before and afterDIYInteriors

Before & After: A Hands-On Renovation to Welcome Twins in Tacoma, WA

by Lauren Chorpening Day

One of my favorite Sneak Peeks of 2015 was Lindy and Travis Dodge’s home in Tacoma, WA. Their home is classic, comfortable and uncluttered. As my husband and I are on the search for a craftsman home for sale needing a little love, I think about the amazing house Lindy found with coffered ceilings, thick trim and tons of natural light — and I’m encouraged to hold out for something amazing to show up on the market. The Dodges make the process of restoring a home with good bones doable. Everything is DIY and paid for with sweat equity and a confined budget. “I didn’t even know we were in the market to buy a home, and neither did my husband. But sometimes I like to browse Zillow, find old houses and dream of all the things I could do to them. In the first 5 minutes of one of these browsing sessions, I found it. [The house] was a complete disaster, (animal-peed carpet, fake dropped ceilings, plaster holes, dark dungeony kitchen etc.) but I couldn’t look past the coffered ceilings, staircase and molding,” Lindy says. “This house was made for us. With his skills and my ability to make things look pretty, this was the one.”

Things have changed for Lindy, a maker and designer, and Travis, an engineer and founder of start up Tackoma, since their first Design*Sponge feature. While the work on the main level was done, things upstairs were in a bit of a standstill. “We worked so hard and so fast in the beginning that we got a little burnt out, to be honest. [We became] busy with other things and we needed an opportunity to recoup financially for the second phase of renovations upstairs,” Lindy shares. “In March of last year we found out we were pregnant! And in April we were completely shocked to find that there were two babies in there! That gave us the kick in the pants to get back at it and finish up the upstairs.” The rush of adrenaline helped them finish their goal. “We worked and worked up until the day my water broke. I have some really funny photos of me heavily pregnant with twins, a ventilator mask and a paintbrush (no VOC paint of course). Somehow we pulled it off; it was ready for them to come home to.” When Lindy reached out to us that the upstairs was finished, we jumped at the chance to see before and afters of this transformation.

The house is almost unrecognizable apart from the charming features that originally drew them to this home. “We love a good clean, modern design but sometimes for me that feels too cold,” Lindy shares. “I love to throw in classic and traditional styles with the modern to create the essence of home. I think we’ve finally nailed it. It feels really good to be home, and that’s saying something. Up until this point, (and maybe because the entire upstairs was untouched and needed renovations badly) something didn’t feel quite right. I was able to really design our family living space to suit our needs in those renovations upstairs, and clarify my design style. I’ve finally found my personal aesthetic and what feels right and like home for our family. And now with that done, I started redesigning the downstairs, making small changes like reupholstering the sofa, purchasing a new rug and finding the sweetest Danish dining chairs on Craigslist to complement the newly finished upstairs living space.” Travis and Lindy have given new life to their home with their own hands and sweat and can feel like it is finally done, at least for this life stage. Their hard work has created a space that can handle their growing family for years and years. –Lauren

Photography by Lindy Dodge


Paint colors
White: Benjamin Moore Simply White
Kitchen Cabinets: Farrow and Ball Downpipe
Navy blue: Benjamin Moore, Hale Navy

Rug: antique
Island: antique
Wood bowls and utensils: hand carved by Lindy, collected in travel or found at thrift stores
Hardware: Martha Stewart for Home Depot
Sink: Home Depot
Light: IKEA light kit with a basket from Ross
Roman shade: made by Lindy
Cutting boards: Home Goods and handmade by Lindy from a slab of walnut

Living space
Sofa: reupholstered by Lindy
Club chairs: reupholstered by Lindy
Side table: made by Travis
Coffee table: made by Lindy from a tree milled by Travis and father-in-law
Light: Wayfair
Cushions: made by Lindy for her textile company Thimble and Cloth
Plant: IKEA
Plant pot: IKEA
Striped throw: Pehr Designs
Tufted side bench: Goodwill
Sheepskin: IKEA
Yellow wool throw: Goodwill
Rug: Safeveih rug from Amazon

Dining room
Dining table: Travis built
Light fixture: IKEA
Danish dining chairs: Craigslist
Rug: made by Lindy from smaller IKEA rugs
Cushions: Studio Mcgee and made by Lindy
Tapestry: Lindy’s textile collection Thimble and Cloth
Wood picture frame: Ikea
Buffalo check entry bench: made by Lindy from a Goodwill coffee table

Master Bedroom
Bedframe and headboard: made by Lindy
Linen bedding: made by Lindy
Sheets: target flannel
Side table: made by Travis
Side lamp: Goodwill
Pillows: made by Lindy for textile company Thimble and Cloth
Picture frame: IKEA
Photograph: taken by Lindy in Mexico
Green velvet pillow: Studio Mcgee
Basket bassinet: Plum and Sparrow
Basket stand: jolly jumper Amazon
Rug: antique Persian

Light: IKEA, spray painted black

Wool Rug: RugsUSA from their textures collection
Throw blankets: Pehr Designs
Striped tassel blanket: Lindy’s textile collection Thimble and cloth
Wood mobiles: made by Lindy
Large Dolly: made by Lindy
Pillows: Studio Mcgee
Rocking chair: ALL Modern, Piper Reclining Glider by Davinci
Dresser: All Modern, Perocela 7 drawer dresser by Langley Street
Pom Pom storage bins: Pehr Designs
Book ledges: IKEA
Frame: framebridge
Horse print: Kevin Russ for Society 6
Striped curtains: made by Lindy
Fiddle Tree: Satori Boutique
Plant pot: Home Goods
Pom pom sweater: sweetmeadowsweet on Etsy
Light: Land of Nod
Baby moccasins: Little Pine Outfitters
Wooden toys: made by Lindy
Cribs: IKEA

A Hands On Renovation in Tacoma, WA | Design*Sponge
The Dodge family's nursery for Hazel and Norah before and after the renovation.
A Hands On Renovation in Tacoma, WA | Design*Sponge
The nursery, before.
A Hands On Renovation in Tacoma, WA | Design*Sponge
Travis, Lindy and the twins in the newly finished nursery. Photo by Jaquilyn Shumate Photography.
"We made those mobiles and my baby Hazel spends a good amount of time being perfectly content and mesmerized under its movement. It's my secret weapon when I need to get something done really quick," Lindy says.
A Hands On Renovation in Tacoma, WA | Design*Sponge
Travis and Lindy's modern nursery features a mid-century modern dresser, sleek cribs, and a light fixture that keeps things playfully sophisticated.
A Hands On Renovation in Tacoma, WA | Design*Sponge
"You'll find us here at some point every day, rocking, playing and reading," Lindy shares. "That rocking chair is absolutely the comfiest seat in the house. It's a recliner and a glider and it reclines all the way flat!"
A Hands On Renovation in Tacoma, WA | Design*Sponge
The landing before was carpeted with a drop ceiling.
A Hands On Renovation in Tacoma, WA | Design*Sponge
Lindy and Travis lightened up the landing with refinished hardwood floors, new moldings on the walls and a fresh coat of paint. "I envision putting up a baby gate and using this landing as the babies' play area. It's such a good shared space between the room," Lindy says.
A Hands On Renovation in Tacoma, WA | Design*Sponge
The awkward layout in the upstairs bathroom before the renovation.
A Hands On Renovation in Tacoma, WA | Design*Sponge
The new bathroom looks nothing like the before. A new tub with a subway tile shower surround, a new toilet and vanity and new flooring make this bathroom feel fresh and clean -- the way a bathroom should feel.
A Hands On Renovation in Tacoma, WA | Design*Sponge
Travis and Lindy installed new tile floors in the bathroom in a fun and timeless gingham pattern.
A Hands On Renovation in Tacoma, WA | Design*Sponge
The peeling pink plaster, carpet and drop ceilings in the master bedroom didn't really read peaceful and restful to the Dodges.
A Hands On Renovation in Tacoma, WA | Design*Sponge
Travis moved the closet access closer to the windows to give the room a more workable layout. Off of the closet is a craft room for Lindy where she can create artisanal home goods for her business, Thimble and Cloth.
A Hands On Renovation in Tacoma, WA | Design*Sponge
"I designed this room based off an antique Persian rug I found for the deal of the century at an antique store. My husband built those little side tables originally intended for stools," Lindy shares.
A Hands On Renovation in Tacoma, WA | Design*Sponge
The staircase before.
A Hands On Renovation in Tacoma, WA | Design*Sponge
Lindy and Travis exposed the mahogany hardwood on the steps of the staircase. The majority of the wood in the home had already been painted when they moved in. Lindy says the steps still need to be refinished but the beautiful wood tone in this space brings depth to the stairwell.
A Hands On Renovation in Tacoma, WA | Design*Sponge
"We wanted a clean aesthetic so we installed a board and batten treatment through the entire stairwell and landing," Lindy says.
A Hands On Renovation in Tacoma, WA | Design*Sponge
The dining room bench before.
A Hands On Renovation in Tacoma, WA | Design*Sponge
The dining room bench after their main level renovation.
A Hands On Renovation in Tacoma, WA | Design*Sponge
The kitchen before the makeover.
A Hands On Renovation in Tacoma, WA | Design*Sponge
"We love how our budget renovation turned out! The biggest impact was removing all those upper cabinets. For now we created a countertop by applying concrete to the existing countertops and painting the lowers. We made a pendant light from a basket I got at Ross and an IKEA light kit. What I love most of all is that wood island. I found it at a thrift store for $60 with the original tag affixed to the bottom, a couple of nails holding down a piece of paper, handwritten in pencil [by a French manufacturer]," Lindy shares.
A Hands On Renovation in Tacoma, WA | Design*Sponge
The main level was full of animal soiled carpeting and bad light fixtures but it had great character and tall ceilings to work with.
A Hands On Renovation in Tacoma, WA | Design*Sponge
"We love the open floor plan. Designing around it has presented challenges making sure that each room flows with the next, but we love being able to be with one another even in separate rooms," Lindy says.
A Hands On Renovation in Tacoma, WA | Design*Sponge
"The first goal was to get it livable for move-in. My husband slept on a cot in the dining room while scraping all the old floors, popcorn ceilings and demoing the kitchen at night after work. He'd work all night long. My job was to paint. I painted every single nook and cranny of this home. We officially moved in when we had the hardwood floors laid and the rooms painted," Lindy explains.
A Hands On Renovation in Tacoma, WA | Design*Sponge
"The blue room is our version of Travis' man cave. Its simple design serves one purpose... to read," Lindy says.

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  • It looks so good. It is amazing what fresh paint can do! All of the original details in this home were lost under gross carpet and bad paint. You guys brought it back to life! It looks amazing! Well done. :)

  • Absolutely beautiful. Congratulations on your adorable new arrivals! Where did you get the glider chair in the nursery?

  • I can relate….scrambling to finish reno of our Seattle 1890 Victorian farmhouse while pregnant with twins!!! Nice job!

  • This space looks amazing! Every single room flows nicely and has a sense of calm. There is no better way to welcome your family than with a renovation, it symbolizes a fresh start for a fresh new family. Thanks for sharing!

  • Lovely home, but the pictures left me wanting more! The twin’s room is lovely. Well done on the whole warm and friendly home. I do have a question – where is Babycat?

  • Insanely great, congratulations on the house and family all in one fell swoop! Enjoy every moment, says this exhausted mama of a fab six year old. LOVE your aesthetic and what you’ve done with the house. I will have to check out additional photos online, if they exist. Would love to learn more about your mobile. Best wishes to you all!

  • Lindy is my hero! and to top it off raising twins with such grace. I love this home and am even more in awe of it seeing the before pictures. bravo!

  • Wow! Gorgeous home. When we moved into our current house, I spent months pulling up disgusting animal-stained carpet…The tackboards, the staples, the disintegrated foam padding…Yuk! I can relate, but I can’t imagine doing it while pregnant with twins! My own twins are 27 years old; they’re still adorable.

  • Love the house…wish there were more before and after photos as well as a photo of the front of the house. I was looking for a link to possibly see if they were posted somewhere else. I will be moving from DC to the Seattle Tacoma area in Dec. myself… moving back to the PNW after 10 years so happy.

  • I think that this is my favourite home… I’m super impressed with the transformation and very inspired.
    I’m about to renovate my 1970s townhouse in Johannesburg,SA and have been lusting after a kitchen exactly like yours!
    The navy and white combo is both fresh and classic – and what with kitchen renos costing what they do, this will look good for many years to come.
    Bravo on a great renovation and congratulations too – your babies are so sweet xxx