Remodeling for Twins

Homeowners renovate a master bathroom, nursery and outdoor space in time for twins.
HGRM-house-counselor-dads-remodel-outdoor-nursery-bath_s4x3

HGRM-house-counselor-dads-remodel-outdoor-nursery-bath_s4x3

Adam Christian and John Volturo had just six weeks to remodel a fixer-upper house into the home of their dreams. The reason for the tight deadline? The couple was expecting twins. To help them make room for babies in record time, they called home remodeling expert Laurie March.

The Pacific Palisades, Calif., home, built in 1949, was walking distance from restaurants, grocery stores and state parks. The mid-century modern home had two bedrooms and two baths tucked into an economical 928 square feet. The property also had a private backyard and a large guesthouse, making it ideal for the family life the couple was about to begin. Affordability was an issue, too. "We essentially picked the smallest house that needed the most TLC," Christian said, in explaining their purchase.

Remodeling for Twins 07:19

Homeowners with twins on the way embark on a six-week remodeling adventure.
HGRM-House-Counselor-dads-outdoor-space_s4x3

HGRM-House-Counselor-dads-outdoor-space_s4x3

Adam Christian and John Volturo sit in their newly renovated outdoor space with twin daughters, Michaela and Julia.

Adam Christian and John Volturo sit in their newly renovated outdoor space with twin daughters, Michaela and Julia.

At the top of their to-do list: Turning one of the home's small bedrooms into a nursery. The room had an existing closet but it was a reach-in style that didn't have enough space for the belongings of two babies. So Laurie's team demolished the old closet and replaced it with adjustable shelving and rods behind white slab doors, an open bookcase and deep drawers. She also installed recessed lighting in the ceiling so precious floor space wouldn't be taken up by lamps.

To give the nursery a fresh, modern feel, Adam and John selected a white and aqua color scheme, with a diamond pattern stenciled on an accent wall. They replaced the old windows with new ones that were up to fire safety codes and repaired the damaged floor.

Small Modern Nursery Makeover

See All Photos

Double Trouble Beginnings

When Adam Christian and John Volturo bought their 928-square-foot fixer-upper in Pacific Palisades, they fell in love with the 1949 design yet wanted to create a comfortable place for their new twin daughters, Michaela and Julia. Although the nursery had a large existing closet, it lacked sufficient storage. They replaced the existing '60s-era closet, installed new recessed lighting, and repaired the flooring.

Artistic Inspiration

Inspired by the couple's love of quirky, midcentury art, this vintage paint-by-numbers became the spark for the nursery's color theme.

Fresh and Modern

The nursery's design ties in the home's gray-and-white color scheme with the palette from the couple's inspiration piece, the small paint-by-numbers canvas.

Warm Wood in a Modern Setting

New solid core doors cut down on noise so the babies would sleep better. The Douglas fir finish adds a cozy touch to the modern style.

Space Counts

In a home without a linen closet, the couple used every spare inch of storage. In a niche behind the door, the guys installed white metal storage pull-outs to hold overflow linens and blankets.

Multifunctional Storage

A multipurpose shelf holds books and memorabilia, and a bank of deep drawers houses pajamas, blankets and cloth diapers.

Adjustable Flooring

Carpet squares in gray and aqua complement the blond wood floor. In addition to being graphic and modern, the squares are easy to replace and rearrange.

Retro Reading Nook

To create a playful accent wall, a graphic stencil was painted on a teal backdrop. The dads completed their stylish reading nook with a Herman Miller swag-leg chair.

DIY Mobile

Origami birds, made with vintage wrapping paper in the colors from the inspiration piece, hang from an inexpensive photo mobile. This simple mobile adds a handmade touch and entertains the girls during nap time.

Best of the Blog: Create an Origami Mobile

Custom Details

Personalize your nursery by displaying what you love. Adam and John love to travel, so they framed maps and displayed them as nursery art.

Next, Laurie's team moved on to the master bedroom. They demolished the closet in this room, too, replacing doors and hardware, and knocking out the wall between the master bedroom and a hall bathroom to create a bathroom en suite. Pocket doors that slid into the bedroom walls maximized the room’s floor space.

Then, it was on to the new master bathroom. To keep them on schedule, Laurie had Adam and John choose materials that were in stock and didn’t have to be special ordered. Updates included a new, gray-stained floating vanity, white acrylic countertops, square porcelain vessel sinks, and chrome single-lever faucets.

Gray wood medicine cabinets provided much-needed storage. The polished chrome shower fixtures put sparkle in the tub, and its hand-held showerhead makes it easier for Adam and John to bathe their babies.

To stay on budget, Adam and John kept the existing tub, and March had it sandblasted and recoated. Large wall tiles in a light gray pinstripe made the shower feel sleek, warm, and modern without darkening the space. Laurie's team cut a horizontal niche into the shower wall for baby toys, shampoo and scrub brushes.

Major Master Bath Makeover

See All Photos

Once a Dysfunctional Nightmare ...

Adam Christian and John Volturo bought a fixer-upper home with a master bathroom in desperate need of an upgrade.

... Now Ready for Relaxing

Keeping the footprint and the plumbing in the same places, they installed new lighting and a gray floating vanity and created a soft gray and white color scheme for a modern, family friendly aesthetic.

Time-Sensitive Solutions

When it came to selecting hardware and materials for the bathroom remodel, Adam and John were on a tight timeline with babies on the way. "The bathroom got done in record time because we chose items that were in stock and ready to deliver," said Volturo.

Vanity Flair

White vessel sinks and a white countertop balance the gray wood-veneer floating vanity. Repeating the shower tile as a backsplash tile ties the shower and the vanity area together visually. The tiles are all trimmed with the same brushed metal edge.

Clever Flooring

Medium gray oversized floor tiles run in the same direction as the vanity in the bathroom, subtly creating order in the space with the parallel lines. To deepen the relaxing gray and to cut down on cleaning time, they went with a grout that exactly matched the tile – a great trick for making grout lines 'disappear'.

Nifty Niche

A horizontal niche trimmed in a slim edge of brushed metal provides the family plenty of space for shower storage for the couple and their two growing daughters, Michaela and Julia.

Tile Style

The shower and tub were updated with a 12" x 24" large format light gray pinstriped tile, installed horizontally in a brick pattern.

Family-Friendly and Modern

Grohe Metris shower fixtures were a small splurge for the couple and a polished-chrome, handheld showerhead was a necessity for the babies at bath time.

For the bathroom floor, Adam and John opted for a darker gray tile and matching gray grout for a seamless, spa-like subtlety.

To keep the bathroom's feel modern, Laurie's team used metal trim on tile edges instead of rounded bullnose tiles. So the shower walls, niche and vanity backsplash all have brushed chrome edges. Bathroom walls were painted with crisp, white, low VOC paint. Ceiling-track shower curtains completed the spa look.

Laurie didn't just help John and Adam with aesthetic choices. She also kept their construction project running on time and within budget. Laurie hired a contractor who would work on a per-project fee instead of an hourly rate.

"You have to set up your team to be motivated by time if you're going to achieve a rapid-fire construction schedule," Laurie says. "Putting each of these items on a project fee encourages a contractor to work quickly and budget their time well."

Contemporary Outdoor Living Room With Wood Arbor

Contemporary Outdoor Living Room With Wood Arbor

This contemporary outdoor living room sits beneath a shady, wood arbor. Climbing vines and lush potted plants create a tropical feel while bright blue and orange weather-resistant pillows and a burst of color.

Family-Friendly Contemporary Patio With Outdoor Dining Area

Family-Friendly Contemporary Patio With Outdoor Dining Area

A tricycle rests in this family-friendly patio with a contemporary outdoor dining table and chairs. A lovely wood arbor styled by Laurie March brings shade and distinction to this outdoor space.

In addition to redoing both bedrooms and the bathroom, John and Adam also added an exterior door to the master bedroom so they could walk directly into the backyard. They updated lighting fixtures inside and outside, planted a hedge to provide privacy to their fenced backyard, and demolished a concrete pad in the backyard so they could create a grassy spot for their dog, Lincoln, to enjoy.

The remodel was done a week before baby girls Michaela and Julia arrived to their new home. Mission accomplished.

Get Social With Us

We love to DIY. You love to DIY. Let's get together.

Discover Made + Remade

See the latest DIY projects, catch up on trends and meet more cool people who love to create.

Make It. Fix It. Learn It. Find It.