Twin sisters Lyndsay Lamb and Leslie Davis of HGTV’s “Unsellable Houses” know that the modern farmhouse style is on the way out, but what’s taking its place? It seems vintage farmhouse, which boasts an elegant mix of classic and rustic, may just be the next big thing.
In the Season 2 episode “Day Care Reno,” Lamb and Davis meet Sue and Mary. These two have been running a day care out of a three-bedroom in Everett, WA—but now Sue is retiring, and she needs to sell the home.
Listed at $375,000, the house simply sat on the market for a month. So Lamb and Davis decide to invest $50,000 to turn it into a fancy farmhouse with vintage flair.
Here’s how the sisters turn this day care into the next hot thing, plus plenty of lessons you’ll be inspired to apply to your own abode.
Farmhouse style doesn’t always mean white paint
Davis explains that a design theme can be an important part of a flip.
“It’s probably going to be a family that buys this house,” she says, “so you have to do something that’s going to emotionally attract them but also be fun and stand out from the other homes in this neighborhood.”
So when it comes time to fix up the fireplace, they decide to add some color.
When this home was functioning as a day care, Mary and Sue had the fireplace completely covered. So Lamb and Davis find a white fireplace behind a false wall. Instead of keeping the fireplace white (which would work great with a modern farmhouse style), they paint it red to make it really stand out.
“In the Pacific Northwest, people love their fireplaces,” Lamb says. “So we want to make sure that this was a focal point. So we painted it—we made it really something special.”
In the end, the fireplace makes a statement. The barn-red paint is loud, but it evokes a farmhouse feel. Plus, the mantel and dark tile above have a vintage charm that makes the space feel cozy and classic.
Open up a tight galley kitchen
At first, Lamb and Davis are not impressed with Sue and Mary’s narrow galley kitchen. They decide to open it up a bit.
“What I do think would be nice is if we could at least interact with other rooms,” Lamb says.
Instead of completely redoing the kitchen and tearing out an entire wall, these sisters decide to make some economical choices.
“We should rethink the floor plan and tear out some of that wall between the kitchen and living area,” Lamb says. With this change, the kitchen loses a little bit of cabinet space, but it’s worth it.
Lamb and Davis are proud of this galley kitchen compromise. They save money by keeping most of the structure, but do enough to make it feel more spacious.
Add an office space in the main living room
This home is a fairly good size, but Lamb and Davis still want to make sure every inch of the home is used well. Right away, they zero in on wasted space near the powder room. While Sue and Mary use this for storage, Lamb has another idea.
“We have three bedrooms,” Lamb says. “If I take one of those spare bedrooms and make it an office, we just lost buyers.”
Instead, she says of the wasted space, “I want to make this an office.”
They add a desk, which is adorable, but it’s really the use of space that impresses their clients. By not using one of the bedrooms as an office, it’s as if Davis and Lamb added another room to this house. Buyers now know that there’s a designated space to work from home.
“This definitely utilizes the space better and shows we have plenty of space for dining, sitting, and this really cool office that you have built in, which for me is always added value,” Davis says.
Bring the farmhouse look into the bathroom
Lamb and Davis want to bring that farmhouse aesthetic into every room, so they do something they’ve never done before: add double farmhouse sinks to the bathroom.
Usually these sinks are perfect for kitchens because there’s lots of space for dishes, but they also look great in the bathroom. Plus, Davis and Lamb replace the long, original vanity with a shorter one, making the space look bigger.
“It made it feel dated and bulky,” Davis says of the old vanity. “By taking out that chunky vanity, it really does make it feel larger in here.”
Use wallpaper sparingly
Lamb wants to make sure this home has lots of vintage charm, so she picks up some old wallpaper from an estate sale, with a vision of using one pattern to cover some wood panels in the bedroom.
At first, Davis is worried that using this old wallpaper will date the house, but Lamb insists.
“I’m going to make this look so cool and chic and awesome and vintage farmhouse, you’re going to want it in your house,” Lamb says of the panels.
The sisters cover the wood panels with wallpaper, screw the panels into the wall, then add dark wood frames for a chic look. It’s a great idea because it uses this classic wallpaper without overwhelming the room.
When this house is done, it’s transformed from a run-down day care into a showstopping home. Davis and Lamb list it for $500,000, and are delighted when they get an offer for $550,000.
The sisters get back their $50,000 investment, and split a hefty $125,000 profit with the sellers. That’s a great return for this vintage farmhouse—and suggests that this style is sure to spread far and wide.
The post ‘Unsellable Houses’ Reveals the New Farmhouse Style That’s All the Rage appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.