Talk About Inspiring!

 Frontal exterior shot of Jerome and Jamie Pelayo's Sunia home in Los Angeles, California. 

Frontal exterior shot of Jerome and Jamie Pelayo's Sunia home in Los Angeles, California. 

The couple’s story is both inspiring and heartwarming.  There are many New Yorkers like Jerome and Jamie, who dream of moving to the west coast. It was in 2008 when their dream turned to a reality, and they headed out to California in search of their very own modern Los Angeles home. Unfortunately their timing of all this did not really work to their advantage. It was June when they finally realized their dream house was way out of their price range. So they made the decision to purchase a bank owned 800 square foot fixer-upper. Immediately after their purchase, came the market crash, and prices of homes were dropping left and right. 

 Open storage and cabinets, plenty of shelving made available for easy access to spices, and an island made of plywood for the kitchen. 

Open storage and cabinets, plenty of shelving made available for easy access to spices, and an island made of plywood for the kitchen. 

To this day they are still haunted by their untimely decision making. Although, rather than sulking over the fact that the only house the Pelayo’s could afford seemed un-fixable, the LA lawyer took matters into his own hands and paid a visit to the library, where he began researching design and architecture. It was a stretch, but he proceeded to the next step and began drawing up hundreds of floor plans using Auto CAD, Adobe Illustrator, and SketchUp. Finally he found a design that was just right. The home comes in at a total of 2,000 square feet with 4 bedrooms and 2 baths; the costs were well under $150 per square foot.

 The main floor was designed with an open-plan kitchen and living/dining area to help make use of all the available space, leaving the area feeling bigger than it actually is.

The main floor was designed with an open-plan kitchen and living/dining area to help make use of all the available space, leaving the area feeling bigger than it actually is.

 Master bedroom located on the second floor utilizes exposed plumbing pipes for clothing racks, eliminating the need of closets, another one of Jerome's space-saving hacks.

Master bedroom located on the second floor utilizes exposed plumbing pipes for clothing racks, eliminating the need of closets, another one of Jerome's space-saving hacks.

Jerome didn’t stop there. He decided to make another big change in his life by swapping careers. He traded in his career as a lawyer for one in architecture. Today he owns his own company, known as Sunia Homes and he takes on clients who have the same dream he had, which was wishing for a modern home in California without swallowing the cost. The $150-per-square-foot price includes greywater and solar systems and a pre-planted edible garden. The iterations start at $260,000 and top out at just $340,000, and have a four-month build time. 

 Picture of how Jerome used the extra space under the stairs for again, more shelving and storage. 

Picture of how Jerome used the extra space under the stairs for again, more shelving and storage. 

Simon Lunt