before and afterInteriors

Before & After: A West Coast Renovation That Was Meant to Be

by Lauren Chorpening

In Pacific Grove, California, the housing market is fiercely competitive due to the oceanside location, amazing schools and small town feel. Erin, a lifestyle blogger and interior stylist, and Matthew Conway, a CALFire Fire Captain, wanted to find a house in Pacific Grove. All of the offers they made on houses over the course of a year were rejected — including the house they now own. “We found our home the day it hit the market and offered the same hour we saw it, along with 3 other offers. We were rejected. The highest bidder was 50k more than us. Our Realtor convinced the seller to put us in the back-up position in case the deal fell through. We wrote her a letter explaining why this town and school district meant so much to us, so she gladly gave us the back-up position,” Erin shares. “A month went by and we lost hope and kept searching. Then the call came. The offer fell through–It was ours. There were actually a handful of more crazy and unlikely factors that went into this deal falling into place. All that matters is at the end of the day getting this home felt like fate, so we named her, Kismet.”

Getting the home was just the first obstacle. The house needed a lot of cosmetic work to be updated and livable. Before Erin, Matthew and Finnegan moved in, they replaced flooring, removed the popcorn ceiling, opened the wall between the family room and dining room, fixed drywall and stripped wallpaper. Erin’s eye for interior design and Matthew’s sweat equity on his days off of work have transformed their house into a home layered in color, texture and style. “The process of fixing this home up is far from done. We haven’t touched the upstairs or the kitchen. We are DIYers and have a limited budget, so once we did the first huge overhaul prior to move in, everything else is slow and steady. When we accomplish a goal and scratch it off of that mile long to-do list, damn it feels good,” Erin laughs. This home may have been kismet at first but the Conways have earned the credit due for its new found beauty. –Lauren

Photographed by Erin Conway

Image above: Erin and Matthew’s home is full of unexpected color, texture, patterns and contrast. Her goals when decorating is to create something new and beautiful and to push herself to explore past trends.

SOURCES

Family Room
Couch: Article Burrard Sofa
Side Chairs: Article Nord leather chairs
Rug: Rugs USA
Coffee Table: Eclectic Goods Avery coffee table
Pillows: ZigZagDesignStudios (etsy), One Affirmation, Sew and Cloth, ModernClementine
Curtains & Rod: World Market
Paint Color: BEHR Swiss Coffee
Accent Wall Paint Color: BEHR Underwaters
Art: Christie Adelle, Little Brick Home
Shelf Brackets: World Market
Shelf Wood: Home Depot painted Pure White by BEHR
Decorative Accents: Target
Flooring: Garrison Canewood
Frames: Michaels, Target
Plant Basket: Target
TV Console: Craigslist painted Rustoleum Forest Green

Office Nook
Wallpaper: Milton & King Wallpaper
Chandelier: Lucent Light Shop
Frames: Target
Wall Hanging: @Shop.Undecorated.Home
Desk: Craigslist painted Versailles Rose by BEHR
Black Ceiling Light: Claxy via Amazon
Decorative Accents: Target
Poufs: Shop The Reserve, Target
Blanket Ladder: Pepe & Carols
Pink Blanket: The Bali Market

Formal Living Room
Side Chairs: Overstock The Camille, Blue
Leather Pouf: Minda Living
Faux Cowhide: World Market
Vintage Rug: Kentucky Rose Designs
Triangle Mudcloth: Kristin Dion Design
Indigo Throw: DK Renewal
Fireplace Art: Blayne Art
Wood Vases: Target
Gold Tray: Target
Blanket Ladder: Flea market find
Coffee Table Bench: Vintage
Fireplace: Secondhand painted Midnight in NY by BEHR
Paint Color: BEHR Swiss Coffee
Sofa: The Chole from Macys
Pillows: Shop.MyHavenHome, ZigZagDesignStudio, Mor Pillows, One Affirmation
Poufs: Socco Designs
Gallery Wall Art: Art Crate
Wall Hanging: Eclectic Goods
Belly Basket: Shop Eclectic Collective
Light Fixture: Lucent Light Shop
Plants: Home Depot
Beads on Blanket Ladder: Cases Beads
Mirror: Craigslist

Dining Room
Round Mirrors: Target
Globe Scone: World Market
Jute Rug: Rugs USA
Blue Rug: World Market
Dining Table: Nolan by Sixpenny
Wishbone Chairs: Overstock
Gold Vase: Target
Bar Cart: World Market
Chandelier: The Mobile by West Elm
Arrows: Target
Faux Planet: HomeGoods
Black Paint: BEHR Black Boudoir
Paint Color: BEHR Swiss Coffee
Indigo Runner: DK Renewal
Beads on Vase: Casa Beads
Art: Lana Gibson Art
Frames: Target
Plant Basket: TargetLetter Board: Letter Love Goods
Black, White and Wood Sign: Salted Words

Before & After: A West Coast Renovation That Was Meant to Be | Design*Sponge
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"The 2-story gallery wall beside the standard height wall is an interesting element," Erin says. "It's a feature i hated until I decided to embrace it. I had to stop trying to make them blend and let them be their own kind of rad that compliments one another. Which is why we covered one in shiplap and the other in a bold paint color that makes the wood pop."
Before & After: A West Coast Renovation That Was Meant to Be | Design*Sponge
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“These pieces are by Christie Adele and I chose them because they bring all of the colors throughout the room together. They tie in the space. They are on an awkward part of the room, a 2-story wall beside the windows. The space is next to the TV so the decor couldn’t jet out too far and block the TV view. This high custom shelf we built and her prints are the perfect fit,” Erin shares.

Before & After: A West Coast Renovation That Was Meant to Be | Design*Sponge
3/14
"This nook used to be a wet bar with what we called a 'drive-thru window' open to the dining room behind it," Erin explains.
Before & After: A West Coast Renovation That Was Meant to Be | Design*Sponge
4/14
The wet bar was transformed into an office area for Erin with floral wallpaper, a pink campaign-style desk and brass accents.
Before & After: A West Coast Renovation That Was Meant to Be | Design*Sponge
5/14
The big, beautiful windows in the family room were exposed with lighter window treatments. The space looks open and modern with the natural light and hardwood floors.
Before & After: A West Coast Renovation That Was Meant to Be | Design*Sponge
6/14
"The two story ceilings and enormous windows are such an amazing feature and had us at hello. This is the room where we do most of our living, the floor is usually covered in toys as the sounds of my son playing fill the space; and I wouldn't have it any other way," Erin says. Erin styled the gorgeous family room with a sofa and two chairs from Article and a coffee table from Eclectic Goods.
Before & After: A West Coast Renovation That Was Meant to Be | Design*Sponge
7/14
Erin knew she wanted the wall from the family room into the dining room opened up. Matthew wasn't convinced at first. Originally the only access to the dining room was through the formal living room. The double access has proven to be perfect for the way the Conways use the house.
Before & After: A West Coast Renovation That Was Meant to Be | Design*Sponge
8/14
This space is tricky because it is narrow. It was an addition that the previous owner added. [It] was once a deck. When they added it they only opened it to the living room and not the family room, making it feel even smaller. We remedied that. My favorite feature is the black french doors looking onto our redwood deck," Erin says.
Before & After: A West Coast Renovation That Was Meant to Be | Design*Sponge
9/14
Heavy window treatments, stained carpet, popcorn ceiling and the light fixture were removed along with the family room wall in the dining room.
Before & After: A West Coast Renovation That Was Meant to Be | Design*Sponge
10/14
"The goal with decor is always to feel like home and be comfortable. Pieces that tell a story and don't feel like I got everything from a big box store. My style is constantly evolving. I have a more bohemian vibe right now. I am drifting away from it slowly, challenging myself to try something else," Erin shares.
Before & After: A West Coast Renovation That Was Meant to Be | Design*Sponge
11/14
"The windows in here are actually awful aluminum 80s windows that I hate. We don't have the ability to add new ones right now so we beefed up these bad boys with wood casings we then painted black. Night and day difference on a budget," Erin exclaims.
Before & After: A West Coast Renovation That Was Meant to Be | Design*Sponge
12/14
"I decided to paint the wall on the side of the formal living room with the lower ceiling height to make it pop. The deep blue green color draws your eye to it, rather than causing you to focus on the ceiling height variation. Plus it's a great backdrop for art," Erin shares.
Before & After: A West Coast Renovation That Was Meant to Be | Design*Sponge
13/14
Erin salvaged this mantle listed on Craigslist. It came from a historic home in the area.
Before & After: A West Coast Renovation That Was Meant to Be | Design*Sponge
14/14
Erin, Finnegan, Matthew and expected baby girl, Tallula on the beach in Pacific Grove, CA. "We're swinging our little man with our arms while he's still small enough to. Cant believe we get another round on this awesome ride of childhood with a little girl this time," Erin shares.

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