Home Mid-Century Modern

Our Home: Before and After

9:42 PMDollie DeVille

Today we are celebrating our one year anniversary in our new home. So, as a special treat I am finally showing you all our before and after photos. The before photos are the ones taken when we toured the home, and most of the after photos were taken today.

But first, a brief history: 

From what we understand the original owner of our house was a wealthy plastic surgeon pioneer in Beverly Hills. He bought a ton of land in Northern LA county and built a vacation home on the property. The land was rolling hills, oak trees, and not much else. At the time the area was nicknamed the "Black Palm Springs". Blacks would seek refuge here during times of segregation. Here they could buy land, enjoy the park, and swim in the community pool. Here are some links for more info about it if you are interested: http://www.scvhistory.com/scvhistory/signal/worden/lw072496.htm  http://laist.com/2008/05/03/laistory_val_ve.php?gallery0Pic=7

As the owner got older he sold the land plot by plot, eventually turning into our neighborhood. He sold the house to another person who lived there for a good 20+ years, completely updated it, and then sold it to the previous owner in '09. For some reason the previous owner didn't like the house and sold it to us a year later and moved 3 doors down the street. We still can't figure out why she didn't like the house, because we adore it! What you can't tell from the photos is that this house has a really warm, inviting, and peaceful feel. I like to think that the house is happy to have us because we appreciate it for what it is and wanted to restore it to is former glory.

Now, on with our tour!!


This was the day we toured the house. The previous owner had covered all of the flower beds with these dreadful rocks. For some reason she loved rocks, not that they helped save water (the sprinklers still watered the rocks, and I can't think of a better way to waste water), and not that they stopped any weeds from growing (they were just harder to pull out because the root was under a tarp). So, we slaved for days to remove all of the rocks and plant flowers. 

I kept some of the rocks for a pathway. Very cottage-chic! 

Ignore the neighbors dead lawn. 

The roses are doing well and growing very fast!

The gladiolas are just about finished for the year. 

Poppys too! 

This rose bush is about twice that size now! 

We also painted the front screen red and hung an american flag. Squirly approves! 


This is what the livingroom looked like when we toured the place. 

Zack is not digging the decor, how about you? The neutral colors and over-sized furniture weren't doing much for the space. Is that a sword on the wall? But we could see the potential:

Voila! Much better. The Heywood Wakefield matches the floor almost perfectly-lucky us! 

One day we want to get a vintage bar for this corner, but for now we fashioned a make-shift bar cart. 

We still are looking for an amoeba shaped shag rug for under the cocktail table. 

The TV is a must. Ignore the man's band equipment. 


More beige. I like to call this color "Sand". It was EVERYWHERE in the house! Even the inside of the cabinets and closets were painted this sand color. But, do you see the Youngstown steel sink with drainboards? Yeah, that about sealed the deal. I imagined something more like this:

We painted every wall in the house. We also painted the cabinets inside and out, added shelves and changed the pulls. We eventually want to get a vintage stove and replace the floor with a fun colorful VCT pattern. 

Much better, right? 



and more beige! The table was too big for the space. The previous owner tried to fit modern size furniture in a small vintage house and it just didn't work. We did it like this: 

We like the pink and teal much better!

This table with the collapsible sides fits the space much better. 


Before it was boring and beige...

So I painted it a crisp white (the only white in the whole house!), and added some color with curtains and a cork board with our fav event fliers. 

I added a cute little valance to the backdoor window. 


Before it was just all beige, so we changed that!

We painted the hallway "Holiday Turquoise" and painted the coat closet door white with a pink diamond, and added a pull from Rejuvenation. 


The house had been updated in 2008, but we would have loved to see what it looked like when it was built in 1954. I like to think it looked a little more like this:

How much is that kitty in the window? Oh come on, I had to! 

We added pink fixtures from 1954,

and a VCT floor with a fun pattern in black, pink and white. 

We painted the walls pink to match, and added some gold stars all around the ceiling, and of course, lots and lots of chalkware fish! 


Again, neutral and boring. No magic happening here! 

We painted the room "Plymouth Green" and added warm toned wood furniture. The bed is actually our only piece of modern furniture in the house, but it still has a vintage feel. 


The previous owner was using the spare room as an office. 

Nothing too exciting before. 

I turned it into something of a dream- a beautiful vintage dressing room! Or at least the best I could make of my budget. I wasn't going into any debt while working on the house, so its all still a work in progress. 

My vanity, lucite purses and some of my vintage shoes. 

My armoir holds nothing but vintage dresses! 

That is the mans sitting area. Good for watching my fashion shows! 


The backyard had more rocks and a lot of folk art and potted plants. 

Oh and cacti. I hate cacti as much as I hate rocks. I'm not into the desert look much. 

We went for more of a classic CA/slightly tiki feel. 

We added some tropical plants that are really doing well back there!

That's much more my style!

These plants are about 5 feet tall already! 

We added a big grill for BBQing! 

Sandra and Sugarballs like the patio! 

This concludes the before and after tour of our house. I hope you enjoyed it!


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  1. You guys worked your little tails off to make a comfy inviting home. I you did it without spending millions of dollars. Good for YOU!!!

  2. Love love love this post! Its great to see what you have done to your home, and it looks amazing. The hard work was really worth it :))

  3. Oh it is so lovely and beautifully decorated. Well done you!!! Much better with none of that beige. :D

  4. loved every moment of it! we are still renting and can't do quite as much, so i dream of making a place so beautiful! :)

  5. Awesome is the right word?
    I don't know the appropriate word in my English skill... However, I know it requires a lot of time, energy, and money to make the house very nice.
    You are living in my dream world!!!

  6. Miss Dollie this is a wonderful home its a dream !! Hopefully when I'm older I'll have a home lovely like yours =)

  7. Your house is gorgeous! When I get home from work, im going to start on my place.Seriously. This has inspired me to redo my bathroom tonite.lol

  8. Wow! I love what you did with the place. My fav. room by far has to be the vanity dressing room!!

  9. Looove it!
    I wish we could spice up our home some more.. unfortunately we don't own it. So it's pretty much the furniture that gives it it's vintage vibe. =)

  10. Absolutely gorgeous home you two have created for yourselves! What great style you have! I am looking here for tips when I get my own place!

  11. Love what you guys have done with the place! It looks lovely!! :)

  12. "ignore the man's band equipment." i think i need to frame that quote and hang it in my living room ;)

  13. awesome redo!! love love love your pink toilet, so pretty!

  14. Oh this is exactly how I'd do my house!

    At the moment I have a teeny apartment but do have retro touches - http://www.rockalily.com/blog/my-little-retro-home.html


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