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Project Reveal: An entire condo goes from dated and old to white and light.

dated and old to white and light

Project Reveal: An entire condo goes from dated and old to white and light.


It was the fall of 2018 when if first had my eyes on 2 condos. The minute I walked in to the condos, I knew a couple of things:

  1. No one had lived in them for some time. I wish I could explain the smell, but I’m sure you get the idea of what a closed condo would smell like.
  2. Minimal work done to the units over the many years.

The condos that I got called in to see are in a 4-plex. This means there are two units on the top and two units on the bottom. I was looking at the top and bottom units on one side of the building (Unit 2 and Unit 4).

Here are a couple of before images:

BEFORE: Lower Unit 2 kitchen sink wall.

BEFORE: Lower unit stove wall.

BEFORE: Upper unit kitchen sink wall.

BEFORE: Upper unit stove wall.

The Design Considerations

  1. Since this particular building was forty + years old, we did have to be concerned with asbestos. Any moving of walls would mean remediation and that was something that was not in the budget (nor needed).
  2. We also were dealing with a building that had settled over the years. The settling had caused the floor in the lower unit to slope towards one corner.
  3. Building code many moons ago has obviously changed! What was the electric and plumbing going to look like AND what was it going to do to my budget?

The Refresh Plan

Once the trades had come in for their trade day, the refresh plan was set in place. For each unit, we were going to:

  • All new flooring.
  • Design a brand new kitchen (white and bright) maximizing the space.
  • All new wall colour.
  • Fresh new interior doors and hardware.
  • Contemporary new baseboards and casings.
  • In unit 2 (the upper unit), we were going to take out a 60″ bathtub and install a 48″ shower. The bathroom in Unit 2 was very tight width wise so by taking away 12″, it gave better space around the toilet and the vanity.
  • In unit 4, there was a window in the shower/bath area. We decided to close off the window and frame it in therefore, no more water/tile issues.
  • A new exterior door.
  • All new lighting.
  • There would be some appliance upgrades.
  • Bring up the electrical and plumbing to code.

Here are the conceptual plans for both units.

dated and old to white and light
White shaker, light quartz, white subway tile.

dated and old to white and light
Light and airy for the bathroom.

dated and old to white and light
Neutral paint, white shaker interior doors, and a touch of chrome to keep it all fresh.

The Kitchens

While both units are virtually a carbon copy of each other, the design had to be a little bit different.

Unit 4 has two access panels that we could not block with kitchen cabinetry. I also knew that Unit 2’s electrical panel was located outside of this unit (in the laundry room in the lower level) while Unit 4 had an electrical panel right in the unit (you will see why this is important for the kitchen design).

I knew with my overall budget, that we were going to be looking at IKEA cabinets. It was perfect timing as we were able to ‘cash in’ on IKEA’s Kitchen Event. That meant we could get some appliances as well.

Unit 4 (Lower Unit’s Plan)

Dated and old to white and light: Maximizing the space and keeping it all white.

We were not able to maximize the entire length of this wall due to two access panels (located on the left of the tall pantry). In addition, since the electrical panel was located inside the unit, we were able to install an OTR (Over The Range) microwave as we could put in an additional circuit for this appliance.

Dated and old to white and light: creating a space for a dishwasher!

Unit 2 (Upper Unit’s Plan)

For this unit, we were able to maximize the entire length of the wall.

Dated and old to white and light: kitchen plan

Dated and old to white and light: room for a dishwasher.

This unit had room to have a built-in microwave as well as a dedicated hood-fan.

For both units, we made the refrigerator opening a 36″ although both refrigerators are not currently 36″ wide. I wanted to ensure that down the road, there was room for a larger fridge.

The Reveal

We started demo on March 11 and were officially complete on May 16th. The window coverings were backordered so while the construction was all complete, we did need to wait for the window coverings.

Please excuse my crappy iPhone phone photos. There will be a final video for this project and these were taken the day of the final video shoot!

Unit 4 (Lower Unit)

dated and old to white and light
Notice the access doors on the left side that we needed to keep a space to be able to open them.

dated and old to white and light
Walking into the kitchen from the front door.

dated and old to white and light
No more window on the back wall to worry about.

Unit 2 (Upper Unit)

dated and old to white and light
Maximizing the space on this wall. No access doors to worry about.

dated and old to white and light
A narrow vanity made for additional space in this bathroom.

dated and old to white and light
Replacing the 60″ bath with a 48″ shower was a great move!

From dated and old to white and light

As you all may know, I LOVE working with investors and these two apartments were no exception. What I love working in projects like these is that I can change out better priced product if I come across it. The kitchen sink faucets were the biggest ‘steal’ for me.

Grohe kitchen faucet that I happened to find on clearance (to make room for the new model).

While there were a couple of curve balls with the plumbing, I think we successfully achieved going from dated and old to white and light!

I look forward to sharing the entire video of this project with you soon!

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