Everyone loves a good before and after renovation project! In fact, my favorite projects are renovations. It is so rewarding changing a space and reconfiguring it so that it is not only more beautiful, but also more functional. A couple of years ago my business partner and I decided that our Calgary Interior Design firm should try flipping a house. The plan was to buy a dilapidated shack and turn it into something amazing. We decided that we would handle both the design side and the project management (general contracting). Soon, we found a great bungalow that was completely original and completely run down. We fondly nicknamed the project “the Genevieve” and got down to business. The transformation is shocking. I hope you enjoy it!
The exterior renovation included removing a car port and adding a new garage, replacing all the windows and doors, re-facing the chimney, adding some cedar details, as well as replacing the front railing, light fixtures, post box and house numbers. Luckily, the roof had been very recently replaced, so we were able to work with the existing shingles. We also added a new deck on the rear of the house and removed a concrete parking pad (not shown in photos).
The front door was replaced with a new fiberglass door with an opaque glass insert. All of the light fixtures throughout the house were also replaced.
The existing red oak hardwood floors were patched, repaired and re-stained a dark color. We chose wall colors that were soft and unobtrusive and would appeal to a broad number of buyers. This one is Tapestry Beige by Benjamin Moore. A house that is staged always shows better then a vacant one, so we used furniture and accessories that we had in storage and from our own homes to make this house feel lived in. We also added drapery in most of the rooms to soften the look. This particular drapery fabric is from Kravet. The area rug was supplied to us by Indo Designer Rugs and all of the upholstered pieces of furniture were custom made by Whittington Furniture.
One of the most dramatic changes we made to this home was adding a new window in the small dining area. The window really opens this space up and brightens the entire kitchen. We extended the hardwood floor into the dining room and hung a sweet but affordable chandelier from Cartwright Lighting . The before picture of this dining area gives me the shivers!! This photo was taken on possession day, and we had not started renovating anything yet. It shocks me knowing that the previous owner lived with the wallpaper peeling like this. Yuk!
The old kitchen had the original mustard colored appliances in it and no dishwasher. We kept the layout of the kitchen basically the same so that we could save some money on plumbing costs. The new kitchen sports white custom made cabinets and Caesar Stone countertops from Icon Stone and Tile. We achieved the striped backsplash by layering rows of inexpensive white subway tile with rows of glass and marble pencil mosaic from Universal Slate. The effect is fresh and fun but did not break the budget!
We reconfigured the bedroom closets and bathrooms so that we could add an ensuite. Now there is a nice sight line to a wall perfect for artwork at the end of the hall.
Originally, “the Genevieve” had only one bathroom on the main floor. We split this bathroom into two small baths so that there could be a full bathroom off the master bedroom. This turned out to be a great selling feature for the house. We used subway tile for a wainscoting detail in the main bathroom and a simple pedestal sink from American Standard. In the ensuite bath, we tiled the floors with carerra marble and installed a pre-made dark chocolate vanity from Ronbow. We also used white subway tile in the ensuite shower but added some tiled niches for storage and finished them with the carerra marble too.
In all the bedrooms we increased the size of the windows and replaced the light fixtures. Typically, in houses built in the sixties, the windows are not very high. Since we were changing the windows anyway, it made sense to increase their height. This made an enormous difference in these rooms.
At the staircase, the old wooden banisters were removed and replaced with a simple stub wall. At the top of the stairs we removed more railing and added a linen closet.
Originally we thought we would make the basement family room smaller, and create a laundry room where the old bar resided. Once this area was framed in, we had a second look and decided to keep the family room here and move the laundry room down the hallway. Even designers change their mind during construction! This room had a tiny window on one side and on the other side some plumbing valves that had to stay accessible. Draping both of these walls gives this room a cozy, media room feel and hid the ugly pipes and awkwardly placed window.
The basement bathroom is the largest in the house. We created a huge shower with a bench and a frameless glass enclosure and used another pre-made vanity by Ronbow. The rest of the basement included a laundry room, a mechanical room, a bedroom and a flex room that could be used as a home office, exercise room or for storage.
After we were complete, we had a big party and put it on the market. My wonderful husband, Sam Corea, happens to be a genius realtor and he got us the highest price on the street! Thanks honey!
In the end, we didn’t make much on our investment but we gained some valuable insight and had an opportunity to walk in our client’s shoes. The final product looked great and is something that we are very proud of. I think the new home owners like it a lot too!