10 Sep From an Apartment to a Home
“Space and light and order. Those are the things that men need just as much as they need bread or a place to sleep.” – Le Corbusier
When I was asked to remodel a client’s rental property, I jumped at the chance. This wasn’t just any apartment, but a 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 2500 square foot apartment! They were looking to update, in order to rent it for a price, worthy of a prime location in a historic Los Angeles neighborhood. I was given a tight budget and full creative say (woopie!) and am proud to say that I was able to accomplish my vision while keeping the expenses down.
We started with the kitchen. The one thing in decent condition were the original 1920’s wooden cabinets, so I decided to preserve them while giving them new life. This is a perfect example of having alot of bang for your buck. New cabinetry would have cost thousands of dollars. Instead, we gave them new fronts, fresh paint, and new hardware from Liz’s, the best source for new and antique hardware in Los Angeles.
The nasty old tile on the walls was replaced with sleek subway tile. Tile countertops were torn out and replaced with deep grey Chroma, an affordable quartz that is non pourous so moisture cannot penetrate the surface. The dated pattern of the black and white linoleum floor was replaced with gray and brown marble from Discount Tile, one of our best sources for affordable quality materials. Hard to believe, but this was a mere $2.99 per square foot. See why I love this place?
Last but not least, we replaced all of the existing appliances with Stainless Steel, including a built in microwave which replaced the hood above the old stove. A final note about the kitchen, sorry about the “after” shots with the funky blue plastic still intact. The property was rented before we could take our final pics!
The masterbath went through an awesome transformation. Green and white tile was demolished and replaced with subway tile for a clean modern look throughout. Bye bye to the freestanding tub/shower, hello to a custom “built in” with paneling and new fixtures. The floors, now worthy of a hotel suite, with marble from Home depot that was just $3.99 per square foot!
Paneling details were added to the cabinetry under the new double sink with a custom Carrera marble slab ( I had to call in my marble guy for this one). New mod faucets make a big impact as well as the hardware additions, yep, from Liz’s. Old windows with blinds were replaced with frosted glass to allow light in, while keeping your privacy.
What a difference a new shower makes! We continued the subway tile giving a wrap around effect from the rest of the bathroom walls. Small remnants of the marble used for the bathroom floor where cut down and re-purposed for the floor in the shower. Glass doors with modern hinges make the space open instead of a closed off eyesore.
This is the main living room of the home. A huge wide open space, not needing a terrible amount of work. The golden wood was not doing this space justice, so we sanded them down and brought in our guy David, to work some magic and stain the hardwood a beautiful espresso color. The fireplace has amazing detail and was original to the home so we decided to keep it in tact and gave it a good scrubbing. A giant capiz lotus chandelier was hung in the center of the room, keeping it light and airy. The only thing missing are the mirrored sconces added to the holes in the wall. Another thing we couldn’t photograph as the property was rented before we had scheduled our final photos to be shot.
Big changes in small spaces can make a huge difference to look and feel of your home. Whether it’s ripping out old floors or just repainting your cabinetry, you can go along way on a budget with the right sources. Start with one area, and allow yourself to update what was once great 30 or more years ago. It will make you feel better and increase the value of your property. The owner’s were ecstatic as they were able to double the rent in this apartment after the remodel. They said it made them want to move back in!