The Barn Door

If you’ve ever read a blog or browsed through Pinterest, no doubt you’ve seen at least one zillion barn doors – those suckers are everywhere.  And I totally get it – they look awesome!

However, I’ve been on the fence about the practicality of barn doors for a long time, since I don’t think they provide any real privacy – for instance, I secretly want to commit anyone to the looney bin if they’ve put a barn door on the entrance to their bathroom.  Know what I’m saying?

But then along came this flip, with the laundry room right off the kitchen.  For a few reasons, this space became the absolute perfect spot to try out a barn door.

    1. I wanted to include a breakfast bar in the kitchen, which made the walkway through to the den too narrow for cabinets
    2. A door swinging into the kitchen would majorly interfere with flow
    3. A door swinging into the laundry room (where there are 2 other doors) would be too chaotic, with the laundry room door even crashing into the door to the patio if they were both open at the same time
    4. Neither the kitchen nor the laundry room needed privacy – this barn door could really be just for looks and would have the added bonus of providing something cool to look at on that big empty wall

Final Kitchen Plan

(We ultimately added a powder bath to the laundry area, which isn’t reflected in the floor plan above.)

So bam, it was decided!

As you know, we decided to go with black hardware throughout this house, which turned out to be more difficult/pricier to find than anticipated.  However, I was able to track down matte black hardware for the barn door, and it was shockingly cheap!  You can scope it out here.  (Home Depot carries it as well, but oil-rubbed bronze was the closest they had to black.)

Once the hardware was installed and the door was hung, it didn’t look too shabby!

Barn Door

Or, at least, the top half didn’t look too shabby.  The bottom half . . . let’s just say capris aren’t a good look when it comes to doors.

Barn Door

We ran into this issue because I wanted the doorway into the laundry room to mimic the size and shape of the doorway leading outside (those two doors line up).  But since a barn door needs to completely cover the doorway when it’s closed, the door needed to be much taller than a standard door.  (The door also needed to be wider, but we just brought the sides of the doorway in a bit and your eye can’t tell at all.)

The solution was to add a strip of wood to the bottom of the door so that it didn’t look highwater – it also allowed the door to hang low enough to reach the slide at the bottom, which keeps the door from swinging back and forth when you’re sliding it open and closed.

You can see how that turned out below – keep in mind that it’s only been primed in this photo, so the addition of the wood in the finished look is actually much less noticeable (although not completely seamless).

Barn Door

What do you guys think about barn doors?  Would you ever put one in your house?

Our Go-To Hardware Resource

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Can we talk about the master bathroom for a minute?

I’ve been running hot and cold with this bathroom (plumbing pun not intended) since we started the project.

When I first saw the size of the master bath . . . cold.

10th Flip - Before

Once my glorious mother figured out how to expand the master bathroom by taking in a hall closet and part of the hallway . . . hot.

demo, framing & plumbing

After we landed on the design for the master bath . . . hotter still.

master bathroom white oak

When Ikea dashed my dreams for the master vanity . . . ice cold.

no vanity

When Ikea made my vanity dreams come true . . . hot.

008 - Copy

When the vanity was installed but the bathroom wasn’t yet complete . . . lukewarm.


Once the master bathroom was completed . . . hot hot hot.

master bathroom

Suffice it to say, the master bathroom has been a bit of a roller coaster.

But.  BUT!!!  I’ve had a little trick up my sleeve that has made the whole process a bit easier.  Let me explain.

One aspect of flipping houses that takes up A LOT of our time is finding trusted resources – trades that we can count on, products that are both pretty and functional, and retailers that make us want to keep coming back for more.

It’s harder than you might think.  (Oh, the stories I could tell…)

So when we find a resource that exceeds our expectations, we tend to latch on and never let go (similar to my reaction to the chips & dip table at a party).  That’s been the case with  In case you’re not familiar with them, sells pretty much everything you need to complete your renovation, from hardware to plumbing parts to pretty lighting to tools.

We first discovered them back in 2010 when we were working on our 2nd flip.  We were still big-time flipping newbies back then – I was running around town, hitting up every store I could find, desperately searching for fixtures that weren’t hideous.  I was having a hard time, and wasting a lot of time, to say the least.  Finally, I went searching online for new (and better) options.  Jackpot.

For 5 years (and 9 flips) now, has been my go-to source for hardware and plumbing fixtures.  And when I say “go-to”, I mean that we’ve bought practically every single knob, pull, shower head, shower valve, hand towel ring and faucet from them.  That’s alot (like in the high-five-digits alot).

We obviously love the products and ridiculous selection that carries, but dealing with the actual company is pretty great as well.  When you call their customer service line you get – gasp! – an actual person.  Each product page tells you exactly how many pieces of that product they have in stock (so you know before you fall in love with something whether they have the amount that you need), whether a product is backordered, and when the product is expected to ship.  When you’re working on tight timelines, having all of that info at your fingertips is priceless.

They also have free shipping on orders over $49, which is a threshold that’s almost impossible not to meet when you’re dealing with home improvement, am I right?  I love that perk (I hate paying for shipping).

But I digress.  Back to the master bathroom.  I had grand visions for this house, and I pushed myself the furthest out of my comfort zone with the master bath – thankfully, my trusty source carried the more modern hardware I was craving (like the gigantic drawer pulls and the sleek door levers), and in the matte black finish I wanted that can be pretty hard to find.  That gave me one less thing to worry about while I was busy fretting that the whole design would turn out to be a complete disaster.  Score!

Do you have a secret weapon for taking some of the stress out of a renovation?

You might have noticed that I don’t normally do sponsored posts, but I’m such a fan of that I was excited to tell you guys about them. provided a portion of the hardware for this flip, we paid for the vast majority on our own, and all opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Flip Updates

Hi!  How’s the new year treating you guys?  We’re off to a good start – we had a great Christmas break (I can’t lie, Christmas morning is 10x more adorable with babies and toddlers), and we’re thisclose to finishing this flip.  Can I get an amen?

I’m not even sure where I should start with updating you.  To say the flip is meeting my expectations would be an understatement – I’m absolutely in LOVE with how it’s turning out.  Definitely my favorite flip ever (do I say that every time?).  I love the layout of the house (lots of space, a big family room, oodles of bathrooms), the backyard (it’s bigger than my backyard which is an instant plus, it has a shed for storage and an amazing workroom attached to the garage which I would totally use as a kid’s fort), and the patio (it runs the length of the side of the house and would be a great entertaining space, plus I can totally imagine my kiddos riding tricycles and coloring with chalk out there).  So, basically, I want to move in.

But what really does it for me are the finishes in this house.  I know they might not be to everyone’s taste, but they make my heart sing and I’m SO happy that you guys encouraged me to go for this design.  I love the finishes more than I love Mexican food, and that’s saying a lot.  A whole lot.  So thank you.

Enough rambling.  You came here to see photos, am I right?

Well, I don’t have any gorgeous “after” photos for you (primarily because we ain’t done yet!), but here are some in-progress shots that will hopefully get you excited for the real photos to come.

Progress Photos - 10th Flip - It's Great to Be Home

Progress Photos - 10th Flip - It's Great to Be Home

Progress Photos - 10th Flip - It's Great to Be Home

Progress Photos - 10th Flip - It's Great to Be Home

Progress Photos - 10th Flip - It's Great to Be Home

Progress Photos - 10th Flip - It's Great to Be Home

Progress Photos - 10th Flip - It's Great to Be Home

Progress Photos - 10th Flip - It's Great to Be Home

I also have a random question for you.  Daniel over at Manhatten Nest includes a diary of sorts at the end of each post about his new flip, giving a brief description of what’s going on each day of the project.  (BTW, are you guys following along?  Such a fun project to watch from the sidelines.)  Is that something you guys would be interested in reading from me?  Either in post-form, or in the sidebar?  Just something I’m pondering.  Thanks!

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