Remodeling from a 70s to a zen-craftsman house

Our house remodel happened way before I ever had a blog but, since several friends were curious about how the house looked like beforehand I decided to post the photos and videos I had, which is not much. In hindsight I wish I did a better job documenting the transformation of our 1970s Frank Lloyd Wright-ish home to our “Zen-Craftsman” style. It took 3+ frustrating years for us to visualize what our remodeled home would look like. I wanted an element of the craftsman style but, somehow it had to seamlessly tie in with the existing design, architecture and angles of the house. With the help of our cabinet maker, Richard Shaw, everything came together and now we’re so glad we endured the stressful remodel process. I mostly only have photos and videos of the great room however the remodel affected the entire house since we replaced our baseboard heaters with a heat pump and installed all new duct work (something I wouldn’t necessarily recommend today.) And, to improve the efficiency of our great room, and to accommodate recessed lights, we lowered the entire ceiling 6 inches and added much needed insulation. I won’t go into all the details but, here are some photos and videos.


I included a few videos, one taken shortly after moving into the house where the new fireplace was still incomplete, and the HGTV audition video of my interior designer friend, Trisa Chomica, which happens to feature the design elements of our great room and Nora’s bathroom. I had a goal of finishing this house remodel post by the end of 2011. It’s December 29th…nothing like waiting until the last minute!!! LOL

Nora dancing in our new great room…check out her chubby cheeks and sweet voice at the end! (1 minute):

Trisa Chomica and her HGTV audition video, featuring our house (5 minutes):

2 comments on “Remodeling from a 70s to a zen-craftsman house

  1. Sharon says:

    Thank you for sharing your ideas regarding your 70s house remodel.
    We have a 70s house we built 1979 and after raising a family and as well living in europe for 11 years we are now remodeling. someone today asked me why we did not move and just let someone else take this on. We live directly on a beautiful river in Nova Scotia and as well we have a garden to renovate. You can see we will be busy in our retirement years. We don;t need to downsize as I am an artist and need even more space. My husband collects, restores and plays guitar . Unlike most retires we do not need to downsize. Love your enthusiasm.


    • meelswa says:

      sharon: You’re welcome! Yes, remodeling was scary but, now that it’s done, my memory (or amnesia) is that it wasn’t that bad…and TOTALLY worth it! If you love the location of your house/property, remodeling can definitely be the way to go. Thanks for stopping by and come back and post a link of your before/after photos!


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