Disaster Averted | Modern Makeover

8/14/2012 | Amy Tibbals
Andrea Beecher

Sometimes a space needs a boost before it goes on the market, and this downtown condo was just such a project. With 930 sq. ft., 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, and an open-concept living and dining area, it had great flow and plenty of potential. My aim was twofold: I wanted to maintain the integrity of the design and complete the project on a budget. As with any sizable undertaking, help was required, so I enlisted that of Brian Garrett [design assist] and Scott Pulley [transformation assist]. The space is staged, the design completed, and we've got some tips and to-do's for those looking to take on similar projects.

With a remodel, it's important to examine the original space and determine what can be utilized from existing features. Often times, a face lift is a more cost-effective and worthwhile route than removal. Solid oak cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms here had clean lines, so I choose to paint vs. replace -- once modern hardware is added, they'll feel like new. On the other hand, the wall-to-wall carpeting was old and beat; we decided to go with a clean, walnut laminate. $1.00/sq.ft. = great look + perfect price.

KSL and Craiglist are solid resources for recycling and saving. With a wee bit of patience, you can dig up just about anything. Brian -- a savant at finding useful one-of-a-kinds and remnants -- was able to gather loads of leftover remodel tiles. This is a really useful strategy when dealing with a small space, and tile for both bathrooms totaled less than $200 [he also located an amazing, low-cost back splash]. Unused, white appliances from Cody's Maryland remodel came in perfectly handy for this project, but not everyone has generous friends with spare dishwashers. In such cases, KSL/Craigslist will deliver again; you can find appliances for as little as $100/piece. Online flash sales and discount warehouses are perfect, budget-friendly options for gathering details like faucets, hardware, and lighting. All told, post demo, we painted all walls, ceilings, moldings, cabinets, and doors, after which new flooring was installed throughout. We replaced all light fixtures and gave the kitchen and bath new counter tops, hardware, sinks, and faucets. Add some updated appliances, a tile back-splash in the kitchen, and new tub-surround in the bathroom, and boom...magic.

Bottom line, good design doesn't require that you spend a boatload of money. COLLECTIVELY, we happen to know that with a little savvy and the right resources [we count as both], you can create the space you want for less than you think. Ever willing to offer proof of our prowess, check out the finished product below. For less than $9,000 [materials and labor included], this wreck was completely modernized and made market-ready.

This condo will soon be available for purchase.  The COLLECTIVE will keep you posted.

Contact Andrea to transform your space on a budget | [email protected]

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