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  • Sarah Mervis

Townhouse Transformation

With the wild Game of Homes process behind us, it's safe to say quarantine life has taken our DIY projects to the next level.


Judging by the expansion of my husband's tool box over the last 10 months, essentially being trapped inside our home has been the best thing to ever happen to this townhouse. With extra down time and zero excuses, we found ourselves taking on projects that we had no idea how to begin. Thanks to YouTube and Pinterest, we successfully brought my visions to life, realizing there was no better time than the present to turn this house into a home!


Our first quarantine project was the dated fireplace. Once my hubby and his selfless firefighters finished the framing, I solidified the design by combining a modern concrete tile with earthy finishes. I laid and grouted each tile into place while hubs used a wet-saw to perfectly size down each piece. We chose a chunky wood mantel that was a no brainer for our rustic-chic style, and ended the project with a mounted television as the finishing touch. Truth be told, it was our easiest transformation yet!

Next came the wall. I had spent endless nights on Pinterest researching how to create this masterpiece, dreaming of this wall ever since we purchased the townhouse. With a nail gun, some paint, and caulking, we upgraded this large blank space into a feature wall that expanded into the living room and dining room! The reactions of friends and family that have seen the wall continue to be endlessly gratifying and such a great conversation starter. Once quarantine life ends, we are anxious to show all our loved ones the feature wall masterpiece!

Often we get asked how my husband and I can successfully complete these projects without catapulting our relationship out the window. Our solution has always been this: beer breaks. He is a left brain analyst and I am a right brain creationist, which means we are rarely on the same page with these projects! We continually make a conscious effort to remind ourselves to allow space for the other's thought process. Just because he can't see my creative vision and views the project as a logistical equation, doesn't mean our end goal isn't the same. In any DIY project, there are moments that require a break in the process and a beer to be opened; sometimes you just have to stop where you are and start again tomorrow!


This next functional beauty is my husband's pride and joy. Without the luxury of extra square footage in our SoCal townhouse, we had to get creative in finding space for a home office. Living that quarantine lifestyle has shown us that a home office was desperately needed, so we moved this project to the top of our DIY list!

Explaining to friends and family my vision for this desk and shelf combination was more than complicated, as most didn't seem to understand my idea. After many YouTube and TikTok tutorials, we felt confident enough to dive headfirst and give it our best effort! The goal was to build a floating shelf and desk where the front piece hinged open, creating a hidden compartment for office supplies. After a span of four days, multiple trips to Home Depot, three incorrect hinge installations, and A LOT of beer breaks, we successfully created our custom desk nook! Each project comes with a certain amount of pride, but this was by far our proudest moment yet as homeowners.


Now equipped with a home office nook, we've finally retired our MacBooks from the dining room table. With our large extended family and frequent out of town guests, it was important to us that we had a well-suited dining space readily available for hub's chef-tastic meals (the extent of my cooking abilities include popcorn and frozen pizza).

Our dining room furniture from the Century Old Abode fit perfectly in our new townhouse, including a newly incorporated wood and rattan bar from Pottery Barn to match our rattan pendant. Adding a little fun with a faux cowhide rug and tying in the fireplace with a concrete table centerpiece, we were able to successfully check off this space from our DIY list!


Continuing with this quarantine lifestyle, I have a few more ideas up my sleeve... so be sure to stay tuned for additional projects and DIY tips as we transform this townhouse into our home!