Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Is It Possible to Transform a Boring Ranch into a Cozy Cottage?: Before and After

Our goal when we bought this house?  Transform a bland, boring 1960's ranch to create a bright, warm home that meets today's lifestyle.

Here's the 'before photo.  As one young couple told us when they looked at it 'before' - they knew it had potential, but they didn't have enough love or money to get there.  That's where we came in!  (want to see all the 'before' photos and the background story?  Click here!)

What did I learn from this project?  Renovating a small house is hard.  Probably harder than a bigger home, because every square inch matters.  Storage, living space, amenities...... it all makes a bit difference.  I spent lots and lots of time figuring out how to maximize everything!

How did we do it?

Starting with the exterior, we desperately needed to improve curb appeal.  This house was a 'drive by' - most buyers wouldn't even want to go inside.  To change that, we kept the original siding (but gave it a major beauty treatment - click here for more info), added a front porch, new shutters, walkway and window boxes.  Now it's a house you'd want to turn into the driveway  (oh yes, that's new too!).

Transforming 1960's ranch curb appeal to cottage style


Inside, the biggest change was in the living area.  We knocked out the wall between the living room and dining room.  We ripped out the old ceiling  (a really big job that required a whole new rafter system and ridge beam) to create a big open space, complete with a reclaimed wood beam and skylight.
Living Room - Before

1960 Ranch Living Room - After

New vaulted ceiling required a lot of work!
A highlight of the living area is the board and batten wall, which gives the room some added architectural interest.

And once that was done, we installed a brand new kitchen.
1960 ranch kitchen - Before and After
New cabinets, quartz countertops with an updated subway backsplash and lots of reclaimed wood all tie together to give this kitchen some style.
Kitchen looking towards living room 'Before'

Kitchen looking towards living room 'After'
Living Room looking towards Kitchen 'Before' 

Living Room looking towards Kitchen 'After'

Quartz Counters with updated subway tile

Custom Reclaimed Wood Stove Hood

Using this antique window to create a built in, adds so much character to the room.
















But we didn't stop there.  Here's the before bathroom.

Bathroom - Before











We did a to-the-studs gut of the bathroom.  That let us move fixtures, add lighting, Velux Sun Tunnel and more.

Bathroom - After

The hexagonal marble floor is one of my favorite features!  (click here for more info and sources































The bedrooms didn't get major structural work, but new windows, doors, hardware and molding made a big difference (click here for info and sources).
Master Bedroom - Before


Back Bedroom - Before (we replaced that narrow transom window)
This new window made a huge difference in the back bedroom



Installing a basement waterproofing system was critical
Since this isn't a large home, we decided to finish the basement - to create a lot more living space.  What started as a dank, dark space filled with cobwebs is now a bright happy space (thanks to a waterproofing system and lots of new finishes - click here for more info).
Yeah.....there were a LOT of cobwebs!!!
We left the majority of the finished basement as an open space - to use however the new owners want.  In our case, I staged it as a kid's playroom 




and a media room.



We also created a big laundry room, with lots of built in storage.


But my favorite feature?  This half bathroom with an antique sink that I spent weeks refurbishing.  (What's it take to transform a nasty old basement?  A lot!  Click here for details


But to really appreciate the Before & After, check out this 3D video tour.  It's so cool!  It lets you walk through the space and really see the difference!


Can you believe the difference?  Is this a Cozy Cottage you'd want to live in?  

Thanks so much for following along on this adventure.  We'll be turning the keys over to the new owners shortly!

Want to see more?  Follow us on Facebook or Instagram as we get started on our new project!









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8 comments:

  1. Great job! Can't imagine how fun that must have been. Great problem solving too. Is there a sold sign out front yet?
    I hope so. What is next????? I really enjoy your blog. My husband built spec homes and customs for the last 40 years ~ so your bloog really peaks my interest and I am a fan. Jane in Oregon

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    1. Thanks Jane!!! We are under contract and will be closing soon. In the meantime, I'm busy planning the next project. As I'm sure your husband has told you, new construction and renovations are different animals. But they both have their plusses and minuses! Stay tuned for more!!!!

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  2. Spectacular!! I drove down the street the other day and it is absolutely the most adorable house on the block. I wish I could move into it! (My renovations are taking soooo much longer than your amazing projects do). Thanks for sharing all of the great info (and inspiration) along the way. :)

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    1. Oh thanks so much! I'm really pleased with how it all came together. And hang in there - we all get frustrated with how long renovations take!! Once it's done, you'll forget all about it and just be happy with how beautiful your home is!

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  3. I can’t get over how well this turned out. I’ll admit, you had me wondering. �� Yours is the only design blog I read anymore because it’s so useful and inspiring but I do miss the chatter of the old days when there were design bulletin boards, etc. to share projects with. I don’t want to start blogging again. Now that I’m building our retirement home on Lake Michigan, I’m wondering where all those like-minded amateur designers went. Any idea?

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    1. Sorry Ellen - I don't know where they disappeared to. I think a lot of bloggers get tired over time..... but I enjoy sharing our adventures and really appreciate people like you that keep reading!!! Thanks so much for following along!

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