The view of the old living room from the dining room could not be more different today. The sectional is from Room & Board, the full-wall storage unit custom built by Dan Campbell and the gray wool Womb chair was bought on Craigslist. The marble-topped piece near the Nelson bubble lamp was made by Paul Sommers 10 years ago to house audio equipment.

Homeowners Julie and Paul tackled a daring amount of home renovation projects (part 1). What would take many six months, it took the couple six weeks—but that’s to be expected of a pair who work in the fast-paced film industry. And they weren’t planning on slowing down this fast remodel either.

For an extra challenge, partway into the project, first budgeted at $100,000, they decided there was no good reason for not tackling the baths as well. The master bath was completely remodeled, and the kids’ bath was re-plumbed. They also sprang for upgraded light fixtures and custom built-ins in the family room, living room and bedroom. Final costs came in around $150,000.

Production house bathroom
The new slant-front vanity is modeled after the original still in place in the twins’ bathroom. The counter is the same CaesarStone used in the kitchen and the faucets are Grohe.

But how did they do all that in a month and a half? For one thing, they had worked through stylistic debates and decisions at their previous house while planning a rehab that they ultimately didn’t carry out. For another, “We were crazy,” Paul says. “Before we closed on this house we had the doors and windows and kitchen cabinets ordered. I think a lot of people give themselves too many options. They go to 25 tile stores and come home with 16 to 20 boards of tile. Then they’re confronted with all of these choices and decisions. How do you weed through that? If you narrow your scope a little, everything becomes easier. Stop Shopping!”

“I like that; it’s great. We’ll buy it” became their mantra. “We’d literally have a circus of people here working,” Julie explains. “The drywall guy was working in one place, someone else was painting and the flooring guy was bringing in the bamboo, saying [the planks] had to live in this environment and to not spill anything on them. As things were coming together you saw the contractors’ eyes light up. They told us they’d never seen a remodel happen so fast.”

Production house living room before
Family room, before.
Production house family room
Family room, after. The Sommerses changed out the fireplace mantel and the wood paneling in the family room off the kitchen and installed new sliding glass doors. Their reissued Eames lounge chair sits where a recliner once lived, and a storage unit by Dan Campbell has legs from Modernica and round pulls and design inspiration from Daniel Donnelly. “We had the chance to put some stuff into this house that would make it pop,” Campbell says.

 Paul attributes much of the success to their general contractor, Dan Campbell, a friend who’s the “king of resources,” and to their own pitch-in attitude. “It wasn’t like I was the guy who breezes through at the end of the day. I was there in work boots hauling stuff out, not standing over them in a jacket with a martini in my hand. I was there saying, ‘What do you need? How can I help? I’m going to get you lunch. Let’s get this done together.’”

Fast Remodel, Instant Regret

Julie and Paul have some regrets looking back at the remodeling process—find out what they are in Part 3!