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! 🙌🏼

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

Advertisements

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! 🥂❤️😊

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…😬

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…🤣.

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

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. 😂 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

Kitchen and Dining Reveal

Ya’ll I’m SUPER excited to share this post!! We have been working nearly non stop to get this project completed. It’s not done yet, but we finally have our first set of before and after pictures. 

Yesterday we spent all day over at our flip house and finished the kitchen and dining room. And I must say, it is my absolute favorite house we have done to date. The entire house is such a huge transformation that it almost doesn’t even look like the same place! I’ll start here with before pictures and then give the details before sharing the afters.



I know in another blog post I had given some ideas that I had about the kitchen. I had mentioned quartz counters and a tin backsplash. Well, I changed my mind on both of those things. 

We almost went with a gray quartz called “concrete”. We had gone and picked it out, had the company come to the house to do laser measurements, etc. We had budgeted $50/sq foot for countertops, which was exactly what the price of these were. However when I met with the guy for a price, they had added hundreds of dollars of fees for extra stuff besides the price of the counters. He also said they were 3-4 weeks out from being able to come out and install them. We didn’t like the added costs or the long timeline so we decided to go a different direction. 

I really didn’t want to put granite countertops in this house. I don’t exactly know why, I just wasn’t feeling it for this kitchen. Granite usually has a lot of pattern and swirls and I just didn’t think that would fit well in this space. So, we explored the idea of butcher block countertops and ultimately chose this option. We picked a butcher block countertop made from walnut and purchased from Lumber Liquidators. After three coats of food grade mineral oil, the results are stunning! We are super pleased. 

These countertops add to the sense of rustic vintage that this kitchen has, but that feeling is balanced out by the modern colors of the cabinets, light fixtures, stainless appliances and sink. I chose to go with a white subway tile for the backsplash, but rather than go with the normal 3″x 6″ tile, I picked the 4″x 8″ tile to make it a little less busy. The grout color is “charcoal” and it really makes the backsplash tile pop. 

We decided to keep the original cabinets, which is something we haven’t done before. They were in good shape, just ugly, so we painted them and replaced the hardware and that made a huge difference. I actually like the fact that they are the original cabinetry, something about that brings a sense of history and a vintage feel to the space. I chose to do white upper cabinets (exact color is Sherwin Williams Alabaster) and navy blue lower cabinets (color is Sherwin Williams Sea Serpent). This color combination had a lot of people questioning my decision making skills, but I could see the end picture and they just couldn’t see it yet. In the end everyone who had hesitated the color choices before told me that they loved it now. Oh, almost forgot…the wall color in the  dining room (as well as the majority of the rest of the house) is Sherwin Williams Requisite Gray. It’s a perfect gray color that has some depth to it. I’m kinda getting bored of plain light grays. I don’t know why. I feel like everyone in design went gray crazy and I’m just getting tired of it now. But this color we used is warm enough and could even be considered a “greige” or in other words, a beige gray.

The kitchen also had a peninsula and a decorative beam above the peninsula that made it feel really small, so we took all of that out and the space feels twice as big now. The kitchen originally didn’t have a spot for a dishwasher, so we created space for that and made it look like an original piece of the cabinetry by casing it in and having countertop extended over the top. You’d never known it wasn’t originally in this kitchen.   

Of course all of the lighting is new, as well as the sink and faucet. Those are usually a must in my opinion. I guess if you had an awesome light fixture that you could reuse that would be fine, but we’ve never had a house with anything nice enough to reuse. We always budget brand new lighting and faucets for the entire house into the initial budget for a flip project.  These small changes make a world of difference in the aesthetics of a home. 

And lastly, the flooring in the kitchen matches the rest of the house. I decided on a 5.25″ wide engineered hardwood called “hickory heritage” and the color is perfect. Not too dark, not too light and distressed just a wee bit.

Without further ado, here are the after pictures.




Well, what do you guys think?? I would love to hear your input!

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.