Apr 14, 2013

The Awkward Uninvited House Guest - Cool Ranch Flavor

Last month, Alison and Jay put their 1918 bungalow on the market.  It sold one day later.

Happened again, running buddy Seth and Heather listed their house last week...it was gone in 12 hours.  For $3,000 over the asking price.

I couldn't resist:

Dear Seth, 

I'm inviting myself over to your house for photos and a post.     


Pigtails and I stopped by after dinner last week, they live in my 'hood five minutes away.

Little guy Trigg greeted us with a drooly grin, Riley's tail was a blur.  As with Alison's house visit, doggy photobombed almost every shot.   

Seth bought the house in 2005.  It was in decent shape, but like most homes and humans built six decades ago, it was saggy in places and would tighten up nicely with a double shot of Botox.

Seth's pretty much self-taught on the DIY front, his list of upgrades extensive:  windows replaced, kitchen and bathrooms rebuilt from scratch, new ceramic on the floors and some sweet landscaping out back.  Our running group held a painting party and slapped brown oil-based on his cedar shake siding a couple years ago. 

Just a hunch here, perhaps Seth was a bachelor when he first moved in:

He pulled up the swath of carpet from entry to kitchen and laid large squares of ceramic tile.  This makes the high traffic highway easy to clean:


A few tweaks to the living room and a new baby boy warms it right up.  Same coffee table, different color.  #beaglebutt.

This is what the kitchen entry used to look like.  Digging the arced doorway.

Tile and fresh paint in the right colors, plus improved digi' camera makes it all swell.

Seth and Heather's kitchen rebuild is what inspired me to use IKEA for my own rip-and-strip.

The old looked pretty good, with white cabinets and wood countertops:

"I can make it better," said Seth, he got salty with a crowbar and a truckload of IKEA flat packs.


The dining room originally had a window, you can see it there on the left:

During, new wainscoting, chair rail and paint in Heather's hair:

All done.  Seth deleted the window, cut a large hole in his house and installed a slider and wood deck.

The master bedroom used to be disco dark 70s:


Trigg's crib got the wooden whitewashed wall treatment:


Now with less trellis:

Seth said the grout was still wet on the bathroom walls when buyers walked his house on sale day last week.


During, "honey, do you feel a draft?"

I like the dark grey grout, glass block window and custom slab of granite on the recycled sink:

Raunchy to righteous down below.


The wood paneled walls were tossed in the dumpster.  Improved ceiling, lights, paint, carpet, and dog:

 Seth built bookcases into the sides of the fireplace:

The backyard used to be a steep death slide into a creek.  Mowing wet grass on that incline must have been like trying to fetch a cherry pit from a Vitamix going full tilt.

Careful planning, a straight blade spade, loads of paving stones and a strong back transformed the yard into a terraced, tiki-lined oasis.  Good dad, he installed a slide for Trigg.

That's it, thanks for letting us invade your home!  I'll wear stripes next time.

Readers, drop a comment letting Seth and Heather know their house is the bomb, then stop over to their blog to keep up with the new house hunt and family life.



  1. It's amazing how picking the right paint colors can just warm a home up! I also like the kitchen and back yard renos. I think the terraces were a fantastic idea, and turned a probably mostly unusable yard, into a great entertaining space.

    1. Agree, no wonder the joint sold in a half day.

  2. Man, that house is gorgeous! I love the backyard with the slide too cool! Ours is really steep we should think about something like that!

    1. Put in a slide or zip-line, stat!

    2. The backyard project was fun but if I had to do it again, i would plan the digging in the spring or fall...too hot in the summer. Make sure you get a level base and then those blocks stack like legos! It definitely transformed an unusable area of our backyard!

  3. Wow! What a fantastic reno. It looks beautiful! Oh, and that slide in the side of the incline? Genius!! I almost want a steep backyard just so I can do that.

    1. I told Seth that's the way it is. You finally get the house tweaked the way you like it, then bam, a kid, move, done.

  4. Love the ideas for the steep back yard. Nice job on the house too!

    1. Seth, are you there? People like your crib, discuss.

  5. Thanks for all the great comments on the house, thanks as well to Beard for the feature, great write up! It was fun to have you stop over!

  6. Anonymous4/17/2013

    love the house, but again, the dog steals the show.

    love that blurry face in the last photo (bottom right).
    like hey! wait for me, family pic!

  7. Anonymous4/17/2013

    Not only did running buddies paint, I also remember a tree cutting party. Just gotta say WOW to the finished product. Congrats Seth & Heather.


Thanks for the note, check back for my response!