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The Finished Flip

27 Oct

Last October, I shared a new “flip” property that we purchased— a 1931 Montgomery Ward home in our old neighborhood that had so much charm but needed to be brought back to life.

After a pretty grueling 7-month renovation, we sold it in May (to our good friends actually), and now here is the finished tour!

This was the old exterior: img_4539

And after a new roof, landscaping, front door, paint (Benjamin Moore Evening Dove), new window on the gable, and fresh asphalt on the driveway:


The homeowners choose this fun Poppy color for the front and back doors!


Moving inside, here was the old front room (it used to be a front porch).


And now after opening up the ceiling to create a cathedral ceiling with beadboard, a new chandelier, drywall, paint, stain and more:

front room with windowUnrecognizable, right?

Another before shot:


And after:

front room

The beadboard ceiling and chandelier is probably my favorite part of the whole house. Such a huge transformation!

ceiling close up

Here was the old living room:


After removing the wallpaper and carpet, painting everything, re-finishing the floors, and installing can lights, we have a beautiful living room:


The built-ins give so much character, and they cleaned up so well with fresh paint (Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore)!

IMG_6111Here was the old dining room:img_4575

Here’s the same view after we opened up a wall to the kitchen, stripped off the wallpaper and carpet, installed a new light, and of course fresh paint and floor stain:

IMG_6117The paint color on the whole first floor is Gray Owl by Benjamin Moore— my favorite warm, medium gray.

Here’s a look back through to the front of the house from the dining room.


We kept as much of the home’s original character as possible, including that little niche on the left in the above photo, and this cabinet:


Here’s a look at the old kitchen:


And now after new white shaker-style cabinets by Shrock, leathered black granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, new Kohler chrome faucet, new lighting, a farmhouse sink, oil rubbed bronze cup pulls, and a white subway tile backsplash:


The view of the fridge side before:


And now with a built out pantry and Samsung french door refrigerator:


Opening up the wall to create an island peninsula made the world of difference. Here was the before:


And after:


Here’s a close up of the leathered countertops, they look very cool:


This was the old archway leading to 2 bedrooms and a bathroom (you can see the marks on the wallpaper from someone smoking in the house for 40 years!)


And now:


Here was the old bathroom:

old bathroom

And now after a new subway tiled shower, gray vanity, vanity light, toilet, chrome fixtures, tub reglazing and more:

new bathroom

The vintage style hexagon flower tile from Home Depot is one of my favorite parts of the house:


We installed white shiplap on the walls:

bathroom shiplap

Here was one of the bedrooms before:

old reese room

And now with a new bronze ceiling fan, floors refinished and paint (Faint Coral by Sherwin Williams):


The 2nd bedroom before:

old fynn room

And now (paint is Nimbus Gray by Benjamin Moore):


Here was the old view of the stairs leading up to the 2nd floor:

old stairs

And now after new railings, paint, stain, a new chandelier, and roman shades:

stairs going up

Here’s a view from the top of the stairs before:


And now:

stairs looking down

We totally changed the layout upstairs. It used to be 2 small bedrooms and a TINY powder room.

old bedroomWe changed it into one big master bedroom, walk in closet and master bath.

IMG_0505Aren’t those doors leading to the walk-in closet AMAZING? The homeowners found them at a salvage shop.

Here’s a view of the opposite side of the master bedroom:


We added recessed lighting, re-finished the floors, and painted the walls Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams.

Here was the old upstairs powder room:


We gutted this and built out a whole new master bathroom with a marble tile shower, Kohler Brushed bronze fixtures, antique gold mirror, marble top white vanity, chrome globe sconces and more:



(The glass shower doors went in after I took these pics).

I really love how the whole upstairs is their master retreat.

Moving down to the basement, it was straight out of the 1970’s with wood paneling and a drop ceiling.


We completely demo’d this out, and found some major structural issues that took a lot of extra work. But in the end it turned out beautiful:IMG_0507

The wall color is Agreeable Gray by Sherwin Williams. Here’s the view of the other side before:


And now:


The cubbies are Ikea Kallax, like we have in our playroom. The homeowners have that area set up as a playroom with toys and a chalkboard on the little wall on the left.

This was the old basement bathroom:


And now:


I just love the floor tile that we laid in a herringbone pattern.

We had space for a large shower and did a dark gray and white stripe pattern with chrome fixtures:


(Again the shower doors weren’t on yet)

We also created a bedroom in the basement (wall color is Palladian Blue by Benjamin Moore):

IMG_0529 (1)

Lastly, we created a laundry room in the basement, and used the Ikea Kallax cubbies for storage again:

That concludes the tour! It was a huge undertaking and a ton of work, but it turned out even better than we imagined. And unlike other flip/rental properties we have renovated, we actually get to enjoy this one AFTER it’s finished because our friends live there. Win, win!

If you’d like to see some of the other properties we have “flipped,” find our rental property renovation here and another “flip” we did 4 years ago here.

How We Did In ’16 + Goals for ’17

9 Jan

Each year we set out a list of the things we want to accomplish on the house. Here’s how we did with our 2016 goals…

  1. Finish the mudroom. Done! We shared the finished mudroom in September- it is still one of my favorite spaces in the house. Function + Beauty! mudroom-horizontal
  2. Finish the pool fence and re-stain the deck. Done! It turned out so awesome. See more of the backyard area here.close up of fence
  3. Update the living room built-ins. Also done! We finished these in November, they really transform our whole first floor. More pics hereimg_6018
  4. Create a “big girl” room for Kate. I have one more little project to do in here and a few tweaks and should have a reveal later this month! It’s so stinkin’ cute.
  5. Finish the shed. Done, for the most part. We need to do a little more landscaping around it. Pics to come in the Spring.
  6. Build a fire pit. This did not happen. We just have some Adirondack chairs around a fire ring right now, but would love to build a stone fire pit/patio. fire pit
  7. Paint master bedroom closet. We have beautiful built ins in our master closet but they have been bare wood for 2+ years. Since no one sees our closet it keeps getting pushed off. In 2017 it will happen.
  8. Install pavers around the pool. Didn’t happen but it is a top priority for 2017.

So for 2017, we would like to accomplish the following:

  1. Install pavers around the pool.
  2. Finish Kate’s “big girl room.”
  3. Paint master bedroom closet.
  4. Build a built-in fire pit.
  5. Build a kitchen table from native New Zealand timber.
  6. Organize/clean up garage and pour a new floor.

We also have the “flip” to complete by March/April so that is our big focus right now.



Big Reveal: Living Room Built Ins!

25 Nov

Our living room built ins are finally done and they look amazing! The last time I showed them on the blog, they looked like this:


And now here they are all complete:


A lot better than what we had just a few months ago:


Since the last update we installed a honed black granite hearth to replace the dated tile. Next we installed Tile Shop’s Claros Silver stacked stone on top of the existing brick.

Here’s a close up of the fireplace before:


And now:


We used the same fireplace screen and gas log set as before.

Ben also installed a switch on the right side of the built ins so we can easily turn on the gas fireplace.


Here’s a look at the fireplace turned on, so warm and cozy!


The cabinets are painted a crisp, clean white called Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore. We chose oil rubbed bronze hardware and found the cup pulls from ATG Stores and the knobs from Home Depot.

Ben installed a chase behind the TV so all our cords are hidden in the wall and the components and our printer are in one of the cabinets.

The closed storage is great; we have board games, serving dishes, office supplies and more in there. Way more functional than the open shelves before.

Here’s another view farther back. You may notice the fireplace isn’t centered so there are more cabinets on the left side.


That side table is relatively new from Chip and Joanna’ Gaines new line of furniture at Value City. And the table lamp is also new from Target (on sale here).


The built ins finally match the rest of the renovated first floor and everything flows together nicely. Here’s a look at the main first floor living area:


I never showed the wainscoting we installed in the dining room:


We also installed beadboard on the kitchen peninsula. The kitchen stools are from Ballard Designs.



Here’s the other side of the living room looking toward the front door and the playroom through those french doors. The rug is from Home Decorators or Amazon here. You can see how we created the barn wood beams here.


Here’s a look back at the living room when we bought the place four years ago:

12 Oaks Before 149

You wouldn’t even think it was the same house now:


Lastly, here are the built ins looking particularly warm and beautiful after we hung our stockings and decorated for Christmas today:



Hooray, this is one of our last major projects inside the house (for now). Now all our focus is on the “flip.” Update on that to come soon.

Tour Our New Flip

26 Oct

Last Friday we closed on a 1931 Montgomery Ward home that we are going to bring back to life and sell. Woo-hoo. Another flip! This home has so much charm and potential, and we actually used to live across the street, so we know firsthand how great the neighborhood is.

Here is the front of the house, which actually needs very little work. img_4539

We love the paint color so will just touch it up where needed.


That bonzai-looking tree will go and we will freshen up the landscaping in the front. The house also needs a completely new roof.

We need to make the driveway wider with fresh asphalt because right now there is a weird hedge row and wood patio that blocks more than half of the garage. img_4552

The garage is actually quite nice, you just can’t get to it right now.


Here’s the backyard which we are going to fence in to provide some privacy from the neighbors.


We will add a paver patio and lots of landscaping, similar to this drawing our landscape designer friend drew up for us.



Here’s a couple more pics of the backyard and back of the house. It’s a small lot (about 1/4 acre) but is very typical for this neighborhood.



Moving inside, here is the front room which used to be a front porch.



We are going to remove the wood paneling, drop ceiling, front closet, and then open up the ceiling to a cathedral ceiling with beadboard and maybe some rustic beams. It will look so different and open it up a lot!


In the living room, we have to do some electrical to get the light on the switch (it was just a fan on a pull cord), remove the wallpaper and carpet, paint everything, stain the floors, and clean up the built ins. I absolutely love the built ins!


If you saw on Instagram, we already ripped out the carpet and it already looks SO much better.


There’s parquet flooring under the front porch area so we will need to lay hardwoods there and then stain it all a nice rich brown color.

Here’s the dining room which needs a new light fixture, wallpaper stripped off, paint and floors stained. img_4575

The kitchen is in the back of the house and needs a lot of work. We actually plan to re-use most of the cabinet boxes and re-make the doors, remove the soffit and then add glass-fronted cabinets where the soffits used to be. We did this in our first house and it looked great.


We plan to take out the wall above the current stove to open it up to the rest of the house, and add a bar height top. img_4570

We will take out the wall ovens and add a slide-in range with a microhood instead.


The cabinets will be painted a fresh coat of white, and of course all new stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, backsplash, sink, hardware and fixtures.

The fridge is on this wall, and we will build out the pantry cabinets deeper to line up with the wall.


There’s two bedrooms and a bathroom on the first floor, which you get to by this charming archway.


The bathroom will basically get a full gut with new tile, vanity, toilet, fixtures, and more. We also need to add a shower head since this is only a bathtub right now.


Here are the two bedrooms on the first floor which actually have large closets.



As you can see in that photo, the previous owners smoked in the house for 40 years(!), and so all the wallpaper is stained with smoke. Surprisingly it doesn’t smell too bad, but we are of course stripping all the wallpaper and painting everything fresh and new.

The stairs to go up to the 2nd floor are off the kitchen and they lead up to 2 more bedrooms and a powder room.


The railings aren’t up to code so those will get re-built and then we will remove the carpet, wallpaper and then paint the walls and stain the floors.


Our current thinking is to make the entire upstairs a master suite with a large closet and bathroom. So ripping out the wall between the two bedrooms and extending the current powder room which is teeny tiny.




Lastly is the basement which is straight out of the 1970’s.



There’s also a full bathroom down here.


We have some foundation and waterproofing issues to deal with in the basement, so are in the process of tearing out all the paneling, floors and dropped ceilings.

That concludes the tour. It’s a ton of work, but we know it will look stunning when we are done with it in a few months.

If you want to see some of the other properties we have “flipped,” the home we renovated last summer and made into a rental property was pretty similar here. And here is another flip we did 3 years ago.