Investment Property Remodel: The Morgan House: Before & After
The Morgan House Journey
Back in January we got a call from a friend to help her mom out. She had just come home from and extended vacation to a completely flooded basement and needed advice on what steps to take. The flooding began on the second-floor master, continued down the exterior wall, into the kitchen and to the basement. Naturally, her mom was in quite a bit of shock and didn’t know where to start. We helped her work with her insurance company and flood remediation/waterproofing and after everything, she ultimately decided this was a good point to start anew. We expressed interest in wanting to bring this home back to its former glory and loved the layout of the home.
From disaster we saw this diamond in the rough and we felt this was a place we could breathe new life back into, and quickly this became our newest baby.
We will take you through the project room by room, so you can see all our changes and how we chose to remodel.
From the beginning we knew we wanted to change the exterior color. We chose a “mocha” siding and matched the paint color for our brick. We also chose a black shingle for the roof for better contrast. The mocha-colored siding warms up the exterior and is a nice change from the baby blue.
As much as we love foliage, we still had to start fresh after needing to expose the house to remodel the siding. We removed holly bushes, evergreen shrubs and a slew of others that were blocking our sightlines of the gorgeous windows. We replaced all the windows, soffits and gutters. The exterior was complete with the exception of outdoor light fixtures – we chose black barn lights to flank the front door and maintained consistency in by using the same fixtures for the back-exterior lights.
The most exciting change of our exterior design by far is the 6-pane painted black entry door. Not only is it a great design piece from the outside with the panes mirroring the design of the windows, it lets tons of light into the hallway.
Before the remodel, you’d enter the hallway and find a smaller door casing on your left and a wall on your right creating a smaller hallway and closed off dining room & dens. We just felt the windows were so beautiful and light floods into the rooms off the hallway and we wanted to capture that light in the entryway. Changing the door and removing the walls that were confining the light really gave life to the entry.
We knew we had to make a grand entrance to go along with the new large space that was created with opening up the walls. We decided to use the fireplace and original built-ins as our focal point and accent wall. We chose Sherwin Williams “Night Owl” - a moody gray with green tones to anchor the focus and visually draw you into the space.
We installed recessed lighting throughout with accent fixtures – we’ll break that down on a whole different blog post. All our design choices from paint, flooring, tile, cabinetry and finishes we’ll save for another day. Otherwise this will be a novel.
We moved the laundry from the first floor upstairs to create a mudroom just off the garage. Functionally, it made more sense to have the laundry on the second floor where most of the bedrooms reside.
Staying on the first floor and heading into the open-concept eat-in kitchen and hearth room, we kept the original French doors and closed off the built-in cabinet.
We loved the stone on the fireplace and wanted to be able to keep that original stone in the design. The main problem we had with the design was the mantel. Its placement was too high and the stone too vast for the space. To bring the fireplace design in line with our goals, we framed out the fireplace with drywall, leaving just enough of the original stone to create a more interesting mantel and focal point.
Moving on into what we’ve dubbed the “in-law suite” or office, we pretty much just repaired all the drywall in here to include the ceiling and gutted the bathroom. We used the same carpet in this room we chose for the basement and second floor. During our bathroom demo we hadn’t planned to rip-out the shower but sometimes miscommunications happen and after the shower was ripped out we had a small redesign and ultimately turned a mistake into a design win!
Stephanie has an eye for detail and realized there was an unnecessary 2x4 that limited the space of the shower. By removing the framing, we were able to create a shower ledge “nook” that visually expands the shower and really gives it great extra space.
Back in the kitchen – we completely gutted the kitchen to open up the space.
Our goal in the kitchen was to have more storage and functionality than before with better sight-lines. We designed our cabinets along the wall and centered the sink on the window. Our other big design win here is the oversized island. The island brings a grandness to the space.
In the basement we carpeted the stairs and living spaces, removed a bar and simply finished out a portion of the basement for functionality. This area still lends a large part of its space to storage which in our opinion, is a necessity. I wish we could say there’s more to design here but we really focused more design on the first and second floors.
Taking the stairs from the first floor to the second, the stairs are the first thing you see before you enter the house and our first focal point. We really wanted to make a statement from the moment you walked in the house. Instead of refinishing the stairs, we knew we wanted to find a stair runner to create that dramatic statement. Stair runners can be like art. There’s more on this in an upcoming post and all our thoughts here and how we came to choose our stair “jewelry”.
Entering the second floor, at one end is two bedrooms. Other than new drywall & ceilings, the only major change here was closing off access to the master bedroom through a small door. We turned this access into an extra small closet space.
In the hall bathroom we bumped out the wall into what was the original master walk-in closet and utilized most of the space to build in our laundry closet where the washer and dryer are tucked away.
We also used some of the original closet space in expanding the master bathroom’s footprint. We moved the vanity from the left to right side of the bathroom. Between that change and moving our door-frame over, it allowed us space to put our soaker tub, create a half-wall and enclose a larger shower. We added a double vanity here and enclosed the shower in glass.
We took the space above the garage to create a larger walk-in closet in
our master-suite. We carpeted the upstairs and tiled our bathroom floors and showers and of course, added some great light fixtures to really pull in our design.
For more design detail, check back for our post on all our design choices from color to fixtures and tile, we spill it all in our next post.
We've added in a few photos for more BEFORE and AFTERS
** This post was written by our Project Manager/Design Assistant