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.

Living Room Built Ins: Plans & Progress

19 Oct

We’ve made some great progress on the living room built ins, so here is an update.

Here’s a look at the fireplace and built ins before we started:

They weren’t terrible by any means, but we wanted them to be more updated and functional. The plan was to do lower cabinets and then shelves up to the ceiling, sort of like this:

We also decided to do drawers above the cabinets like this for even more functional storage:


Here was our inspiration for the fireplace surround and planking above the fireplace, which we also decided to continue behind the upper shelves.


If you follow us on Instagram you saw photos of Ben ripping everything out. Here was our blank slate (leaving the TV, of course):


While it was open Ben installed new electrical outlets, a switch for the gas fireplace, and a chase for TV cords so all cords will be hidden.


Full disclosure, we decided to hire out the building of the built ins to Ben’s cabinetmaker at work. 2-3 guys have spent 4 whole days on it so far, so I’m glad we did.

On the first day they built the cabinet bases and fireplace surround:


And then the upper boxes and planking:


And then here’s the latest with the shelves, counter and mantle:


Ben also ripped out the ugly tile hearth which we are going to replace with a piece of black granite.


For the fireplace, we are going to cover the pink-ish brick with this gray-ish stacked stone from Tile Shop:


Next up will be the doors and trim, installing the stone and hearth, and then painting everything. It will all go a crisp, clean white called Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore. Hope to have it all finished in the next few weeks!

Mudroom Reveal!

13 Sep

The mudroom is finally complete, and it’s as functional as it is beautiful.

Before I share the finished photos, here’s a look back at what it used to be. It was all one open room that served as a mostly unused den/office:


Then we added a wall and divided it into a playroom on one side and mudroom on the other.


We hung some temporary coat hooks for a little while:


And then most recently, I shared this progress photo:

mudroom vertical 2

And now, here is the finished mudroom:


We painted the cabinets Galveston Gray by Benjamin Moore, and stained the Mahogany seat Dark Walnut by Minwax. It turned out stunning!


We also painted the back door Abyss by Benjamin Moore, which is a really dark navy color.

The upper cubbies have lined wicker baskets from Target and they hold hats, gloves, scarves, umbrellas and more. mudroom-baskets

The bottom cubbies we decided to keep open so that it is easy to kick off your shoes and keep things tidy.


We installed these corbels from Home Depot and these brass hooks from Amazon.


The cabinets on each side give us a ton of great storage.


We filled the lower cabinet by the back door with shoe shelves:



The other lower cabinet holds our vacuum, mop and step ladder:


And then the upper cabinets hold mail, sunglasses, paper towels and more. And we have empty room to hold even more.

The knobs on the cabinets are these beaded antique brass knobs from ATG.


Lastly, here’s a view of it from the garage, showing how it leads into the kitchen.


We really love it and are so happy with how it turned out! Now, onto the living room built ins which we recently ripped out.

The Big Backyard Reveal: So Many Updates

24 Aug

Our backyard area has undergone A TON of changes over the past 2 summers. I last shared an update after we built the deck and retaining wall in May/June 2014.

Here is a view of it from then:


Here it is now:

back of house from diving board


pool view retaining wall

back deck white pergola

back deck and garbage enclosure

Yeah.. we’ve been busy.

One of the biggest changes was installing that extra concrete by the back door and a stone path that leads all the way around to the driveway.

arbor blooming

Ben put up the arbor which he built prior to our wedding and we got married under. I was so happy to see it get a new life here.

view from other side of arbor

We also planted several arborvitae on either side to really divide the backyard area.

Here’s a farther away look, including a look at our new garage door:


We also built this garbage enclosure which is so functional and keeps our dog out of the trash.

garbage enclosure 2

gabage enclosure

The deck, garbage enclosure and wood part of the fence were all stained the same color, which is a custom color mixing two Rymar Xtreme Weather colors (Hickory Bark and Sienna 50/50). This is supposed to be the best deck stain on the market and should last us many, many years.

Here’s a close up of the fence, which Ben built by mixing cedar railings and aluminum fence posts from Home Depot.

close up of fence

The plain aluminum part on the other three sides of the pool we hired a local company for.


view from diving board across pool

Here’s a view of the other side of the pool, and a close up of our new chaise lounges from Target (found here in 6 colors) and a new diving board.

pool long toward chairs

Target chaise loungers

Ben also built a pergola over the back deck which provides much needed shade in the afternoon.

back deck

We strung up cafe lights under the pergola (similar here) which provide the perfect amount of ambiance in the evenings.

string lights on pergola

Our outdoor table is from Pottery Barn five or so years ago (similar one here). It was starting to get weathered, so we gave it a quick coat of stain and now it looks as good as new.

pottery barn table

The outdoor rug I purchased this year from Home Decorators (found here).

On the other side of the deck is our hot tub, grill and deck box (from Lowe’s here) for pool toy storage. 

Ben also built that fence on the left for safety reasons because it drops down to the basement stairs.IMG_5906

Outside of the pool/deck area we have a little fire pit area with adirondack chairs (from Ace Hardware here) and a fire ring.

fire pit

We plan to do a recessed stone fireplace (like this) next year, but for now it gets the job done.

We also installed a playground (used off of Craigslist), and gave it a facelift by re-staining it (same color as the deck) and putting in a sandbox. Our 2-year-old loves it.


kids sandbox

Finally, let’s look at a few before and afters.

Here’s the scariness it was when we bought it:


And a similar view now: pool long toward chairs

A photo from 2013 when we were digging out the retaining wall:


And now:


Another before from almost 4  years ago (yikes!):


And now:

back of house from diving board

A view of the back shortly after we moved in:

Back of house and pool

And now:


That last view is a good comparison showing our small addition to the house (to the left of the pergola). It houses the powder room and laundry room on the first floor, and our master bathroom and master closet upstairs. And we painted the house Amherst Gray (more on that here).

Phew, I’m exhausted just writing about all that!

It was definitely a labor of love though and was worth all the hard work. We still have a few more things we’d like to do which includes paving around the pool, landscaping a bit more, and doing the fire pit like I mentioned. But I’d say we are 90% of the way to calling this baby D-O-N-E.


%d bloggers like this: