The Habitatilist

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The Story of Rosie, Part 2. The Living room, Dining room and Kitchen

Posted by [email protected] on December 21, 2016 at 12:15 AM


From the minute I walked into Rosie, I felt that the interior of this home could be amazing.  Yes there were potential issues to deal with, as with any abandoned home, but I knew there was nothing that we couldn't over come, even with our budget.  The living room was great.  Lots of light, lots of space.  The walls and floor were in good shape, they just needed cosmetic work.  A fresh coat of paint and sand/stain the floor.  Oh, and that God awful fire guard would have to come out!


The house had an amazing flow to it and was so much deeper than it appeared from the outside.  Yet I wanted to open up the wall between the dining room and the kitchen to give the space a more modern, open concept design.


While I do love open concept homes, I'm still a huge fan of individual rooms.  So even though I was opening up this wall, I still wanted to frame out the space between the rooms, just to give them their own unique feel.  I taped out what I envisioned the opening would look like, just to see if I would like it.


Beyond the dining room lay the kitchen, very cramped and horribly laid out.


It was also wildly outdated with these '80's style cabinets.  I remember having these cabinets in the Brooklyn apartment my wife and I moved into way back when...and they were outdated then!


I didn't think that the kitchen needed to be reinvented.  It just needed breathing room, and the appliances had to be placed in the space properly.


This stove, jammed into a dark corner, was just too depressing and symptomatic of the whole overall feel of the house.  While it was winter, the house was actually colder on the inside than it was outside.  It just felt so lifeless, so abandoned.  It had no purpose, no one to love it and no one it could give shelter to.  It was a dead house.  But it was time to change that...


First up, demo.  All the old appliances were removed and a good portion of the cabinetry was repurposed as storage in the basement laundry room.


To move the refrigerator across the room to where it needed to be, I stole the back portion of a very deep linen closet that was in the hallway outside the guest bathroom.


Taking the wall down was really transforming the space.


Once the new header was in, the place felt huge!


I decided not to build the walls back out as much as I had originally intended.


I kept a jam that would distinguish the space and also give me a natural break point for the paint.  I intended to paint the dining room and the kitchen two different colors.  I actually used 3 different paints colors for the walls, unusal in an investment house.  Most Flippers indiscriminately buy a 10 gallon drum of paint and use it in every room.  Thus missing an opportunity to give a room a little personality.  This creates a "souless" feel to the property.

While all the construction was going on, I was at work on the design finishes.  The house was a modern take on an English cottage, so I wanted a mix of old and new.  Classic touches in a modern setting. 

I choose white shaker cabinets for their timeless feel and charming character. 


The Mrs. on Q.C. duty....


Painting prep work.  I knew I wanted a lighter color in the Living Room.

But here in the dining room I knew I wanted to go dark.




Once the walls were primed and given their first coat of paint, the floors were sanded, then stained.


I love how the stain color turned out on the floors.  It also matched the paint colors really well.  In the dining room I went with Benjamin Moore's Winter Gates.  I also had my painter use the same color, only in a high gloss finish, on all the trim.  This is actually quite old fashion, but at the same time it seems very modern to me - exactly what this house called for.

The newly installed appliances are KitchenAid.

Whenever we travel my wife and I love to shop.  We especially like to visit antique stores, flea markets and our fav, ReStores.  This one is in North Carolina where my mother-in-law lives.  We happened to be down there just after we started work on Rosie and I picked up a bunch of cool tile.... just to have.


As it turned out the original tile I had picked out for the backsplash was on back order for 7 weeks!  But lucky for me I had my ReStore find sitting in my garage.

The tile worked perfectly!  The colors fit right into the paint scheme and they were a fabulous compliment to the counter top.


The counter tops are quartz with a marble look.  The veining in this piece has soft flecks of gold in it, which plays off the accents in the room.


I'm a lighting geek!  I love lights and I especially wanted to get it right in Rosie.  I love this pendant from West Elm.  It too has that perfect blend of old world feel, yet it comes off as being very modern.


Once all the work was done we staged the house for resale. 


It took a couple of tries and a couple of different paint colors, but I finally found the right look for the fireplace mantle.


A great flow made better.


Love the open concept layout.  This space is now amazing for entertaining!




One last detail, the small school house light above the sink.  I had my electrician put that light together from parts I had in my garage.  I wanted a little something traditional to play off the more modern looking lights.




Now light, bright, spacious and warm, this house is back to life and ready to welcome its new family.


Categories: Design, Real Estate for Sale, Renovation

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