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 (it's only 750 square feet) 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?  To see even more of the process, scroll back by date on the lefthand margin.  

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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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Creating a Finished Basement in a Dark, Dank Space

I'm not sure what was nastier about the basement.  The puddles that formed from the leaky water meter and constant spring rain....













or the scary cobwebs that draped from the ceiling.






But our goal was to change this dark space into a light, bright living space.  And it was a big job!  We had to put in a perimeter drainage system (click here for the how to),




insulate the concrete walls with rigid foam,  and build new walls.

We also replaced/enlarged the windows to bring in more light.
















One of the most dramatic changes was installation of a new clear bulkhead door, that lets the light come pouring through the space.  It has the added benefit of being egress approved, so this space could be a 3rd bedroom.

The result - lots of living space for whatever the new homeowner might want.

Kids playroom - Before








For staging, I did one side as a kid's playroom.....in large part because I found this adorable IVI kids play rug and couldn't resist it with its tufted section for lawns and houses (and it was so much fun to shop for all the little cars, trucks and accessories!).
Kids Playroom - After
At the Open House, people had to drag their kids away!
IVI 3D Kids Playrug - so much fun!!
The other side of the room is a den, where the homeowner can watch TV, listen to music or just relax.  It's a big space with lots of room to spare.


But that's not all!  We added a gleaming new laundry room, with lots of storage.



And my favorite feature?  This half bath.  It includes this antique sink that I spent LOTS and LOTS of time on (click here for the full story) and absolutely love.  And of course there's the antique toothbrush wallpaper that I imported from Holland.

So what's your opinion?  It's quite a change, don't you think???
Artwork - Earth Angel Arts


Sources:  

Original 'Morning Rocks' Painting - Holly Lombardo, Portland Art Gallery
Kids Room Art - Earthangel Arts
Basement Bulkhead Door - Cleargress Doors
Wicker Chairs & Chest - Pottery Barn
Leather Sofa - Neiman Marcus
Wall Color - Sherwin Williams - Downy
Laundry Cabinetry - IKEA
Toothbrush Wallpaper - Obsession by Daniel Rozensztroch  NLXL 
Flooring - Lifeproof 100% Waterproof Premium Vinyl planks

Lifeproof Vinyl Flooring - Fresh Oak








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