June 26

Transformation of 2833

2833 Remodel

2833 NM 14, Madrid, NM Remodel – Before and After Pics

This post has little do directly with the Feldenkrais Method except that the way I approached the projects were infused with Feldenkrais principles.

I approached each chunk of work as though I were doing an ATM. I had to work in some challenging (and sometimes precarious) situations. But all these situations were made easy (or at least easier) because of my Feldenkrais practice. Which isn’t to say I wasn’t tired and sore at the end of a hard day of work. I often was. But my ability to recover (Moshe’s definition of health) is quite good, and I could go at it again the next day.

We started this project when we arrived in Madrid, New Mexico, in late July 2018. We worked hard on the loft in the summer and fall, since that was our principal residence. In the late winter and through the spring, we worked hard on the exterior of the building and resolving many “unseen” issues that were in our pre-purchase inspection report. There are over 50 improvements we made. Following are some before and after pics that show the transformation of the building.

Property Description

This landmark building on the main road through Madrid is home to the iconic Metallo Gallery. This amazing property is walking distance from Mine Shaft Tavern and The Hollar restaurants and all of the shops in town. Easy access to Santa Fe and Albuquerque.

The building features a dramatic gallery/commercial space and two charming finished apartments with the potential of a third.

The bright sunny gallery offers 700sf of retail plus 200sf office space. French doors open to the main street of Madrid. A large wrap-around deck offers a welcoming space for relaxing, informal gatherings and social events.

The charming lower apartment, which is adjacent to the gallery, is 700sf with south facing french doors that open on to a private deck and patio. The north side features a porch with new decking. The back area features a garden and a place for grilling and entertaining.

The upper floor offers a 700sf remodeled sunny loft apartment with vaulted ceilings and charming wrap-around balcony, mini-greenhouse, claw-foot tub, washer, and updated kitchen. The east-facing bedroom windows offer beautiful morning light and great views of the mountains and the New Mexico sky. Leave the blinds open at night to view the moon and stars as you drift off to sleep.

The parking lot is bordered with gardens of native and drought-tolerant New Mexico plants.

There is a partially finished 700sf basement with access from the gallery and the rear of the building. It is plumbed for lavatory, shower, kitchenette and has washer and dryer hookups.

About the Sellers

Sarah and Al Wadleigh are artists and builders, who have a knack and talent for creating charming remodel and landscape designs. After redesigning and beautifying two homes in Colorado, we decided to move to New Mexico to find the perfect off-grid property and home. After making numerous trips to the Santa Fe area, we realized we needed more time to find their perfect abode, and discovered that the beautiful and iconic Madrid property, home to the revered Metallo Gallery, was available for purchase. We moved into the loft and started work immediately. A year’s worth of remodeling/landscaping efforts has restored the building with artful colors inside and out, adding welcoming details, and updating the bathroom and kitchen to make the loft a place to reside in comfort or to welcome guests. The gallery and lower apartment have been meticulously maintained by the current resident and artist, Cassidy, who creates art and procures others’ artwork in the beautiful Metallo Gallery.

Let’s start with the loft.

Loft Doors

One of the attributes we like the most are the magenta French doors that open into the loft. They are the same color as the blooms of the Cholla cactus native to this region.


The bathroom was just this flat gray and white paint with an old gnarly well-stained 40’s era sink in the corner. We replaced the old sink with vessel sink mounted countertop attached to a converted dresser. We installed an apartment-sized washer as well. It took a little creative plumbing, but it came out really cool. We painted the walls and ceiling with gloss and semi-gloss paint throughout. There were paint drops and splatter all over the bathroom floor (from previous owners). So I went through it all a scraped it all off revealing the beautiful slate floor. We replaced the recessed can lights with modern surface mount lights and added a dimmer. There was a hallway between the bathroom and the master bedroom that I converted to a two-sided closet. Madrid properties are notoriously short on closet space.

Bathroom Before and After Pics



Living Room

One of the cool features of the loft is the 12’ high vaulted ceilings. The ceilings are wood paneled and originally had strips of wood that mended the joints painted a gnarly shade of gray. “Gnarly” being an operative word here. The walls were a light-sucking flat gray and white paint. We painted everything, including those pesky gray strips on the ceiling. Sarah did some research and learned about a reflectancy index that all paints are measured by. So we chose colors and sheens that would reflect the most light, thereby brightening the room and adding dimension and color. We removed the gnarly track lights and replaced them with beautiful brushed nickel hanging fixtures. All lights are on dimmers (we like dimmers). And of course, high-quality window coverings were added.

Livingroom Before and After Pics




This was so easy and so rewarding. We simply moved the middle cabinet over the sink over to the right, added open shelving and under counter lighting. Now we could wash dishes without banging our heads into the cupboard! We wallpapered behind the shelving, and Sarah did a two-toned paint job that really makes the textured floral pattern stand out. The tracking light in the kitchen was replaced with a brushed nickel hanging fixture.

Kitchen Before and After Pics




The bedroom is a charming room. The high ceilings and east facing windows make it a particularly lovely place to be in the morning. We painted the room with high reflectancy colors and painted those pesky gray strips on the ceiling. The sliding glass door opens out to the balcony where we created a mini-greenhouse for Sarah’s plants. We also installed a 10-pane glass door between the bedroom and living room.

Bedroom Before and After Pics



Balcony Greenhouse

The side of the property faces south, which would generally mean lots of light would be coming in. However, the overhang was installed in such a way that zero light was coming through the windows. Zero! So we replaced sections of the overhanging metal roof panels with clear greenhouse panels, allowing for light, especially during winter, spring, and fall, to come pouring into the loft, and allowing for illumination of the mini-greenhouse we installed right outside the sliding doors in the bedroom.


Lower Apartment and Gallery

The lower Apartment and Gallery are in excellent condition. There have been just three major projects and then some minor maintenance work.

Lower Apartment Shower Stall

The shower stall was initially done in plaster, which was just decaying. It was horrible. The plaster was just coming off the wall. So we had the shower stall tiled. I didn’t do this one myself. I hired Jose’.



Lower Apartment Insulation Blow-In

The joists between the two apartments were hollow, which amplified every one of our footsteps and toenail clicking of our dogs. So I blew in insulation between the lower Apartment and the loft for soundproofing. You can see the access holes I cut in for each bay then blew the insulation into each bay.


Gallery Crawlspace Insulation

In the gallery crawlspace, I insulated the floor, which helped with acoustics, eliminated drafts, and improved temperature control. Sorry, no pics of that.

The Exterior

The most notable changes are that we painted the building, repaired the decks, and installed gardens with a mix of native plants and NM-friendly heat-loving, drought tolerant plants.


The painting was the biggest project. I started it in March and finished it in June. It was terrible. You can see in the picture below the cracks and flakes on the second story wall. When I took a scraper to it just peeled off … well, most it that is. I scraped, washed, caulked, primed, and painted each exterior wall one at a time making repairs to the face boards and wall boards as needed. Here’s another situation where I wish I would have taken some progress pictures, so you see how bad it really was. But it looks fantastic now!

Flaking Paint Before and After


Let’s take a look at the front. You can see the beautiful green gables, walls, and white trim.

Front of Building Before and After


From the back, you can see the green walls, balcony, the magenta doors.

Back of Building Before and After


Gutter and rain barrels

Gutters have been added plus two 200 gallon rain barrels. I didn’t do this job. 200 Gallons isn’t that much but its enough to water the gardens with and the plants really like the rainwater.


North side of the Gallery

Most of the decking damage was caused by a lack of gutters and proper drainage. Right along the drip line and outward away from the building is where most of the decay was. The wood behind the drip line and closer to the building was okay.

The old posts were just supported on the deck. So I removed the old posts one at a time and replaced them with ones supported on concrete post supports on the ground below the decking. Then I attached the deck joists to the posts. For other beams, I mended them with new boards that extended in toward the building. Then I finished with new boards on top.


North side of lower Apartment

This decking was just 4×8 sheets of plywood. Many of which were loose. Walking on the deck had a soft feel and a hollow sound. The substructure is in good condition, so I resurfaced it with some 1×12 rough cut decking.


Loft landing deck at the bottom of stairs

This is one of those elusive obvious things. The stairs ended in kind of a pit that you would have to step up and out of. Rainwater and melt off collected there, making it messy and dangerous after rain or snowfall. So I built a landing that connected the steps to the existing flagstone walkway. I say it’s the elusive because everyone in the neighborhood was marveling at the obvious solution.


And that leads us right into the gardens…


The flagstone patio at the bottom of the loft stairs was just this overly cemented mess. So I took my pickax and sledgehammer to it and dug out layers of flagstone, cement, and pavers. After adding some excellent soil, Sarah planted it with natives and other xeric plants, seeded in some poppies and catmint, and mulched with the free horse manure from Broken Saddle stables in Cerrillos. Chamisa, Catmint, Mallows, Poppies, native Penstemon, Saponaria, and Clary Sage will eventually fill in to make a hedgerow of flowering plants for local and native pollinators.

Along the side of the north facing rock wall, we added more gardens. It’s actually quite sunny there, and both the native plants and the other hardy perennials are doing really well. Sacred Datura, Little Bluestem grass, Lavender, Clary Sage, Agastache, Salvia, Penstemon palmeri, and a few kinds of grass all seem quite happy.



In the back of the lower Apartment is a patio and a raised garden area that started out as a weed patch. You can see the condition it was in before we started. Now it has a beautiful pathway and lots of easy, durable drought tolerant plants which are starting to thrive – sunflowers, catmint, mallow, Blue Mist Spirea, Red Valerian and sulfur buckwheat. The large, 4’ tall native Globe Mallow and several of the beautiful native Nightshades were left in place. Native sunflower, Helianthus maximiliani, and native penstemon, Wild Pink Snapdragon, Penstemon palmeri, were added. This garden and all of the others should reseed and become self-sustaining as time goes on.


At the very front corner of the rock wall that borders the edge of the building and driveway, we added some of those beautiful Prickly Pear and Cholla cactus. These cactus were collected from the plants in front of the bodacious garden in front of The General Store further north on Main Street….Bett pruned them back, and Sarah collected a bucket of them and stuck them into the ground. The pieces that had buds actually bloomed!


Other changes.

There are a lot of other changes we made. Most of which don’t make good pictures. Electrical issues, re-hung the patio gate, fixed several deck boards, added handrails to areas where there were steps, and many other things.

It’s been a great year. We’ve learned a lot about New Mexico! We’re heading for the hills to pursue our dreams, and hope this building will help someone else fulfill theirs!

See the listing on Zillow.


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  1. Al, fantastic job! Sorry I missed seeing it (and you!) when I was last down in the area. Wishing you and Sarah all the best with your next adventure.

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