were very upset at first because the house was “so ugly.”  We had lots of teen drama in our house before the results of the renovation started to be visible.  The lofts are now a huge hit and the kids have their own comfortable, private spaces.  On any given day, there are usually 2 or 3 extra kids hanging out up there because, even though we have the smallest house in the neighborhood, we appear to be one of the most popular places for the teens and pre-teens to hang out.   The girls now begrudgingly admit that the house is “pretty cool.”

Here is the before:

A little paneling and flooring went a long way!  Here is the loft in the rear of the house.

And here is the one toward the front:

The girls said that no loft was complete without fairy lights:

Before and After- Twin’s Room

The Twin’s room is the only room that is not fully renovated.  As mentioned before, we have learned that we really despise hanging and finishing drywall.  The twin’s room got new hardwood flooring, lighting and paint.  We plan to eventually hire someone to finish the drywall in that room.



The toddler sized bunk beds work perfectly in the small room.  All of their toys are in the living room cabinets to keep their room from feeling cluttered.

The details- All furniture and bedding are from IKEA, floors are Handscraped Vintage Mocha by Bruce, paint is Sonata by Behr.

Before and After- Master Bedroom

The master bedroom started as the kitchen when we bought the house.  In order to maximize every square foot, we turned the dining room into the kitchen and the kitchen into the master bedroom.  The master bedroom was the last room that we worked on.

Here is the before:

By the time we got to this room, we were so, so tired of drywall and the drywall dust mess.  In a tiny house, any renovation in one room results in mess throughout the whole house, so we got creative.   We covered the paneling in paintable wall paper.  It worked beautifully!  I have never wallpapered, but with a little practice, it was quite easy.  It gives the walls a nice, subtle texture.

Our queen bed fits perfectly under the windows.  We are able to store odds and ends in bins under the bed.  We left some of the original upper cabinets to use for storage.  A little extra moulding and we think they blend in OK, but this was mainly a functional choice vs. esthetic choice.  The cabinets are storage for our towels and pillows.

We added 2 wardrobes since the room has no closet.

It’s a cozy room and we are very comfortable in it.

The details-

Floor is Vintage Handscraped Mocha by Bruce.  All furniture by IKEA.  Walls are Steam White by Behr.

Before and After- Living Room

The living room is definitely the hub of this home.  It started as a blank canvas of carpet, paneling and drop ceiling.


This was our first time trying to drywall ceilings and our first time using a pneumatic nailer for hardwood flooring, so it was quite a learning experience!

We love how it turned out!

The modular stairs were added for access to the loft.  The dining table and stools for 6 live under the stairs and get pulled out into the living room for meals.  The couch opens and stores all of our extra bedding.

The storage units are key for hiding all of the kids’ toys (and a few of Dan’s as well)

There’s even room for the dogs!

The details- floors are Handscraped Vintage Mocha by Bruce.  Couch, table, stools and cabinets are IKEA.  Chair and curtains are from Target and stairs are Nice2 by Arke.  Paint is Twilight Gray by Behr.

Before and After- the Bathroom

The bathroom was one of the most fun parts of the renovation.  It was the room that we were going to “live with” for a while while we focused on other parts of the house.   After “living with it” for a very short time, it was bumped up in priority level.


The old camp style shower leaked badly and there were creepy spider webs behind it that were hard to clean.  A little drywall and tile made a massive difference in this room.  We toyed with changing the layout and entrance for the bathroom, but in the ended, decided that it was best to keep the layout.  The room is 3 feet wide, and with the old toilet in place, we had to walk sideways to fit through the room.  After looking like a lunatic climbing over displays to measure the depths of toilets in every home improvement store in town, I found the narrowest toilet made.

A narrower toilet and awesome rectangular sink has transformed the room from cramped to very functional.  It certainly isn’t a space that two can use at the same time, but with some planning, we can all get ready in the morning without any elbows thrown.

We have 2 tall storage cabinets.  The 14 year old has one to herself and the rest of us get to share the other one!  There are some battles that aren’t worth fighting, like downsizing a teenager’s make-up!

The sink and cabinets are IKEA, the shower curtain is from Target and the light fixture is by Kichler.

Before and After: The Kitchen

When we purchased our little house, the kitchen was in the back of the house, with a dining room in the center of the house.  With 4 kids in 600 square feet, a dining room was valuable space to be maximized.  We moved the kitchen into the dining room and turned the old kitchen into our master bedroom.  We now eat meals at our compact table in the living room.    Here is what the dining room-turned-kitchen looked like before:

Like the rest of the house, the dining room was brown from floor to ceiling with carpet, paneling and drop ceiling tiles.  A little drywall made a HUGE difference, and with some help from little hands, the room was transformed into a kitchen.

There is a weird optical effect when we take photos of the kitchen.  In person, the backsplash appears to just be random tiles, but in pictures, there is a chevron pattern that appears.  We love the cabinet organizers.  Pull-out shelves let us still shop at bulk stores and have a place to put the stuff 🙂

Fitting in full size appliances was a priority for us, as was a dishwasher.  After many, many hours of layout planning, we have a kitchen that works perfectly for us.  We make all of our weekday dinners ahead on Sundays, and though we can’t spread out as much as we could in our big house in LA, we have plenty of counter space to get it done.  The older kids don’t even complain anymore about unloading the dishwasher because they were afraid we might not have one!

The cabinets and butcher block cabinets are IKEA, the tile is a glass mosiac called “Majestic Ocean” from Home Depot, the floors are hand scraped vintage mocha by Bruce and the light fixture is by Kichler.



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Some quick before and (almost) after pictures.  Every room needs some paint, trim or touch-up at this point, but we can see the light at the end of the renovation tunnel!

Blog fail

We have clearly failed in updating this blog.  We have been living in the house since February and have made major changes.  Since we are better at updating here, click on this Facebook link.

Don’t worry. We will be updating with some pictures soon.

It Begins!


The Beginning of an adventure.
The Beginning of an adventure.


We feel very fortunate to have had House Hunters follow along on our tiny house journey.  It seems appropriate to introduce this blog with the show listing because the show is introducing our tiny house to the world!   Filming was a blast and the production was key in helping us navigate the purchasing process.   This is just the beginning of the adventure because we are about to start the first phase of renovations and we hope to share the remodel with anyone who is interested.   I am sure that there will be no shortage of topics to discuss as we remodel a 600 square foot home occupied by our family of 6, a family which includes an opinionated teenager, a tween,  and crazy-active 2 year old twins!