When DIY-extraordinaire Jenni Radosevich, founder of blog I Spy DIY, took on the bold feat of flipping a home, we knew good things were to be in store. Featured on the pilot episode of My Flippin Friends, on HGTV, (the show is currently being considered for a full season), Radosevich’s project took place in Milwaukee, where she was tasked with giving a 125-year-old home a modern revamp. Here’s how she did it!
What was the primary inspiration behind the decor of the home?
The house is over 125-years-old, but it was neglected and sadly, it did not have any original character. We ended up having to gut the entire space, in order to have a blank canvas to work with. The home is on the smaller side, so we raised and vaulted the ceiling to make it feel more spacious.
Where there any challenges involved in the design process?
The kitchen! Attempting to figure out this space definitely kept me up a few nights. There are so many moving parts and big ticket decisions to make when it comes to the kitchen. In addition to that, we were working on a three-month deadline for the entire house, so there was no time to make changes or second-guess decisions.
We started with a blank slate, after we gutted the first floor, and I played around with a million layout options: debating whether or not to do upper cabinets, and figuring out where that darn fridge would go! I moved the fridge to a slanted nook adjacent to the kitchen and surrounded it with a pantry, which gave the kitchen a good amount of storage. The final layout and flow of the kitchen works great for cooking and entertaining!
We allowed space for an oversized dining table that would be perfect for dinner parties – this table was made from the 125+ beams we salvaged from the upstairs!
I went back and forth about doing a statement black and white tile, or subway tile for the backsplash. Ultimately, I decided a bold tile could be a bad move for resale, and subway tile is a bit overdone right now (trust, I still love subway tile, and used it in both bathrooms). I am a huge fan of all things hexagon, and loved this tile…but beware, it’s a pain to install!
Pro Tip: If you use hexagon tiles, make sure to stick with a light grout, unless you want to pull them all off the mesh backing. It’s a headache getting the spacing even, and dark grout will amplify that.
We added industrial touches, like the custom wrought iron handrails in the entry and the copper kitchen lights, to modernize the home.
What led to the decision to keep the base of the decor on the neutral side?
I wanted the final look to be open and bright, so we used white throughout to give the home a fresh and modern feel. I love the streamlined look of a whitewashed space, so instead of using the wall color to divide the various rooms, I went with these beautiful Persian rugs. Since the home was designed as a flip, I wanted to keep the walls neutral so future owners could customize it to their preference. We added interest to the walls with decor accessories and a pop of color on the doors.
It’s a toss-up between the kitchen and master bedroom. The house was originally listed as a 4-bedroom, but when we saw the said 4th bedroom, we found that it was a tiny space off one of the other larger bedrooms. Originally, we decided to use it as walk-in closet for the master bedroom but, after opting to tear down all the walls of the home, we had a little more room to reconfigure the layout.
The master bedroom is rather large, relative to the size of the house and the vaulted ceilings make it feel even more spacious. I love how the light fixture emphasizes the tall ceiling.
We love the bathroom! Tell us more about what went into its design.
The bathrooms definitely needed to be gutted and redone. When we reconfigured the upstairs, I decided to create a landing and have the bathroom open to both the bedrooms, instead of making an en suite for the master bedroom.
Our tile budget was tight, so instead of more statement patterned tile, I picked a classic oversized subway tile and laid it out in a crosshatch pattern with a dark grout for a graphic impact. The abundance of plants added a little life to the tiled space.
I originally wanted a double vanity, but we ended up carving out a corner of the bathroom so the washer and dryer could be on the second floor. Even though we lost a few feet in the bathroom, everyone who saw the house loved the second floor laundry. I found the door for the laundry nook for $5 at ReStore, and knew it would be perfect to hide the stackable washer/dryer.
What do you think of the reno? Sound off in the comments below!