Party People, it’s Friday and I’m excited to share this flip on California. Ninety-nine percent of the choices California made were spot on. However there were a few decisions that are a little too hipster for me. But trust me when I tell you that those will not detract from what is otherwise a great flip. There is one choice in the kitchen that I’m dying to hear your thoughts on.
As you can see California is a magician because somehow she managed to add a bathroom without adding square footage. My guess is that she added the bathroom by stealing some space from the laundry room and eat-in kitchen.
I love the neighborhood California is in. There are a lot of charming blocks that have a real neighborhood feel, and the houses are all 1950’s bungalows on flat lots. The major draw back here is that there isn’t a cute business district within walking distance.
A few years ago I lived in an adjacent neighborhood and watched the prices plummet following the 2008 housing crash. At the lowest of point after the crash, houses here were going for $300-$400k. Now houses are going for $800-$900k (sometimes $1m) as more and more people “discover” this charming part of Oakland. (Not a day goes by that I don’t kick myself for not buying a house here back in 2008. *sigh*)
The buyers are going to be first time home buyers. They’ll also be a professional couple, who probably don’t have kids yet or maybe just a baby. A larger family is going to struggle with the layout because though it has 3 bedrooms, the 3rd bedroom has a sliding glass door that leads to the backyard. And because it’s only big enough for a twin bed, it can only be a kid’s bedroom or office.
My last house had a bedroom like this and while it was fine to have a baby in a room with direct backyard access, we didn’t feel comfortable with the idea of our precocious toddler having such easy access to the backyard. I suspect most parents will feel the same.
So how’d California do?
As you can see, I’m a real fan of what California did. The only reason she didn’t get a perfect score is because there are a few details that aren’t perfect. California left a lot of the original detail in this house and you know I love that. Though she did remove a huge butler’s pantry just off of the kitchen. You may be shocked to hear that despite removing an original built-in, I’d still be a fan. I’m a little shocked too but in the end I think it was the right call.
I’d also like to take a moment to appreciate the staging. Instead of going with typical staging furniture (aka imagine some thing you’d see in a Pottery Barn catalog), California used an eclectic mix of second-hand furniture and less expensive newer pieces, updating and unifying them with paint, accessories and art. Obviously, she saved tons of money, but what’s impressive is that it looks great. (Full disclosure: I may be biased since the dining room furniture is almost identical to mine.)
Ready to see the house?
Living Room & Dining Room: before
Living Room & Dining Room: after
Warning: what you’re about to see may not be suitable for persons with normal gag reflexes…
Okay, check out the back splash. What do you think? It’s not neutral but somehow I think most people will like it. What do you think?
I’m intrigued that the shower walls are covered with three solid pieces of quartz rather than your typical tile. The quartz in the shower is different from the kitchen counters so I don’t think they used scraps, which means this cost a pretty penny. While I appreciate how easy a solid shower surround would be to keep clean, I kinda wish it were tiled. What do you think?
Bedroom #1: after
Master Bedroom: before
Master Bedroom: after
The bathroom pictured above connects to the master. I suspect California made that happen since most homes of this era didn’t have en suite bathrooms. Also, a door connects this room to the 3rd bedroom. Again, not an ideal set up.
Bedroom #3: before
Bedroom #3: after
Sun Porch: before
Sun Porch: after
Okay I’m about to be vindicated: it looks like they painted the original paneling and it looks great. Next time you have to deal with paneling, try painting it rather than ripping it out.
Laundry room: before
Laundry area: after
As you’ll see the laundry room got downgraded to laundry area. The loss was well worth the addition of a bathroom.
I’m relieved that we’re not just looking at a dump load of bark. With the planting of a few trees and bushes, California made the backyard feel much nicer.
Well there you go. Hope you enjoyed California, where the living is easy…ha! But seriously, tell me what you thought of the cobalt blue tile back splash in the kitchen. Yay? Or ney?