It’s Time for a Fixer Upper Update

fixer upper
A quiet moment in the living room. This is the 77 year old subfloor, still in great shape. The new hardwood will go over this. Photo By Alex Stavert


Phew – it has been a busy time at the fixer upper.  One month ago was the last time I reported to you the changes in the renovation and although they may not seem that monumental, they really do to me.

Our little Spanish señorita is starting to look like a real house again! No more see-through walls and empty spaces.

The bathrooms have been built, the tile is going in and the dry wall is finished. The drywall took quite a while. They took great care with taping and making sure all of the walls were straight and flat. Each drywall coat dried for many days before the next was put on.

We made some important paint color choices for the outside, a pool tile decision and are finalizing the wood flooring.

fixer upper - outside paint colors
Outside paint colors: The soft, white color is for the walls, chocolate brown for the trim and the green for the shutters.


We have purchased the kitchen and master bath countertops and I am soooo excited about them! We had already  purchased two marble slabs for the guest bath because of a screamin’ deal we stumbled upon at Walker Zanger, a spectacular tile and stone company.

In our experience, “screamin’ deal” and home renovation are never used in the same sentence.

fixer upper - old kitchen
The old and dated kitchen.


fixer upper - kitchen progress
The new kitchen space! Those are new French doors to the left and a new garden window over the sink (it cannot be seen) and to the right a new opening/cutout to the dining room.


fixer upper - new kitchen backsplash
My new kitchen backsplash – This is my absolute favorite thing in the whole house! The kitchen countertops will be honed black granite.


The fireplace has been enhanced by adding dimension at the top. We found the perfect tile for around the opening and it is now waiting for a rough wood mantel and paint of course!

Notice the 3-D upper fireplace. It used to b e just a flat wall. The insert in the middle is for the TV plugs.
Notice the 3-D upper fireplace, it used to be just a flat wall. The insert in the middle is for the flat screen plugs.


The tile floors in the laundry room and bathrooms are being laid and grouted as I type. The outside plastering and roof will go up next and will take a couple of weeks. We ended up having to restucco the entire house because we wanted all of the stucco to match with the new upstairs addition. Additionally, the stucco was very old and really needed an update as well.

Masterbath grey and white marble shower tile and the new gorgeous marble floor!


Next up for the fixer upper:

The architect has designed super cool Spanish custom gates with unique hinges and hardware. The leaded glass front window will be strengthened and waterproofed. All the finish carpentry will be done soon as well. I can’t wait to see that!

We will fly down next week to choose wall colors and finalize the wood floors. We are getting ready to purchase the appliances too.

More posts about the fixer upper:

The Challenges of Moving Into a New “Old” House

Our Empty Nest Renovation and 6 Months in Seattle

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24 thoughts on “It’s Time for a Fixer Upper Update”

  1. Hi Suzanne! Looks like you are making lots of progress and have some exciting choices ahead of you. And I’ll bet you’ll appreciate Southern California weather a lot more when you return. We are all looking forward to your great reveal in the future. ~Kathy

    • So true Kathy – I always thought I had appreciated the So Cal weather, but I really noticed the difference traveling back and forth. I look forward to walking the dog without a jacket!

  2. Love the backsplash tile! That is a gorgeous detail that will really make a pop in the kitchen. Looks like a fun and challenging project. Good luck!

  3. I too LOVE that backsplash! I am looking for something very similar. Would you mind telling me where you got the tile? Thanks, love all your ideas! You can see that it will be amazing!

  4. Please add me to the list of people inquiring about your backsplash tile. I live in So Cal and looking for good tiles that I can see before I buy. You can email me directly if you’d like.

  5. Hi Suzanne, I hate to be another asking about the backsplash tile but I LOVE it. I have looked at the site but see nothing similar. Do you have any additional details that will be helpful.

    Thank you

    • Hi Kim – My advice is to call them and explain what you are trying to find. They have quite a lot of hand made tiles to choose from. Evidently the one I have has been discontinued. I don’t know why.

  6. Suzanne, Can you tell me how you like the honed granite you installed, how it’s holding up, etc. It’s what I’m planning on using in our new home but everything I read says it can stain??? Help, I need an opinion from someone who has it. I just don’t want to make a mistake. Thank you.

    • Hi Mary: I love it! It does show oils, but I use just a drop of dish soap on a sponge and clean it consistently each day or so. I like the non-shiny look. I would definitely do it again.


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