Our 8th Flip’s 1st Floor – After, Part II

Now onto the kitchen!  It was just about the only part of the house that had been updated, as new cabinets and appliances were added sometime in the 90s.  However, it all still looked super dated.


But now it looks a whole lot fresher and brighter!  Removing the upper cabinets above the peninsula also went a long way towards opening up the kitchen to the family room and making the two spaces feel cohesive.

8th Flip - After - It's Great to Be Home

Here’s the original view of the kitchen, looking through the door from the dining room:


And now it’s so much happier!  This kitchen really just got a bit of a facelift instead of a gut-job – we kept the original cabinets, left all of the appliances in their original locations (but switched them out for new ones), and just added prettier finishes in the form of white paint, polished nickel hardware, a marble backsplash and a lovely marble counter top.

8th Flip - After - It's Great to Be Home

My original urge was to demo everything and start from scratch.  My budget-conscious husband and mother convinced me otherwise, and they were right.  :)

8th Flip - After - It's Great to Be Home

Didn’t those cabinets and the raised bar make the kitchen feel so cut off from the rest of the space?


The raised part of the peninsula was actually a pony wall that stuck out beyond the counter-height portion  by about 4 inches – it was weird, and I wanted it trimmed back to be flush with the cabinets sitting in front of it.  However, once the top of the pony wall was cut down to counter height, we were confronted with this ugly surprise:

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Nothing like a few random sewer pipes and water lines to ruin your day!  But a quick call to the plumber was all it took to set us back on our merry way, and now the peninsula looks great.  I wasn’t thrilled that we had to have a vent hood hanging over the peninsula (I prefer open space above) but if you have to have a hood, I think this is a pretty good-looking one.

8th Flip - After - It's Great to Be Home

Here’s another view of how removing the upper cabinets made a huge impact in the space:


And yes, we lost some storage, but I definitely think the open feel makes it worthwhile.

8th Flip - After - It's Great to Be Home

One of the things that I really like in the kitchen is the marble mosaic backsplash – it’s the perfect marriage of brown and gray so it worked wonderfully with the carrera marble counters, as well as the hardwoods and brick floors.

8th Flip - After - It's Great to Be Home

For some reason the color is a little weird in the above photo – here’s a better pic of the backsplash tile, before it was installed, which gives a truer representation of the colors:


Before, the family room was just a sea of brown – brown painted brick, brown paneling, and a brown brick floor.


We kept the brown brick floors (after sprucing them up with a serious refinishing) but everything else was painted bright white – so much better!  I also like that the brick floors are similar in tone and color to the wood floors, so it all flows together even though the materials aren’t the same.

8th Flip - After - It's Great to Be Home

Those windows at the back part of the family room have a great view of the backyard and are definitely the best part of the room – but all those curtains hiding this space’s assets!


With the windows opened up, now your eye immediately goes to the backyard.

8th Flip - After - It's Great to Be Home

You can see in the photo above that there’s a little hallway leading to another room – just off that hallway, and down two steps, is a powder room.  It’s a great location for a bathroom, but it needed a little sprucing.


The wallpaper was stripped and every finish in the room was updated.  I originally wanted to re-use the wall hung sink (I thought it was cute) but it was lost during the renovation.  (So was the octagonal mirror – sniff.)

8th Flip - After - It's Great to Be Home

The powder room is tiny, so it’s pretty much impossible to photograph.  Below is an in-progress shot of the marble mosaic floors – one of my very favorite tiles!

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Just past the powder room is the “bonus room.”  If we were living there we’d probably use it as an office, but it would also make a great play room, mud room, or even a guest room.  However, it’s a garage conversion and in its original state it definitely felt like one.


(FYI – the washer and dryer are also located in a closet in this room.  That took some finagling, but that’s another story.)

Anyhoo, with the addition of some hardwoods and new doors for the built-in cabinetry, this office/playroom/mudroom/guestroom was looking a jillion times better.

8th Flip - After - It's Great to Be Home

But of course, it couldn’t be as simple as that, could it?  Nope.  You see, since we were keeping the kitchen cabinets we originally planned to buy pre-fab vanities for the two full bathrooms and avoid using a cabinetmaker altogether.  As you know that ultimately changed, but before that happened we decided to take a carpenter up on his offer to make new doors for the built-ins in this room and the formal living room.  He was great at trimwork so we figured that skill probably translated into cabinetry . . . but you can see where I’m going here.

It would take awhile to enumerate all of the things wrong with the doors he gave us (below), but I’ll try.  First, they definitely do not have the Shaker profile I requested.  Second, it is not possible to put hidden hinges on them due to the way they were made.  Third, they don’t fit properly.  Fourth, we paid for them before we realized the second and third mistakes.


Lesson learned.  At least we finally got the doors we wanted, right?


Next up, the second story!

And in the meantime, would you mind making me feel better about the cabinet door fiasco by telling me your stories of projects gone wrong?  Thanks.  :)

Our 8th Flip’s 1st Floor – After, Part I

Now that you’ve seen the “after” photos of the outside of our 8th flip, would you care to take a peek inside?

This house is the first two-story that we’ve done – it presented some challenges along the way but I think it’s neat how the downstairs is completely dedicated to living and the upstairs to sleeping.  As a mom to two little ones, it sounds like such a luxury to be noisy and go about your business downstairs while the babes are sleeping away peacefully (hopefully) upstairs!

However, those stairs weren’t too cute when we started out – too much blue carpet throughout the entire house.


The existing stairs treads cleaned up nicely, and I think this would make a pretty happy view to start each day:

8th Flip - After - It's Great to Be Home

The blue theme continued into the formal living room, which is just to the left of those stairs above.  And while the built-ins added some storage and an opportunity for display, the scallops and barn door cabinets weren’t too cute.


We added hardwoods here, cleaned up the fireplace, and added some new trim detail to the built-ins as well as Shaker-style cabinet doors.

8th Flip - After - It's Great to Be Home

Things were looking pretty scary before they got better.

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And since we have a second story above the living room, the sheetrock looked like Swiss cheese after the electricians finished the wiring for the recessed lighting.  You can also see in the photo below that we removed the spindles from the bannister (and replaced them) because they were spaced too far apart – my two-year old definitely would have stuck her head between them, ha!

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The bay window was a really nice feature of the room but it was lost behind those layers of curtains!


My little helper enjoyed hanging out in her little sunny spot.  :)

8th Flip - After - It's Great to Be Home

Here’s the view of the living room looking back towards the front door.

8th Flip - After - It's Great to Be Home

The photo below was taken from the dining room – do you feel like you’re on a cruise, surrounded by the blue sea?


Much better.

8th Flip - After - It's Great to Be Home

And here’s the actual dining room, located just off the living room.

8th Flip - After - It's Great to Be Home

There used to be double-doors separating the dining room from the kitchen…


… but we removed them to create a more open feel.

8th Flip - After - It's Great to Be Home

Next up is the kitchen, family room, and the other spaces on the first floor!  I originally intended the first floor to just be one post but it got a little long.  Stay tuned!

P.S.  My sweet baby is 3 months old today!!  Sniffle.


(Thanks to my friend Jen for this photo of my girl!)

Our 8th Flip’s Exterior – After

First things first – thank you SO much for your feedback on the kitchen dilemma.  You guys were a huge help.  I’ve been thinking about things and considering your comments, and I think we’ve got a plan.  I’ll fill you in soon!

I’ve finally gotten my act together and written a “before and after” post for you guys for our 8th flip - I bet you never thought you’d see the day, did you?  Me neither.  :)

I wrote my first post about this flip over 9 months ago – and by the time we officially sell it, we’ll have owned it for 10 months.  I’m pretty sure this is the longest we’ve owned a flip to date, due to numerous delays (remember this one?) and babies.  While I really like the way it turned out I’m ready to be rid of this sucker!

8th Flip - After - It's Great to Be Home

Let’s get started with the tour, shall we?

Here’s how the house looked when we bought it – Tudor influences stuck on a ranch house, and poodle-shaped ivy:


And here is the controversial “after”.  While it isn’t perfect, and my mom still wants me to paint the front door :), I do think it’s an improvement from where we started.  (I know not everyone will agree!)

8th Flip - After - It's Great to Be Home

Other than painting the trim and front door and replacing all of the windows, we also did a bit of landscaping – the first order of business was getting rid of the daschund-shaped ivy (sorry, pup!).

bye bye doggie

We also added a crepe myrtle tree to fill in the space between the two front windows a bit.

8th Flip - After - It's Great to Be Home

The garage situation here bugged me – see, only the stall on the left is functional.  The one on the right has two doors because the HVAC equipment is in there (who knows why) and the rest of the space is converted into living space.  The odd doors seemed very noticeable to me when they were painted white…


… but I think they blend in better now that they’re painted the same gray-ish mushroom color as the rest of the trim.

8th Flip - After - It's Great to Be Home

The backyard is pretty huge for this neighborhood, with great views from inside the house through the family room windows.


We added a few hydrangeas, and painted, and that was pretty much it!  Oh, you can see the window that we expanded in the master bathroom (top left-hand side of the house) in this photo below.

8th Flip - After - It's Great to Be Home

The backyard has some really great trees…


… although you can see here the difference made by losing the huge tree in the ice storm.  I’m still sad about that one.

8th Flip - After - It's Great to Be Home

And there you have it!  The first stop on our tour of the 8th flip.  Next up – the first floor!

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