The Little House on Green St.

Reuse, recycle, renew

I saw this little house on Zillow with a price reduction. It had my 2 must haves in real estate investment properties. 1-Off street parking, 2-a yard, but this one had 3- an out building. I really wanted this house. It was close to the universities (Mathilda would be transferring to Tulane in the spring) and in a cute, becoming renovated neighborhood.

The front of Green St.


An older couple lived in this house for many years. They had moved some years before to be closer to family. The house was super handmade and the owner did much of the updates himself. Very quirky and in need of a gut renovation. It was a single shotgun with four rooms and a bathroom with a tiny enclosed porch on the back.

The wife was a night nurse.

The bathroom, in the rear, was squeezed into the kitchen. It had a very “doll house” quality that I loved. But needed updating.


The very back had an enclosed porch that was used for storage and a washer dryer. The house had a great backyard.


I did a few drawings for this renovation. I was really trying to keep the costs down. So wanted to keep the floorpan intact, but the more I thought about it and talked to architecture friends and contractors, I decided to change the layout somewhat.


The biggest change was adding a hallway to give the house a private bedroom (albeit small). We had to move a few doorways and ended up moving a new bathroom (closer to the bedroom) and adding 1/2 bath/laundry room.


The demo started and we added the framing for the new layout.

I used tape on the floor to figure out spacing of new walls.
Rear door installation

Demo in progress.

My design mood boards for the house was very beachy, airy and clean, including light woods and black accents.

The main bathroom mood board
The kitchen mood board.


Much of the lighting and fixtures were found at second hand shops and resale stores. I tried to reuse as much as I could from the house demo. I found track lighting at the Habitat ReStore and doors at The Green Project and Ricca’s Salvage.



Sheet rock is going up here, tile choices (all tile bought on sale) and the house interior painted BM Simply White.

I used a lot of Ikea. Up cabinets for the kitchen, vanities for the bathrooms, lighting, closets and shelving.

Floors happened next. We sanded the original floors throughout the house. We used the a product from Monocoat that I have used in another house renovation. It is a 2 part stain/oil mixture. You buff it on and and it seals the wood to a very hard finish and it is stain and water proof. I love this product.

The kitchen started coming together. As I said previously, I used Ikea up cabinets and bought a cheaper white shaker base cabinet with white quartz countertops.

Finished kitchen. Reused table and chairs were bought vintage. Reused rug.

In the kitchen I had an idea to enclosed the fridge with birch plywood to make it look more “built-in”. I painted the wall facing out chalkboard black and a cut 3/4 holes as an over sized peg board. Then cutting 3/4 dowels at different lengths to be used as storage hooks.

Close up of peg board. Shelf was made from wood taken out of the house. CB2 sconce.
Ikea stainless sink. Sconces from CB2.
View from the back door looking toward the half bathroom and guest room.



In the half bathroom we kept the bead board exterior wall as is. Same with the yellow paint to give homage to the original house.

Pocket door was original to the house and we kept the weather paint look, as well. Ikea hook system holds art and hand towels. My own painting at left.


I used the same idea of enclosing the washer/dryer with birch plywood, adding the chalkboard painted, oversized dowel system for hanging towels or delicates to dry and it holds lots of extra toilet paper rolls.


For the master bathroom we reused the clawfoot tub, but painted it black. The sconce is from local company Sazerac Stitches. All tile was on sale at Floor and Decor. Round skylight really made this bathroom. It did not have a window and the natural light makes a huge difference.


The guest room (since my daughter is in college we wanted her to have a roommate) does not have a private entrance. As with many shotgun houses in New Orleans you walk through it to get to the kitchen. I decided to make a “hallway” of sorts using a privacy screen on the canopy bed and a vintage screen to hide the closet. I used the same birch plywood, painted chalkboard oversized dowel system on the bed.

This is the system attached to the posts with zip ties. Vintage screen from Magazine Merchant House in NOLA.
Inside the cozy bed.
Ikea lights and storage inside. A Target shower curtain hangs (zip tied to bed frame) for added privacy when sleeping.
Hall way feel for roommate room. Chalkboard wall and art shelf. Clock from Target.
Shoe storage.

My daughter has a small private bedroom off the new hallway. We decided on a loft double bed to maximize space. The bed has shelving and a desk underneath. Ikea wardrobe and hook system.

Wall hanging is a shower curtain from Target.
Mathilda has 2 Ferrets that live with her in this room. Fern and Roki. They are pretty happy here.

The living room contains a large second hand sectional sofa for movie nights with friends and just lounging.


All the furniture are hand me downs in this room. The reused large map came from Mathilda’s dorm room. The art panel was painted by myself as part of a series from our evacuation during hurricane Katrina. They are called “time lines”.

Palm leaf wallpaper on the closets brighten up the living area.


The yard was finished recently with crushed limestone and concrete steps.

Crushed limestone installed. The studio is getting renovated as well. More on that later.


Josh picking out the Japanese Blueberry trees from Bantings Nursery.


Japanese blueberry tree


Finished yard. Still have some side yard planting to do, but next phase!

We painted the front of the house. House color BM Simply White. Door color BM Yellow Finch. New landscaping in front plus new fence.

Front- Before and After

Front living room- Before and After

Hall addition- Before and after

Master Bath- Before and After

Master bedroom- Before and After

Guest room- Before and After

Kitchen- Before and Afters

Half bath- Before and After

Washing area- Before and After

Kitchen roof- Before and After

Outside- Before and After

Back of house- Before and After



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