Then, in 2018, Roger completed what Elsa calls the piéce de résistance: a master bathroom expansion that had been put on hold for more than a decade. Roger installed a freestanding soaking tub and built a vanity with drawers custom-sized (down to the millimeter) for Elsa’s extensive collection of cosmetics, brushes and other tools of her trade.
There have been other, less-dramatic changes, too, from swapping out doors and windows, to repainting the exterior redwood siding a deep grey. The Warks, now empty nesters, say their daughters often play a game of “spot the difference” when they visit their parents’ home. “It’s constantly changing,” Roger says.
The same goes for the interior, which is Elsa’s handiwork. She has a makeup artist’s mastery of color theory and a keen eye for detail—a skill set that lends itself to interior design. So, when she and Roger moved in nineteen years ago with only a handful of furnishings (they’d sold the bulk of it beforehand to start off with a blank canvas), Elsa put her talent on display. Guided by the home’s elegant-yet-comfortable island aesthetic, she has slowly and methodically curated an eclectic mix of tropical décor.
“My mother was a DIY person before DIY was a thing,” she says. “She taught me to work with what you have and look for good finds in places you wouldn’t normally look.” Like her husband, Elsa can’t say for sure if she’d pass up an opportunity to make more changes. “Yes, we both love a project,” she laughs.
Living in a home-in-progress hasn’t fazed Elsa. “I don’t think I have ever complained,” she says. “Everything we’ve done has been worth the wait.”