07.18.2014 / Grover REVEALED!

There isn’t a whole bunch of instant gratification when flipping a house, but if you can wait almost 5 months oh man, satisfaction city!  Congrats on making it all the way with me!

Week 18, AKA Grover’s Big Day!!!

This might end up being my longest post probably ever, but guys, this house is kinda pretty now.  Just kinda.

Let’s start outside.  Before he was very blah.  The garage door was demanding more attention than the front door and he just looked tired.

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It’s amazing what a few small changes can do to curb appeal.

Grover the fliphouse curb appeal via year of serendipity

Aside from the biggies of new roof and windows, the foundation, stairs, garage door, and front door got painted, shrubs got trimmed, flowers got planted, mulch got spread, and the lights and mailbox got upgraded.  Now the front door demands the attention it deserves and the entrance has presence.

Grover the fliphouse curb appeal via year of serendipity

The outside is nice and all, but the inside is where the WOW is.

From the second potential buyers step in the front door, I’m hoping to take their breath away.

Before… dark dark dark and closed in.

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Now?

Grover the fliphouse living room after via year of serendipity Grover the fliphouse living room after via year of serendipity

Oh and remember how there used to be a wall?

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What wall?

Grover the fliphouse open concept living/dining via year of serendipity

Grover the fliphouse open concept living/dining via year of serendipity

And who didn’t love the scallops..

grover-before8

Oh right, me.

Grover the fliphouse open concept living/dining/kitchen via year of serendipity

The view from the sofa has changed a tiny bit.  This might be my favorite spot in the entire house.  Ok, tour over.  I’m just going to hang out here.  You don’t need to see the kitchen or the rest of the house.

Grover the fliphouse open concept living/dining/kitchen via year of serendipity

Ohhhh, fine, I guess I’ll show you the rest.

This once sexy dark kitchen with beautiful yellow laminate counters, fake wood-over linoleum floors and a fan to hit your head on was hard to tear out.  And by ‘hard to tear out’ I mean it was a sledge hammer’s dream.

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I’ll just let you take in the difference here.

Grover the fliphouse retro charm ikea kitchen after via year of serendipity

Is it weird that my favorite thing in this room might just be those stools?  (yes, they are almost identical to the ones from Young House Love’s last kitchen)  I scored them for a whopping $35 on craigslist and we’ve bonded.  Their style is PERFECT for this kitchen and adds just the right vintage touch.  Handy dad helped me trim down the legs so they could be counter height instead of bar height and you’d never know.

Grover the fliphouse retro charm ikea kitchen via year of serendipity

Grover the fliphouse retro charm kitchen stools via year of serendipity

Grover the fliphouse retro charm kitchen via year of serendipity

Grover the fliphouse ikea kitchen island via year of serendipity

Grover the fliphouse retro charm kitchen via year of serendipity

Grover the fliphouse glass mosaic backsplash via year of serendipity

I’ll admit- I am planning to do another layer of grout to smooth over a bit.  Even though unsanded grout was the right one to use for this size grout line, I’m finding that the first layer always looks a bit rough.  Maybe it’s just my OCD talking, but I need to fix it a bit to be comfortable handing this house over to the next owners

Continuing down the hall, first stop is the bathroom.  This gem was a wow before, but in a bad way.

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Now it sports new everything- tub, toilet, vanity, wall tile, floor tile, paneling.

Grover the fliphouse board and batten bathroom via year of serendipity

Grover the fliphouse board and batten bathroom via year of serendipity

Grover the fliphouse board and batten bathroom via year of serendipity

Grover the fliphouse board and batten bathroom via year of serendipity

Grover the fliphouse board and batten bathroom with subway tiles via year of serendipity

Grover the fliphouse board and batten bathroom via year of serendipity

The 3 bedrooms thankfully just needed lots of paint and floor refinishing.

The back bedroom:

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Grover the fliphouse back bedroom staged via year of serendipity Grover the fliphouse back bedroom staged via year of serendipity Grover the fliphouse back bedroom staged via year of serendipity

Master bedroom/largest bedroom:

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Grover the fliphouse master bedroom staged via year of serendipity

Grover the fliphouse master bedroom staged via year of serendipity

Grover the fliphouse master bedroom staged via year of serendipity

And the smallest bedroom:

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Grover the fliphouse small bedroom staged via year of serendipity Grover the fliphouse small bedroom staged via year of serendipity

Not that the basement underwent a HUGE transition, but you totally need to see these 2 spaces.

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The neon seafoam garage received a new electrical panel, neutral paint, and a new, functioning garage door opener.

Grover the fliphouse garage via year of serendipity

And the weird, creepy, paneled room that looked like it belonged in a bad 70s porno…

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Now is totally refreshed and could be the perfect play room, media room, family room, etc.

Grover the fliphouse paneled room via year of serendipity

I still have a few items left on my punch-list to get this house completely done.  I know this post started strong with the fancy areas of the house then moved on to the less exciting, so I’ll leave you with my favorite shot of the new open concept and kitchen.  Isn’t he charming now??

Grover the fliphouse open concept kitchen/dining with retro charm ikea kitchen via year of serendipity

Remember how this is a flip house and I’m selling it now??  Well guess what- it’s listed!!! I didn’t share the MLS listing with you at the top so you didn’t get distracted, but here it is!  Go buy him!  He needs a wonderful family to love and take care of him!

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07.7.2014 / UP-Dated Built-in

WARNING: long post ahead!  But don’t worry- it’ll be informative AND have a few pretty pictures!

When I’m coming up with my plans for my flips, there’s a delicate balance between keeping original charm and getting rid of dated design features.

Exhibit A

Dated scalloped built in before

Built-in = original charm….. almost arm-deep = awkward……scallops = dated!

I think the scallops were the first thing I ripped out in the house.  I attempted to remove the fake wood paneling from all 3 sides of the shelves, but I just couldn’t get in there without causing injury (even my attempts caused several bruises and band-aids).  For the past 4 months, the poor built-in has sat in this sorry state:

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But I had a plan for it!  And now, I think it’s hitting all the right notes!

Dated built in after via year of serendipity

Original charm- CHECK

Fresh and clean-CHECK

Usable space-CHECK

Free of awkward and dated design features- CHECK CHECK!

Dated built in styled via year of serendipity

It surprisingly only took me a day to build.  Wood working projects are probably the most fun for me- that and tiling.  You see things come together right before your eyes.

 

Supplies:

2x4s for structure

thin plywood for the sides, back and ‘ceiling’ on the top shelf (I actually used materials left over from the bathroom paneling)

1×2 pine decorative trim

Screws and nails

 

Half of the work in projects like this is just the figuring out and planning what you want to do.  The other half is playing with power tools (fun AND fun!)

My first step to make my plans happen was to create a new structure with 2x4s to reduce the size of the shelves.  I pre-drilled screw holes using my Kreg jig, however, even the best laid plans don’t always work out.

built-in-building

I forgot to take into account the size of the drill and it wouldn’t fit in the 2 shorter shelves to allow me to use my carefully planned holes.  Womp womp.  Luckily, I was able to screw in the side and no one will be able to tell in the end.

When installing the 2x4s, I made sure to use my level so that each piece of the hidden structure would be straight.

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Next it was ply-wood’s turn.

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I put a piece of plywood on the new back as well as on both sides since the side walls were a bit damaged.  I’ll admit, the back ‘wall’ between the 2x4s is a little bouncy, but since the back is purely decorative, I opted not to add additional structure.

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Looking better already!  Next it was time for the finish trim.  This was the part that really modernized this project.  Sides first, then I measured in between.

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To install the trim, I used my nail gun and 2″ finish nails, to attach them both the the walls and the shelves.

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To spare you additional boring pictures, I patched holes, primed, and then sanded before getting to caulking all the corners.  I used my go-to caulk method: a squeeze tube of caulk (easier to maneuver than a caulk gun), and a small bucket of water.  I use the bucket to both dunk my hand before wiping down a bead of caulk, but to also wash the caulk off my hand as I go- it get’s very sticky otherwise.  The caulk magically filled all the gaps at the joints and gives it a professional, finished look.  In the pic below, just look at the contrast between the bottom, caulked shelf and the top uncaulked shelf.

built-in-caulk

Ta da!

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Meanwhile across the room, the doors were getting fresh paint and new pulls.

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Once all the caulk was dry, the built-in got several layers of white semi-gloss trim paint. I allowed the paint to dry overnight before I layered on the tchotchkes….. I mean styled it.

Updated built-in styled via year of serendipity

Updated built-in styled via year of Serendipity

Faux plants Dining room styled via year of serendipity

Just updating the built-in makes the entire open living/dining area look clean, fresh, and updated, but will still charm the pants off of any buyer.

Built-in styled and updated via year of serendipity

Get your wallet ready… you can buy this house NEXT WEEK!!!  Can you tell I’m excited to finish up?

 

 

5 Comments

06.23.2014 / Caught White Handed

Oh no, she got hold of the spray paint again!!  Every man for themselves!

hiding-hand

I’m not sure what spoke to me about this hand vase (must have been sign language…), but when I saw it at an estate sale this weekend, I felt compelled to pick it up immediately.  $4? Ok, if you insist.  I’ve never seen anything like it before.  Even the strangest things can look elegant in white ceramic, right?

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I tried cleaning it up, but it still looked like dingy old off-white with a bad manicure.

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After checking it to make sure there were no markings that this was a priceless heirloom (spoiler alert: it wasn’t), I took to it with some fine sand paper before I let her have it.

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Flat white spray paint was all I had on hand (pun intended, but also true).  The white paint was just what this piece needed to make it look fresh and clean.

I borrowed an air plant from the kitchen to test out my vision.  I need to get some more air plants.  In the past year I’ve only killed 1 out of 5.  That’s pretty decent for me with plants- I’ve kept 4 alive!  Throw me a parade- I’m a saint here!  Too far?  Anyway, so HAND!

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For $4 you could get a fancy latte at Starbucks, but I think spending it on weird hand vases is so much more fulfilling.  It looks exactly how I pictured it on my shelf and I kind of love it.  High five! Sorry, sorry, I’ll stop with the hand puns, scouts honor…. ok that was the last.  really.

plant-hand-shelf

I’ve been picking up cool old books at tag sales and estate sales, so my living room bookcase is just screaming for a full restyle in the very near future and not just the shelves that end up in hand photo shoots.

Apparently I’m feeling very cheeky pre-coffee this Monday morning.  My apologies if my cheese level was off the charts- I’ll try to be more docile in Wednesday’s post.  No promises.

Happy Monday!

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