Our New House

And so it begins: this is the story of my husband and I renovating a dirty, neglected house and (hopefully) turning it into something awesome. What might look a little like giant holes in the ceilings and broken parquet sure seems like potential to us – now it’s time to do the work to reveal it. Welcome to our little journey!

A little background: my husband, Kyle and I are both former architectural designers turned graphic designers, and this will be the second house renovation that we’ve done together. They say if you can get through a renovation together, you can withstand anything. We’ve found that to be pretty true!

Front room of main house

This house, in the Madison neighborhood of Phoenix, was built in 1953. We don’t know anything about the original owners, but we think it’s a Haver house, meaning that it was designed by an architect named Ralph Haver who’s mildly famous here in Phoenix. He worked from the 1940s to the 1970s, designing over 1,000 homes from custom one-offs to small subdivisions. He’s well-known for his mid-century modern style, which means features such as low sloping roofs, floor to ceiling glass, block construction, and prominent chunky fireplaces (you can read more about Ralph Haver here). Whether this home is actually one of his or a knockoff in a similar style, it does have lovely natural light, a beautiful fireplace, and a nice floor plan. Oh, and some giant holes in the ceiling. Whatever.

Hallway from living room to bedroomsKitchen

Steel yourself. These are the ‘before’ pictures, the scary pictures that strike fear into the hearts of parents everywhere. The house had a lot of issues, mostly cosmetic (except for the roof), and we’re trying to fix the big ones right away so that we can move in in about six weeks. The smaller ones, or less complicated ones, can wait until we’re in, and we’ll do them bit by bit. We’ve already fixed some big stuff, and I’ll post those photos soon.

Family room

This house was originally a three bedroom, two bath home that has been added onto a few times. It was being used as a rental, with tenants in a studio in the back (the future master bedroom) and the converted former carport (the future home of Extra Small Design). In later posts, I’ll go through these spaces in more detail, but for now this gives the general feeling.

Hall bathroomFront unit bathroom

Yes, on the right that is a bathroom/kitchen. So convenient! And not at all weird.

Main living/dining space

Back yard, looking west

This is an exciting time for us! I can’t wait to begin to post “after” photos as we complete each step.



  1. Natalie February 22nd, 2012

    LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS BLOG!!! Keep posting!!

  2. Leah February 23rd, 2012

    I’m so excited that you guys are blogging your process! Nothing better than some geat before and afters. Keep ’em comin’…

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