Newly remodeled studio apartment

A client who we’ve recently finished a whole house remodel asked us to also add a studio apartment over their garage. The existing space had TEAL walls and PURPLE trim!!! No really…it looked like an Easter egg which is fitting because when we first looked at the space it had some adorable bunnies in there.

The first thing we needed to do was design the space to incorporate a bath/laundry room and a full kitchen.

Space planning is so important, it can make or break a remodel. You can put in the prettiest fixtures but if the space is difficult to move around or it’s uncomfortable to use it’s a waste.

When you work with 1 Great Space Construction we spend a great deal of time talking about location of appliances, countertop space and walkways. We use blue tape on the floors and walls to provide space orientation and we work together to finalize the perfect layout.

This remodel also included a little treasure hunting!! We hadn’t found the right cabinets for the project yet and we happened to have another client that were getting rid of their older cabinets. So, after discussing it with both homeowners I set up for the older cabinets to be used in this apartment and they worked out perfectly.

Here are the before pictures of the cabinets at their old home.

Now that we had cabinets to fit the space we were able to start building out the framework for the apartment. (See that pink casing around the windows!!!)

The first thing we needed to do was add the bathroom/laundry room and a closet for the bedroom area. In order to be the most comfortable studio apartment, we wanted to ensure that guests had all the amenities they would need.

Drywall always makes everything look better!! Next we painted the walls using Sherwin Williams Pearl Gray and Benjamin Moore Chantily Lace for the trim and doors. It is now so bright and airy in the apartment, such a difference from what it used to look like.

We worked in the color of natural wood for the laminate floor. We also were able to get an amazing deal from a local wholesaler, so the floors were a no brainer. One side note to mention, we used these laminate floors in the bathroom, which we don’t recommend, but the deal we got on them made it worth it and the homeowner went into this with eyes wide open on all the risks involved.

The reused cabinets were finally placed in their final spots and just needed to be updated with a little paint.

The cabinets were originally stained and were then painted and then glazed. So we had our work cut out for us on repainting them, we first went over them with a liquid sandpaper a few times to remove any residue that had built up on them over the years. Then, we filled any damaged spots with a wood filler and sanded them as necessary. The final process in prepping these cabinets for paint is the most horrible step, I have to apply the bonding primer. I personally prefer to use the Cover Stain by Zinsser, but really you can use any bonding primer. Be aware, it smells terrible, will cause a headache within minutes and it will stink up any house for hours. Make sure you open a bunch of windows, turn on fans and wear a proper mask, the little white masks do not work!! Also, it is a pain to clean the brush because it’s oil based so plan on ditching your brush after your done using it.

Once you have the primer painted on, it needs to cure out for at least 24 hours before starting to paint over it. Then you can use a good cabinet grade paint and paint 2-3 coats over the cabinets. I prefer to use Sherwin Williams Pro Classic. Just be sure to lightly sand between paint coats. Some people skip this step, but it really helps the paint adhere to itself and remove any brush imperfections.

What a difference a little paint makes with old cabinets…they look totally different in this space now. And now they look like they have always been here.

For the island we used a natural butcher block to create a place to prep and eat. We got a pre made Baltic butcher block from Lowe’s, cut it down, routered the sides and sanded it. A simple mineral oil is all that will be used to finish out this countertop.

And for the countertops in the rest of the kitchen we used a VT Dimensions postformed laminate countertop that we got from Lowe’s!! We chose the Ouro Romano color and edge profile. It’s funny actually because I spent many years working on the marketing for VT Industries and was part of launching the VT Dimensions product so to finally be able to use it on a project was very exciting.

Since we used refurbished cabinets we didn’t have the ability to get the exact sizes we needed to integrate upper cabinets, so instead we utilized three of the Kennard 3 tier wall shelf from Wayfair as upper shelves. The finished kitchen is absolutely adorable.

The bathroom incorporates a freestanding tub and filler with overhead rail and includes a washer and dryer with a privacy toilet area. The tub is from Amazon and is the Woodbridge 67″ tub, the tub filler is from Wayfair and the overhead rail is from Signature Hardware.

The bedroom has enough space to include two queen sized beds and has a large closet with extra storage space for guests.

The living room is a cozy place to relax and enjoy the end of your day. The furniture is from Ashley Furniture and is so unbelievably comfortable.

We are so happy to have helped our client create a space that can be used for many years to come. It is so comfortable with all the special touches that make it the perfect place to stay when you visit Hamburg, NY. You can see more details and even rent it out at this website: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/37452133?s=51

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Water…the death of houses

There is so much excitement around buying a house. From the moment we walked through the door during the first walk-through we started dreaming of what it would be like to live there. Could we see the kids running through the house, playing games on the floor, or eating ice cream in the backyard? Then once the offer was accepted, everything changed. Reality set in which included inspections, appraisals, evaluations, paperwork…so much paperwork, and coordinating moving our stuff out of storage. Then that glorious closing day came and after A LOT of paperwork, we got the keys. Keys we’ve been dreaming about for 3 months.

Within an hour of signing the papers, we walked into our house…and did the traditional run through it yelling ‘yahoooooo’!  Then…we went to the basement and noticed that there was water on the carpet in the fully finished basement. I felt horrible knots in my stomach and then we frantically tried to figure out where the water was coming from, how much, how long, and what’s the damage on this house that was purchased less than 60 minutes ago.

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Next the remorse questions start…why didn’t we buy the newer house? Why didn’t we make the homeowners remove all their stuff before we did the final walk-through? Why didn’t we catch this? Why…Why…Why?! Is having a home with character really worth all this trouble? Goodness, I hope so, because now we are committed to remodeling the ENTIRE house. NOT in the plan! Lucky for us we do this for a living otherwise this could have been disastrous.

Now we’ve got some work to do.

Step one…move in our stuff 4 days before Christmas. So excited to at least be in our home before Christmas.

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Step two…demo the basement. It was a sad day when we ripped up the floors and walls in the basement.  It went from a warm living room to a concrete basement in just hours. We utilized Seifert Cleaning and Restoration to spray for mold. If you ever need to use a service like this definitely use these guys.

The basement is so…so…sad, but at least we have the water contained, know how to fix it, and will be tackling that in the summer.

Step three…pull off the most amazing Christmas ever! All the kids asked for this year was their rooms to be completed. A year long transition is exhausting, even for kids. So, we worked day and night to make this happen for them. Luckily we had already designed the house, made color selections and bought the paint before moving in.

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The first room was painted Sherwin Williams Vast Sky, trim and doors were painted Sherwin Williams High Reflective White and the ceiling an Ultra White. We caulked in the baseboards and reattached the vents to complete this room.

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The second room was painted in Benjamin Moore Cotton Candy, the trim and doors were painted Sherwin Williams High Reflective White and the ceiling an Ultra White. We replaced the old ceiling fan with a crystal light fixture, caulked in the baseboards and reattached the vents to complete this room. We made it. There were moments of tiredness when we thought it wouldn’t be possible, but in the final minutes it all came together.

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Step four…get a Christmas tree! We really wanted a real tree and if you can imagine Christmas Eve is pretty slim picking. We found one tree at The Home Depot and it wasn’t even a Charlie Brown tree. To top it off, they gave it to us for FREE!!!  Such a Blessing!

We have a long way to go on this home remodel, but we will be keeping you posted on our progress. Next we will be updating the doors and working on more painting.

Remodeling Life

We have been considering relocating for about 2 years and finally made the decision that we were going to make the move if we found the right opportunity. So, we sold our house, moved our stuff into storage and waited for the right opportunity. (That’s how it always is, isn’t it!!) Meanwhile, we still had some amazing projects to work on in Springfield.

The next home we worked on with our designer friend at A Well Ordered Home. This project involved refinishing the wood floors from an old fashioned high gloss fruitwood color, removing a door to open the sunroom up to the rest of the house, putting in new door hardware and updating the trim, door and wall paint throughout the house.

We started by removing the door to the sunroom, found wood to match the old floor at our supplier and placed it where the door previously was to make it seem like it was always there and refinished it with the rest.

The floors were then sanded and in really good shape except a few very small areas that needed some work. We looked at several options for the floor color. We wanted a rich color that would still match with the existing wood on the staircase but different enough that it matched the new style of the home. Nutmeg was the winner!

While the crew was working on staining the floors we were able to get away on our summer vacation up to Buffalo, NY. The kids had so much fun with their cousins, we were refreshed being by the water and we realized that where we started our life together was calling us back. So we started looking at options and evaluating what we would need to make the move.

When we returned to Springfield the floors were finished and absolutely beautiful.

The largest portion of the project was painting every surface of walls, trim and doors throughout the home. We used Sherwin Williams Repose Gray for all walls and Sherwin Williams Alabaster for all the trim and doors.

The last part of the project was rehanging all doors with new Kwikset antique bronze hardware.

What a transformation! This home went from blue walls with yellowed trim and outdated flooring to fresh and new in weeks.

While we wait to see where our NY adventures will take us we will just keep making homes beautiful in Springfield.

Making New Again

The weather can destroy beautiful homes without warning and earlier this year Springfield had flooding that damaged many basements. One home we had the pleasure to help rebuild had the entire fully finished basement destroyed. The homeowners had hired a restoration company and part of their services included removing all of the water damaged areas which means the drywall had been removed around the entire basement up to 20″ from the ground.

The homeowners also wanted to help prevent this from happening again so they hired a company to install a perimeter drain system and sump pump in the basement. Did you know that if you don’t have a sump pump installed in your basement many home insurance policies won’t cover if you have flooding? If you have a basement that is fully completed, it’s something you should look into.

Once the drain installation company had completed we were able to begin rebuilding the basement. We had to build up the studs, as they were cut off during the drain system installation, so we would be able to attach the new drywall. We also divided the bedroom and added a pocket door to create a larger closet and desk area.

As soon as the drywall was finished we were able to get started on painting. The wall paint colors in the basement were satin Loggia in the living room and bathroom and satin Mint Green in the bedroom and for the doors, trim, cabinets and shiplap we used a dirty white semi-gloss.

TIP: When painting, if you want to reduce brush strokes on your trim and doors you can add a little Floetrol to the paint can. It helps to thin out the paint and allow it to flow out a little easier from the brush. I also like to use mini foam rollers when painting expanses like doors, it always gives them the perfect smooth finish.

 

The flooring in the main living and bedroom area were carpeted with the Southwind Starlight 2 Berber in Mineral Mist, unlike most Berber carpets which incorporate multiple colors in with the grey, this one is only shades of greys.

In the bar and bathroom areas we wanted a tile that had very little movement in the patterning, but not solid colored, so we chose a modern 12″ x 24″ matte finish dark grey tile with a light grout with thin grout lines.

The cabinets in the bar area were made custom to match the upstairs kitchen with a honed granite countertop.

Seeing this space transform from a remediated disaster zone into a beautiful living area makes what we do so exciting. We enjoy helping to make peoples lives easier and being a part of making homes more livable.

Fresh Paint

When you are bored with your home and you don’t have a large budget for remodeling one of the best ways to freshen up your home is to repaint it. You’d be surprised how many people move into a new home and just keep the paint that the previous owners had, then 5 years later they realize they hadn’t gotten around to updating it to match their own style. Well this next project is that exact scenario, it was a gorgeous house in the country that had dark red walls in the main living area, bright pink walls in the bedroom, wallpaper in the dining room and dark black stair rails and main entry door. The homeowner selected Mindful Gray wall color for the walls and the transformation was amazing.