mint

Design Becomes Reality: Minty Vintage Kitchen

The frustrating thing about renovations, flipping houses and all thing construction is that it seems to take a frickin' frackin' backin' packin' ETERNITY to see the results. Usually just months, but still. The people want their AFTER pics!

Trust, so do I. Here you go...

Before and After Minty Vintage Kitchen Remodel Subway Tile Backsplash

Hooray! I like. So fresh and so clean (clean). Let's back up and see the entire process from beginning to end. Here's the before in big picture glory. 

Oak Cabinet Kitchen Before
Oak Cabinet Kitchen before renovation

Most landlords would leave this as-is in this price range. All of the appliances worked. Everything was in good condition. Maybe a coat of paint on the walls, a cleaning and call it a day. Not me. I just CAN'T.

Must. Make. Pretty.

But, on a budget.

There's a fine line between updating because an investment property and just renovating because I want it to be pretty. So, I started with an inspiration kitchen and took it from there. See the design board below. Thanks to A Lovely Lark for being making such an awesome kitchen to be inspired by!

 I wish I could have staged it with some funky vintage items , but I'm lucky I even got photos. This house was rented before we were even finished with it! 

A good problem to have....must not complain. Here is the real deal for your full sized viewing pleasure.

White kitchen with mint base cabinets and white appliances

This time my goal was to make a great tenant friendly, yet budget friendly space. These were my requirements:

  • Durable and can stand up to use and abuse over many years.
  • Can clean up easily.
  • Is a pretty space.
  • Is something to be proud to rent to others.
  • Is somewhere I would live. 

Many of these points are the OPPOSITE of most landlords. Durable and easy to clean are pretty standard, I think. I mean you'll get those people that don't care, they just want a body in there. For me, I want materials that will last. This is why I chose granite counters, a backsplash and to paint the cabinets white. These finishes are likely be in style for a while, are durable products and will clean up easily. The gray grout in the backsplash will stand up to staining over the years and the white cabinets can easily be painted over. 

I wanted the space to also be pretty and different than other rental homes. Such a #girlboss. Who wants to live in a builder grade snoozefest? If the tenant thinks it is special, they will take better care of it. They may also stick around longer instead of looking for greener pastures. Things will go wrong, furnaces will quit at 8pm on a cold winter's night. That's owning a home. That happens. But, not offering something that you can be proud of is not for me. I want to know that my home is a great place to live. I want to feel comfortable living there. If I do then it's likely my tenants will, too. 

Costs

This renovation was not expensive, as far as renos go. I mean in comparison to the full gut job renovations I usually do. Here are the costs to update this kitchen:

  • Labor: $1,200 --- Painting walls and cabinets + installing hardware/backsplash/faucet + fixing a plumbing issue + installing range hood/disposal + cleaning 
  • Appliances: $700 --- range + hood + disposal
  • Counter: $1,400 --- granite + single bowl stainless steel sink + installation
  • Other Materials: $300  knobs and pulls + faucet +  tile + grout + plumbing parts + etcetera....
  • Total  = $3,600 

Pretty good for the transformation, in my opinion. Not only does it look better, I feel confident it will stand the test of time for years to come. If mint flavored base cabinets are no longer as yummy as they seem right now, then we can easily switch to the avocado or burnt orange colors of tomorrow!



Kitchen Design: Minty Vintage

The rental property I recently purchased is in the process of being updated. It was already in good condition, for a foreclosure, but needed a little fanc-ification. The location of the house is interesting. It sits on the edge of the most desirable neighborhood in Cincinnati and shares the same zip code. It is also just one block from a town square with restaurants, cafes and cute shops. In order to attract good tenants, I wanted to make sure the home was cute, comfortable and up to the standards of the nearby neighborhood. Most changes will be in the kitchen where it was in good condition, yet builder basic and boring. 

Before

Kitchen Before with Oak Cabinets
Oak Cabinets in kitchen Before Update

You see here that this kitchen is a snooze-fest. Nothing special or blingy here. We have oak cabinets, vinyl flooring, mismatched appliances and bright yellow walls. Everything in here is usable and in good condition. Not everything will make the cut, though. I want to make this kitchen attractive to potential renters looking in this area, but I still have to keep my budget in mind. Every dollar in is straight out of my pocket and not coming back for a long, LONG time. Everything I do to this kitchen must be attractive, but stand the test of time of tenants to come.

The Plan

I need to give A Lovely Lark props for inspiring this here plan. Why reinvent the wheel when someone has already made the wheel for you? Am I right? Still, there's a little more to it. I'll need to keep as much as possible in this kitchen. Luckily, there is a lot in this room I can work with. Let's get into the what and the why....

  • Cabinets: They are in great condition and clean. They're staying. A coat of paint will update them and will be easy to repaint in the future when they become dingy or dinged up. I'm painting the upper cabinets Behr Ultra White and the lower cabinets Behr Smokey Slate.
  • Walls: Every room in the house is painted a different color. It's like a clown house. Pro Tip: don't do that. It makes the house feel segmented and smaller. I'm repainting the whole place a nice neutral gray called Behr Silver Drop. 
  • Floors: While vinyl floors are not my favorite, they are in good condition and work with the new design. This house is on a slab, no basement. So, because there is concrete below the vinyl, not wood, I'm not as concerned about water damage as I would be if there were wood subfloors. 
  • Appliances: I'm not liking the mismatched appliances. What is good news is that they are all in good condition and the stainless steel range can be sold. That money can go toward a new matching white one.
  • Counters: This is where I'm breaking the bank for the bling. Granite. Yes, I'm taking out the decent laminate counters. There's debate on whether granite is in or out. Personally, I still like it. I prefer natural materials over fake stuff. Any investor within 100 miles would tell me I'm nuts. I don't care. I have my reasons. They are:
    • I think it will completey transform this kitchen. 
    • I think a renter will prefer it over laminate. 
    • I believe granite counters will hold up for many many years compared to the laminate when it comes to tenant use and abuse.
    • The laminate is ugly.
    • I want it. I mean it IS my house. I can do what I want with it.
    • The cost of the granite is comparable to changing out laminate a few times, which I will have to do every few years give or take depending on wear and tear by tenants.
    • Did I mention I want it?
  • Backsplash: I very much dislike splattered grease and junk running down a painted wall. It's impossible to clean. So, I'm adding subway tile with gray grout which should be easy to clean up. The gray grout will hide any staining unlike white grout which will yellow over time. Remember, I'm keeping this house for a long time so style and material longevity are important. 
  • Hardware and Fixtures: This house has glass doorknobs with brass collars. It's cute and antique-y. I want to play off of that with the cabinet hardware, so I went with vintage-y looking bronze knobs, pulls and faucet. I know these colors don't necessarily match, but matching is OUT in my opinion. My contractor is skeptical, but who asked him anyway? Don't even ask him his thoughts on the base cabinet color.
  • Accessories: I won't be staging this house, or adding any artwork, but I the Etsy print and potted herbs work with the vintage theme rounding out the design.

Luckily, we won't have to wait too long to see an after photo of this kitchen. Work is underway and should be complete with in a week. Stay tuned for the big reveal very soon!

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