In Renovator’s Notebook, homeowners open up about the nitty-gritty of their remodels: How long it really took; how much it actually cost; what went horribly wrong; and what went wonderfully, serendipitously, it’s-all-worth-it-in-the-end right. For more tips to nail your next project, follow @reno_notebook.
Size: 1,800 square feet • Location: Redondo Beach, California • Budget: $150,000
Top priority: Creating a sophisticated but livable space for a future family.
Architect Niharika Hablani has designed offices for a few companies you may have heard of: Google, LinkedIn, and Tinder are all on her roster. So when she and her husband bought a light-filled, ’90s-style home in Redondo Beach, California, in January, she wasn’t scared to give it a facelift—but the couple wasn’t exactly working with a Silicon Valley startup budget.
To make the most of the $150,000 they allotted themselves, the Hablanis found crafty ways to