let's make something fantastic.

Blog

Posts tagged Interior Design
Introducing: The Mammoth Fixer
 

When people ask me "what do you do?" I generally respond with a simple "I'm a freelance graphic designer. DON'T YOU KNOW WHO I AM?" Or something really friendly and approachable like that. 

These days, however, that answer only tells about half the story. Yes, I'm a graphic designer. Yes, you should probably know who I am. But as of April of this year, I've also been playing the roles of interior designer, general contractor, day laborer, carpenter, and general handyman for an exciting new project that I'm calling The Mammoth Fixer. 

A bit of back story...

In April of this year, Peter (my husband - DON'T YOU KNOW WHO HE IS, EITHER?) and I decided to buy our own little slice of heaven in the form of a badly outdated condo in one of our favorite places on earth, Mammoth Lakes, California. Mammoth is a sweet little community in the Eastern Sierra Nevada, about 5 hours north of LA and just south of Yosemite National Park. We fell in love with the town for many reasons (initially because it's home to Mammoth Mountain, a most excellent ski resort), but I'll talk more about that in a future post - please stop trying to change the subject. For now, suffice it to say that Mammoth provides an excellent escape from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles, and we can't wait to turn this little condo in the woods into our own mountain retreat. 

Here she is in all of her Winter Glory. Built in 1966, Tyrolean Village was the 2nd condo complex in all of Mammoth Lakes. Also, how great is the name Tyrolean Village?!

Here she is in all of her Winter Glory. Built in 1966, Tyrolean Village was the 2nd condo complex in all of Mammoth Lakes. Also, how great is the name Tyrolean Village?!

As the child of Serial Home Renovators and a long-time HGTV addict, closing escrow on the Time Capsule (as we've come to refer to it) was literally a dream come true for me. As soon as I laid eyes on this beauty I just couldn't wait to tear it apart. You know, in the most loving way possible. We saw a number of other condos before we made a decision to buy, but this unit just screamed POTENTIAL before we even walked in the door. The midcentury lines of the exterior, the large south-facing windows, the high upstairs ceilings with exposed beams, and even the wood panelling (SO MUCH WOOD PANELLING) were all calling my name and begging for my attention like some needy child. And, while I would have no patience for such a child, I was more than ready to answer this old condo's siren song (is this mixing metaphors? Probably.). Luckily for me, I married a man who also saw the potential in this outdated den full of carpet and old people smell. He also trusted me to realize this potential, and immediately jumped into this project with both feet. Bless his heart. 

The Condo (as we first saw it)

I have SO MUCH to say about this project, our plans for it, and the work we're already doing, but for now I'll just share a few photos from the original real estate listings. As it turns out, I'm really bad at taking "before" photos (my natural inclination is just to dive into a project and take photos once it's nice and pretty, just like Instagram intended), so these are the only photos we have that show what this place looked like before we started tearing everything apart. 

Upstairs: looking into the kitchen from living area. Carpet everywhere. Heavy, outdated furniture that, luckily for us, CAME WITH THE HOUSE. Antlers everywhere (can you spot the two examples in this photo?) 

Upstairs: looking into the kitchen from living area. Carpet everywhere. Heavy, outdated furniture that, luckily for us, CAME WITH THE HOUSE. Antlers everywhere (can you spot the two examples in this photo?) 

A closer look at the kitchen. White appliances, wood cabinetry with a braided (?) detail, strange cabinet layout, ugly granite. Good space, but desperately in need of an update. 

A closer look at the kitchen. White appliances, wood cabinetry with a braided (?) detail, strange cabinet layout, ugly granite. Good space, but desperately in need of an update. 

Living area from kitchen. Look at all of that gorgeous panelling! I intend to make it more gorgeous. Beautiful large windows hidden behind unfortunate vertical blinds. Take a look a that platform the stove is sitting on...

Living area from kitchen. Look at all of that gorgeous panelling! I intend to make it more gorgeous. Beautiful large windows hidden behind unfortunate vertical blinds. Take a look a that platform the stove is sitting on...

A closer look at that perplexing monstrosity we came to refer to as "The Stage." This thing was (yes, *was*) taking up like 35 square feet of prime living room space. One can only assume this was built because the original owners were prone to hosting rambunctious karaoke parties and needed a stage on which to perform. Also, it was original to the house, which meant it was built right into the wall. More on that later. 

A closer look at that perplexing monstrosity we came to refer to as "The Stage." This thing was (yes, *was*) taking up like 35 square feet of prime living room space. One can only assume this was built because the original owners were prone to hosting rambunctious karaoke parties and needed a stage on which to perform. Also, it was original to the house, which meant it was built right into the wall. More on that later. 

Bathroom 1 of 2. Nothing, not even that lace valance, makes me more angry than the uncentered medicine cabinet and light fixture. It all must go. 

Bathroom 1 of 2. Nothing, not even that lace valance, makes me more angry than the uncentered medicine cabinet and light fixture. It all must go. 

Staircase. How much panelling can one little condo handle? (Hint: this is probably just about enough)

Staircase. How much panelling can one little condo handle? (Hint: this is probably just about enough)

Full living space. Glorious upholstery. Yet more antlers.

Full living space. Glorious upholstery. Yet more antlers.

Bedroom 1 of 2. Yes, there are three lamps, and yes, they all feature more antlers.

Bedroom 1 of 2. Yes, there are three lamps, and yes, they all feature more antlers.

Bedroom 2 of 2. It's a big enough space, but it was being used strangely. No antlers here, which frankly feels like an oversight at this point. 

Bedroom 2 of 2. It's a big enough space, but it was being used strangely. No antlers here, which frankly feels like an oversight at this point. 

Blogging is exhausting and I have no idea where to quit, so I think that'll do it for now. Up next: my plan to update all of these spaces. Coming at you sometime next week!