Thursday, January 29, 2015

Before & After: The Living and Dining Room

When we bought the Duplex, the existing Living Room and Dining Room were pretty nice - but a bit small.  And they were down the hall from the kitchen, which didn't give us the open floor plan we like.

Soooooo......we decided to take an extra bedroom (which the City didn't let us count as a bedroom anyway) and turn it into the dining room.
By removing a couple of walls, it let the rooms flow together and created a much larger space.  But it was a lot of work.  And as is always the case, the house looked a lot worse - before it looked better!

In the Dining Room, the wall to the kitchen was load bearing.  So we had to put in a new beam and move the radiator, to create the open space.  But it was worth it!
Dining Room (aka bedroom) Before

Walls removed and new load bearing beam installed

We updated all the electrical, eliminated knob and tube wiring, and replaced the original light switches with reproduction mother-of-pearl push buttons!

We also added beautiful new light fixtures
And we repaired the broken stained glass window.  

 Now the Dining Room is fully integrated with the Living Room and the Kitchen

We repaired and refinished all the antique red birch floors.  Don't they look fantastic at 90 years old?
And last, but not least, we restored the beauty of this china cabinet with a light, glass shelves and repaired all the plaster & wood.  We kept the original glass knobs to the doors and drawers.

We're so happy with this light, bright space.   And with the open floor plan, there is lots of room to arrange furniture and create a cozy space for the family!

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Monday, January 26, 2015

Before & After: The Owner's Kitchen

When we started the project, we fully intended to keep the maple cabinets that were already there.  They looked very nice and were in good shape.  But as we tried to figure out how to add a dishwasher, we realized that there were some challenges ahead.  So, when one of our contractors expressed some interest in them, we decided we should just pull them out and let him put them to good use.

It's a good thing we did.  The plumbing vent wasn't up to code, the electrical needed to be redone and when we jacked the floors back up, the plaster crumbled so badly, we ended up ripping the wall out and rebuilding it!  In this case, it was easier to start from scratch than maneuver around all those challenges.
New wall, plumbing, electrical, lighting and more!

And once we opened up the wall to the dining room, the space started feeling much bigger!

We also had the opportunity to change the layout a bit and provide a lot more storage.  And the old kitchen didn't have a wall light switch - you had to fumble through the dark to find the pull chain on the fan.  We fixed all that!

Kitchen Before 
We included some of our 'signature' touches - upper cabinets with glass shelves, an outlet with a USB charger for all your gadgets, and lots of counter space for cooking and entertaining

We also added lighting above the sink, quartz counters and custom glass/marble inset tilework.  And we tried open shelving for the first time - love the look!


We also got rid of the leaky old back door to the deck and installed a new energy efficient one!

I love how it looks as you walk down the hallway now, vs. before.  Look at all that beautiful red birch antique flooring!  And we were also able to update the hallway built in hutch, to increase our storage.  

Of course we totally blew our budget, but in hindsight, we still think this was the right decision.  What do you think?

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

For Rent: Beautiful Willard Beach Duplex Unit

It's done, it's done, it's done!!!  At long last, the Duplex is ready for tenants!  We've already leased the smaller unit, but the large one is now listed!

Available for immediate lease, be the first to live in this beautifully updated home.  This 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom unit has been completely redone with modern amenities, while retaining it's antique charm. It includes original hardwood floors, stained glass windows
and original built-in cabinets, for lots of storage.  And you can walk to Willard Square, Willard Beach, restaurants and more!

It has a brand new kitchen

with new LG stainless steel appliances (including a gas stove - love the blue self cleaning interior!),

quartz countertops, open shelving and beautiful new cabinets.

The professional style faucet is mounted over dual sinks, with a garbage disposal.

The cabinet unit on the left includes lighted glass shelving and a USB charger for all your electronic gadgets (phones, iPad, etc).

The kitchen opens into the dining room, which is centrally located.  There is a closet for storage as well as an adjustable light fixture to fit over your table.  The original, lighted china cabinet lets you display special pottery, china or artwork.

The extra large living room (25 x 12) has lots of space for the whole family to hang out, with gleaming, antique hardwood floors.  A beautiful stained glass window adorns the front window, with another 5 windows that let light come streaming in.

The first bedroom is on the ground floor, conveniently located in the rear of the house.  It would also make a great home office!

Down the hall, the first floor bathroom has been totally updated with all new, high end fixtures and custom tile work.  With the vanity and a separate built in cabinet next to the tub, there is ample storage for everything.

The hallway includes an original built in cabinet and stairs to both the basement and the 2nd floor.
The second floor has a large master suite- with room for sleeping and a desk or sitting area.

Door to deck, from sitting/desk alcove and peek of Master Bath

Room for a King or Queen Sized Bed!
The master suite includes a large walk in closet.  And there is a 2nd floor deck, for that first cup of morning coffee (okay, it might need to get a bit warmer before you do that!).

And the master bath has a skylight for lots of natural light and a new vanity and fixtures.  Plus an additional closet for even more storage!!!

Down the hallway
is the 3rd bedroom, which has a large closet and charming angled ceilings, that give the room lots of character.  The gleaming antique hardwood floors finish off the space.

There is a full basement, which includes laundry facilities with a brand new washer and dryer.  The infrastructure of the house has all been updated and includes a new, wall hung gas boiler with unlimited hot water.  And the wiring for the house has been completely updated.

There is a large mudroom space in the shared foyer.  Each tenant has their own closet, hanging space and mud bench.

Off of the kitchen, there is a brand new deck, with room for a BBQ grill, table and chairs.

The unit includes access to one bay of the garage.

And of course, there is everything that the Willard Square neighbourhood has to offer:  Shopping, Bakery, Restaurants, the Beach and more!

This unit rents for $1,900 a month, excluding gas, electric and cable.  Water, snow shovelling, and lawn maintenance are included.  A pet may be considered.

Interested?  Contact for more information.

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