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

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.

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

Flip Update: Living Room

Tonight we met with the realtor who will be listing our flip house and she was blown away! It literally made my day. She actually even said to me, “Joanna Gaines couldn’t have done this better herself”. I was floored. I don’t think she could have given a more flattering comment. Her marketing specialist will be taking pictures next Wednesday and the house will hit the market the following Wednesday and we will have an open house that same weekend.

 To say I’m excited is an understatement. Hearing an outsider (someone not a family member or friend whose obligated to say they like it) say that they really love all the work you’ve done is so humbling and exciting all at once. It sure makes all the long hours and late nights worth it. 

Tonight’s post is about the living room transformation.

  This room didn’t need a whole lot in regard to renovations. It got a new ceiling fan and a fresh coat of paint (wall color is Sherwin Williams Olympus White and trim color is Sherwin Williams Snowbound) and it was pretty much ready to go. The original hardwood flooring was in such good shape that it didn’t even need refinishing.

The biggest transformation in here happened once we brought furniture in and I got to decorate the space. Now remember, EVERY single piece in this room is for sale to anyone who wants it. Whether that be a potential buyer, realtor, or even YOU who are reading this post. So if you see something you’re interested in contact me and I can let you know the price(s). 

Without further ado, here are the after pictures:

   
Isn’t that entry way table darling?! It was custom made by Carolina Chic Home Decor from reclaimed wood taken from a one room school house located in Lexington, NC. Isn’t that so cool! It looks so very perfect in this living room.

    That little gem of a picture frame hanging behind the couch was a find at an antique shop in Shallotte, NC. It was love at first sight the moment I laid my eyes on it. I knew immediately what I wanted to use it for.   

That trunk…isn’t it so dreamy? Believe it or not, that was a yard sale find. Total score!

 
This little end table was a thrifted yard sale find too. It underwent an overhaul by yours truly, and now it’s beautiful! It works perfect for this space. 
   
  
 
I had so much fun designing this space and picking out the furniture and decor for this room. I wanted it neutral enough that it would appeal to lots of people, but I wanted to add enough color and pattern to make it feel cozy and homey (I’m aware that’s not a real word šŸ˜‰). I’m very satisfied with the end result. Ultimately I hope that the financial and time expense of staging helps with the sale of our home. We shall see.

So, the real question is…what do you guys think of the living room?

XOXO,

Megan