The Lake House Remodel: An Inside Look at Our Big Plans

Surprise…we moved! Okay, you knew that already. Last year, my husband’s job sent us to Georgia, and it’s been a ride already. Between starting a second JSD headquarters in Atlanta to making frequent trips back to our bustling office in Oakland, there has never been a dull moment.

And on top of that, we bought a home. I couldn’t resist.

We purchased our home in March this year with plans for a complete renovation, and you’ll see why in a bit. Coming from California, we felt like we struck gold when we found this 4,000-square-foot home on 2.5 acres. And the view? Incredible. (Will these views stop me from traveling? Probably not, but they can try.)

Although the house was in desperate need of repair, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity…and as usual, I got to experience exactly what everyone else in this industry is dealing with: long wait times. I’m talking 14-16 months just to get the drywall in! 

But after implementing some creative solutions (I know some people, ha), things are finally moving along. And I can’t wait to share it with you. So what are we working on here? Come take the pre-tour…

Inside Our Georgia Lake House

The exterior stone…not bad but could be improved. Siding…room for improvement. But would you look at all of that space?! That’s hard to find in the Bay Area. Georgia, it is. Step inside the front door, and get ready for an even scarier scene…

Okay, I admit it. It’s not as scary as our Oakland home was when we started, but it’s definitely not good. Faux-painted texture even on the 18-foot ceilings!, faux beams, and dated carpet? What did we see in this place, right? Well, keep walking up to those large windows and it’ll become crystal clear…

Yup, that is what immediately drew us into this property. Since we were coming from California, we wanted something different. We walked into the home and saw this breathtaking view straight out to the lake. Major selling point! We immediately saw the potential and were confident we could update the space to make it work for our family.

Let’s go back inside and check out this kitchen:

Hard to tell, but the kitchen is tucked into a little side room right next to the home's main entrance. Awkward placement, right? It’s also entirely closed off, tiny, and lacks the necessary space for a family (or anyone, really) to function well. The same goes for literally every bathroom throughout the home. 

You know me. For every problem, there’s a plan…

The Game Plan

My main goal? Add character while updating everything. And, of course, do all we can to highlight the fantastic views. The second this home was ours, we followed our demo plan, leaving only exterior walls and large windows. This will be a brand new home when it’s done.

Here’s the new floor plan, along with a breakdown of what we’ve got going on…

  • Remove walls to create a huge, open kitchen. You know I love a good kitchen.
  • Emphasize the view by adding all new windows literally wherever possible, including (and especially) hallways.
  • Add a powder room. Because we can. 
  • Replace every single door with beautiful, modern, and premium models.
  • Add an additional garage door…because what’s a two-car garage with only one door? (Wtf??)
  • Focus on the landscaping by removing 60 trees to create a beautiful outdoor area with room for a pool, firepit, and a fun playground.
  • Get the entire home outfitted to be voice-activated. Yep, this home’s going smart! Stay tuned for exciting partnerships. ;)

We’re also focusing on creating two separate wings:

  • Wing 1: For the guest room/office, bunk room, and contained bathrooms
  • Wing 2: For the principal suite, Zoe’s suite, and family room

For obvious reasons, each living area will be located on the lake side of the home. This one promises to be a stunner:

Great room mid-construction…and with Zoe doing front handsprings. What could go wrong?

That’s it for now. I know, it’s suspenseful. (Right there with you.) As I’ve mentioned, this project is taking much longer than anticipated. We’re hoping to be moved in by… nope, not even going to give you a date because our timelines will probably change. But once it’s finished, believe me, you’ll be the first to know. 

In the meantime, if you need help with your own renovation, whether you’re in the Bay Area, Atlanta, or somewhere in between, you know where to find us.

– Kelly

These might interest you too