Turning a house into my home

It may have been a creepy old house stuck in a time warp, but Amber and her mom decided that this would be the one for them. Amber and her boyfriend Michael were ready to move in together, but the young couple were entrepreneurs living in L.A., where real estate is hard to come by and expensive to purchase.

So Sandy, Amber’s mom, decided to step in.

“It was a way for me to help Amber get started in her adult life,” she said.

Amber and Sandy were initially very focused on the business aspect of buying the house, but then the nervousness of being a first time home owner set-in, along with the all the responsibilities of buying a fixer-upper.

“It all hit me at once, all the work we had to do, the fact that it was the first house that Amber was ever going to pay a mortgage on and the fact that Michael was moving in with her,” Sandy said. “There were a number of different issues going on all at one time. I was also apprehensive because it was obviously going to take a lot of money and a lot of work. There were times when the project seemed larger than us.”

Amber really appreciated doing this project with her mom because, “I got to see the strong woman I came from.”

They planted trees and dug holes together; it was a great bonding time for them as mother and daughter.

“There were a lot of style details involved, and that was probably the hardest part,” Amber said. “There were the colors, the tiles, the furniture, how we should design the kitchen.”

When it was all over, Amber and Sandy sat down on the new brown and gold shag carpet and had a glass of wine. It was time to celebrate. They were in love with the simple, zen-like feeling that pervaded their new home. The style will certainly evolve over time, but now it’s starting to feel like a home—like Amber’s home.

If you’ve got a do-it-herself mentality, try these handy resources for inspiration and tips:


Just Do It Yourself
Earth-friendly and wallet-conscious, ReadyMade helps you claim your corner of the world and decorate it just the way you want it.

Keep it Thrifty
A journalist/suburban mom dishes on cheap and easy ways to brighten up that place you call home.

Listen to the Tube
Visit HGTV’s remodeling hub for information and advice on how to do almost anything yourself.

Neat or Not?
HGTV organizing guide will help you control your clutter, once and for all.

So Cute-able!
An eclectic collection of modern daily finds for your home or office, including kitchenware, home accents and the most interesting stationary around.