A Local Palos Verdes Family Transformed a Little Fixer on a Sought-After Street into an Idyllic Home—One Step at a Time

Worth the wait.

  • Category
    Homes
  • Written by
    Amber Klinck
  • Photographed by
    Lauren Pressey

Shane Andrews grew up in Palos Verdes. It’s an area she knows well and a community she loves. So when she spotted a small “For Sale” sign on Vía Palomino, she knew it was an opportunity she couldn’t pass up.

“We always liked the street,” Shane says. “At the time, my little one [Elliott] was 15 months old. She hopped out of her stroller while we were walking by, and there was this itty-bitty ‘For Sale by Owner’ sign out front.”

“I love doing fixers. I just like the whole thing—it feels good to get into a big, full project.” 

They jumped at the opportunity even though the timing wasn’t quite right. “We weren’t totally ready because my youngest was so tiny and my other two girls [Brette and Ryann] were still pretty small,” she shares. “But we had to take advantage of the moment.”

“We always liked the street,” Shane says. “At the time, my little one [Elliott] was 15 months old. She hopped out of her stroller while we were walking by, and there was this itty-bitty ‘For Sale by Owner’ sign out front.”

They jumped at the opportunity even though the timing wasn’t quite right. “We weren’t totally ready because my youngest was so tiny and my other two girls [Brette and Ryann] were still pretty small,” she shares. “But we had to take advantage of the moment.”

That was eight years ago. “When we bought the house, it was a complete fixer—to the extreme,” Shane notes. And though it was the fourth home Shane and her husband, Chris Andrews, had remodeled, this was the first time they couldn’t live in the home during the process—at least during the first phase.

“We completely changed everything,” Shane explains. What once was the original home’s living room initially transformed into the master and then eventually an office. The garage is completely new, replacing what used to be part of the front yard. And the couple did all of this themselves, with Shane taking on the design and Chris managing the build.

“We had to really get creative,” Shane says. “This is a 1940s house. We wanted it higher, but we wanted to also keep the footprint.”

At one point the couple thought about building into the backyard, but Shane thought the attic might have enough loft for a bedroom upstairs. “We ended up doing the whole space. There are two bedrooms and two bathrooms upstairs—it was kind of like a Lego puzzle, trying to figure it out.”

For the yard, the couple opted for a clean slate. Everything was cleared out and leveled, but it was the removal of a eucalyptus tree that bothered Shane. “I felt really bad about it,” she says.

So she started thinking of ways they could repurpose the wood. “I asked Chris if we could make furniture out of it, and sure enough, he found this guy with a portable sawmill. He and Chris were in the backyard sawing planks of wood. We then had to store it for two years so it could get hard enough to work with.”

Using the wood from that eucalyptus tree, they built two 9-foot dining tables, two 9-foot couches and one coffee table.

Every inch of the home’s interior is utilized, with little nooks sprinkled throughout. Dormer windows on the outside of the home serve as alcoves for studying or reading on the inside. There’s a tiny Lego room on the second floor—a clever use of the extra space right above the main entry. A sweet little hideaway makes use of the space under the stairs. Because the ceilings on the second level follow the roofline, the varied angles and peaks add interest to every corner.

The first room in the home to be finished was the kitchen. “Chris is really good at sourcing,” Shane notes. “He sourced and ordered directly from the cabinetmaker, which of course was super labor-intensive in terms of getting the exact measurements.”

The surfaces of the large island and the backsplash are porcelain slabs with a marble aesthetic—yet with far greater durability. It’s the kind of space you want to congregate in, ideal for cooking with the family or entertaining friends.

Off the kitchen is a large great room with high, peaked ceilings, a fireplace at its center and French doors lining both sides. Make your way through the great room, and you’ll find yourself in the master suite.

“This is all new construction,” Shane notes. “We wanted to keep it consistent, but we were tight on space. We didn’t want to take up too much square footage in this next phase.” To maximize the space, Shane opted to merge the closet and the master bath—“which turned out well.”

Seeing the completed home, it’s hard to imagine that it was built in stages. The space feels cohesive, and the result is stunning. It’s a timeless, charming, Nantucket-style home eight years in the making.

But Shane and Chris are already looking for their next project. “I love doing fixers,” Shane says. “I just like the whole thing—it feels good to get into a big, full project.”

We can’t wait to see what she does next.

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