"The Lounge" Downtown Cincinnati Airbnb is Live!

After a great rush to fill my friend, agent and fellow flipper, Grant Steed’s condo with all the comfiness, the time has come to hit the SEND button! Now live and ready for your next Cincinnati visit is The Lounge Downtown Cincinnati Airbnb! Let me give you the grand tour!

The Lounge is over 2000 square feet, 1100 of which is just in the living room area alone! I kid you not. If you know anything about downtown spaces, you know that that is just ridiculously huge. The space used to be a social club back in the day, so we wanted to bring a little bit of that vibe in and impart a comfortable lounge feel. In order to do that with the large area, we made separate seating areas and places to chill.

The Living Room

The main seating area is outfitted with two large chesterfield sofas and huge 4’ square coffee table, all of which face a 65” Roku TV.

The windows are one of the best parts of this loft bringing in a ton of light. There isn’t a building directly across from The Lounge, so it feels private despite the wall to wall windows.

*affiliate links ahead…

Chesterfield Sofas | Coffee Table (vintage) | Rug | Lamp

The Bar

Behind the sofas in the other half of the front living area is the bar set up with two lounge chairs facing the TVs as well.

Lounge Chairs | Bar | Cincinnati Art | Coffee Table (vintage) | Rug | Pillow

The Dining Room

Moving away from the windows we come to a large dining table with seating for 8. I imagine this as a great place to host a dinner party or work meeting.

Downtown Cincinnat The Lounge Airbnb

The Library

Across from the dining table is our library stocked with a ton of books. I filled it with as many random books as i could get my hands on. You’ll find anything from finance to romance novels, biographies to thrillers. Take one or leave one. Up to you! Enjoy a book on our chaise lounge that also converts to a twin size bed.

Chaise Lounge Chair | Rug | Bookshelves | Art | Lamp

The Kitchen

Rounding out the living area is this kitchen with a huge island with seating for three making that a total of 20 seats in the living area! The kitchen is fully stocked with everything someone needs on a vacation and then some. Knives that actually cut! Storage containers for leftovers! I try to consider everything!

Counter Stools

Which means that a coffee bar is A MUST! A 12 cup coffee pot should take care of things nicely. If not, have some tea.

Coffee Bar | Microwave | Coffee Pot | Coffee Cup Stand | Dishware/Coffee Cups

The Master Bedroom

Moving onto the bedrooms…I’m all about getting a good night’s rest. So both bedrooms come with a comfy memory foam mattress, organic bamboo sheets and blackout curtains. This condo is in the city, but it’s actually very quiet! I have included a noise machine just in case for those that aren’t accustomed to even the tiniest bit of city noise.

The master bath is also very large and comes with two vanities and two shower heads. Lots of room to get ready in the morning.

Master Bedroom in the Lounge Downtown Cincinnati

The Second Bedroom

The other bedroom also has a queen bed and all the amenities of the other bedroom. The second bath is in the hallway and includes a tub with shower and plenty of storage.

Art | Bamboo Sheets | Bed | Curtains | Curtain Rod | Mattress | Mattress Pad Cover | Side Tables | Throw Blanket | Quilt

Not only is this loft incredibly comfortable, it’s also in one of the best locations downtown. Situated on the Northern end of the Central Business District puts this loft only one block from OTR. This is basically the best of both worlds. Walk South to all of the attractions on the Ohio River such as the Red’s and Bengal’s stadiums, the restaurants and bars at The Banks, US Bank Arena or come inland a little to Fountain Square and all of it’s attractions. Walk North to OTR and visit a ton of the city’s greatest restaurants, small shops and breweries. Don’t want to walk? The street car passes (quietly) in front of this loft with a stop on the same block. My favorite things nearby though, are the couple of coffee shops just around the corner. We have written up a huge guidebook with all of our favorite places and really had a hard time stopping at what we had. So much good stuff!

The Lounge Downtown Cincinnati

I’m so excited for you guys to get to see and hopefully visit this great spot now! I stayed here for a week while I was putting it all together and I pretty much didn’t want to leave. The Lounge Downtown Cincinnati is now available for nightly bookings so you can see for yourself. Weekly and monthly discounts are available! Click the link below to see what dates are available!

Before & After: Clarendon Kitchen

Ahhh this kitchen. One of the things I love about flipping and designing is there are always new projects to tackle... starting from scratch. If the project drags on for a long time, like it does when doing an addition, I get antsy. I change my mind. I redesign. This kitchen was 9 months in the making since this house had an addition added to the front and the back. Since it took so dang long, I'm really shocked that this kitchen didn't change too much throughout the process. The cabinet color changed about eleven-teen times and the lighting and hardware is different but the bulk of it is pretty much what was planned. 

But I digress. Let's go back to the beginning. Below is the original kitchen in this home.

REtro Kitchen Before Renovation

This is not the same room mind you. This room was gutted and eventually became a study. As mentioned in the exterior before and after post, we added on to the back of the house and part of that addition was the kitchen. Having the kitchen at the back of the house made more sense. It's nice to be able to look out on the backyard and be closer to the outdoor entertainment area. Plus, as mentioned in that exterior post, I desperately wanted a servery window. More on that in a minute.

I started by drawing out the floor plan of the new room and then put together the design board. I try to do this even for my own projects because it makes it so much easier for the contractor to "read my mind".

Clarendon New Kitchen Floor Plan and Elevations

This post contains some Amazon affiliate links for products used or originally intended to use for this design.

Top Kitchen: Lauren Liess, Middle Kitchen: Hale House , Bottom Kitchen: CKS Design Studio, Bar stool, Sconce, Faucet, Hardware, Espresso Machine

Side note: I'm pinning like a mofo. Follow me on Pinterest if you are an obsessed design badass, too.

I'm not an artist but it gets the job done. The sketches are necessary so everyone from architect to contractor can see what I'm envisioning. A floor plan alone can't always show these kinds of details. I'd like to say that I can do a 3D rendering but why bother with that learning curve when a pencil and a ruler are much faster and just as effective? Plus I like drawing.

You can see that there is a gray color in there for the cabinet paint color but of course that didn't stick bc...time. I don't even remember what color that was. Other things changed as well, such as the hardware and the sconces because I ultimately decided against brass in this kitchen. For the design board I also threw in staging items to finish off the look. Usually it's just a "suggestion", like the bar stools. Those would have been dope AF to put into my flip but with the cabinets ending up blue and that price tag, I decided to abort that mission. 

--> Links to what I did actually use are at the bottom of this post.

Guys it's AGONY to wait for 9 months to see your creation come to life. LIKE TORTURE EVEN. I'm serious. I lose my shit. I'm not even going to try to pretend I don't. I start staging when the house hasn't even been finished or cleaned yet. I have piles of furniture in a side room waiting for the right time, which still isn't the right time but it is MY time. Not convenient for anyone but yet I still do it. Anyway....it was eventually finished.

I am very happy with the results. I made quite a few decisions in this kitchen that were a little bolder than usual. To have one out there idea is fine but 4 is nerve racking.

Out There Decision One

At the time I was designing this kitchen, I was catching quite a bit of flack about my Haver Home's kitchen and its lack of upper cabinets, thus prompting me to design yet another kitchen without upper cabinets. Wahhahahaha!!! I'll show you guys. I'll stick a giant pantry in the middle of the kitchen and you can store ALL THE THINGS....AND I'll add an actual pantry closet. Nobody can tell me no upper cabinets. NOBODY. It's sad this is how my mind works but it does.

Out There Decision 2

Something that was a stretch for me, and felt quite naughty, was the backsplash. It felt so fancy to be putting in a full slab backsplash. Mind you I've been renovating houses mostly in the $100,000-$200,000 range for a decade now, so to be pushing the luxurious limits in this kitchen felt wrong but oh so right. This house would list for $600,000 so I wanted to make sure the kitchen fit the price tag. I went for it with the marble. MARBLE EVERYWHERE. And even MARBLE to put things on. So fancy.

Out There Decision 3

Another custom design element was the hood. Custom hoods are one of the easiest things to put into a kitchen without much cost or effort. All you have to do is build a box and install a hood insert. Boom. Done. This concept is not so "out there" for me at this point, but spanning it between the pantry and fridge and forgoing any upper cabinetry here felt like a bold move. I had a bunch of cedar that we tore off of my Haver Home so we wrapped the hood with that. It brought in a nice warm farm-y element. 

Out There Decision 4

The final fun design piece that was planned from the very beginning was the servery bar window. This had to be accounted for in the architectural drafting phase. From the get go this window was going to be implemented, but for some reason was very difficult to come up with a budget friendly solution. In the end my contractor had the cabinet maker build it out. I love how it swings open all inviting like.

So there you go. An out there farm-like kitchen. Let's get one final look at this house's original kitchen (not the same room) and the new kitchen.

Clarendon Kitchen Before & After.JPG

And just for fun I'll show you the original room, or at least part of it before the addition, and the new kitchen in the same area.

Farmhouse Kitchen Before and After
Dining Room Turned Farmhouse Style Kitchen

It's all worth it for those Before and After shots! Details and finishes for this kitchen are listed below.

Get your very own Before & After starting at $250. Click here for more info.

Click through here to see more of this house.


Color Palette:

Cabinets: Dunn Edwards Long Lake

Cabinets: Dunn Edwards Long Lake

Walls: Behr Whisper White

Walls: Behr Whisper White

Doors: Dunn Edwards Novelty Navy

Doors: Dunn Edwards Novelty Navy

Counters: Arabescato Carrara

Counters: Arabescato Carrara


Finishes Used:

Click on any photo to learn more. Some of these are affiliate links, yo.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before & After: Clarendon Exterior

Covered Patio with Salvaged Doors, Kitchen Bar and Neutral decor

Hey-O! It's time to get into the nitty gritty with my Clarendon project that closed yesterday! I want to show you guys how and why we did what we did. It's always a sort of jigsaw puzzle and I like to explain it in case it can help you with your own renovation puzzle. Let's go....

Floor Plan Problems

This home was a 1469 square foot ranch with a carport in one of the most sought after neighborhoods in Phoenix called Arcadia. As much as I like to keep home sizes as-is and not resort to additions, this home needed it to keep up with the Jones' (aka the trend for the rest of the neighborhood). So, we expanded the footprint. 

Before

Brick Ranch Before Clarendon PRoject

After

Farmhouse Style White Brick Ranch Home with Cedar Shutters

Changes Up Front

We enclosed the original carport and added to the front of it to make a tandem garage. Due to the lot size and setbacks, this was the only way to fit a two car garage situation.  You can see in the after photo that the new garage sits in front of the old carport. There are two garage doors, one on the front and one on the back. Here in Phoenix, many "older" neighborhoods like this one have an alley in the back for trash pick up and electric poles and other hideous nonsense. So, we added an RV gate for access through the alley to the backyard and back garage door. Technically with both doors open, you could start from the driveway and drive straight through the garage, through the backyard and through the RV gate to the alley.

The photo below shows how we bumped out the garage, the rear addition we also added and the backyard that had yet to be fenced off from the alley.

Photo courtesy  AZ Conctracting  

Photo courtesy AZ Conctracting 

With the expansion of the garage in the front, you can see that it created a small courtyard type patio to the front entry. We also added to the back of the house, so we used the old bricks that came off the back wall of the house when we tore it down as the pavers for the new pathway and patio. I would have preferred there to be a larger patio space, but since we were recycling bricks we made it as big as we could with what we had.

Recycled brick patio entry white exterior

Another recycled + upcycled addition to this home are the shutters. These shutters were made with cedar wood siding we tore off of my 72nd Place home (scroll to the third and fourth photo) from last year. This wood has been hanging out in a huge pile in my backyard and finally found new life at this home in multiple locations. 

Side note: It is dead of summer here and temps are hovering around 118 degrees, so the lawn is not as green as I'd like, but it'll fill in again. Luckily this neighborhood comes with irrigation. If you don't know what that it is it's basically where you open a trap door in the backyard every two weeks and flood your yard. Once that is back on its normal schedule, the grass will be lush and green.

Updates In The Back

If you refer to the drone photo above, you can see that we added a horseshoe shaped area to the back of the home. The left side is the new master bedroom, the middle received an extension to the family room and the right is the new kitchen. The empty space in the middle is the new patio which received a flat roof cover. The result is this patio sandwiched between the master bedroom and kitchen with access from the living room.

Covered farmhouse style patio with severy bar window and salvaged wood doors

True story: this addition and back patio was all designed around that servery bar window. I've been dreaming about that sort of deal for ages and finally was able to "force" one into submission. This, my friends, is just one reason why a person flips houses. It's an outlet to put into action the ideas that you can't fit or afford in your own house. 

Servery bar window pass through kitchen
Farmhouse style patio with bar servery window

The original plan was to have these four salvaged doors that I purchased from Sweet Salvage open as two sets of french doors to the patio. However, after further review, I decided I didn't want to have all of those doors swinging into the living space and two doors banging into each other in the middle. So, we opted to make two of them fixed and have just one set of french doors in the middle. I can't believe this actually worked. Sometimes you have great intentions of saving and reusing the old things, but then the plan flops because old things are....OLD. Not this time. Old things win. 

Farmhouse patio with bar

I'm very pleased with how this turned out. Sometimes you have a vision and it just doesn't reach your expectations but this one certainly did. I love that we could make the old brick and the board and batten on the new additions blend by using the same color paint. I also love that we could make use of some of the materials that came off the back of the house and siding from another house. Lots of old and new going on here which makes me happy.

More to come about this house. I know you guys had a lot of questions about the other rooms. Stay tuned!


Details

Sources

Barn Sconces - Amazon

Bar Stools - Target

Black and White Towel - LCo Design Co.

Cane Chair - thrifted

House Numbers - Home Depot

Marble Counters - Aracruz 

Patio Chairs White - Target

Pillows Black and White - Target

Planter Hanging - estate sale

Planter Turquoise on front patio - Home Depot

Planter White w/Palm Tree - Home Goods

Rug Black Diamond Doormat - Target

Rug Jute (discontinued as of posting) - Pottery Barn

Rug Gray Patterned - West Elm

Salvaged Wood Doors - Sweet Salvage

Servery Bar Window - custom made contractor

Shutters - custom made by contractor

Wicker Chairs on Front Patio - thrifted

Wood Table on Back Patio  - Everything Goes

Paint Colors

Exterior Walls: Behr Whisper White

Exterior Doors: Dunn Edwards Novelty Navy

 

Kitchen Before & After: How Take Advantage Of Your Contractor

When you have 2 months of waiting on a permit and demo that takes three quarters of a century, you have lots of time. Time to think. Time to rethink. Time to question your thinking. Time to stalk Pinterest and find all the coolest ideas that you now MUST implement or your brain will die a slow death. There was one inspiring kitchen that started it all, though. This one from House and Home Magazine's October 2015 issue. I took a photo of the page and sent it to my contractor, hence the photo quality sucki-ness. 

Then, I took advantage of my contractor. I lean on the talents of the people working on the project. If they have special skills, I use them. I use them for all they are worth. Wah-ah-ah-ah. It is helpful if you already know the contractor for hire. My contractor Joe Wood of All Around Joe is a sucker for carpentry projects. I told him my idea of chunky wood shelves and he was instantly hooked. He was especially excited because he would then be "forced" to buy a planer he had been eyeing. A win-win for all. 

NOTE: If you can, work with someone who is excited...to WORK! This should be an art project for the both of you. If they grumble and spout off reasons why it won't work (other than for safety or financial reasons), you probably aren't a good fit. For example, I had mosaic floors in a bathroom design once. The contractor complained that they wouldn't work. I looked at him like he had 3 heads. If they could lay mosaic floors 100 years ago, they can certainly do that now. This was simply a case of not wanting to do the work. Moving on....

So, off to Building Value I went to pick up some old wood. I found what was probably 100 year old floor joists. I know because I ripped the same things out of this very house and had them pitched. There just wasn't room to move! People wanted it out of the way. 

GET OFF MY BACK! 

You can't store everything. I'm not Nicole Curtis. I don't have a garage X3. I lived in a condo. You can't win everything. Anyway, found the wood. Brought it to Joe. He did his magic. 

A hood can be almost anything. All you have to do is build a box and throw an insert into it. So, in this project the box was just framed and drywalled. I didn't want a big shiny silver thing stealing the show. I wanted to mimic the chimney bump out in the living room but not draw much attention to the hood itself. From there, Joe attached our salvaged wood floating shelves on either side and trimmed out the "hood box" with some of the salvaged wood. 

In order to balance the room out, and get the coffee bar I was dreaming of (bc Pinterest and Joanna Gaines), he ripped a few more boards to span the fridge/pantry area on the neighboring wall. I didn't want to do another backsplash tile and introduce another pattern and material, so I opted for chalkboard paint. Only problem was I didn't want the chalkboard paint to just end at the top in an awkward line. So, Joe came up with the fab idea to trim out the entire coffee bar with more of the salvaged wood.

Teamwork.

BOOM. 

I personally drew the coffee bar sign. I'm no Picasso but I think it looks decent.

PRO TIP (from a pro not me): dip your chalk in water before you start writing. It makes the chalk line nice and bright.

What I love (but also hate) is designing on the fly. In some cases it's really frustrating and stressful to have some things up in the air. I'd love to say that every idea is perfectly thought out, scheduled and implemented, but it's not. I usually have a pretty good idea of what the design will be. But, inevitably I end up tweaking the idea until it is something new, original and even better than I envisioned. This is also something great about Joe and his team. They are flexible. They want it to look great. They are proud of their work. I like them. Hire people like Joe.

I think it turned out pretty well.