My biggest project in 2018: Our new home!

I barely feel like I'm coming up for air these days. Between the blog, coaching, speaking engagements, and simply catching up to life after moving I've consumed with one of the largest projects to date, our new home. 


At the end of January, we uprooted the family from our house for 8 years and moved to a brand new city in the East Bay. The crazy thing is we moved into my dream home, an Eichler! Sadly, we're not quite homeowners yet, thanks to the cost of living in the Bay Area, but for now, I'm living in a dream and that's good enough for me. 

Many of you guys asked about a BEFORE home tour of #HIGHWOODHAUS and as much as I don't want to share unfinished photos, there's a huge sense of joy in being able to see the house for what it is now. Pinterest found a whole new purpose in my life when we found out we were moving into our new home. I spent evenings pinning interior design inspirations for all of the rooms in our new house. You can visit all the inspiration boards broken down by room by clicking the links below:

Living Room Ideas

Master Bedroom

Breakfast/Nook Kitchen

Dining Room

My Office

Airis' Room 

Olivia's Room 

But before the turn of 2018, our schedules became filled with tons of work and adjustment to our new life.

We reached out to our friends over at Mackenzie Collier Interiors to help us design our home. They offer a design package called Room Service which is perfect for people, like us who has an idea of what we want our house to look and feel like, but don't have the time to do all the mood boarding, shopping, or the large budget for a full concierge service

During my first call with Mackenzie, I told her that I wanted to bring harmony, creativity, and the spirit of inspiration in my home. Since both Jon and I work from home, it's important to us that our space can feel like a place we can work and play in. After hearing our vision, getting to know who we were as a family, she came up with the most incredible game plan for our house! 

Our design goal for HIGHWOOD HAUS: to create a retreat like atmosphere that fosters inspiration, creativity, and cultivates a sense of well-being and harmony, all while honoring the Eichler aesthetic. Most importantly, to reflect the vibrant family that inhabits the space!
— #highwoodhaus

A more in-depth post to come regarding my experience with Mackenzie Collier Interiors.

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Now on to the house tour!

Upon entering the main entrance of the house, you walk into the atrium!  Eichler entry atriums, an open-air, enclosed entrance foyer designed to further advance the concept of integrating outdoor and indoor spaces. It's the intersection of modern day living meets nature. 

The atrium features 4 different points of entry into the house, the one we enter through the most is the living room which is the heart of the home. Before we moved in they had this one wall painted this seafoam color which we requested to just paint white like the rest of the house. 

Our favorite part of the living room is that its surrounded by floor to ceiling windows which flood the house daily with natural light, a whole lot more than our previous condo.

To the right of the entryway is the formal dining room that is connected to the living room space and kitchen area. 

I loved that this home came with these awesome built-in bookshelves, however we're not bookworms. After talking to Mackenzie and her team we decided that the best use of the shelving was to turn it into a plant shelf! If you guys have been following me on my IG stories then you know I've turned into a crazy plant lady!

Down the hallway are 3 out of the 5 bedrooms to the house which include the Encarnacion Photography HQ aka Jon's Office and the girl's bedrooms. 

On the other side of the house is the master bedroom, which we're slowly filling with furniture. Mackenzie recommending incredible pieces for the room which is taking me a little more time convincing the husband to buy, but we're also thinking of potentially hunting for some mid-century furniture which means frequent visits to Craigslist and the Alameda Antique Fair.

My office is connected to the master bedroom through our master bathroom. My friend Minna and I jokingly were saying that we're going to start calling my office space Jo's Jungle because of all the plants I'm starting to fill it with. 

We're slowly filling HIGHWOODHAUS with new furniture pieces and we're trying to be as budget conscious as we can be. Afterall we still have mouths to feed!

There are a few amazing places to get furniture from and I'll make sure to share more details as we start furnishing the different rooms in future posts. The main retailers we're furnishing our space from is West Elm, CB2, Anthropologie, and Urban Outfitters Home. While these are our main places we still love bargains from Homegoods, Overstock, Target, All Modern, and Wayfair!


You can also check out the warehouse outlets where we've managed to find some really killer pieces from!

The West Elm/Pottery Barn Outlet is in Alamead, CA. Details and hours can be found here. There is also a Crate and Barrel Warehouse Outlet in Tracy, details here. We managed to find some awesome pieces from both of those places for nearly 75% off of retail price of online orders that were returned by customers and never resold. We lucked out and found really pristine pieces of near to exact items that were suggested by our interior designers. 

One was this Roar + Rabbit Media Console from West Elm, originally $1299 and we bought it at the outlet for $600!

The other major deal we found was for this black metal and glass cabinet that was close to the one our designers sourced for my office. We picked up a Crate and Barrel Casement Sideboard at the outlet, originally priced at $999, marked down to $299! 

Thanks so much for all the love I've gotten from you guys as my journey to healthy mind and body starts to become more integrated with a journey to a healthy and harmonious home. 

Joanne E

I’m a mother of two beautiful daughters and married to a man who completes me. I started my fitness journey as a way to heal my soul and launched my blog in hopes to continue to inspire and empower women to use fitness as a tool to heal depression and find their self worth. I strongly believe that each woman deserves to be in love with herself just as much as her man does. I have an obsession with reusable water bottles, I enjoy action movies, and I’m in love with burpees.