A former Sonora resident is bringing her eye for refurbishment and renovation back to Tuolumne County as she prepares to flip a 1960s-era residence in Mi-Wuk Village.
Jenna Diermann, 31, has received national attention in print magazines such as the West Elm catalog, Better Homes and Gardens, Good Housekeeping, Country Living and HGTV magazines throughout her career, but now, as she prepares to complete her fourth home project (and the second in Tuolumne County), she anticipates that this may be the most interesting house, yet.
“The house was like walking into a time capsule from 1960. Everything was original, down to the appliances, striped carpeting and orange laminate countertops,” she said. “I fell in love with the storybook charm, and could tell a lot of great memories had been made here. My goal was to preserve the original character but give it a modern appeal that a new family could enjoy for years to come.”
This project has been more of a challenge, Diermann added, because of this year’s tumultuous winter.
“All the snow and power outages caused some major delays that has left us scrambling to finish on time,” she said.
But with the “super friendly, competent and reliable” contractor staff that she employed, a small-town closeness to the project has contributed to success of the renovation.
The home is on the 20300 block of Kutci Drive and was purchased for $170,000 she said.
Photographs of its original condition show the brown and off-white paint on the exterior with a few signs of wear, and the eaves that hang over triangulated pillars look as if they have seen their fair share of weather over the years. The home’s rustic charm also translates to the inside, with a spacious floor plan encompassed by exposed brick and textured slats of wood.
“It was well maintained, though, and used as a vacation home for a family who had owned it since the 60s. Every nook and cranny was filled with furniture, books and antiques that I inherited after purchasing,” Diermann said.
Diermann described the renovation as a “pretty massive undertaking.”
The home needed a new foundation, new siding, a new retaining wall, a new deck railing, trim, painting and landscaping, she said.
Additionally, the carpeting on the inside was replaced with “wide-plank rustic flooring,” the kitchen was gutted and transformed for a more “spacious layout” and each of the six upstairs bedrooms were redesigned to give them an unique “personality and story.”
The furnishings have a pastoral glamour, with each individual piece — from a wide-body standing bathtub to a hanging chandelier — showing a modern interpretation of an antique style.
The bright pastels of the original 1960s design, featured in patterned wallpaper and sparsely outfitted furniture, have been eschewed for a reimagined and carefully curated aesthetic.
The bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchen have been scaled back from their colorful flourishes and essentially optimized for their functionality.
This project is the compendium of a new but illustrious career Diermann has established in the graphic design and home remodeling industry.
Diermann moved to Sonora at age 17 and attended Columbia College before pursuing a degree in graphic design from Brooks Institute in Ventura.
Diermann established an online Etsy shop in March 2011 to sell customized graphic designs of city roads and maps, but this project really took off when she was contracted by Starbucks in 2013 to make these maps for the different cities in which they planned to launch stores.
Diermann purchased her first home at age 22.
“I knew nothing when I started, but had a desire to learn and limited funds, so I began studying interior design, reading blogs, magazines and tackling DIY projects,” she said.
From one home remodel to the next, Diermann developed her own personal interior design style and honed the organization required to successfully pull off the projects.
And, over time, she developed a philosophy of “every house is unique and requires a different approach,” she said. “This is my fourth home, so I was able to apply those lessons learned in a much shorter time frame.”
With the project now completed, Diermann is keeping her sights on the future.
Though she still operates her online art print shop, her success in home remodeling has realized her true passion.
“My heart is in interior design, home renovation and real estate investing, and that’s the path I’ll continue to focus on,” she said.