Before & After: Stepping Back in Time in California

Before & After: Stepping Back in Time in California

DIY’ers Karen Nepacena and John Shum knew they wanted to raise their growing family in a modern home. When it came time to move, prefabricated options seemed to be the best bet. They figured it would let them get exactly what they wanted from their new space. “We first began to research pre-fab modern homes, but finding available land to purchase for a pre-fab or custom-build home was proving to be difficult (and costly),” Karen explains. Luckily, the couple stumbled upon a mid-century goldmine practically in their backyard — they had no idea that a handful of housing possibilities were tucked away, close to their home at the time.

The 1,660-square-foot home Karen and John ended up purchasing in the Walnut Creek, CA neighborhood had unfortunately seen its fair share of renovations. So many, in fact, that the home’s original look was nearly unrecognizable. Determined to take the space back to its glory days, the couple bravely tackled a full-home renovation. Throughout the process, they were careful when striking the balance between modern and stark. I couldn’t agree more with Karen when she told us, “Modern [homes] can sometimes be perceived as cold and uninviting.” After taking a look inside, however, I think you’ll agree that the colors she and John have used help to make this home a warm and comfortable spot for their growing family. Follow the jump to see the full renovation. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Karen Nepacena


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