As a Realtor, I am picky as heck when it comes to purchasing a home for myself. I mean, I’ve seen it all, and I know what I like. Unfortunately for me, what I like often doesn’t exist. I tend to go for more modern looking homes or even mid-century touches. I had been looking for something like this, but wasn’t finding what I wanted in the areas I wanted to be in. I am also a possible mermaid in a past life. I love being in water, paddle boarding, kayaking, etc. I really wanted to be on the water but didn’t think I could find a home that met all my criteria AND was waterfront.
Then, my best friend April said, hey did you see the new listing on my street? Although I had an MLS search set up, I hadn’t seen it because it was smaller square footage than I had in my criteria so I said “Nope”. She said, well let’s just go see it. She’d been dying to get me to move into the Shore Acres neighborhood.
She took me to see it. My first glance at the kitchen and I was like ugh… the cabinets were a painted black over 1960’s particle board. Not a cute look. And it was small. My kitchen in the home before this that I was renting had 30 cabinets. 30! And I had managed to fill them all. I couldn’t see myself with this tiny kitchen.
Then I walked outside. The back deck of the home was gorgeous. Pavered patio with pebbletec pool, a dock and boat lift. The previous owner had spent ALL his money (and likely his time) out back.
I began to wonder if I could do a renovation on this home. Something I’d never done before and which quite frankly, terrified me. I decided to go for it – how else was I going to get on water? I had a few months left in my lease so I figured I could start renovations while living at the old rental. I interviewed several GC’s and finally found one to help make my vision come alive. It was a stressful but fun process picking everything out – and he even veto’d me a couple times on some of my selections which was helpful since he knew better than I did what would work and what would not.
So I did it – I bought the house! Here’s a video I took of the before. It may not look awful but trust me those cabinets were in rough condition.
We ended up more than doubling the size of the kitchen by taking out the breakfast bar, removing the drop down ceiling areas around the cabinets and more. I moved into April 1, and had no kitchen. For 2 months, I washed dishes in my bathroom sink and ate takeout (during Covid 19 no less, when most restaurants were shut down for eat in service).
It was worth the wait. Here are the after results. I went with Cafe Appliances by GE and bought the Brushed Bronze handle package. If you look closely you’ll notice gold-ish bronze knobs and handles on all the appliances. Note, I did not have gas at the home and it was not available nearby so I had a propane company install a propane tank in the yard and ran gas to the kitchen AND a new tankless hot water heater. I love to cook and didn’t want to live without gas anymore.
The cabinets were handmade by my GC’s contractor Ralph who was amazing. The cabinet pulls are by Jeffrey Alexander and they match the Cafe Appliances Bronze almost exactly. Floors are a wood tile, countertops are quartz and backsplash is a marble hexagon from Floor & Decor.
We had an area below the window where we had dead space and weren’t sure exactly what to do there. A friend said “Why don’t you do a cute little bench/storage area that matches the floating shelves so people can join you in the kitchen when you are cooking?” EUREKA! Great idea!
Now that you’ve seen my fixer upper (bathrooms are next, stay tuned) – do you think you would buy a fixer upper yourself?