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Renovating Our Beach House, Volume 3

feature photo

You may remember when we teased you a few weeks ago with the unofficial “Volume 2.1” in the never-ending, 3,000 volume “Renovating Our Beach House” series.

When last we spoke, all that had really happened was that all of our bedroom walls had been sledgehammered to the ground, which, though it made for some impressive pictures, was also shaking me up a little bit. The project ended up being much larger and more labor-intensive than we had imagined.

How things can change in a few short weeks, though, as our bedroom project has finally been completed, and a life more civil on the beach has been achieved. We’ve got cold air, a closet (the first one in the house!), lighting up the whazoo, and most importantly, we’re no longer sleeping with the dogs on our broken futon in the middle of our living room. Let’s go to the pics, shall we?

Southeast corner, before. Note the external wiring, heavy wooden shutters which didn’t open, and just out of frame, a scary old wall sconce that electrocuted anyone who was interested.

Southeast corner, after. The new closet doors, which took the carpenters ten hours to install, are made up of four sliding panels. It is, by far, the best carpentry we have seen yet in Mexico. Inside, the closet has three shelves, and a bar for hanging clothes. Outside, three ceiling-mounted spotlights illuminate the inside of the closet. The glass doors are aluminum, and open french-door style onto a newly-poured concrete pad, which has cut down on the amount of sand that gets tracked into the house. Eventually, we will also have a pool out here, which will allow us to go from “asleep” to “swimming” in moments. And of course, we’ve got the monstrous 18,000BTU LG minisplit, which cools the room from 95 to 65 in seconds. The expense of operating this unit would probably make it a good idea for us to buy stock in CFE, as well.

Northwest corner, before. Not a lot to explain here…just another view on the scary wiring, old wall sconces, and strange indentation that was left in the wall when we bricked in that window, after turning that from an exterior to an interior wall. The new bathroom is visible in the right of the frame.

Northwest corner, after. All walls were refinished and painted, and the old exterior door was refinished. All new wiring and sconces were installed, and the wall on the left had a nice rough texture applied to balance the crispness of the rest of the room. Take a look at the floor tile, as well, which we’ll talk more about in a few minutes.

Northeast corner, before. Another small wooden window, which also didn’t open, prevented this room from having an ocean view.

Northeast corner, after. New floor-to-ceiling sliding window not only lets in a ton of light, but allows view of the ocean from the bedroom.

That’s about it for the before-and-afters. There are a couple of other cool details, though, that I wanted to draw your attention to, so here are a few more random shots:

Closet detail: On the top shelf, we had the last-minute idea to put an electrical outlet inside the closet. Since this is now the coolest room in the house, it is probably destined to become the most-used, as well. We wanted to put an outlet in so that if we wanted to put a little flat panel TV in our bedroom, we could put it on the top closet shelf, with no exposed wires, which we could also close away when not in use.

Tile porn: Let me tell you something. If you had told me a few months ago that I was going to be putting fake wood tile in my bedroom, I not only would have laughed, I probably would have thrown you out of my house. All of the faux-wood tile we have seen is pretty awful, and usually amounts to square ceramic tile that has been silkscreened with a parquet floor pattern. And of course, it is usually pretty bad. This was the first somewhat convincing faux wood tile we had seen, and, because we sorely miss the wood floors of New England, we pulled out the checkbook to pay the additional 500 pesos per square meter above what we had been allotted in the quote for the project. We couldn’t be more pleased with the results, and here’s why it works so well: First, the tile is long and rectangular rather than square. That’s right, the way real wood planks would be. In addition, the tile, while not totally random, is not all the same. There are about four different colors and textures in each box of tile, and this pseudo-randomness makes for a pretty convincing effect. Finally, wood floors come to the beach!

Our bedroom, finished and loaded up.

Bedroom 360 A Go-Go

This project was complete by the always-incredible Victor and Ingrid of Carillo y Peon. We have worked with them in the past, and will continue to strongly endorse and work with them in the future. Their work is imaginative, reliably top-quality, and won’t make your wallet yell at you. And on a personal level, we have found Victor and Ingrid, both professionally and personally, some of the greatest, easiest to work with people we have met. We are proud to call them our friends, and you should be proud to call them your architects.

The whole project, start to finish, took about four weeks. This was longer than we expected, but then again, the whole job was much larger and more involved than we had expected, as well. And now, half of our existing home has been redone. What’s next? It’s either going to be a total overhaul of our guest house, or some much needed landscaping, outside. We’ll decide this month, and then start work in early October, so that means Volume 4 of this series is right around the corner! See you then!

There Are 10 Responses So Far. »

  1. I am very impressed with your redo. Looks like you could easily double your money if you wanted to sell it. Good investment.

    Just curious, do you work down there? If so what do you do?

    Love the “wood Tile”, I first saw it used down in Corpus Chrisit, i liked it then and I liked it on your floor.

  2. Beautiful, you guys.

    Hey, maybe you wanna trade places for a week sometime?


  3. Thanks, Nancy…we’d be WAY into checking out Mazatlan for a week…let’s chat about it!

  4. And yes, Susan, we are still gainfully employed…we don’t work locally, though. I am a graphic designer and Jillian is a writer. Three cheers for telecommuting!

  5. All I can say is a giant “WOW!”. Magic, you guys. Magic!

  6. What a nice transformation! Of course having used Victor and Ingrid we agree with your endorsement. Still love the bathroom tiles!

  7. Wow!

    It looks fantastic. And I say that sharing the same default intestinal distress toward faux wood tile that you mention above, but I think it looks really great.

    I vote for guesthouse first. But that’s just me.


  8. Yeah, it all looks good to me. I’m maybe not so wild about the faux wood tiles, but I bet I’d feel different if I could see it in person. This is fun….like one of those design shows I see on the T.V. box. Kisses!

  9. hello can u tell me where u found the faux wood tile? im building a home in mexico an would like to know where u found this tile iv been searching everywhere for it. thanks

  10. Jesus: Im the architect that renovated Malcolm and Jillian´s…you can find those tiles ( faux wood ) at a tile store called Materama, it is a round glassy building which is located on Prolongacion de Montejo righ in front of Club Campestre…regards!!

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