Shannon Rae Interiors | Casita Verde: The Remodel
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It Begins


As a full service residential designer, two of my biggest passions in life are building homes from the ground up and bringing run down properties back to life. After working on these types of projects for clients, I decided it was time that I put these passions to work for myself. Since starting my own business, more and more I’ve wanted a place that could be a living portfolio to showcase my design ideas and use as both a home and a separate office space. And it would be a huge bonus if I could give my dog his own room!


I found the perfect home on a walk through through the neighborhood.
A 1924 historic spanish style home on a corner lot, the only one of its kind around. It was the kind of classic home that could work with a modern interior and not be too much of a disconnect from the exterior architecture. I called the owner and had a look inside. It was an absolute wreck, but I had a vision, and I had fallen in love. I knew what it could be with some passion and committed work. We signed the closing documents and rolled up our sleeves. It was time to bring this property back to life!



Anyone who has ever remodeled an old home knows that you never know what you are getting into until you’ve started work. Right after signing the documents, we started to repair the foundation and found foundation damage that ultimately resulted having to demolishing 40% of the original structure…work that was not anticipated (or budgeted for!) in the initial remodel plan.  This led to several unanticipated challenges.

1. Open Space


Because of the u-shaped layout with an exterior courtyard in the middle, the final floorplan had two long hallways on either side. This created a design challenge because wanted the feel of an open floorplan. In order to achieve this, I made sure the hallways had ample natural light by adding windows and two sliding doors on either end of the inner courtyard. I also added a double sided fireplace in the living room that opened to the courtyard.

2: Preserve History, Update Look



Since this was a historic home, I would need to preserve it’s history while still articulating my own modern design scheme. The original historic single pane glass glass windows were protected by the historic district and needed to stay. The reason being, in the 20s the glass was made by hand, and has ripples and imperfections that glimmer when caught by the sun. Once the old windows were fixed, I painted the wood frames a dark charcoal gray to mimic modern steel framed windows. The contrast against the white stucco house creates a modern contrast that I love.

3: Budget


Because the entire foundation of the home needed to be completely repaired, my budget took a hard hit at the very beginning and the project became more involved than initially planned for. This required some ingenuity when making finish selections. I would need to obtain materials at a low price point and expressed strong modern design elements. I used budget conscious porcelain tile products that were under five-dollars per square foot, but still resulted in a high-end modern finish.

 4. Make it Home

A main priority I have when creating a new interior is that the space feels like a home that is comfortable and liveable.  A home can have an incredible interior design scheme, but if it is not practical and liveable, the wont work for a family. I strive to create beautiful design that incorporates family heirlooms and is comfortable enough for children and entertaining alike.  When it came to my home, I was fortunate enough to inherit incredible furniture and accessories from my grandparents home that have been in our family for over 100 years. I juxtaposed a modern interior with these historic family pieces, creating an eclectic space with modern clean lines in larger furniture pieces.

My personal style tends towards the modern over the traditional, so it was a challenge  to highlight the heirloom pieces in the home’s design, but without making them stand out and pull away from a cohesive look.  



Coffee Table


Front and center in my living room is an antique peruvian leather wrapped coffee table that my Grandparents purchased during travels and have had in their family room since my mother was a little girl. When she was a child, she wrote her name in pencil underneath one of the stools, and it is still there to this day! I always show guests this stool when they come over.

The Guest Room


My Great Grandparents owned a bed and breakfast cabin in the mountains where they hosted hundreds of travelers throughout the years. I thought it would be fitting to build my guest bedroom around these features. The blue chinoiserie china on the walls, hand-carved chair, and the antique marble nightstand are brought up to date with the blue and white graphic bedspread and funky lamp on the nightstand.  The chest at the end of the bed is another antique from Peru, which was in my grandparents foyer.

Dog Room


Don’t worry. I didn’t forget about Tobasco my dog. He got his own room with his own lazy boy recliner. The wallpaper is his favorite!

See all of the Casita Verde Photos!