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My parents’ condo makeover — Before and After

This post was created in partnership with Wayfair.

My parents recently moved into an old condo that has been in our family for 40 years.  It was long overdue for a condo makeover. My great-grandmother Ida lived there for many years — I have really fond memories of visiting her and my Papa Si at the condo as a kid, and being met with stuffed cabbage, matzo ball soup, blintzes, rugelach cookies and a whole lotta love from my Grammy Ida and Papa Si.
I lived there in college for a spell, my brother and his family lived there for ten years, and now that my bro and his family have grown out of it my parents decided to make it theirs.  This year, after 50 years of working with underprivileged youth, mentally ill folks, and folks with addiction issues, they have finally retired. Moving into the condo really represents a new stage in their lives–one that hopefully involves a whole lotta chilling out.
The condo was in pretty bad shape, so my sister Faith (who is an interior designer) and I decided to work together and redo their whole condo so it would feel totally new, fresh and exciting for them. It goes without saying that it was a huge privilege to be able to do this for them. For years, my sister and I have have been receivers of so much love, support, help and generosity from our folks that we felt so lucky to be able to use our expertise and connections to redo this place for them on a budget that would allow them to keep some of that retirement money in the bank. My sis took the lead on the interior design and project managing the contractor and building team, and I focused on sourcing.
The condo is a three bedroom. It was built in the 1960’s and most of it hadn’t been updated since the 80’s. The first thing we did, after chatting with our parents to get on the same page about overall look, feel and vibe was reach out to my friends at Wayfair to see if they were keen to work with us on this. We were in dire need of new appliances, flooring, bathroom vanities, fixtures as well as home furnishings and Wayfair is one of the few places that has an incredible assortment of all of those things so we were thrilled when they agreed to work with us on this. Over the next few posts we’ll take you through the whole condo remodel, but today we’ll walk you through the front portion.
Patio
While it may seem odd to start a tour with the patio, in this home it actually makes a lot of sense because this outdoor space serves as the main entryway to the home. Even though the front door is around the corner we’ve always entered the home through the patio gate so it feels very natural to start things off here. Here is what the space looked like before:
after:
Yeah. It needed a lot of work.  Outdoor living is such a huge part of So-Cal living, we wanted to give the patio a lush, mediterranean vibe, and the easiest way to lay a foundation to do that was to bring in floor tile.

We chose the Alberta Ceramic Field Tile 13″ x 13″ in Blue/ Beige from Wayfair. The tile is designed to look aged and it automatically lent a feeling of history to the patio and that “old-world” feel we were going for.

Faith designed this built-in-bench seating and had it custom made. The bench doubles (triples?) as storage and an outdoor bed situation — because my parents like to sleep outside sometimes. I know, pretty cute. The pillows are mostly made from my fabrics and/or are from my Loloi collection. The rug is vintage. This has truly become the major gathering place of this home. At any given time you’ll find my parents entertaining out here, waxing philosophical, helping one of our kids with their homework, sharing a meal, reading, or yes snuggling and snoozing.

Living Room:

before:

The living room basically stayed the same, but the floors needed refinishing, we had a new sliding glass door installed, and gave the room a fresh coat of paint. Then we brought in new furnishings.

after:

My sis bought the portraits of the Hopi man and woman twenty years ago at an auction an they look so comfortable and striking here that we decided to leave them. We added my Mor sofa from my Living Spaces collection (similar), and had vintage chairs (similar) recovered in my Boogie fabric. Our goal for the room was to create a space the felt warm, chic and cozy while still feeling airy, light and modern. Not always an easy combo to achieve but I really love how it came together.

The rug is from Loloi’s Xavier collection. We added pillows to tie the colors together —  the bolster is from my collection with Loloi. The coffee table and side table are from my Aries collection with Selamat.

For the wall color, we chose Navajo White by Benjamin Moore. It’s a color that changes quite a bit depending on the time of day, but has a very warm and soothing undertone. Plants we chose for the space include a schefflera, kentia palm, philodendrons, and caladiums.

Kitchen

before:

The kitchen needed some serious updates.

after:

We replaced the floors, and refinished the existing cabinets. We also removed some up the upper cabinets and replaced them with open shelving. We brought in new countertops and all new appliances.

AHHH THIS KITCHEN MAKES ME SO HAPPY!! I think it just exudes earthy, warm vibes but it’s still super functional and clean. We added a few arches where corners were squared off before to bring the mediterranean vibe and some architectural interest to the space. Our mama loves teal, so we put in a new backsplash that goes all the way up the ceiling which really helps to make the ceilings feel higher. The tile is Paseo from Fireclay tile, in Sea Foam colorway. The dishwasher is water and energy saving and runs silent which is really key in a kitchen that’s open to the living and dining room.

We used my “Nido” fabric to reupholster the bench seating. The fabric is from my collection with Inside Out Performance fabrics, so no matter how many spills it incurs, it’ll hold up really nicely.

In the eating area,  paired the bench with a modern pedestal table (always better to go pedestal with bench seating so it’s easier to slide in and out without bumping table legs). The chairs we brought from their last place. We created a basket gallery wall and suspended a jute pendant lamp to tie all that jute together. The earthy vibes continue onto the floor with maybe my favorite aspect of the design, the floor tiles which is Porcelain Field Tile which has the look of weathered terra-cotta, which I love so much — but it’s very strong and durable since it’s porcelain.

You’ll also notice the our Cosmic Desert gold wallpaper peeking out from the corner, from our collection with Hygge and West. The countertops are Silestone.

The copper apron sink has my heart and I absolutely love how it looks with the tile. The Kyla wall sconces from Hudson Vally Lighting’s Mitzi line and I love how they feel both modern and traditional.


We were so thrilled to be able to get them all new appliances (thank you Wayfair!!) nothing makes a home feel shiny and new like a new refrigerator and stove. We chose this counter-depth refrigerator  which has the look of  built-in, but not the price tag of a built-in.

My parents both love to cook and this  range is not only pretty but it makes my parents feel like cooking pro’s. Also…THAT BLUE INTERIOR!!!

Challenges we faced
Of course, like every big remodel, this project was riddled with issues and challenges, which I’ll also share–because I think there are some good takeaways. First, we started the project in late November of last year, which, I now know, is not a great time of year to start a big remodel project. Many items have lead time of several weeks (or more) and the holidays can delay both ship dates and availability of workers. My parents were planning to move into the condo the first of February, but the project took so long to complete, that they were couch surfing for months before we finished in early April. Also, condos have different rules for permitting and such, and there was a lot of bureaucracy and hoops to jump through before we could do what we wanted how we wanted for both the municipal permits and HOA permissions. Oy. Lucky for me, Faith dealt with it all, but it was quite a drag, and my mom, who suffers from COPD couldn’t move in until the project was totally complete because she can’t be in places with lots of dust.

Now that they are all moved in, however, they are THRILLED. And so are we. If feels so wonderful to know my parents are happy and comfortable and that my sister and I had a chance to give a little bit back to them after all they’ve done for us for our whole lives. They barely even let us treat them to a meal, so the fact that they let us do this for them means so much.  Stay tuned for our next post where we’ll reveal the rest of the condo and all that went into it.

With a heartfelt thanks to Wayfair for working with us on this project.
Photography by J. Blakeney 

Justina Blakeney Justina Blakeney

Designer, artist, stylist & mama. Founder and CCO at The Jungalow. Crazy for color, pattern and plants!

26 responses to “My parents’ condo makeover — Before and After”

  1. Ukiah says:

    🌻 The love and time spent putting together something so amazingly beautiful for your beautiful parents is
    priceless.🌻

    Peace and love
    Ukiah

    • Justina Blakeney says:

      Thank you so much! And what a beautiful name you have, Ukiah!

    • Roxanne Stone says:

      Agree so much. Every parent can only HOPE to raise children with this much love and admiration and desire to bless and love. I’ll bet that thrills them more than the condo, though it’s a STUNNER!! Exquisitely done and kudos to you ladies!

  2. Libby says:

    What a wonderful space you have created for your parents. Well done I’m sure they are thrilled with their new home and very proud to have raised such giving & loving daughters, obviously they are your role models. Looking forward to seeing the rest of the condo x

  3. Brenda Boone says:

    I Love What Youve Done With Your Mom And Dads Condo
    IM 66 YRS OLD, I CAN DO BOHEMIAN TOOI 😊😊😊❤❤❤👍👍👍

  4. Denise Quintiliani says:

    Your parents are blessed to have you. I hope that they enjoy their well earned retirement and the work of art you all created. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Jan Karon says:

    Discovered your blog and this heartfelt story this early a.m. in Virginia. What a huge blessing to read of you and your sister loving your dear parents in such a thrilling and generous way. Good job!

  6. Gail says:

    It’s amazing the paths we take in life that leads us to the point where we can do something wonderful for our parents. This is a lovely post and a beautiful makeover. I hope they’ll enjoy it for many years.

  7. Anonymous says:

    It’s amazing the paths we take in life that leads us to the point where we can do something wonderful for our parents. This is a lovely post and a beautiful makeover. I hope they’ll enjoy it for many years.

  8. Pauline Cambridge says:

    Beautiful. Lucky parents and lucky kids.

  9. Anonymous says:

    What a beautiful project -so warm. Gotta love that copper sink!

  10. Cameron Kane says:

    I love love love before and after photos and this example is unbelievable. Changed from sad bland uncared for to an amazing and warm and happy home.

  11. Kerry Sullivan says:

    OH MY STARS….JUST STUNNING…I love love love what you have done with mum & dad’s apartment

  12. Paula says:

    What an incredible change! I really love the hole house, and i do love your style. Greatings from Spain.

  13. Sara Fattori says:

    Both heartwarming and creative! God Bless your parents for all the caring and healing they have done. Love your style!

  14. diona stoudmire says:

    Thanks for sharing!

  15. mary says:

    so beautiful in every way, asthetically, personally…love

  16. Teri Offield says:

    Very Beautiful. Your parents are as cute as can be. Love the makeover.

  17. Megan Jenson says:

    Gorgeous makeover! thank you for sharing :)

  18. Heather says:

    Stunning! Such an interesting mix of materials and colors. Bravo!

  19. Bellana says:

    Lovely makeover!! many blessings to you and your family..

  20. […] couple of weeks back we revealed the front half of my parents’ condo makeover– a fun project, dear to my heart, that I got to work on […]

  21. JoAnn Wilder says:

    I absolutely love, love, love everything about the reno you two sisters did on your parents condo! It is so much fun to see all of the before and after pictures and see what talented ladies you are. Being from Texas and one who loves bright happy colors, this was such a treat. I know your parents will enjoy every waking day!

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