The Estate of Things

A Little Hippie Den Makeover

by Betsy Moyer on November 5, 2014, 3 comments

Hippie Den Makeover Before and After

This past week I took a quick trip to Fort Collins to visit with my brother and his wife and their sweet gaggle of children, Avery, Madeline & Ezri. They’ve recently moved from Los Angeles and are still making their new house a home. The split level ranch style represents an interesting challenge for a work-from-home momma that splits her time chasing a wild 2.5 year old plus a 8 month old oral explorer on the cusp of walking. The main floor features the most lived-in/baby proofed kitchen and living room combo, but we needed to carve out a more aesthetically pleasing family friendly solution in the forgotten downstairs den where the homies can all stack up and watch movies by the fireplace. Here is a look at the space before.

The family has amassed a fair suite of seating options for next to nothing from sites like craigslist as well as some serendipitous curb finds. I know as design bloggers we like to talk about dropping 44.5 gabillion budgets on a room redo, but the reality for most of us, is that a room might need to come together with more frugality than that. They had pretty much all they needed, so we approached this room with the idea to simply apply a plan to what they had. After a quick cruise at the local thrift store for just a few missing pieces, e.g. the pillows and a rug and a dig through a stack of textiles downstairs, we were able to pull together this little cozy hippie den.

I love how we ended up with something that felt like it speaks to the personality of the family and suits their needs as a second living area. What was once a careless den is now it’s own little slice of heaven for a nap by the fire or movie nights. My next suggestion for their collection might be a few floor poufs for the nights that their 8 year old son has a friend over for video games, and some hanging plants in the window to polish off that modern bohemian jungalow vibe.


Estate Envy: Topanga’s Million Dollar View

by Betsy Moyer on January 11, 2014, no comments

Remember this old series y’all…? It is where we get inside the virtual tours of homes we like to dream we live in. A recent Trulia stumble reminded me of the old past time. When I came across this getaway in Topanga, I got super starry eyed. The dude and I sat side by side thumbing through the pictures and dreaming up just how perfect it is for our lifestyle, including the gargoyle garden art.  It’s like a woodsy craftsman, just look at that patina on this door.

Dream House entranceDream House Living RoomThe lodge feeling holds strong once you get inside and it leaves a little to be desired in the way of style. Personally I look at images like this and my mind takes stock rapidly of all the changes I would like to make – and that gets me really excited. I’m happy to see some white walls, since I know that the battle to paint wood would be an uphill one. I picture the ceiling in a crisp white and think that this would be a stunning frame for the ocean views, but I know that Heffe won’t buy it, so I accept the beautiful ceiling as is and re-route my mind back to woodsy mountain living. Instead I begin the carpet removal process in my mind. How would this room look with a super dark floor? I know the fireplace will definitely need an update, and isn’t it unfortunate how difficult it will be to create a centered focal point on that wall with the balance of the tv? But look at that view. That’s just Palos Verdes in the background there, no bigs, just the ENTIRE Los Angeles coastline visible from your back deck.  Dream House bedroomOh, thank god! They’ve already painted the ceiling white in this room! Such promise. Might have to take away that rounded fireplace situation and I can’t bear the ceiling fan, but this room has great potential.Dream House Camper spotPlus, I know what’s waiting outside of those sweet french doors besides a jacuzzi. Situated on one acre of property, there is no reason not to get plenty of exercise walking the grounds to and from this lovely spot where I’m envisioning my Vintage Shasta Camper! This is where the dream really starts to sink it’s claws in.

The likely next step here is to do a quick google maps search and realize that this puppy is buried so deep in the Topanga hills that every trip to the grocery store will take a minimum of twenty minutes and dude’s commute to and from work will hit the hour mark. My dream balloon has officially busted and I slink away back down to reality.

Dream House pitch roof


Master Bedroom: Renovation Progress

by Sarah on January 9, 2013, 2 comments

I’m helping a friend remodel their master bedroom. The regular crew and I are taking a break from the Grout Cottage and lending a hand to this transformation from ho hum bedroom to master and commander with a dressing room and super organized closet.

This is the only true before image that I have.

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Before it was a regular bedroom with a cathedral popcorn ceiling, a walk-in closet that was packed to the gills with not only clothing but also a huge water filter, two unnecessary windows and a boob light. Another tiny early 1900s closet and an adjoining closed in porch that was being used as a small junk room rounded out this space.

First order of business was to blow out that old 1900’s tiny closet and the wall separating the bedroom from the small junk room. Here’s a list of how the rest of the demo went down:

  • Demo cathedral ceiling to reveal 11′ original ceilings
  • Demo original yellow pine flooring, made floor system structurally sound
  • Demo fireplace mantel
  • Remove water filter and strip out closet
  • Eliminate two windows in walk-in closet
  • Eliminate existing window and move higher
  • Remove old windows in junk room
  • Remove old bi-fold closet doors to walk-in
  • Remove old builder’s best brass door hardware
  • Remove & discard two ceiling fans
  • Remove baseboard and shoe molding

The space in the before image above now looks like this,


Here’s what else is happening in this room, custom closet doors


book nook,


Brand new fireplace with spot to recess the flat screen, the mantle is just up there temporarily on closet brackets. We ordered brackets from Vintage Woodworks. Sconces ordered from here to flank flat screen.


Brand new casement windows from Jeldwen flood our soon to be dressing area with sunlight,


I’m trying to get a feel for what size pendant we need in the dressing area,


Here’s a snapshot of the inside of the walk-in closet, you can still see the old boob light hanging on,


Larger view of sleeping area,


Flooring is scheduled to arrive late this week, my friends selected hand scraped, hard as nails Hickory. We are in deep on paint color selection so stay tuned for that.






DWR Malm Fireplace

by Betsy Moyer on January 26, 2010, 2 comments

Just a friendly reminder that I want to own one of these. It’s been a little while since we talked about it. And I only bring it back up now because I’m keeping the dream alive. This puppy could cost you up to $3,000 from Design Within Reach. I am DIABOLICALLY opposed to that sum of money. But the other night I was cruising down Lincoln through Venice at warp speeds when I passed a storefront that had one of every imaginable color out on the sidewalk. I have to get back over there on a Saturday to see what the asking price is there.

The Estate of Things chooses DWR Malm Fireplace