Garbani_Bri_webfinal.jpg

Hi.

I'm Bri Garbani, a designer + photographer living in San Diego, California. It's here that I express my passion for dogs, design + DIY through writing + photography. If you like what you see, you'll want to check back often as I have a constant need to create + Native Blonde is my prime creative outlet.

Contractor Contradiction

Contractor Contradiction

As a devoted DIYer, I struggled a bit with wanting to hire contractors for some of the really big projects that our house needed done.  How can I say that we redid our house when we didn’t do the whole thing in its entirety?  The reality is that the hubby and I just don’t have the know-how, excess of time, tools or experience required for certain tasks.  We want everything to look its best in addition to being done correctly, so for those reasons, we hired a few contractors.

FABULOUS FLOORS  |  The original hardwood floor refinishing project was first on the list.  From a dingy orange color with tons of scratches to a beautiful, satin walnut wood finish, it literally made my jaw drop when I saw the finished product.   The rehab on the floor makes me want to rush into a full kitchen and bath renovation to get the rest of the house up to this standard, but the hubby and I agreed that we would wait until next year so we would have some more dollars saved up.   We hired MDM Hardwood and fully trusted their Yelp reviews to ensure a quality job.  And truthfully, their work exceeded our expectations.  Although the photos don’t do it justice, see for yourself!

PATCH + PAINT  |  With three buildings on our property, the main house, the guest house and the garage, all covered in stucco that had seen better days since the supposed 1927 build date, we felt overwhelmed at the thought of completing the repair process on our own.  We did, however, pull off the rock façade on the front and side of the house that was likely put up sometime in the fifties as an attempt to modernize the home.  For the stucco repair we hired McCarthy Painting who also painted all of our structures, the main house, the guest house and the garage, white.  If you think about the skill and toolset it takes to repair every crack (we’re talking hairline up to canyon here), to power wash and spray paint onto every towering wall with a six day completion period, you’d hire it out too.   To save a little money though, we did not have the doors and window trims painted.  I’m doing that bit on my own, one window and door at a time.  Previously they were purple, now they're a nice dark chocolate brown.  All in all, it was cash well spent because the job instantly gave our house a fresh look.

ROOF REVAMP  |  We also hired professionals from San Diego Roofing Inc. to repair the roof since we discovered a leak in our living room due to some broken clay tiles above.  We were aware of this as we were purchasing the house and used it to our advantage in negotiating, however, we didn’t think that it would have to be replaced so soon seeing that San Diego has a reputation for very little rainfall.  Well, as it turns out, it does rain in San Diego.  We opted to replace the tiles entirely considering the repair cost wasn’t a significant savings compared to putting on all new tiles and it would give the house a whole new look.  It took a few days total for the work to be completed, plus some time waiting for the product to be in stock, but it was worth it to get a more authentic looking rustic terracotta tile.  You can see in the before picture the old flat orange tile and grey exterior paint color - and I promise I did not edit that butterfly to be there, that's just how our neighborhood is!  San Diego Roofing Inc. came back out to redo some work that we were not one hundred percent pleased with and touched up marks they left on the house after our new paint job was completed.  Additionally, the hubby also spent two solid days in the heat of the summer up on the dark roof painting on an white elastomeric coating to help protect it from moisture and also reduce the temperature inside of our home during the hot summer months.  Living in a climate where no air conditioning is required is really a blessing – except on those occasional days it's 90+ degrees. And to finish all things roof related, we removed all evidence of a former leak on the barrel ceiling in the living room by repairing the plaster ourselves.

What’s the next step for our curb appeal makeover?  Tiling the porch, landscaping, repaving the driveway and sidewalk...  But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves now. My, isn’t it crazy how homeownership projects just meld from one to the next and never seems to stop?  I guess that is what we signed up for, after all.  Let the renovations continue!

Mid-Century Tree Trunk Table

Mid-Century Tree Trunk Table

Crafty Costumes

Crafty Costumes