Tamara Day of “Bargain Mansions” loves taking risks with her renovations. But do such gambles pay off with a flip?
In the “House From the Trees” episode, Day buys a beautiful home in Old Leawood, KS, for $275,000. She plans to put $150,000 into renovations, which means she’s all in for an investment of $425,000. She plans to list the house for $575,000, which promises a hefty return of $150,000.
So what does Day do to merit such a markup? Check out some of her upgrades below, which might inspire some changes around your own abode, too.
Daring colors can make a property stand out
This property comes with a small barn in front of the main house. It’s the first thing buyers will see when they drive up, so Day is determined make it a statement piece.
She decides to go bold and paint the barn a dusty pink with white trim. This is an unconventional color for a barn, but Day is sure it’s the right choice.
“This is going to be one of those spaces that totally pops,” Day says.
While one might consider this a bad sales tactic because so few buyers would want a pink barn, Day points out that this wild feature is sure to attract attention from buyers, which could mean more interest and a better price.
If potential buyers hated the color, they could easily paint the barn. But until then, it’s a fun feature that makes a strong first impression.
Go old school with a classic mantel
When Day buys this house, the living room fireplace is covered in an ’80s brick veneer. Right away, Day knows that she needs to replace it.
Day ends up finding an old mantel from another old Kansas City home. While an older fireplace design may not seem like a good idea, the new mantel fits the era of the home and brings some elegance to the updated living room.
In the end, Day loves the new mantel.
“This fireplace mantel really brings a touch of classic Kansas City character to this room,” she says.
Open up the staircase with more railings
While Day makes some risky design choices on this home, some of her improvements are a little safer. She notices that the bulky staircase takes up a lot of space on the first floor, so she decides to open up the walls to make these stairs feel less intrusive.
“Having the staircase in the center of the home meant blocking off the formal living space from the rest of the home,” Day says. “I wanted to open it up, putting handrails on both sides of the stairs to the basement, making it feel much more open between the family room and the rest of the home.”
The walls surrounding the basement stairs are removed and replaced with handrails. The railings allow for improved sightlines and make the whole home seem more open.
Cover damaged walls with thick wallpaper
After painting the barn pink, Day wants to continue playing with color throughout the house. However, the master bedroom has green textured walls, which are difficult to paint.
She explains that she could remove the texture and paint over it, but it may be easier to go a different route.
“We can sand it and paint it,” Day says, “but that seemed a little bit boring when, for the same price, we could put some wallpaper in that gave it richness, texture, and a little bit of a fun color.”
She chooses a lavender wallpaper that is just as memorable as the pink paint on the barn. It brightens the room while giving it depth and adding an elegant, feminine style. It’s a bold choice, and definitely one buyers will remember.
Use classic subway tile in a new way
Day plays with risky paint colors and unique wallpaper in this renovation, so it makes sense that she also wants to push the envelope when it comes to her tile design. So in the master bedroom she plans to use a traditional subway tile in a way that’ll stand out.
“I’m always looking for ways to reinvent your basic subway tile,” Day explains.
She uses white subway tiles, paired with a darker tone, to create an alternating vertical and horizontal pattern.
With gorgeous designs and bold colors everywhere from the barn to the bathroom, Day’s latest renovation looks fantastic. She may have to be patient until the right buyer walks in, but we think it will be well worth the wait.
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