Neighborhoods are full of homes that have been meticulously maintained for 40+ years by the same family. Often, these houses are in established and desirable neighborhoods where people really want to live. The problem for home buyers is that these homes lack the finishes and spaces that they want and need.
And while these houses are technically in “live in” condition, it’s a big undertaking for people to think about buying a house and then coordinating the renovations and maybe even living through them.
Features this house had going for it:
- Location – great suburb, desirable school district, parks, trails
- Inventory – updated homes are extremely rare and homes that are newly built are outside of many buyers budgets
- Size – the house had a lot of square footage compared to other houses
- Floorplan – the main floor had an addition that had been built in the 2000’s and there were three bedrooms and two bathrooms on one floor.
What kept traditional buyers from purchasing this house: The addition on the main floor was a bit unusual and likely that people were just not sure what to do with it.
- The kitchen layout was closed off and disconnected from the other main spaces
- There were only 3 bedrooms when buyers are typically looking for a minimum of 4 bedrooms
- The master bathroom was very cramped
Overall, the amount of renovations or improvements that were needed were likely overwhelming for a potential home buyer.
This is the perfect combination of circumstances that allows us to take a home with “good bones” and tackle the changes that a traditional buyer would want to make to create a home that buyers are looking to purchase.
The finished product was created from the imagining of how to re-purpose and layout the critical spaces in a way that truly used all of the square footage.
The Kitchen Transformation
Typically, I would save this room for last but I just can’t. Even as I was walking through the other day when all the staging furniture removed, I had the urge to hang out just a little while longer.
When designing kitchens there are so many decisions that need to be made. The first thing to assess is the amount of space and what is possible with your budget. With the budget for this project, there was a large part that was going towards relocating the kitchen, opening the space between the addition and the front of the house as well as making the “hot tub room” part of the space.
Seating Area Off the Kitchen
One of the secondary areas in the addition was the seating area. This space was anchored by an angled fireplace and had huge sliding doors to the deck right next to it. This configuration could have easily felt as though it was wasted. Until you add the right seating area.
Since the entire back area of the house was one large space we used the kitchen island and back corner to differentiate that space and the seating area was defined by the corner fireplace. That meant the dining area wasn’t truly defined so we needed to establish that space. There was another fireplace that we used that was located in the center of the room so we anchored the dining space with that. Adding a large scale chandelier centered to the fireplace allows for any size table or configuration. This type of dining room layout is preferable for buyers for so many reasons. When you think about the traditional layout for a dining room it was often small and offered limited seating. When you have a space like this, you have unlimited options with extending a table and adding additional space to seat for those special gatherings and events.
While the bedrooms primarily stayed intact, the three bathrooms were another story. The master ensuite was expanded by “borrowing” space from the large hallway bath. The result was a space that was large enough to include a double vanity and a five foot shower.
For the hall bath, the change in size meant a relocation of the bathtub and vanity. This was an opportunity to mix up some of the design with the selections since this was a 1960’s multi-level split home I didn’t have to account for any original details or retaining existing elements. It was all a blank slate.
Front Living Room
This living room is spacious but was originally separated from the other main floor areas, especially the addition. When the walls were removed it greatly increase the connection of all the main floor spaces so that all areas are able to flow.
Two spaces that were added were the main floor laundry and the mudroom off of the garage. Spaces that created ease and function when looking at the overall layout. While laundry may not be everyone’s favorite task, by locating it closer to the bedroom area it just became a whole lot easier.
This home is a great example of how the right combination of space, location and potential can combine. The result is a home in an established neighborhood that checks off the wish list of buyers allowing them to simply move in and enjoy their new home.
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