The season kicked off with the kitchen and the dining room design challenge. We had one week to completely transform the spaces into something we thought home buyers in Charleston (and the judges) would love! To style this home, we decided to go with an earthy-eclectic theme.
The main goal of our kitchen was focusing on how to make it the most functional for entertaining. Although we might be from the PNW, we did our research on Charleston, and if we learned one thing, it’s that the south loves to entertain!
We began the renovations by pushing the island away from the stove, expanding the island, and adding the massive dining table! By doing this, we not only added ample seating, but we created a distinct marker between the living and dining room/kitchen.
To make the kitchen stand out but still stay neutral, we went with blue cabinets and an (absolutely in no way possible, basic) quartz countertop.
Much like the other teams, I hate corner pantries. So instead, we went ahead and swapped the pantry for more cabinets and floating shelves to make the space more functional, and let’s be honest, easier on the eyes! Because we decided to remove the pantry, I knew we needed to expand our lower cabinets all the way across the wall for even more storage.
Did you know that South Carolina is basically the birthplace of sweet tea? What screams ‘southern hospitality and charm’ more than a sweet tea station literally built into your kitchen. Imagine instant hot water to make hassle-free sweet tea for yourself or get-togethers. Plus, when you’re not using it to make tea, it doubles as a pot filler. It’s such a unique and fun idea, and honestly, I kind of want one in my home!
We knew extending the living space outdoors was essential. To create that seamless flow we knew buyers would love, we decided to swap the dual french doors for a large accordion door that slides open to create one wide-open space versus two. Plus, it allows for a ton of natural light to brighten the indoor living spaces when closed.
Our combined experience in Real Estate has taught us that most times, homes with more bedrooms/bathrooms without a walk-in pantry are likely to appraise higher than a home with fewer bedrooms/bathrooms and a walk-in pantry. So we decided to keep the bathroom!
Also, considering our overall budget of $225,000 (and that it’s only week one!), we thought that moving the bathroom from where it was already plumbed would not be worth the costly expense! Especially if we wanted to add it to another spot in the home.
Because we weren’t making a massive difference with our bathroom, to stand out against our competition, we knew that we needed to make it a beautiful and unique space.
You know that we are OBSESSED with wallpaper if you’ve been following us for a while now. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, if you are going back and forth on adding wallpaper to your home, DO IT! I promise this isn’t like your grandma’s wallpaper. It’s much easier to use, and it’s such a simple way to make a statement in any space!
Let’s get to our design. We wanted to stick to the Earthy Eclectic style that we started in the kitchen and carry it through into our living room and entry. Because these spaces are connected we knew that we needed to keep a cohesive feel between the spaces. We decided that we were going to allocate $17,000 of our $200,000 budget for the living room.
When we first walked the home we were pleasantly surprised by the high ceilings that were throughout the house. We wanted to take advantage of this and use beams to draw the eye upward, and take advantage of the ceiling heights. We also wanted to use a unique light fixture to keep the interest upward when looking at the room.
In the living room, there was a primarily unused wall, and it was just begging for a fireplace! Not only did we think of adding one, but so did every other team, so I think using the term begging is pretty fair. Fireplaces are such a great way to add value to a home and add such a cozy atmosphere that buyers are looking for. However, we were wanting to do something a little extra to this space and find a way to tie in more of Charleston’s history into the home. We were shocked when visiting garage sales in the area that we ran across a fireplace mantle from 1813 and knew that this was just what we needed! It was such a beautiful and historic piece to add to the room.
To add a little bit of color to the space we decided to add an accent wall. While researching Charleston we looked up historic paint colors, and were so happy to find this beautiful green among them! We also thought it created such a beautiful balance to the blue in the kitchen and pulled really beautiful tones from the ceiling beams.
We added a wet bar and shelving to either side of the fireplace. The wet bar is something that buyers who love to entertain will appreciate and the shelving adds to the functionality of the space.
Walking into the entry we wanted to have a statement feature, and at the beginning, we thought that we were going to achieve this by wallpaper, but after exploring Charleston a little bit, we came across these beautiful vintage maps that we decided to mod-podge them to the wall! The results were exactly what we were looking for! It made for a beautiful wow factor and the matching chandelier with sconces kept the space seamless!
When Leslie and I talked about the bedroom design, we both agreed that we wanted every aspect of this space to be absolutely desirable! We wanted to make sure that every buyer who viewed the home immediately fell in love and felt right at home!
During our initial walkthrough, we were pleasantly surprised by the existing bedroom. Honestly, the room was a decent size, it had large windows that let in an abundance of natural light, and the french doors from the hallway gave it a grand feel!
Of course, it wouldn’t be like us to leave something as is. (where’s the fun in that!?) We had to make a few changes to make this already great space even more desirable.
Even though the existing windows let in a ton of natural light, we’ve found that buyers always want more! We thought about adding more windows but decided to take advantage of the bedroom being on the main floor and add french doors instead.
The addition of french doors allows for even more beautiful light to fill the room, and they also extend the living space outdoors, which is a huge plus!
Admittedly, we did spend most of our budget on the closet, but Leslie and I knew we needed to make this space super luxurious and practical. We only get one chance on RTB, so we knew we had to go BIG and make jaws drop.
Despite us only wearing one outfit on RTB, I promise we both have a lot of clothes (and shoes….and accessories!) back home. In our years of working with clients and showing homes, we know that a spacious closet is a huge selling point to buyers.
We started toying around with the idea of extending the closet into the hallway to add more space, but it still wasn’t enough! Taking a chance, we moved the external wall further into the patio. Even though this takes away some square footage from the outdoor living space, we determined it would ultimately be worth it!
Extending the closet gave us a total of 50 extra square feet! A HUGE difference, literally!
Even though there is a laundry room in the home, adding a second washer and dryer in the main suite closet increases the appraised value. It also makes the main bedroom truly feel like a private oasis away from the rest of the home. Who likes lugging laundry baskets around anyway!?
An ideal ensuite should be private, luxurious, relaxing, and remind you of a trip to the spa! After all, it’s the place you spend quiet mornings getting ready for the day and where you retreat after a long day.
Because we added an extra 50 sqft to the closet in the bedroom, we decided to remove the closet next to the bathroom, to expand the space, and gave us the option of putting in a wet room.
Our wet room included dual shower spaces with an incredible soaking tub between them! And of course, in true Lyndsay and Leslie fashion, we had to add a pop of color – a stripe of green glass tile to match the other green accents in the room!
This was the episode that we WON! I am still over the moon with this win! I still dream about this wet room and closet.
In addition to the FROG, we also began the second floor of the home renovating the loft space.
Our biggest focus for this space was to up that appraised value and make it stand out as much as possible to home buyers. So, we landed on transforming the space into a rental income space for the home.
What we ended up doing was adding in a kitchenette, we were originally going to keep the pony wall so that you were able to still see views of the lake, but we changed our minds, and had the wall extend upward. The reasoning behind this was to add additional storage, making it an even more attractive space for buyers, and potential renters down the road.
We also went ahead and added a Bathroom. For the Bathroom, we wanted to keep it very classic. This was going to be a space that just needed to feature the beautiful natural light, some organic style tile, and be of the most appealing to the largest amount of people! In the bathroom, we were also able to add an additional storage closet. Again, adding in this feature we were able to up our appraised value at the end.
In the loft, we wanted to bring in more of a kids element, since the buyer who would most likely be purchasing this home would have children. So, we landed on making the loft a kids’ study room! Including us creating our own DIY pegboard.
As agents, we know from experience that curb appeal plays a huge factor in getting buyers to fall in love with a house. We probably sound like broken records on Unsellable Houses, but it’s true! CURB APPEAL IS SO IMPORTANT. It’s shocking how many buyers would consider leaving a property before stepping foot inside because the home’s exterior doesn’t grab their attention.
The garage needed some texture and color to stand out, so we decided to use a dark, tumbled brick to bring rich tones and a southern feel without overdoing it.
When it came time to create a backyard living experience, we remembered the advice we were given at the beginning of the show: people in the South love to entertain. We wanted our backyard to be a spot where you were able to entertain no matter if it was just your family, or you had the entire Rock the Block neighborhood over.
Another thing we learned about the South is that they love their Oyster Roasts, and we wanted to incorporate this into our design. We did this by adding in an oyster/pizza oven. Ours was large enough to feed a crowd, but also easy enough to operate that you could use it for pizza night with the family!
To landscape, we wanted to use all native plants! This is not only to bring some natural greenery to the home, but it is great for the environment. To add a little extra privacy to the space we also added a fence to enclose the backyard.
The project that encompassed going yard to table was our Vertical Garden/ Living wall. We were able to team up with the crew at Vertical Garden Supply to make a vertical garden where we were able to plant all edible greenery. Not only do these plants smell amazing, but the panthers take up zero yard space and act as more of an art feature to the walls so they truly are multi-purpose. Ours was also self-watering on a timer so it was super low maintenance.
This experience was one that we will never forget and we feel so fortunate to have been chosen as one of the four teams who had gotten to compete. Even though we did not come away as the winners, we truly feel like the skills that we learned and the friendships that we acquired made us victorious in the end!
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Lynds & Les