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Keynote

Our beautiful labor of love, Keynote.
Long Beach, California

My husband and I have always wanted to do a flip. We almost signed on with some investors in 2017 to start flipping consistently, but the payout was too small for the stress. Having investors means you’re dependent on their money and therefor cannot go at your own pace and sometimes are required to use less than quality products just to save on the bottom line. Many people have experienced this type of flip. It’s less turn-key and more issue ridden the closer you look. I am not a fan of many flippers in our area. We were not about to turn into those people. When we were out for a family walk one night we saw an open house for a total dump. Josh and I looked at each other and we knew we were going to try and get this one. It turned out that we had stumbled upon a once and a lifetime opportunity. It turned out we could qualify for another house ourselves and by some MIRACLE we ended up being the highest offer. Now usually when there’s a probate or a property in this condition, many lenders won’t even give you the money. That is why cash is preferred for these extreme fixer-uppers. However, this house was mostly just old and ugly, not so much unsafe, so we were able to get it. The house had fences falling down in the front, neighbors that were dying for an update, and it was in an amazing neighborhood. We also got lucky that the market suddenly started climbing right after we were in escrow. So much so that the selling agent tried pulling out of our deal, luckily at the time I was getting my real estate license and I was able to tell him what he was doing was illegal and he complied through some major harassment from me. Yikes. When we closed escrow the real work began.

We were stoked that this house was a midcentury modern house as that is our personal aesthetic and of course we began with ripping the house apart and completely changing the layout. Now most the time with renovation you find some surprises. We already knew none of that mattered because we were not going to build a crappy house. We were going to build an amazing house in hopes of getting top dollar. After we changed this 1267 sq ft house from a 2-1 to a 4-2, we were pretty damn proud of ourselves I must say. It was kind of tricky working within the space but we were able to move a kitchen and add a master suite along with a fourth bedroom. It’s crazy how small on paper that sounds but the bedrooms are actually decent size and the living/kitchen area is completely open so it doesn’t feel small at all. Some of my favorite features the home already had were the exposed beams in the living room, the massive fireplace, and the original sconces. Unfortunately the sconces weren’t midcentury but the wiring was all in the wall already so it saved us from having to completely rip apart another wall. We did completely remove the old stone. It was super dirty and an odd size. It also had a huge hearth which took up way too much of the living room so that was ripped up too. These sconces were so beautiful, I’ll post a link for them in the products section as well as here<a href:>“” </a>.

I wish you could’ve seen how terrible the bathroom layout was in this house!

It was so inefficient. We were able to get so much more space out of it by just changing where the toilet and the bathtub were. One of the things my husband and I have done in many houses is making vanities out of cabinets. Some cabinets online are great don’t get me wrong, but many are cheesy or just don’t have the midcentury vibe we were craving. It’s also difficult to find something that has good use of space. Often the drawers you get from the ones at wayfair or home depot don’t go all the way back to the back of the cabinet or they are just awkwardly shallow. We have found that most sideboards or dressers really make use of the inside with clever cabinets and deep drawers.

Both cabinets from the bathrooms were found on Craigslist in LA and we drove out there to bargain with the guy. It’s important to measure twice before you commit to something like this! You can’t return anything on Craigslist haha. Also if you can, it’s nice to save as many drawers as possible, in our case the layout of the sink did not enable us to keep the top drawer although there was a lot of storage in this cabinet already. Where as in the master as shown above, the sink was on the side of the cabinet which enabled us to put the plumbing in the side cabinet. All the drawers are usable.

Main Bath

The light fixtures are so beautiful and I pretty much obsess over finding one that will be just right. Again you guys, most flippers totally skimp on these types of things buying from the big box stores. When you can buy those “boob lights” in a pack of 4 for 20 bucks you can kind of realize why they do this, but they’re hideous, and if you have one of those in your house, please forgive me, but they really do look like boobs let’s be honest.

Exibit A = Boob light
HomeDepot.com

The tile in this house! We just went for it, we didn’t hold back. We went for lots of black and white from Riad Tile. One of my favorite tile companies. They have amazing prices and great style. Another place we bought tile from was Floor and Decor in Huntington Beach. This is where they white tile in the main bathroom tub/shower is from. We did buy the blue tile in the kitchen from Lowes.com. Now lowes.com carries MANY tiles online that they do not have in store. The cool thing when you order from there is once they ship it to the store, if you dont like it, you can just return it right there. The annoying thing is buying it, waiting on it, and then having to start over again if you don’t like it. Luckily for us we loved the color so we kept it.

The kitchen we went for gold. I’ve seen some very brassy gold but we went for a softer gold. This faucet is great and isn’t obnoxiously shiny. The link for that is here. Another find is this light fixture from somewhere in China. It’s a knock off of the original designer but it still is heavy duty and the bulbs were very delicate. We were super lucky to have it intact once it shipped all the way from China.

Updated lighting is key to maintain any style in a home. I think lighting can definitely be overwhelming to find so I’ll post some great local Southern CA stores and other favorites in the design section.