Please enjoy viewing the before and after photos of our latest project. This brick ranch was a pitiful sight when we signed on the dotted line. It's amazing what a vision, hard back-breaking team work (team as in TWO..my amazing husband and I..NOT a crew of people like we all watch on these HGTV shows!!!!) If only it were as simple as it looks in one half-hour TV show, right??
The before and after on the exterior of this brick ranch was a little more subtle. However, the few changes we made, proved to have a powerful impact! New windows with muntins (I know...I learned a new word on this project.. that's what you CALL those actual grids that create a pattern in the window.) ANYways, the new windows made a dramatic update to this house. We give a big shout-out to Wallside Windows for a job well done! Kathy, our sales rep, was on point with all of her suggestions. That was the most expensive exterior change we had to make, but it was well worth the investment. The exterior happened to have a brick that we loved; so we didn't want to paint it. We loved its current character.
We've been carrying around this adorable rabbit door knocker from Anthropologie for years. (I could spend hours in there.) We finally found the right house and door to attach it to. Oh, how I will miss you. Sometimes it's hard parting with these type of finds, but it's also what appeals to future buyers too. So you gotta be able to LET..IT..GO! We also updated the front door, the exterior light, gel-stained the garage door (General Finishes Java Gel Stain is nothing short of MIRACULOUS!!!) If you haven't tried it yet, you MUST! We updated the address digits and my John (otherwise known as BEST HUSBAND IN THE WORLD) built a fabulous custom window box...which of course I gel stained! We also added carriage-style looking hardware accents to the garage door (which are difficult to see in the photo.) That is one of our signature go-to's on our houses. You'll notice this if you check out our other blog posts. (more coming soon). The ugly garage door can take up a substantial amount of house frontage! By all means, don't forget to embellish it! Why not make it work FOR you, instead of against you.
Again, the curb appeal is in the details. Good sized urns with gorgeous flowers billowing out, are ALWAYS in style! Our choice this year? Bacopa (the little white creeping herb) takes second place only to Lobelia. What a magnificent, and vibrant little flower!!! (It's the purple flower cascading off the right side of the urn.) Here is a close-up of that whimsical little door knocker. I knoooooooow, right?
Let's move inside...
What a difference! We have no idea what kind of dreadful paneling that was, but it HAD TO GO! One of my John's favorite parts of every project is adding different architectural details here and there. Look what a dramatic difference it made around that entry?? Yes, please!
Since the rest of the house had original hardwood floors (albeit in retched shape...what a labor of love restoring those (gasp!), we decided to add additional real hardwood oak flooring to the kitchen and the den. We wanted uninterrupted flooring with seamless transitions. We love the result. We also removed the old countertops and installed custom butcher block countertops which we love. It's an affordable way to get a great look and it holds up wonderful too! Ok, let's talk paint color: That black wall?? So fabulous, right? It's a wonderful Sherwin Williams color called CAVIAR! (Believe it or not, the NAMES of the paint actually DO have a slight bearing on the paint color we choose. No joke.) The number is SW 6990. The rest of the kitchen/dining room was painted using..... wait for it.... OYSTER BAR! Seeeeee? Names matter. How cool is it to say "Caviar, and Oyster Bar" together. (grin). We loved Oyster Bar so much we used it through the main of the house. Living room, hallway, bathroom, and guest room. SW7565 is this Sherwin Williams number. It's quickly becoming a fast favorite new neutral of ours!! It's not too light, but not too dark. We prefer warm colors to cool, and this color feels warm, yet still trendy. It's fabulous. It also pairs great next to black, navy, and dark green....all colors we use.
For many years now, I've wanted real brick in our kitchen. Every time we go to price it out, (even the thin bricks are like $10.00 a sq. foot) we can never justify the $2000+ price tag for a house we will sell very quickly. Sooooo we experimented this time with brick paneling! We found one at Menard's that we had to special order and then once we installed it we actually put real brick mortar on it!!! We did a test board with grout vs. gray mortar and BY FAR the mortar won out! We were just thrilled with the result for just a fraction of the cost. By the time you hang your art and add a wine rack and window treatments (it worked out well to hide the seams behind the fabric) we've achieved a look... a feeling of real brick! Now we are so elated we didn't spend the money on the thin bricks. We never could have recouped the money back.
Let's talk cabinets: Oak, oak, and MORE oak. We can't seem to buy a house that doesn't have these dated oak cabinets in them! Gasp. After my John adds fancy crown to the top of those dated bulkheads, and tricks out the cabinets with moldings, they are ready to be painted. After much deliberation we decided on this color. Sherwin Williams CURLING WILLOW. HGSW3484 Then we glazed them. The final touch was adding great looking hardware. WHAT a transformation! I LOVE THIS KITCHEN!! I say "I" because although my John loved how it turned out... he prefers a bigger space to cook in. My multi-talented husband is also a GREAT COOK!! Sorry, he's all mine! See those Roman Numerals on the bulkhead? They stand for 2012..that was the year we got married; the year I received the greatest gift ever:him. We picked up those paper letters from Hobby Lobby on a quick sale, and guess what? GEL STAINED THEM. We are here to tell you.. you can practically gel stain anything. They look like expensive LEATHER LETTERS!! WHO KNEW?! Everything we gel stained on this project was General Finishes Gel Stain, color: JAVA. That fabulous Chicago picture is from Z Gallerie. The open shelving has really been trending lately and we actually loved the concept. We've never lived in a home that had open shelves and we loved it's convenience. We would totally do it again.
We turned an awkward spaced closet into a great little coffee bar! We painted this CAVIAR too. Painting the entire room black added instant sophistication and intrigue!
WHO puts a suspended ceiling between those beautiful, character adding beams? (Clutching my chest, while shaking my head) We chose to add pine tongue and groove boards to the ceiling and white washed it all. It turned out gorgeous. We couldn't wait to add a barn door to the media room. John had the best time building this beauty! We kept the paneling on that wall, and just painted it. We loved the added texture of the lines and it was a way to save a little time and money. I mean WHO wants to drywall if you don't have to????
This is the little media room we created behind the barn door. We used another great Sherwin Williams color: SHADE GROWN. SW6188
I'm apologizing in advance, the before picture was taken from a different angle than the after photo, so it looks like we removed a window, but we did not. That's showing the other side of the room. This color is a rich navy blue. We have a lot of favorite navy blues. In two other flips we've used HALE NAVY by Benjamin Moore, and NAVAL by Sherwin Williams. We love those colors. This time, we used a Sherwin Williams color called ANCHORS AWEIGH. We loved it as well. SW9179 is the number for it. I would say Hale Navy is the darkest. Naval is the brightest and Anchors Aweigh is right in the middle!
We blew out a wall to add a private entrance into the bathroom. Adding trim around the doorway adds instant charm. It really stands out against the rich wall color too.
Note: You don't always have to hang your photos or art. Sometimes just leaning them against the wall, and layering other pieces over them creates a very artsy and dramatic feeling. Yes... that's my John.
We just kept this room monochromatic to avoid introducing another color. Oyster Bar looks fabulous in a bedroom too.
We decided to keep the knotty pine walls. It really works with the decor chosen, and we feel it added a warmth that couldn't have been duplicated as nicely with paint.
Yep, it's the same vanity. Gel stain, Gel stain, Gel stain!!!!!!!! New hardware, new bulbs, and a new granite countertop with double sinks, and it's completely transformed. The room was a huge square box with lots of unused space so we added a private room to house the toilet. John had a good time tricking out the side of the tub. Loved this look.
The French Room:
This was a hideous little room that needed ALOT of help. But WHAT to do? We were DONE spending money... as in FINISHED... as in not a DOLLAR MORE. So we painted the floor with a durable floor paint, and then I (with a glass of red wine nearby) went to town writing french sayings all over the floor. Sayings like: "Et soudain, tout est si beau avec toi." Which means, "and suddenly everything is so beautiful with you." and.. "Le monde est un livre et ceux qui ne voyagent pas n' en lisent qu' une page." Which means: "The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page." Ok, a couple more: "Avec toi je suis moi" which means: "With you, I am me." and.. "Elle rêve" which means: "She dreams". It was soooo much fun covering the floor with these romantic and whimsical sayings. We made a translation key for the new homeowners so they could frame it nearby, if they so chose. We found these permanent markers that wrote very much like chalk. You can't rub the stuff off for love nor money! It's great. We left the knotty pine, but whitewashed it all (except for the ceiling). This tied it all in with the whitewashed ceilings in the living room/media room too. Harmony from room to room, while still allowing each room to carry it's own character is key for us.
We created a surprisingly nice ambiance with what we had to work with.
Details matter. The beauty is in the details!
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