โ€œCanโ€™t Stay for Longโ€

I know I haven’t blogged much, or actually any at all, for the past 6 months or so. I don’t know why. It’s not that I haven’t had anything to talk about. We’ve flipped a couple more houses, sold our personal home and moved into a rental, and are in the middle of building our “forever home”. Our contracting and design business has grown leaps and bounds this calendar year. We’ve traveled and made plenty of fun memories and I’ve documented it all in my diary…seriously. I’ve had a diary since 2001 and it holds hundreds to maybe over a thousand entries documenting all of my life including all of the important stuff and lots of the small stuff too.

I guess I just haven’t felt “inspired” to blog on a more public platform. But today as we were sitting on the beach with our kiddos something nearly knocked the breath right out of me and I knew I needed to write about it.

We take a fall beach trip every year. It’s actually our favorite time to go. It’s not hot and not crowded. You get the beach basically all to yourself. It’s warm enough to play and enjoy the beach without sweat pouring down your face or having to worry too much about sunscreen and umbrellas.

We arrived last night and got out to the actual beach this afternoon. We brought our chairs out to the sand and were letting the boys run and play. They were hunting for treasures with their metal detectors. I was sitting talking to my parents and brother while Nathan was hunting for treasures with our boys.

Every time they found a cool treasure or shell they would bring it to me while beaming with pride and say, “Look what I found just for you Mama”. Of course my mama heart loves hearing those words from them. I save all the treasures, always. (I’ve been known to save old leaves and weeds until they’ve literally disintegrated.)

And then it happened. Maverick ran up to me with a new found treasure and handed it to me. Before he ran off I asked for a kiss and he happily leaned in and gave me a little kiss on the lips. As he started to head back to treasure hunting he said, “Can’t stay for long!” and then he ran off to meet back up with his Daddy.

It hit me like a ton of bricks. I just sat there and thought that he’d never said a truer statement. He doesn’t get to stay for long…none of my babies do. Nathan and I were just talking about this the other day. We get 18 years, at best, with them before they head into the world on their own. I used to think that was a long time. It felt like forever. But now I realize that it’s far too short. My oldest babies start kindergarten next year and I can hardly stand the thought of it. It seriously seems like we were sitting in the NICU with them yesterday. Time is a thief and has a way of making the difficult moments dissolve into years and then suddenly you’re left with nothing but memories.

I try to enjoy all the moments. The good ones but also the really trying ones too because I know that they only get to be with me for a short while. I know that one day they will leave and they will each have a wife and a family of their own. That’s hard to think about right now. They still tell me that they want to marry me when they grow up, and I’m always happy to tell them that I’d love to! I’m thrilled to be the most important woman in their life right now, but it won’t be that way forever.

So for now, I’ll keep making memories and savoring every moment that I’m privileged to be with them because I know that they “can’t stay for long” and it makes everything else seem less important.

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Kitchen Renovation Reveal

Hi friends,

Today I’m going to share the transformation of the kitchen and dining room of flip #5. Ya know, now that I’m thinking about it, I need to get a better way to name these houses. By habit we always call them by the name of the road they’re on, but I never share that on social media to protect the privacy of the buyers…so I need to get a better naming system going. Lol. Anyways…I’m disappointed to say that I do not have actual before pictures of this space. We were waiting on our electrician to update the breaker panel in the house and therefore we didn’t have power for the first couple weeks that we owned it. I was waiting on power so I could turn on lights for decent before pictures…but then our painter got started and before I realized it, he had already painted primer on the kitchen cabinets before I got to take my pictures. So…just imagine the dark brown cabinets with me…

The pictures that I’ll share below are after a few weeks of renovation. We had already had demo day, taken down a large wall dividing the dining room and living room, and gotten primer on all the walls and cabinetry.

Our execution of this space included painting the walls (Sherwin Williams Repose Gray), ceiling, and kitchen cabinets (uppers in Sherwin Williams Alabaster and lowers in Sherwin Williams Peppercorn). We installed new granite countertops (granite name is Luna Pearl) and a tile backsplash with large, white subway tiles.

For flooring I chose a large, rectangle gray tile and had our crew lay it all in a diagonal pattern to make the space feel even more custom. In my opinion, attention to little details like this matter big time. Would most “flippers” have done this? Absolutely not! The tile took twice as long to lay (hence twice as much labor costs) and used much more tile because of all the extra waste created by laying it this way. But do I think it was it worth it? Absolutely! We want to be different, and if that means spending more money to produce a product that is different…and maybe even better, then sign us up! ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿผ

We replaced all the old light fixtures with new ones (including moving the location of several existing lights, and adding the pendant lights above the breakfast bar and sink). We installed all new, custom ordered windows and built a new mantle for above the fireplace. After much debate in my mind, I decided to keep the original brick fireplace and not paint or whitewash it because of all the charming original character. I loved the raw, natural feeling it added to the room!

I feel like this space turned out so perfect. In my little design oriented mind, I felt like this space nailed the “slightly industrial, downtown open loft feel” to a tee.

And now for the after pictures!

And there it is, friends! What do you think of this one??

Also, stay tuned for another update soon…because…we’ve already gotten another house! Here’s a sneak peek of it.

Isn’t she cute?? I’m super excited about all the potential in this one! It’s a 3 bedroom 1.5 bathroom house on a 1 acre lot! I’ve been planning and designing all week. The theme in my mind for this one is “quaint cottage”. The renovation will start next week and we are hoping to have it done by the first week in May. I already can’t wait!! This stuff gives me life! I LOVE it!

As always, thanks for reading!

XOXO,

Megan

Master Bathroom

Today’s post is going to talk about the master bathroom in flip house #5! Let me first start by sharing a really neat story that goes along with this house.

About 6 weeks ago Emily and Tyler contacted us and asked if we had any properties we were working on that happened to be in a very specific school district. And it just so happened that we did. They came and looked at it (in its very unfinished, construction-zone state) and fell in love with our vision for the place! They quickly got their home under contract and asked to buy ours well before it was even finished. It was super fun for us to be able to finish this home with specific homeowners in mind and they were able to personalize the home a bit to fit their needs even better! We were SO thrilled to be able to be a part of such a super exciting day yesterday…they purchased their new home and we sold our 5th project! We hope they love their new home for many many years! Cheers to them! ๐Ÿฅ‚โค๏ธ๐Ÿ˜Š

Back to the master bathroom…

This bathroom was teeny tiny. It previously only housed a toilet and a sink, but no shower or bathtub. Although the vanity had recently been replaced, the rest of the space was still very outdated. The master also had a small bi-fold closet, with very little storage. We took over part of another bedroom to give us space to expand the bathroom and closet and this change allowed us to give this bedroom a much nicer master ensuite.

Here are the before pictures of the master bedroom and bathroom:

For this space, we first tore it all out and reframed for our new, expanded bathroom and closet. We more than doubled the size, probably tripled the size actually. Then we had room for a walk in closet and shower. I chose to use a wood grain tile floor in a white color with gray grout. The color on the walls we used is called Sherwin Williams Waterscape. We hung open shelves above the toilet, tiled above the shower, and added a fun mirror and light fixture to finish sprucing up this adorable bathroom! Oh, and let me not forget to add that we did a sliding “barn” door into the bathroom.

Having a sense of cohesiveness throughout a home reflects good design. Spaces need to feel unique, but the same, if that makes sense. I’ll break that down for you and explain how I did that in the two bathrooms in this house. We used the same paint color on the walls. The open shelving was stained in the same color, but we used different brackets to hang them. The tile floor is the same style, but in a different color with a different grout color too. The finish of the mirror in the master matches the finish of the vanity in the hall bath. I mixed metals in this bathroom and loved the way it turned out. In the hall bath I only used oil rubbed bronze fixtures, but in the master I tastefully mixed oil rubbed bronze with brushed stainless steel to give it a little different feel. All of the similarities mixed with the differences achieved the goal of cohesiveness and uniqueness.

Enough talking…๐Ÿ˜ฌ

Now for the after pictures!!

I’m seriously in love with the final product! What do you think about it?? Thanks for reading!

XOXO,

Megan

Hall Bathroom Reveal

Well here we are, wrapping up the 5th Hartman Homes home. This one turned out to be extra special. (More on that later…) We’ve gotten faster with each project, and even though this was another major renovation, it’s only taken us 3 months from start to finish. We’ve executed some design ideas in this house that we haven’t done before…remember my blog post in January about always having fresh ideas…and this bathroom contains one of those design ideas. The more we renovate and the more I design, the more I love it. I view these homes as a blank canvas that allow me to spread my wings, try ideas, and breathe new life back into neglected houses.

Before I continue with before and after pictures of the hall bathroom, I’ll give some more details into some things I alluded to in my last post. This January (2 months ago) Nathan quit his former job of 13 years as a BMW technician to work full time on growing Hartman Homes. This change came with much, much prayer and 3 years of growing our business on the side. When we started, that was the goal all along. We had always said that when the business had a certain amount of money we would transition to doing it full-time, but it was hard to quit working at a stable job to pursue a dream…so we didn’t for awhile. We kept trying to do it all, and it was just really hard to balance owning a very active, time demanding business and also having Nathan at another job 5 days a week. But after much more prayer and begging God to close doors if it wasn’t His will, we stepped out in faith and here we are 2 months into self employment. And it has been the BEST THING ever. God is SO good and has continued to bless us, and we are so undeserving.

Before quitting his job in January, Nathan had already been studying for several months to take his general contractor’s licensing exam. He was accepted to sit for his exam in February and scheduled it for the same month. He passed the exam with flying colors and I couldn’t have been more proud!

Self employment is a good fit for him/us. We’ve joked…well kinda because it’s partially true… that we’ve been busier since becoming self employed than we were before, but hey, that’s a good thing so I can’t complain. We are both very driven and self motivated people so we have to schedule time for play and not work…๐Ÿคฃ.

So what’s on the horizon for us now? We’re not really for sure. We’re searching for another property to renovate and flip, tossing around the idea of renovating a property to make a vacation rental (that’s been one of my dreams for a long time), and we’re seriously considering building some new houses on some land that we bought several months ago. Which of those things comes first, I have no idea…that’s up to God and where He leads us.

So back to the hall bathroom before and after reveal. As always, I’ll start with before pictures…

These pictures are dark because we didn’t have any electricity on at the house when I took them, so sorry about that. But as you can see, the bathroom was functional, yet very tired and outdated. Nothing about it said, “I’m a relaxing, little retreat” and that’s what I want my bathrooms to say. Since the layout was straight forward and functional, we were able to keep that the same and just update all of the contents.

I chose a brown wood grain tile with a white grout for the floors and it looks awesome! We turned an old, refurbished dresser (that was the design idea we had never done before) into a gorgeous vanity with vessel sink and unique faucet. I decided to do bead board on the bottom portion of the walls just to add a little character, and above the bead board we used the paint color Sherwin Williams Waterscape. We added some recessed lighting to the ceiling, and I used adorable sconces to flank the sides of the mirror. And finally, the open shelves we installed above the new toilet added the final touch to this adorable hall bathroom!

The final product makes me smile so big!

And there you have it, the complete transformation of this cute, little bathroom! I just love it all…the color on the walls, the vanity, the sconces, the bead board, the sink…ughhh it’s just too cute!

As always, thanks for reading!!

XOXO,

Megan

Fresh

I’ve been thinking about this upcoming new year and I get butterflies in my stomach. Literally. There are big things that are about to happen in our lives and business and it gives me all the feels. I decided to come up with a theme word for 2018 and I think I’ve decided on “fresh”.

I love to decorate with live plants in our own home. I think something about the fact that they’re living just brings a breath of fresh air. They must be cared for and tended to. If that doesn’t happen, they won’t flourish. But if they’re taken care of they will thrive and make the space feel fresh and alive. I want us to embrace that same feeling of freshness in our life and business this year.

This little plant on our mantle helped inspire our word for 2018.

This next year will be full of that.

For starters, this year might bring a fresh new endeavor. The very first new home construction that Hartman Homes has ever done is on the horizon for 2018. I mentioned in an earlier blog post that we purchased some land a couple months ago. We’ve been toying several different ideas around in our minds and right now the idea of subdividing that land and building homes on it is winning. I guess that would end up being a mini “Hartman Homes” neighborhood.

My second thought with “fresh” is with design. I’ve found that when you design multiple kitchens, bathrooms, exteriors, etc for a living it’s easy to find a comfortable spot in design and stick to it. But I also get tired and bored of “trends” really quickly. For instance, I’ve been getting tired of the farmhouse craze that has taken over the world. This year, I’m challenging myself to continuously think outside the box and have fresh ideas when designing new spaces. Our drive is to do quality work that is “different” enough to set us apart from others.

And lastly, fresh beginnings are on the way. I don’t want to say too much too soon, but a big change is about to happen in our business and we couldn’t be more excited and nervous all at the same time. When we started working this business three years ago we had a specific goal in mind. That goal was to have freedom. We wanted freedom with our time so we could enjoy this life together and with our children. We didn’t want to miss a minute. We wanted financial freedom so we would be able to bless others and exercise our spiritual gifts of giving. We also wanted freedom to dream and be able to pursue those dreams. I’ve been thinking about sharing a bit more of our beginning story on here and maybe someday I will.

During the really difficult, exhausting, overworked times we’ve maintained the mindset to “live like no one else, so that one day you can live like no one else”. Does that make sense? Basically, don’t get comfortable. Pray harder and dream bigger. Pursue those dreams that God placed in your heart tirelessly. Be the driving force to accomplish those dreams.

So going into 2018, “fresh” is going to be the word that we claim as we embark on this new year full of fresh things. Thanks for reading and I pray you all have a blessed new year!

XOXO,

Megan

A Master Bathroom Masterpiece

I’ve been meaning to write this blog post for ummm…about 2 months now. It’s certainly a good thing I don’t blog for a living, because I’d be starving. Haha. As much as I enjoy writing and blogging, it takes a lot of time and that’s not something I have much of these days.

Since my last blog post we listed this house for sale, sold it, purchased 5.5 acres of land (that we’re still not for sure what we’re going to do with, but it seemed like too good of an investment to pass up) and also purchased another house. We’ll probably start on this next house a little bit this month, but plan to take most of the month off to enjoy Christmas and then dive head first into the renovation in January. I’m going to try and do better with blogging through the renovation of this next house, if for no other reason than the fact that I enjoy going back and reading my old posts. I’m lame, I know! ๐Ÿ˜‚

Alright, back to the creation of this master bathroom. Let me show the before pictures first.

So, what you’re seeing is correct; this room was not previously a bathroom. It was a generously sized den. We relocated the door to open into the bedroom next to it and closed off the door to the hallway. This small change made this an exclusive master ensuite. Or at least it would be once we added all the “bathroom” components.

Since we had an entirely blank slate to work with we were able to make the layout however we wanted. We had ample space to add a large 72″ double vanity, toilet, tile shower, and linen closet. We were able to keep and paint the original book shelves and repurpose them for bathroom storage.

The design theme for the entire house, and thus this bathroom, was “vintage and eclectic”. The color scheme was white and gray with hints of blue and green and those colors were tactfully incorporated into the design of this bathroom. As always, I had a lot of fun designing this space and I think it turned out perfect.

That’s all for now! Leave me a comment and let me know what you think! I’m in the process of designing two more bathrooms so tell me some ideas you’d like to see and I might try and incorporate them. Thanks for reading and keeping up with my sporadic blog posts!! Haha.

XOXO,

Megan

Hartman Homes: Flip #4

Well, it’s that time again! The most exciting blog posts for me to write are the ones with before and after pictures of our flip projects. I call them “projects” because they’re just that. These houses are a hobby for us. We LOVE breathing new life into an old house and making it new and fresh again. Of course it’s a very expensive and labor intensive hobby, but it’s also quite lucrative when it’s all said and done. So with that in mind these projects are more of a financial investment than anything. It’s just fun for us; we enjoy it and we make money. Win/win situation!

Don’t let my scarce blog posts fool you. These flips aren’t finished overnight.  These are long, hard renovations. Right now we’re averaging about a 4 month timeline from demo day to staging day. There are moments in this process where we feel like the end is not in sight. But, then the day comes and we look around and there’s nothing else to add to our list of “to do’s”. And then as soon as that day approaches, I’m already starting to plan the design for the next one. 

The blog today is going to encompass the entire main living spaces that includes: living room, kitchen, dining room, foyer, and sunroom. For this house my initial inspiration was this: a clean, neutral slate with bold pops of color and pattern. This is tricky, you see. If that wasn’t executed perfectly the house could end up looking one of two extremes. It could end up feeling tacky and sporadic or it could be too far the other direction and feel boring and tasteless. At one point during the process I was nervous and was worried the kitchen was too simple with whites and blacks, but once it all came together and the bold pops of color joined in at the end, I was so relieved. In my opinion, it turned out perfect, but I’ll let you (and the buyers) be the judge. I’ll add paint colors and such at the end of the post in case anyone is interested. 

Now, the before pictures:

Kitchen and Dining

Foyer

Living Room



Sunroom

Now, on to the after pictures!!! Aka…the exciting part! ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

Kitchen and Dining After



If you look closely in the picture below you can see the texture on the leathered granite countertops. Such a neat, unexpected detail…


Foyer After

This space, friends, turned out so fabulous. Now, of course, if you’re a person who only likes whites and no color then I’m sure it’s not tickling your fancy. But, for me, since I love a little personality…I think it’s great! 

This is what you see on your left as soon as you walk in the front door.

And below is your view looking straight forward as you walk in the front door.

Living Room After


This tile around the fireplace….let me tell you….it’s even better in person, if that’s even possible! It’s so vintage and fun and …just perfect! 


Sunroom After

Well, how do you feel about my green ceiling in the sunroom?? I literally LOVE it!!  I feel like the ceiling is a place that often gets forgotten when design takes place, but it’s such a huge place to make an impact. 

Well, that’s all for now. This beauty goes on the market next Tuesday, so wish us luck! And, if you’re interested let us know and we can put you in touch with our realtor. The house is 2300 sq feet with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Asking price is $187,500.

As always, thanks for reading!!

XOXO,

Megan

Details:

Wall color: Sherwin Williams Drift of Mist

Trim color: Sherwin Williams Dorian Gray

Kitchen cabinets and fireplace mantel: Sherwin Williams Alabaster

Sunroom ceiling:  Sherwin Williams Julep

Built-ins in foyer: Sherwin Williams Vegan

Floor tile in kitchen and sunroom: name is Blue Nile

Hardwood floor stain: Provincial