Alison Victoria has been through a lot during this second season of “Windy City Rehab.” The show has detailed her painful legal drama with former business partner Donovan Eckhardt, and at long last it all comes to a head in the season finale.
In “Alison’s Aftermath,” Victoria works on her last home renovation project that’s linked to Eckhardt. And while she’s excited to finish this project and move on, she realizes how tough it will be to do this renovation on her own.
With three individual apartments, this $500,000 run-down structure in Chicago is unlike anything Victoria has ever flipped. She needs to figure out how to create three high-end apartments that she can rent out before selling the building.
So she designs the spaces with renters’ needs in mind, adding both beautiful and functional features she knows families will love. Read on to learn some of Victoria’s top features for small spaces—some of which you might be tempted to add to your own abode.
Glass cabinets add an open feel to a kitchen
Victoria wants each of these kitchens to stand out, so while their cabinets, appliances, and counters are identical, she installs different backsplash designs in each. Then she adds glass-front cabinet doors to show off the tile behind the cabinets.
“This is just a really great way to keep things open and light and bright, but also to have more visual appeal,” Victoria says.
An accent wall should have texture as well as color
Victoria wants to include a fun accent wall in each apartment, and explains that it should be more than just a pop of color.
“An accent wall, in my opinion, should never just be paint,” Victoria says. “It’s too boring. Bring in texture. Bring in color at the same time, and just bring in something that’s going to create depth.”
She chooses a wallpaper that’s made of vinyl but is textured to look like wood grain. She installs a different color wallpaper in each apartment, so the fun accent wall is unique to each space.
Stained-glass windows add charm and character
Victoria knows that renters who are looking at apartments in the city often see new builds, which means they don’t get to enjoy the charm of an older home.
So, Victoria installs a unique stained-glass window in the powder room doors. They give each space a touch of that old-world charm.
When her real estate agent, Vince, sees the stained glass on the bathroom doors, he’s impressed.
“This is the star of the room,” he says. “This is going to provide something that’s not out there right now for renters.”
Built-ins add much-needed storage in a small space
Victoria wants to make sure there’s lots of storage in these apartments. So she has custom built-ins installed in the kitchens, and paints each one a color that will complement the stained-glass window on the powder room door beside it.
In the end, the built-ins look simple and elegant, but Victoria knows that their true value lies in their functionality.
“These built-ins, they’re not just a beautiful piece,” Victoria says. “It’s opportunity for storage, and people want that.”
Save money with faux turf
Victoria works hard to make sure these three apartments look great on the inside, but what about the exterior?
In the backyard, she adds three parking spaces for future residents and still manages to save room for some green space. But instead of using real grass, she rolls out faux turf.
Faux turf may get a bad rap, but it’s a good choice for rentals. Victoria explains that whoever buys the building will want low upkeep costs. Faux turf will cost nothing, and it’ll always look great.
“You spend a little more upfront, but you actually save more over time,” Victoria says.
How does this ‘Windy City Rehab’ end up?
Without a doubt, this apartment building may be Victoria’s hardest project yet.
During renovation, her team gets two stop-work orders from the city, which puts them behind schedule. Plus, after Eckhardt estimated an unrealistic $500,000 renovation budget, Victoria is forced to put her own money into the project.
Victoria and Eckhardt had originally bought the building for $560,000, and Victoria ends up finishing the renovation at $807,700. She hopes to sell the building for $1,500,000, but knows that the first step is to rent out the three apartments. By the end of the episode, she has one renter at $2,800 per month, so at least she’s on her way.
The renovation is a success, but the best part is that the building, Victoria’s last project with Eckhardt, is finally finished. Now, Victoria can finally move on.
So does this mean Victoria will be back for another season of “Windy City Rehab” or throw in the towel for good? Only time will tell whether there will be a Season 3. Meanwhile, we’d say she deserves a break from the spotlight.
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