Earlier this year I moved into my first home. One that I was lucky enough to have built from the ground up. It wasn’t a custom home but I was allowed to control enough options to satisfy my needs and personal taste.

But before I was set on a new home I, of course, looked at MANY pre-owned homes. I’d set my heart on one about 3500 sq ft with an attached one bedroom apt, A 3 car garage, and on the end of a street. French doors lead to the backyard through the master. Vaulted ceilings of 12 ft in the great room. A fireplace that met you at the front door. Guest bathroom with small atrium and slightly updated kitchen. It wasn’t that “new perfect” but it was going to be a grand investment. It would be an opportunity to flex my reno muscles.

It would be one where I could rent out the apartment if things ever got rough, move my dad or sister in, or simply make it into a full on art/photography studio [I’m now retired from photography]. Did I mention the apartment had its own separate entrance and access to the backyard with french doors and a beautiful creamy painted brick wall? Omg it was a dream.

Sadly the owners, who’d bought it to flip, refused to make necessary repairs such as the ENTIRE roof and AC system needed replacing. I know, right.  Thus I refused their counter offer and that was the end of it.

So that brings me to my point. From the moment I walked into the countless houses I viewed I began renovating, decorating, knocking down walls, and altering floor plans. I started visualizing marble floors and chandeliers. White walls and glass partitions. Cement facades over old worn brick fireplaces. You name it.

At this point I’d take photos and start mocking shit up in PhotoShop!  I was showing all the way out.

From calling getting bids from contractors to sourcing materials, and reading tutorials. Being a plum fool?  No. Being prepared. Being euphoric from the high of house shopping.

After subscribing to countless websites for home listings in the area I never unsubscribed.  So to this day I look at houses every morning.  And I think about what could have been and what could BE for any of these homes.  I have a confession.  I am a Fantasy Renovator. Strictly for fun I reimagine these homes in my head. I have a problem.

Welcome to today’s problem:


3111 Ashton Park Dr, Houston, TX 77082

Spacious custom home with charming rich walnut paneling and built-in cabinets in living room & game room. This home features accent floor tiles in the entry, grand curved staircase with laminate wood floor. Kitchen features granite counter tops, built-in appliances, and wet bar. Back yard features in ground pool & heated hot tub, view-able from living room and bedrooms. Cul-de-sac location ensures privacy and less street traffic. Easy access to major highway and minutes to the Energy Corridor.

Listing Status:

3 Bedroom(s)

2 Full & 1 Half Bath(s)
2 / Detached Garage
2 Stories
1980 / Appraisal District
2,535 Building Sqft
6,571 Sqft. Lotsize
Maintenance Fee: $600
Now that you’re fully versed on the det’s lets delve into the remodel.


First let’s tackle the brick.  It ain’t my cup of tea.  I think a fresh coat of white paint would look AMAZE. Black around the window trim. Remove the glassblock and use a clear panel of glass.
Clearly a few gallons of paint can totally transform these exteriors from meh to MEOW!


Spruce up the landscaping with some vibrant flowers and architecture up lighting on the exterior.



Taking center stage is the outdated staircase.  I’d like to see it updated in a few major ways. hr3972217-3hr3972217-2But here I’m torn.  Do I tear it down and go with something completely unexpected like these modern marvels below?

Or simply update it with a few rich coats of paint and new posts?
Add to that we need a double front door!  Update the tile to marble– because MARBLE!
Love the addition of  wood tile to the are as well.
Did I fail  to mention– the double front door?  Lose that nasty glass block and swing these open in my chiffon robe when company comes over!double-exterior-entry-doors-lowes

Wood Paneling:

Do I even need to say this?  We need to even state this needs painting?
But look at what it could turn into:

Great Room:

PAINT! PAINT. Jesus be a fence. We need paint.  But look at what I want to do!
to this for the fireplace.  I’d love to have limewash tile floors vs this tile as well.
At this point I’ve exhausted the budget! Seriously.  I think what I proposed was about $20k to $30k.  So let that sit for a while on the brain!
Imagine what I’d do if I had the house and the budget.
Until Later

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