My interior architect friend Sarah Burke was the one who recommended widening the teeny hallways another 18 inches (it makes your house look and feel so much bigger) and tweaked my measurements to allow for more space in between certain features, like the sink and the tub or the toilet and the door. I paid her to come for the weekend to help me map out the layout of the space. We hung out, made food, and put tracing paper over all the blueprints and got to work.
Another dear friend came up with the name “frigloo” for the large enclosure we built around the refrigerator that doubles as storage for my record player on the other side.
Click to see before!
Woodcut Art, Julia Edith Rigby; Fireplace Screen, West Elm; Sofa, Croft House.
A remodel budget of $350,000 sounds like a lot until you realize Gowdy replaced all the plumbing and electrical, raised the ceilings, covered the roof in solar panels, expanded the hallways, installed Canadian maple flooring, and carved out a pantry and walk-in closet (two perks she didn’t have in her last house). She hired a contractor to help bring her vision to life but took it upon herself to sign up for CAD classes and master SketchUp in order to better communicate the changes she wanted to make. And she didn’t hold back from DIYs, even when it came time to stuccoing the exterior in 102-degree heat.
“All of a sudden I realized, I can totally reinvent myself,” says Gowdy. Ahead, the photographer-turned-designer takes us inside her little slice of Portugal and shares a few key budget decisions she made along the way.
“I felt that I could create my own
version of Portugal here.”
Above, from left: Custom Door, Architectural Millwork of Santa Barbara; Door Handle, Emtek; Windows, Marvin; Curtain Fabric, Jenny Pennywood.
Save: Make It a Collaborative Effort
Windows, Marvin; Curtain Fabric, Jenny Pennywood.