DAY 8 Update, Don't Renovate Challenge: Throw In The (New) Towel

Recently someone asked me what towels I buy for my Airbnbs. She commented that Airbnbs always have the nicest, fluffiest towels. The answer I gave her was this, “The thing that makes Airbnb towels so fluffy and nice is that they aren’t 5 years old.”

But, yet we put up with towels that are so old and worn that if you were to walk into someone else’s house and you saw them, you’d assume they were to dry off the dog after their bath.

Now, we’re not really suffering through using these beat up old towels. I mean they are just old towels. They still dry stuff.

But, there’s something to be said about what we expect in a hotel or as a guest at an Airbnb versus what we will tolerate at home. Having my Airbnbs, especially after outfitting 4 now, has really shown me how little I expect out of my own house compared to that of a vacation rental. At a vaca rental, mine especially, I expect the paint to be touched up, repairs to be made instantly and all of the towels to be perfect fluffiness. Why don’t we expect that of our own homes? Is it too wasteful? Maybe. But, maybe there is something to be said for letting too many of these things fall by the wayside and feeling like you’re living in a poorly maintained and outfitted house. You know how people fix a bunch of things before they sell, love it, and then wonder why they hadn’t done that stuff sooner? it’s like that.

Your challenge is two part:

Towel Purge

First weed out the towels that are best for drying off a dog. Trust me some people with dogs will actually take those off your hands. I once asked the Facebook group for my condo building if anyone wanted some old towels for their dogs and someone actually asked if they could have them for after yoga. People want them. You could reserve them for dirty messes in your house by stashing one in your car and some in the laundry room. Just don’t hoard them because you feel like you could use them some day and you feel guilty about getting rid of them. Purge what is no longer necessary. Purge the ones that are scratchy and look like vomit. You’re better than that.

Buy New

If you want to buy some fluffy new towels at a good price, grab some at Target. I buy these towels or these most of the time. Today they have 10% off with code HOME. I always buy white towels. That way I can bleach them after guests get make up stains on them or whatever the heck they do. Everything is white so it can get bleached. Towels, washcloths, sheets, pillowcases and bath mats.

And while we’re at it, buy a new bath mat. You know that thing is ratty AF. I’ll be upgrading mine. And you know I’ll be getting white. I always see so many cute ones but I always go back to good old white. I replace my towels every year at the Airbnbs, I have probably not replaced my own in 4+ years. It’s time. Not only will my body like it, my bathroom will enjoy the nice visual upgrade.

The Update, Don’t Renovate list of challenges can now be found up under the Learn section at the top of my site. Click here to head to that page and see what you’ve missed!

Meet The Shack!

If you've been following my Insta stories, you know I keep saying it's done or almost done....but for real this time, it's done! Ok no it's not done done but it's ready. Because what project is ever done? Let's just say Phase I is complete.

The Shack is finally available for vacation stays! I'll get into each part of the house and exactly what I did with sources....soon. But, not today. Today is celebration day that a project is done and I didn't lose my mind! Hooray! 

The Shack is a 700sf STUDIO HOME. I've never seen one of those before in my life, but I knew it had to be mine when I saw it. It's actually quite like a large hotel suite with a queen bed, sleeper sofa, TV and dining table/workspace in the main living space. 

There's plenty of room to spread out and get comfortable just like in a very spacious hotel room, only you won't have to worry about noisy neighbors in the room next door or above you.

The Shack also comes with a full kitchen. I've set up a coffee bar area, complete with microwave to warm that cup up after it's gone cold. 

There's a also a full oven, stove and fridge so you can make any meal you like. I've tried to think of everything you'll need including providing knives that cut! :) There's also bottle openers, skillets, a Magic Bullet blender, storage containers for leftovers, oil for cooking and all the utensils you could need! Also in the kitchen is a closet for the washer and dryer. 

For a studio house, the bathroom is huge! There's plenty of space at the vanity for getting ready to go out on the town. When you're back from your excursions, enjoy the jetted whirlpool tub. 

The front porch is great for chillin' as is the back patio (which is still enjoying a little facelift). 

The Shack is available now for booking! To grab your spot, click the button below to go to the Airbnb listing. I'll be back with more updates on each area room and it's before and after soon!

 

 

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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