Before and After (Not During)

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MANAGING EDITOR EVA DITLER keeps our trains running. For 15 years, the Coronado resident has made sure we ship our pages to the printer on time, and without errors. Her deadline prodding skills – delivered with a smile – are honed sharper than a Samurai sword. 

Picture Uma Thurman in Kill Bill (Vol. 1 & 2).

Somewhere along the timeline of her tenure, Ditler also became the “Before & After” go-to gal. It started a dozen years ago with she became editor of the annual Homeowners’ Resource Guide. A one-page column in the magazine began in 2007. Still today, each issue of the magazine includes a short piece showing one area of a house pre- and post-remodel.

“We’ve always had whole-house remodels in the magazine, but it wasn’t until I started doing that column — which doesn’t include kitchen and bath redos — that we decided to make August our remodel issue on an annual basis,” says Ditler. “Well, I had become the ‘Before & After’ girl, so that part of the issue fell to me and I’ve been doing it ever since.”

When good B&A candidates arrive at the office, they are funneled directly to Ditler. This August feature collection is a trio of “Before & After” home stories. Ditler doesn’t always write and research all three, but this year she did triple duty.

San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles regularly gets a heaping helping of submissions from homeowners, designers and architects who’d like their abodes to appear in the magazine.

Ditler offers this insider tip: “If you want to get strong consideration for the ‘Before & After’ issue or column, take good photos beforehand that will match up exactly with the after shots.”

Take heed: Photographs taken during the renovation, decrees Ditler, don’t do us any good. 

Starting to draw up plans for a major home undertaking that readers will benefit from seeing whence it came to where it will be?

Get the camera out and take the lens cap off now.


SPEAKING OF SUBMISSIONS: Our next Homes of the Year (HOY) contest has moved up a month. Winners will be published in the January 2013 issue. That means entries are due by August 22. Hone in on the new date. It’s a deadline you can expect Ditler to strictly enforce.


Enjoy the issue.

Ron Donoho

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