After approximately six months of construction, Casa Cielo was finally finished in October of 2010. There are still minor adjustments being made to the home but we seriously could not be more overjoyed with the outcome of the home. We have even had three separate families that rented Cielo for their vacation for a week each since late October. That was with minimal advertising, just word of mouth from the local realtors in the area. We feel so lucky and optimistic!
I have received several emails asking how in the world we renovated and added on a second story to a home in Mexico without losing our minds. I am going to do a separate post detailing the process we went through, things we learned and would do different and try to help others who are interested in renovating a home — perhaps a second home or a home they will be moving into in the future — without actually being present during the construction.
After the home was finished, my husband, my daughter and my mother-in-law flew out for seven days to try to get the home ready with furnishings, supplies, window treatments, patio furniture, accessories — the list goes on! I began working with an interior designer to assist me with purchasing furniture in a previous visit we had made to San Jose del Cabo. After our meeting she began emailing me furniture, bedding, textile and accessory options that were available to her in San Jose del Cabo locally. When we arrived in October almost all of the decisions for furniture had been made and only a handful were left for me to see in person.
I was introduced to a local art gallery owner — she is actually from North Carolina — and she helped me with filling the walls of the home with art from local artists that she represents in the area. When the art installer delivered and hung all of the various art pieces, the transformation accomplished was AMAZING! To have the walls go from bare to completely and beautifully filled in each and every room of the home in an hour was euphoric for a design-obsessed person such as me. We had the photographer who photographed Casa Cielo after the renovation also take pictures of each piece of art for insurance and inventory purposes.
Here are a couple of pieces. These individual images do not do the art justice:
This piece is so beautiful. The photo does not capture how organic it actually is.
These two are a part of a series of four pieces that were hung on either side of the window in our master bedroom. As with all of the photos of the art, pictures do not do this series justice.
The master bedroom was the only place that I chose very muted pieces for a relaxed soft feeling.
We had a vision and a wish list that I posted about here. We were able to achieve most all of the changes that were important to us and added additional changes along the way. I still cannot believe it’s the same house!! We were able to add on a second story with two new bedrooms and full baths and a balcony. All of the downstairs glass patio doors were replaced with pocket doors. The living area, kitchen, new dining area and the master bedroom are now completely open to the outdoors when all of the pocket doors are folded into the wall. In Houston, no way would this ever work!! With the mild climate in San Jose del Cabo the pocket doors can be left open most of the year.
<td “text-align:=”” center;”=”” class=”tr-caption” style=”border-bottom-color: initial; border-bottom-style: none; border-bottom-width: medium; border-left-color: initial; border-left-style: none; border-left-width: medium; border-right-color: initial; border-right-style: none; border-right-width: medium; border-top-color: initial; border-top-style: none; border-top-width: medium;”>BEFORE: Looking into the living area from the kitchen. The house was cute but outdated.
AFTER: Standing to the left of the fireplace in the previous photo looking back into the new living/kitchen area. Notice the pocket doors all folded back. I especially like the doors open in the evenings.
AFTER: Looking back into the living area towards the front entrance.
AFTER: The two built-ins on either side of the fireplace are still being finished. The paintings were placed in the niches for the photos only. We are having three thick shelves installed in each niche with lighting. I found some beautiful pieces of faux large coral at Z-Gallerie and a large white clamshell to place on the shelves once they are finished.
BEFORE: Small outdated kitchen. The window to the right is now where the entrance to the new dining area is located. The small window above the stove had to be removed to make room for new upper cabinets.
BEFORE: The bar area was completely torn out to make room for the new island. The terracotta floors were all replaced with honed travertine.
AFTER: The new eat in island. The new upper cabinets were installed too high and are being moved down 7 inches. All interior doors were stained a dark espresso color.
BEFORE: Downstairs guest bedroom. This is the only room in the home without an ocean view.
AFTER: The downstairs guest bedroom now known as the green bedroom. We were still waiting for the rattan inserts to arrive for the headboards when this photo was taken.
BEFORE: Looking into the master bedroom.
AFTER: Master bedroom with new floors, pocket doors and windows. The ceiling was rounded out into an arch for architectural interest.
For some reason we did not take any photos of any of the bathrooms that were redone. I have no idea why! Every bedroom in the home has its own complete bathroom. There is also half bath located downstairs. Each bathroom was completely remodeled with new vanities, tile and fixtures. The master bathroom before only had a shower and vanity. We extended the bathroom, installed a large soaking tub and newly located shower. A sliding glass door opens up at the end of the master bath now and you step into an outdoor shower that has an unobstructed view of the ocean. The shot below is the only one that we have. I am going to get more photos on our trip in March. The master bath is especially an unbelievable transformation.
AFTER: The new outdoor shower adjacent to the master bathroom.
AFTER: Master bedroom. The arched ceiling is visible barely in this photo. New wood windows thoughout made such a big impact.
BEFORE: Downstairs TV room. The patio door was removed and replaced with a large window. The landing that was on the other side of the patio door was torn out to gain more patio space by the pool. All of the built-in shelving was removed.
AFTER: Downstairs TV room is located on the other side of the fireplace wall in the living area. The master bedroom is to the right.
AFTER: Two new bedrooms and bathrooms, plus an outside balcony, were added to the home. This is what is now known as the blue bedroom.
AFTER: The other new bedroom upstairs. Guess what it’s called.
AFTER: The pink bedroom’s view.
AFTER: Newly added balcony upstairs. Love the new patio furniture that we chose for this space.
BEFORE: Through the door straight ahead, the TV room is to the right, green bedroom is to the left and keep walking straight into the master bedroom.
AFTER: The green bedroom is barely visible. The front doors were almost not replaced. So glad we changed them. The new doors make a big difference.
BEFORE: The balcony is located right outside the kitchen and living area. At the end of the balcony in this photo is where we added a new dining room and built-in grill.
AFTER: The formal dining room and outdoor grill. The previous balcony was extended to align with the new dining area. We also had the width of the balcony extended by approximately 5 feet which made an enormous difference. The previous balcony felt narrow and cramped.
AFTER: The new bigger balcony. The iron railing was removed and replaced with a short stucco wall. The pergola was also replaced. This photo also has a glimpse of the new pool, jacuzzi and water feature.
BEFORE: Standing by the old pool looking back towards the balcony. The living area is located inside the first set of sliding glass doors up the stairs.
AFTER: The pool was reshaped to a rectangle. A jacuzzi and water feature were also added to the far end. The master bedroom opens up to the pool. Here you can see the pocket doors in the master folded back into the walls. With the climate in San Jose del Cabo, you can leave the pocket doors open almost nine months a year.
BEFORE: Another shot of the kidney shaped pool before.
AFTER: A look at the back of Casa Cielo at night. Here you can see where we took the home from a one story to a two story. I was so afraid of the addition looking like an after thought and I am so pleased with the way it turned out.
This was such a big project that I could write forever on all of the details that went into changing Casa Cielo. We are so blessed to have this second home and so grateful that the renovation is OVER! (smile) My husband and I have tried to bring our family to visit Cielo twice since Christmas and are happy to say that each time we tried to book the dates, we received an inquiry to rent the home. We are so thankful!! We will be taking our entire family, and some extended family, to stay for ten days in March for spring break. We had two separate requests for those dates as well but I told my husband NO, WE ARE GOING!!!
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