10th Flip Design – Decisions, Decisions

Designing each of our flips is one of my very favorite things to do – I get a thrill out of selecting each light fixture, agonizing over tile, and trying to up our game with each project.

However, I also always try to keep my wants in check, and my desire to try something different – always balancing trends and interesting design with the fact that these homes need to actually sell, and hopefully fast.

Until now.  Kind of.

With this 10th flip, Jason and I have decided that we’re willing to be a little more “out there” design-wise – to take few risks that might not appeal to the mainstream in the hopes that creating a more unique and interesting home will set us apart from the competition, and give us that little “something extra” that makes buyers want to live here (it only takes 1!).

Now, I’m not talking anything too crazy – no mirrored ceilings or all-black rooms – just some things that are a little more contemporary, with a little more color (perhaps), and a bit more taste-specific.

But now, with all of these possibilities, I’m getting a little paralyzed by all of the choices.  We’re on the verge of ordering cabinetry (I’ve been putting it off because I can’t make a decision!), and I need to get my design direction nailed down before we do that.

Basically, I’m torn between two styles of contemporary design – rustic modern, or crisp and light?

rustic modern contemporary design

The rustic modern option reminds me of the master bath in our 8th flip (which I love), and the crisp and light reminds me more of the upstairs guest bathroom in that same house (which I also love), but with brass accents instead of black.

crisp & light contemporary design

Now that I see them both laid out like that I think the decision is pretty clear, but I’m still dying to hear what you think.

And my second dilemma – with either design style, it’s pretty apparent that I’d love to incorporate a boat-load of brass.  Pinterest is filled to the brim with brass these days . . . but dare I put it in a flip?

DARE I?!?!?  Big decisions, people.  :)

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  1. For myself, I’d choose rustic. But for resale, I’d definitely go with crisp and light. It’s still specific and special and unique, but I think it has slightly more universal appeal. For the brass question, I think new brass is fine. Very on-trend. Just avoid anything that appears to have been born in the 1980s.

  2. mia says:

    I say crisp and light. I think it just looks more expensive . . . like the buyer would be getting more value. In turn, I say avoid the brass. I know its trendy but I still feel like if crisp, light, modern is that avenue your going to take, then I say embrace the chrome/ polished nickel and all of the light reflective qualities it has to offer.

  3. Carm says:

    I love the rustic modern…actually, I’m obsessed with it! I would also say avoid the brass, it gives me flashbacks to my grandmas house, no matter how current it is.
    Annnnd I’m obsessed with some of your houses, please do one in Denver!

  4. I personally love both looks!! But my vote is to go light and modern, and go for it with the brass! I think you’d be surprised by the number of people who love/want this look (really either look) but don’t know where to start themselves on how to incorporate brass, etc. I think it’s a smart decision to customize the look of the flip a little more, it will make it seem more expensive and “designer”. There is a flipping company here in austin that does amazing flips and the ones that I have seen incorporate really unique details/light fixtures/etc and they seem to be very desirable/go under contract quickly. Can’t wait to see what you do – love following your blog :)

  5. kristin says:

    OK. I really like both the looks and love a bit of rustic and have black accents throughout my home. I am not a real modern girl so I would have a hard time with both (buying the home aspect). I am cottage kitchen/farmhousy sort of girl. :) So…I think the crisp and light still lends itself to the more classic/cottage look that appeals to many, yet you have made it more modern with your “crisp and light”. I feel the rustic look will put off a few more buyers. Yes, it takes only one, but isn’t it nice to have more drooling and wanting your home?! I think if someone loves the rustic/modern it is easy to incorporate that into their décor–adding it to the “crisp and light”. As for the brass–I personally think you should go with a black–anything but the trend now! We recently got rid of all our old, long, “hook your shirt and purse every time you walk by” handles for solid matte black on the main and black with glass knobs for the bedrooms!! LOVE! And I am right there with you on loving to make the tile choices, etc. I found myself a little crazy in love with tile when I chose our bath floor tile. Yesterday I saw a post of some gorgeous tile and started trying to figure out what I could tile in my home just to but it! You have a dream job, yes you do!

  6. Marcia says:

    Rustic please!! Anyone can do crisp and light. Rustic homes are so far and few in my area.

  7. Mariah S. says:

    I looove the rustic modern look!! I’m still not head-over-heels for brass, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use it! I’m so excited to see how it all turns out!

  8. Jen Rames says:

    Rustic modern! Very exciting either way, can’t wait to see what you do. :)

  9. Lara says:

    Crisp and light for sure! I think it’s more adaptable also. I would not go with the brass. It’s very polarizing and a total pain for someone to change out if they hated it. Also, it is trendy, meaning in a couple years everyone might be wanting to rip it out – remember the 80s!? Personally I feel this way about oil rubbed bronze, but I think I’m in the minority on that one.

    Also, just want to say I’m excited to see you blogging more. I really like your blog and wish you blogged more frequently!

  10. Amanda says:

    I love the Rustic! and go for the brass!! I know you can do it right so it won’t look cheesy or outdated! good luck choosing! :-)

  11. Janis says:

    Love your warm Rustic examples! They have an architect-designed look.

  12. Patti Z says:

    Rustic modern looks more interesting to me!

  13. I’m loving the rustic inspiration photo. I hear you on brass, but maybe wait till flip number 11. I feel like it might take just a little bit more time to catch on widely. But that being said you really only need one buyer, and today’s brass isn’t like the brass of the 80s!

  14. I could go for either style (although I prefer the rustic modern) but I *hate* the brass trend. Straight lines or not, it still screams late 80s or early 90s to me. Ugh. Chrome is so much more timeless.

  15. LeeAnn says:

    Rustic appeals to me.

    Do you feel you need to be more adventurous with design because your getting bored since this is your 11th home you have decorated (incl your home) or that your confidence is building now that you’ve been doing this for so long?

    • Liz - It's Great To Be Home says:

      Ooh, I hadn’t really thought about that, LeeAnn! I think it’s a combination of things – yes, I definitely want to try new things because I’m always seeing new trends emerge and I’d like to see if I can make them work, etc., and I just like a bunch of different styles, and I’ve always enjoyed the design aspect of flipping so I never want to be one of those builders that puts the exact same thing in every single house – certain elements will always be repeated because they just work, but I need some variety. :) And thank goodness, I do think I’m getting more confidence in our designs, so that’s a great feeling!

      • LeeAnn says:

        Confidence is a powerful thing! Makes for good decision making. Enjoy taking this flip in a new direction! I think every home has its own personality.

  16. Linda Z says:

    Wow, they are both really pretty! I could see either one working well on this flip with those pretty floors. About the brass… I really like it. A beautiful aged, matte or brass with a florentine finish is beautiful I think! Not big on “shiny” brass, definitely like something more subtle. Good luck with your choice!! :)

  17. Char says:

    My vote is the Rustic Modern. I’m sure either will turn out great though with your design experience and talent.

  18. acm says:

    I like both, but how they read could be a bit regional. I agree that the modern look in your “crisp and light” style is somehow a bit more universal, but I have to say that brass really puts me off. The chrome handle in there indicates you’re having some mixed feelings on it yourself — maybe pick one way to experiment this time, rather than everything at once? If you go wall-mounted vanities and mod lines, that might be enough innovation for this project, and you can see how the responses to that go without mixing in the brass metal that, honestly, I’m not really seeing in any of the trend indicating places I hang out (say, houzz)…

    It’s funny, because I just did a house with a more traditional feel, and I’m going much more modern with my current house (Euro-style cabinets, wall-hung vanities), which is fun and fits with the higher intended price point of the property, but also makes me worry about putting some people off. I find there are ways to have that style but balance it with, e.g., paint colors and detail choices that humanize things, but we’ll see what prospective buyers thing!

  19. deb says:

    I really like them both. I also love the “new” brass (as mentioned by Julia in the first comment and would agree with her suggestion that you avoid the ’80’s brass! I personally don’t think you have to do all brass, or all polished chrome (or brushed nickel) and on and on and on…. I think you can mix and match if you do it well. That said, SO much depends on how savvy your market is for design aesthetics, and how much risk you want to take. It’s your job/paycheck, right? I do know from reading you for a long time now – whatever you decide to do, it’ll be professionally done and look fantastic – and you’re right, it only takes 1 buyer!!

  20. Sarah says:

    I lean toward crisp and light, myself, but I do like both. And I always love what you come up with so I’m excited to see. When I see a post from you in my feed it’s a bit like Christmas morning. :)

  21. Ann says:

    I vote for Crisp & Light and I’m loving brass right now. (Obviously you wouldn’t use 80’s brass like some have mentioned.) Excited how the more adventurous design choices turn out!

  22. I would go for the wooden the colors are richer and I think the light colors will get dirty much quicker.

  23. Karen, BC says:

    Funny, you are posting on a topic I have been chewing over; renovating for resale in a style that has more punch than our usual nice but safer choices. Here, I am sure that bringing a more daring style can bring an advantage financially and help us stand-out from mediocre flips, particularly since our market is still soft-ish. It is a bit of a gamble but that risk is what separates the great professionals (architects, designers, etc) from the ho-hum crowd and keeps them at the top of their game. But it’s so much easier to stay safe!
    As for the appropriate style, I think it depends almost entirely on your knowledge of your regional market (buyer’s demographic) followed by the style of the build (if it has one worth redeeming), both of which you know best. Whatever you choose, there is always opportunity to spec out-of-the-box choices within the design. Good luck!