Flip House, Master Bath Reno, and 34 Weeks Pregnant…

We’ve got so much going on right now. Sometimes I think we’re a little bit wacko to tackle so much at one time…but alas, here we are! 

First off we’re elbow deep into our current flip house. It’s been 3 weeks since demo day and we’ve had stuff going on almost each day. We had the new HVAC system with a gas furnace installed last week. This week the new rooms started being framed, we had a new roof put on, and the painting started. I’ve pretty much finished all of the designing and shopping for this house already. All of the bathroom fixtures, lighting, tile, and paint has been purchased. I am SO stoked for this house to start taking shape. I decided to go with a creamy White for the walls (exact color is Sherwin William’s Drift of Mist) and a medium gray (Sherwin William’s Dorian Gray) for all of the trim and interior doors. This house had fabulous, thick old trim and I wanted it to be a highlighted feature in the design of this house. Here’s a sneak peek of these colors.

As soon as the kitchen cabinets are finished being painted (in Sherwin William’s Alabaster), we will select the granite so it can be installed. 

Once the bathrooms start coming together I’ll share details of those rooms. Here’s a hint, we’re creating an enormous master suite by turning the old den into the master bath!! Whoo, I can hardly wait! It’s going to be incredible! 

My goal is to have most of my design work completed for this house before our baby makes his appearance in the next several weeks. This will allow me to have some necessary time off from this project after he is born. 

The next project that we have going on is at our house. At this very moment our master bathroom is fully gutted and is about to receive a complete makeover. We’re also hoping to have this done before the baby comes, hopefully even in this next week. We’re rearranging the layout of the room, we’ve removed 2 closets and are adding a new walk in closet, adding all new tile, a new vanity, new shower, fresh paint, lighting, fixtures, etc. I’m SO excited! 

My vision for this bathroom was for it to be a good mixture of several styles and not feel too “trendy”. I want it to be classy enough to last for a long, long time. The goal of the design is for it to feel clean and fresh with a hint of a historical, Charleston feel, a hint of farmhouse, and a hint of industrial. But not too much of any of those. I want it to feel fresh and airy. I’ll share a few individual pictures of some of the items going into this bathroom. 

This gorgeous, classy tile is perfect! I knew it was the right one the moment I found it!! We will use it to cover the floor and the large soap box in the shower will be in this tile too!

This 72″ vanity is handmade from reclaimed wood and will have two above mount white, rectangle sinks on it.

These lights that we decided to use for above the vanity were the perfect mixture of industrial and farmhouse. We have three of these lights that will be to the left, middle, and right of the round, brass rimmed mirrors.


The tub/shower will be tiled in a large white subway tile with charcoal colored grout. The wall behind the toilet will also be tiled in this same subway tile. The rest of the walls are going to be painted in a bright, fresh…wait for it…green!! Yes, green! Imagine a creamy sage green, but a bit brighter. I’m so excited! Another feature I’m pretty excited about are these built in shelves next to the shower. They will look kinda like this.

One of the design staples that inspired this room came from a purchase we made during our recent trip to Charleston, SC. We love it there so much and wanted to incorporate some pieces from there into our new bathroom. I purchased two old prints (one of a painting of the battery and downtown area and one old map).  I framed them in antique brass frames and they will be hung above the toilet on the tile wall. Can you get a sense yet of the feeling I’m trying to achieve in here?! Ahh, I can feel it and can’t wait to see it all come together! 

Stay tuned for the before and after pictures as soon as this room is finished! I promise I’ll do a blog post. 

XOXO,

Megan

Foyer Reveal

Hi friends! Today I’m going to share the before and after pictures of what we did to transform the foyer/entryway of our most recent flip house. 

Before I start with that, let me tell you some exciting stuff! This house went under contract 18 hours after we listed it for sale! Do you hear me?!?! 18 hours!!! We could hardly believe it either. We accepted the first offer we had in writing, although we had been told we had another coming in that day and had 4 or 5 more showings (I can’t remember exactly) scheduled for that day and the next. Our closing date is in a week, so we’re prayerful that everything goes smoothly. Closing dates always make us nervous, and I don’t think that will ever change no matter how many homes we renovate and sell. 

Exactly a week after we close on this home, we close on the purchase of our next. We already have demo day on the calendar for that project and can’t wait to get knee deep into renovations on it. 

I have some exciting plans for the kitchen and baths for that house and it’s at this beginning point in the design process of a new project that I get so excited I can hardly contain myself. The very beginning of designing and shopping ranks at a similar high point as the end reveal of a project. Creating a vision and seeing that vision come to a reality are the BEST parts of this journey, in my eyes. Nathan would probably argue that demo day and payday are his favorite parts. šŸ˜‚ We make a pretty great team!

We’ve also got some big things going on at home that I’m sure I’ll be blogging about soon. We’ve been working on the project of converting our guest room into a nursery for our little boy that is due in July. That room is almost done, so be looking for a post about that soon. We are also a few weeks away from totally destroying and redesigning our master bathroom. That room is BIG, but SO very outdated. My guess would be that it is original to how it was built in 1978. A renovation for that bathroom is long overdue, so we have finally decided to tackle that project and hopefully have it completed before the new baby gets here. 

I know you’re probably all thinking that we are totally crazy and cram way too much stuff into our schedules. But, truth is, we genuinely enjoy being busy. This stuff is fun to us, and the reward is great in so many ways. I think that we would be bored if we weren’t juggling several projects at a time. 

Alright…back to the foyer reveal. We nicknamed this room “the closet full of doors” because that is what it looked like when we bought it. This is the space that you walked into right when you came in the front door, and it was ugly! Upon entering, you were faced with the decision to choose one of 6 doorways (yes, SIX!) that led to other areas of the house. It was a really dark and closed off room to literally everything. So, of course we had to change that. I always try to design a home with this little thing in mind. I want to be able to take no more than two steps into the home from the main doorway and be able to see the majority of the main living spaces. To me, within two steps a buyer will either fall in love, or move on. 

Let’s start with some before pictures.

This first picture is the view you had from standing on the front porch.

And here’s a close up of the closet at the end of the foyer.

Here are a couple pictures from some of our incredible demo day crew taking care of our “too many doors” problem.


Men love to destroy stuff… and I love coming by at the end of demo day and hearing their stories. We are so blessed to have a great group of friends and family who are always up for lending a hand on these work days (of course we pay them, but still…). 

This room ended up having only one door way exiting off from it, and that one led to the master suite. The closet at the back of the foyer I turned into a built in hall tree/mud room area. When I designed it, I imagined book bags, shoes, purses and lunch boxes finding a home here in the mornings and then again in the evenings. It turned out incredible, just like I imagined in my mind. The seat on the top of the bench is butcher block that matches the kitchen countertops. And the background of the built in is bead board, which matches the background of the shelves in the living room. All of these little intentional design elements keep the house looking cohesive and the design looking purposeful and thought out. 

We replaced the light fixture with a very inviting new one and continued the hardwoods from the rest of the house in this space. The walls were painted in Sherwin Williams Requisite Gray, and the trim was painted Sherwin Williams Alabaster. The finished product is one that I was immensely pleased with! 

This next picture shows how much more large and open the home feels now that this room isn’t just a corridor of doorways. It’s such a pretty space now!


Well, friends…that’s all for today! Thanks for stopping by and reading. Stay tuned for all of the other posts coming soon that I mentioned earlier. I’m thinking the next post may be about our baby’s nursery. That room is already making me so happy, and it’s not even totally finished.

XOXO,

Megan

I kinda hate the term “Flipper”

If you’ve been reading my blog posts at all for the past couple years, then it’s no secret that my husband and I “flip” houses. So, why do I hate that term? I’m not for sure that there’s even an actual definition for the term “flip house”, but in the day and age of HGTV everybody has an idea of what it is.

It may be different in various places around the country, but around our area flippers are notorious for certain things. Cutting out anything nice wherever possible to save a penny, painting the walls in the boring builder grade beige color, using basic builder grade light fixtures, tub inserts, cheap laminate or vinyl flooring, etc etc etc are a few of the things that typically come to mind.

While searching for granite for the kitchen of our last flip project the owner of the granite yard said, “Oh this is a flip house? Let me show you the granite most flippers use. It’s the cheapest we have here.” It was the most hideous granite they had. I would have never used it in any of our homes. But hearing those words spoke volumes that didn’t even need an explanation. By purchasing that granite, those flippers could advertise “granite counters in kitchen” in their real estate listing. Most other “flippers” would tell us we were crazy for purchasing granite that cost more than the basic quartz selections cost. But you know why we did that? Its not all about money to us.

We have a serious passion for what we do. It’s not just about the paycheck on closing day. Renovating these homes and bringing them back to life brings us more satisfaction than just how much our profit is at the end of the project. When I start designing a flip house I pick a personality for it. Like, what kind of voice would this house have if it could talk? What kind of mood do I want to portray through this design? Each home is different. In reality, very few things are alike in any of them. Making these decisions gives me little butterflies of excitement. And seeing it all come together in the end? I can’t even describe how exciting that is.

We don’t flip houses as quickly as some people do. Why? Because we add character and personality in things that will make us absolutely no return on our investment. I don’t know of any other flippers (well besides Tarek and Christina) that would sink money and time into something that literally increases the value of the house by zero dollars, but simply makes the home more attractive and custom. We just spent $355.00 on 3 sets of custom order shutters because we had to have the perfect ones in the perfect color for this home and the basic ones just didn’t evoke the same feeling. The basic ones at Lowe’s would have only cost $126.00 for the same 3 sets. Will we make that two hundred dollar price difference back when we sale the house? Nope. Does it matter to us? Nope. Why? Because we want people to know that if they ever purchase a home from us, they are getting a home that has had as much love poured into it by us as if we lived in it ourselves. The amount of time I spend designing these homes is worth thousands of dollars in design fees had they simply hired Hartman Interiors, and they’re getting that totally included.

We have a dream of eventually having such a positive name in our community that people are actually waiting for us to finish a home so they can potentially purchase it for themselves. That will never happen if we do things the way that most “flippers” do. It’s certainly not that we think we are any better than other house flippers, we’re just different. We simply choose to pour a little more of our heart and soul into these projects, even against the advice of others. We want buyers and potentially clients one day, to know that when Hartman Homes finishes a house it will be unlike any other in the neighborhood.

So, we’ll continue using the term “flipper” because that let’s people have a general idea of what we do, but now you know that what we do is actually so much more than that.

Flip House #3 Update

Hey everybody! I’m sorry for the super long hiatus from updating my blog. Now that we’ve made our official announcement I can share on here that the reason I have been so silent on here is because I’ve been incredibly sick the past few months. Why you may ask?? Because I’m pregnant with our 3rd child! We are super thrilled and could not be happier! We were a little surprised that it happened so quickly, but I think that the Lord likes to surprise us sometimes. We closed on our current flip house in November and found out we were pregnant about a week later. The nausea hit a week after that and boy it hit hard. Whew! The sickness left me laying on a couch and vomiting (sorry if that was TMI) while trying to take care of my toddler boys. Thank heavens for my precious husband who was more than willing to help me in the evenings and my sweet parents and grandparents who would come over and watch the boys for a bit while I just laid on the couch in my misery. Haha. But really. I’m not kidding. However, the first trimester is over this week and I’m starting to feel a bit more like a human these days. Hopefully the worst is over! 

The flip house has been a bit slower going this time. This house needed ALOT. And most of the beginning of the renovation is all stuff that isn’t pretty to look at or photograph. It mostly just looks like a construction zone over there; but there are a few design elements starting to come together.  This is also the first renovation we have done in the winter and the cold/wet weather has proven to slow us down a bit too.

Since I wasn’t able to do the individual room before pictures and the plans for those rooms, I’ll give a quick update with some before pictures and some current “in progress” pictures. 
Here is a before of the front of the house. 


And here is a picture I took today of the front of the house. The overgrown landscaping has been removed. The front porch has been removed and is waiting to be rebuilt. New windows have been installed, and new vinyl has been added (its difficult to see with the lighting in this picture, but the siding on the front porch area is a gray shaker style vinyl) The front door will be painted, shutters will be added, and fresh landscaping will be done before this place is ready to sell. 

Here is a before picture of the side of the house. 


And this picture was taken today from the same spot. New vinyl, new windows, new garage doors, and new gutters have all been finished in the last week.  And please ignore the dumpster in the driveway, as I’ve mentioned this is still a construction zone. 

Here is a before picture of the hall bathroom.

And here is a picture that I took today from the same spot. The space was totally demolished and currently has a new deep, soaking bathtub, new wood grain tile floor, and (not finished yet) glass and slate tile laid in a herringbone pattern around the shower. Of course we have a new vanity, new lighting, and all new hardware including faucet, tub spout, shower head, etc. that will eventually be installed. Please look past the fact that this is currently still a construction zone and nothing is cleaned or finished yet. It’s all still a work in progress. Just try to see my vision šŸ˜¬.

Here’s a before picture of part of the {super ugly} master bathroom.

And here’s a picture of the current work that is being completed in there. Let me set the tone for what this bathroom will look like before I share the picture from today. This bathroom has been expanded by taking out a closet in the foyer and adding that space to the bathroom. That extra space has given us room to have two vanities in the bathroom now. We’ve picked those out and purchased them already and they are PERFECT. They’re white with open storage on the bottom and white carerra marble tops with stainless hardware. šŸ˜ They’re beautiful. The walls will be painted a…hold your breath… navy blue color. Yep. That’s right. And it’s going to be perfect. The dark color will be balanced by the white vanities and the white tile floor, which I pictured below. The shower is gray tile with a large white vertical stripe and big white soap box. That’s one of the only things even decent looking enough to take a picture of, so I’ll share that picture too. All of the tile (shower and floor) will have a dark gray grout, which hasn’t been done yet. I hope you’re able to look at these pictures and see part of my vision. Even if you can’t see it now, hang with me, it will start coming together soon!


That’s it for now. I’ll share some before pictures and progress pictures of the kitchen, foyer, and living room soon. I’ll give a few hints though…custom built-in mudroom area/bench in the foyer, shiplap and custom shelving next to the fireplace, and some quartz in the kitchen with maybe a tin backsplash…although I’m not totally decided on that one. 

As always, thanks for reading!

XOXO,

Megan

Life Update and Hartman Homes UpdateĀ 

We have been SO crazy busy this past month and a half that I haven’t had a single minute to do a blog post. We traveled to Orlando, FL for a week the last of October for my work. Yes, I know, that comes as a surprise to some people who read this blog but don’t know me personally. I am a respiratory therapist that works on our hospital’s CF multidisciplinary team. That’s a huge part of my life that I don’t really talk about on the blog. I spoke at a different conference during the middle of October and just found out two days ago that I’m speaking this weekend at an education day hosted by our CF Center. So, to say my job keeps me busy would be very true. But, I love it. I love my patients, I love our care team, I love my manager…It’s truly an amazing and rewarding career.

Here’s a picture taken in Orlando of part of our CF team.


My interior design business has taken off as well. I decided to give it a real name (Hartman Interiors) and actually go for it back in June and since then I have been as busy as I could handle. It’s pretty incredible. I LOVE to create and design. It literally makes my heart beat faster. Hartman Interiors is legally a sole proprietorship now. Crazy, right?! We are in the process of having a logo designed too. We should be finalizing on that soon and I’m sure I’ll share it with you all.

After working for 11 years for the same company, Nathan started a new job about five weeks ago. He wasn’t looking for a new job at all. The company he works for now literally called him up and wanted to have lunch with him. After meeting with them for lunch, he received a job offer that he literally could not turn down. Not only did they offer a very substantial raise, they also agreed to let him work only four days a week! So guess what?! That allows him have more time available to work on our flips. Isn’t the Lord incredible. He knew that the desire of our hearts was to have more time to pursue our dream of designing and flipping, and without us pursuing that at all, He opened that door. We are so blessed.

So all of this “stuff” would definitely serve as my reason for the lack of blogging lately. However, I’m hoping to get back at it. We FINALLY got a new flip house. We attempted to purchase/made offers on at least 5 different homes with 7 different offers being legally submitted during that time. It was totally exhausting, but it’s just the nature of the game. Flipping is not what it used to be back 10 years ago. Stuff doesn’t go as cheap and more people are trying to get into it. We went into several bidding wars on homes we had made offers on and I HATE that. That often times drives the price up to the point that there ends up being no room for profit. There were occasions where we were faced with a bidding war and we decided to back out instead of being tempted to offer too much and reduce our chance of good profit. But, we finally got one! And…it’s a really, really good one! It doesn’t look like much now…but it will!

It’s a 2100 sq ft brick ranch with a partially finished basement. It’s in the best school district in the area, in a quiet neighborhood, and on a corner lot. It has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, including a large master suite.  It has a kitchen, dining room, living room, office, den, foyer, front porch, covered back patio and 2 fireplaces! Of course it needs TONS of work. It’s never had an hvac system; so that will have to be added. It needs all new windows. Both bathrooms need a total gut and renovation. We’re taking down walls to make an open floor plan. The front porch has be torn down and replaced. Etc, etc, etc. It needs ALOT. But we’ve never backed down from a challenge before, and are totally stoked to get started! 

I think for this flip I’m going to do an individual “before” post for each room and area of the house with our plans for that room. And then I’ll do individual “after” posts of each of the same rooms and spaces. I haven’t decided whether I am going to stage this house or not. We’ll see…

Stay posted for our first “before” room reveal that I’ll be sharing in just a few days! 

As always, thanks for reading!

XOXO,

Megan

Final (current) Flip Update

I just realized that it has been nearly two months since my last blog post. Wow! Totally didn’t realize it had been that long. I feel like I should give a general update on our flipping journey.

Our most recent flip house went on the market in early August. That was a rollercoaster from start to finish. We received an offer right at two weeks later. Huge happy face here!!!! Then the next morning we found out that the buyers got cold feet and changed their mind. Huge sad face now!! Total roller coaster of emotions. That very same afternoon we found out that an agent at another showing reported that the appliances were gone. What?!?! Yep. Someone came into our unoccupied flip house during the wee hours of the morning and took the washer, dryer, and oven. Approximately $2,300 worth of appliances walked right out the door. Well, you can imagine that the roller coaster of emotions were still going strong…from elated, to disappointed, to furious all in less than 24 hours. 

Once the initial shock wore off we came to the understanding that this may not be the first time this happens to us with our plans to continue on this real estate flipping journey. Vacant real estate is a prime target for dishonest people, and if this is a game we are going to play then that is a risk we are willing to take. Odd enough, only appliances were taken. The main living spaces were totally furnished with furniture, decor, dishes, etc and none of it was touched! Well, except the towels in one of the bathrooms. Those were taken, presumably to keep from scratching the thief’s new appliances while removing them from the house. The following week we replaced the stove, but decided to not replace the washer and dryer since it was just money coming out of our pockets. Of course we checked with our homeowner’s insurance to see if it was covered…and nope. Not at all. Sure we were paying for super great, expensive vacant property insurance, but alas robbery is not covered at all. Fire, vandalism, acts of terrorism, the list of covered items goes on and on, but robbery…not covered. 

The biggest twist to the robbery part of this story is that the detective working on the case found our appliances! Of course it was a couple weeks after we had replaced the stove. But the officers just happened to be at a home for another reason and there they were, all three of the stolen appliances. There are details I can’t share on here, but a couple weeks later we got them all back! Wow. Totally a God thing. Thank the Lord! We all know that in this day and age, if something is stolen the chance of getting them back is slim to none…so it was a huge surprise!

Almost four weeks after listing the house we received another great offer. We immediately accepted aaannnnddd….we closed on it today!!! Yippeee! 

Here’s the last and final picture we took of the home last Saturday when we did our final work day there. We removed the staging items, mowed, vacuumed, etc. and then left the keys and garage door openers on the counter for the new owners. 

A little piece of my heart is always sad when closing day comes. Of course, the investor side of my heart is excited for payday, but the designer side of my heart is just a wee bit sad to see all of my hard work go to someone else. But it’s a weird feeling because I’m also totally pumped that someone else loves it enough to make it their own. It’s a bittersweet, but mostly sweet day. I know that last paragraph was way confusing…I’m such a woman. 

We’ve been on the intense hunt for another home to start working on. We’ve looked at a bunch, made an offer that wasn’t accepted on one, and have been scouring through foreclosures to the point that I’m exhausted. This is certainly my least favorite part of this journey. I’m ready to have one in our possession so that the creativity and designing can start…that is the BEST part! 

Hopefully I’ll have a new house to share pictures of, along with my plans for it very soon. We’re just praying the Lord gives us wisdom as we continue our search and that He opens doors on this journey as He sees fit. 

Thanks for reading!

XOXO,

Megan

Dining Room Facelift

I’ve been sharing a lot about our flip house lately and not very much about our house. Truth is, we spend most of our time at our flips. But, our current one is finished and I’ve been doing a little “sprucing up” at our own house. 

Our dining room has always been one of my favorite rooms in our house. It was built with good bones, per se. There’s an exposed brick wall and two archways leading into this room. One wall has a huge door leading onto our deck. The character in this room is one of the biggest reasons I was so drawn to this house the day we looked at it. But of course there were still improvements to be made. We’ve been slowly making improvements since we moved in over two years ago. Here are some pictures taken the day before we moved in.   

 
  This was taken the day we moved in…  
And this is just a week or so later when I added some fall decor.

 Certainly a good space, but it needed some special touches. Our first project was to paint some horizontal stripes on the wall leading out to the deck.  This picture was taken during the progress. 

 The next change we made in here was replacing the chandelier. The fixture wasn’t horrible, it just wasn’t my favorite. I found a replacement that I think fits the space so well. I think it’s technically a light for over an island, but I love the way it looks over the table when looking through the arches. Another huge bonus…I scored it at a yard sale for $4. Yep…$4.00!  This is not a great picture, and I apologize.
 The addition of the rugs came next. I previously had the jute and cowhide rugs in the living room, but replaced them with a larger wool rug that fits the size of the living room better. When I moved these rugs into the dining room I knew it was a perfect fit! Right after that, we added our open, industrial shelving to the brick wall. I have loved having a place to display some of my prettier kitchen/dining items. 

The next change was our new sliding glass door. The previous sliding door that led out to the deck didn’t do much “sliding”. It was old and worn out. It took much effort to open and close it, and the locking mechanism was broken. So basically we lived here with an unlocked door for 2 years. Good thing we live in a good area. šŸ˜‰The new decor items in the pictures below were just added in the past couple weeks and is what inspired this post. 

  Isn’t that Farmer’s Market sign incredible? I ordered it from Painted Fox Home, and although it took 2 months to arrive, I was very pleased!  
    
That wreath is made from an old Webster’s dictionary. I saw it at a little local boutique and fell in love. 

That window was one of many windows that was found in a building on my grandparents property years ago. I cleaned it up and used it just like it was found. So, the paint distressing is all natural!

 Thanks for stopping by and checking out our little dining room facelift! 
XOXO,

Megan