Last week we talked BUILDING YOUR FLOORPLAN but this week let’s chat about what materials we should use in order to bring our visions to life! My goal is to create a catalog of finishes that can easily be used across future projects to come. While I LOVE interior design and do find this line of work to be fun, it has actually been way harder than I anticipated. I have spent several hours perusing Pinterest, Home Depot, Lowes and other Interior Designer’s websites. I even dragged my mom and sister to Home Depot for an afternoon to see the different finishes in real life. I want to share with you some of my findings thus far and hopefully eliminate some of the initial pain that comes along with building these “design” books.
So, as we do, let’s talk Real Estate, let’s talk PICKING OUT YOUR PROPERTY FINISHES…
First and foremost take a step back and DEFINE YOUR PURPOSE
… for the house! Will this property be someone’s dream home? A rental property? A retail space? Deciding the purpose your property will serve should help you decide what type of materials you may want to incorporate.
SO, WHAT IS OUR PURPOSE?
Well for this specific property, our purpose is rental units. All of our fit and fixtures will be “rental grade’ to appeal to future landlords that may want to scoop this bad boy up. While we do want the duplex to be nice and homey, because we want renters to want to live in it, the finishes will not be of the same level of “luxury” that a homeowner may request. This is NOT because we do not think renters don’t deserve it, hello I am a renter myself, rather it is because renters move in and out all of the time, so floors, fixtures, and appliances are bound to wear down much quicker. If you, as a landlord, are constantly having to fix expensive fixtures you will never make money on the property – and after all isn’t that why you bought it?!
LEARN YOUR AREA
Every neighborhood has different styles that are “in”. Right now it seems that light greys walls, dark hardwood / vinyl floors, and black appliances are what is in style in our hood. I have checked out a few other multi-families in our neighborhood that have recently sold to get some design inspo and ensure that I really understand my audience. Looking at other investor’s home that have recently sold or are being rented out, can help you see exactly what finishes need to be in place in order to make some money.
SO, WHAT DO I NEED TO LOOK INTO?
This totally depends on your contractor, the scope of work, and what you agreed upon. While our contractor will purchase all of the materials, we have agreed upon a budget and I will pick out the finishes. Below is a list of the items I have a hand in “designing”…
Your options are typically hardwood, vinyl, laminate, tile, or carpet. Most of the other properties in this neighborhood are going hardwood for living areas so I will try and follow suit on this one. For the bathrooms, I have chosen two porcelain tiles for the contractors to look out for. Below are some of the flooring options I am considering, as well as a recommendation from another investor. I have bolded any of the finishes I am considering for my own projects!
– All Rooms: Eagle Creek Floors Oakdale Luxury Vinyl Plank – SKU: DV766C (Georgia Floors Direct)
– Living Areas: Home Decorators Collection Hand Scraped Strand Woven Wellington. Engineered Click Bamboo Flooring. SKU #1001886209 (Home
– Bathroom: Kolasus White 12 in. x 24 in. Glazed Porcelain Floor and Wall Tile SKU #1003079037 (Home Depot)
This is TOTALLY up to you – but I prefer neutrals! As far as paint finishes go, I plan to use a flat finish on the walls and a semi-gloss finish on the trim.
– Exterior Walls: Superpaint Exterior Acrylic Latex Flat Finish SW 9139 “Debonair” Color (Sherwin Williams)
– Exterior Trim: Superpaint Exterior Acrylic Latex Semi Gloss Finish SW white Color (Sherwin Williams)
– Interior Walls: ProMar 200 Zero VOC Interior Flat Finish SW 9085 “Touch of Sand” Color (Sherwin Williams)
– Interior Trim: ProMar 200 Zero VOC Interior Semi-Gloss Finish SW white Color (Sherwin Williams)
– Interior Walls: Behr Premium Plus #720E Light French Grey Zero VOC Interior Paint (Home Depot)
– Interior Walls: Behr Premium Plus #N530-2 Double Click Paint (Home Depot)
– Interior Trim: Behr Ultra Pure White Semi-Gloss Enamel Zero VOC Zero Interior Paint and Primer in One (Home Depot)
KITCHEN CABINETS & COUNTERTOPS
The #1 piece of advice I have gotten on the cabinets and countertop choice so far is to go new! I am doing white cabinets and laminate countertops for this specific property. If you are doing a more high-end rehab you may consider doing quartz or granite countertops, however for rental properties, laminate is just fine. I have listed a few different finishes I am deciding between below.
– Cabinets: Diamond Now Arcadia White Cabinets (Lowes)
– Cabinet Knobs: Brainerd Satin Nickel and Clear Round Cabinet Knob (Lowes)
– Cabinets: Hampton Bays Shaker Cabinet Collection (Home Depot)**
– Cabinet Knobs: Richelieu Hardware Traditional Matte Black Cabinet Pull (Home Depot)
– Countertops: Hampton Bay 6 ft. Laminate Countertop Kit in Calcutta Marble with Premium Textured Gloss Finish and Valencia Edge (Home
– Countertops: Formica Laminate Countertop in Ebony Oxide with Matte Finish (Home Depot)
– Countertops: Formica Laminate Countertop with Black Matte Finish (Home Depot)
Farm sinks are totally in AND totally expensive. I am trying to find a happy medium between a fancy farm sink and a plain stainless steel one. I am considering just a white or black matte sink for the kitchen (depending on what countertop we end up installing). I have laid a few out below!
-Sink: Kindred 21 Ga 7 in DB SS Sink – Model No FDS704NB (Lowes)
-Faucet: Moen Adler 1H BN T/S – Model No L82694EPSRN (Lowes)
-Sink: Swan Drop-In/Undermount Solid Surface 33 in. 1-Hole Single Bowl Kitchen Sink in White (Home Depot)
-Sink: Elkay by Schock Drop-In/Undermount Quartz Composite 33 in. Rounded Offset Double Bowl Kitchen Sink in Black (Home Depot)
These are items like your stove / range oven, refrigerator, microwave, etc. The Frigidaire line below has pretty good reviews and comes in multiple colors. What do we think? Do we like black or silver?!
– Range: Frigidaire Smooth Top Electric (Model No FFEF3018LW) (Multiple Stores)
– Microwave: Frigidaire Range Hood (Model No FFMV162LW) (Multiple Stores)
– Dishwasher: Frigidaire Built-In (Model No FFBD2412SW) (Multiple Stores)
– Refrigerator: Frigidaire Freezer Top 18 cu ft (Model No FFTR1821QW) (Multiple Stores)
For the bathrooms you will need to pick out vanities, mirrors, toilets, sinks, showers, bathtubs, towel racks, etc. Project Philadelphia will have three bathrooms – two with bathtubs and one with a standing shower. I mentioned I dragged my family to Home Depot last week and they actually helped me find some pretty fun stuff for the bathrooms! We stumbled upon a basic but versatile line of cabinets by Glacier Bay that I plan to use so that I can custom fit the cabinets to each individual bathroom layout. I plan to do white cabinets with black hardware (similar to the kitchen – can you tell there is a theme?!) We also found the coolest item ever while we were there…bathroom vents that are blue tooth speakers! Please tell me that does not sound amazing?! I have ruined SO many iPhones in my life because I just wanted jam out while I was in the shower and didn’t have a Bluetooth speaker in my bath vent! While it is totally unnecessary the price is right on these and I will absolutely try and install them in our latest projects.
– Shower Surround Tile: Blairlock White Ceramic Wall Tile (Lowes)
– Tub: 5′ Aloha White Bathtub – Model No 0000-478-640 (Home Depot)
– Vanity & Sink: SS White Euro 19″ Combo – Model No CE29118-SS (Lowes)
– Faucet: Moen Caldwell 2H CH LAV – Model No WS84667 (Lowes)
– Mirror: 21″ Oval Framed Mirror White Fog Free (Home Depot)
– Bath Fan: Broan 50cfm 4 Sone Bath Fan – Model No 688 (Lowes)
– Vanity & Sink: Hampton Bay Glacier Vanity (Home Depot)
– Faucet: Kingston Brass Contemporary Single Hole Single-Handle Bathroom Faucet in Matte Black (Home Depot)
– Mirror: Glacier Bay Beveled Edge Bath Mirror (Home Depot)
– Bath Fan: Home Network Decorative White 70 CFM Bluetooth Stereo Speaker Exhaust Bathroom Exhaust Fan with LED Light (Home Depot)
While we will need interior and exterior doors for this project, my MAIN concern is picking out a sound yet aesthetically pleasing front door. Your front door is one of the first things anyone sees when they arrive to your home, so I do not plan to skimp on this one– as Dorinda from the Real Housewives of NY would say – I MADE IT NICE.
– Steve & Sons 32 in. x 80 in. 6 Lite Right-Hand Outswing Primed White Steel Prehung Front Door with 4 in. Wall (Home Depot)
– JELD-WEN 32 in. x 80 in. Primed Right-Hand Inswing 6-Lite Clear Steel Prehung Front Door (Home Depot)
ARE THERE ANY ITEMS YOU WILL LEAVE UP TO THE CONTRACTOR TO PICK OUT THEMSELVES?
Definitely! Items like interior doors, closet doors, recessed lighting, windows, he can even choose the faucets as long as they are matte black – these are all types of items that I am leaving up to the contractor and his team! Because our contractor has a lot of experience in construction and renovating homes, I have communicated with him that I am open to any suggestions he has as the project progresses! In my opinion, this is a team effort!
WE WENT OVER A TON OF FINISHES TODAY AND THIS ALL SEEMS EXPENSIVE – SO HOW & WHERE CAN I CUT COSTS?
In my opinion, I think you can cut costs on the little items such as bathroom mirrors, or cabinet hardware. Heck, even going with laminate countertops is a huge cost saver for us! You can also do things like buy off the shelf products, look into purchasing discontinued items, or consult friends and family to see if they want to get rid of any of their appliances! Simply prioritize what is important for you but most importantly, your target customer. This is something I must CONSTANTLY remind myself, this property is most likely not your own, and will be sold to someone else. Not everyone has your style, or need for the most fabulous of luxuries – so I am investing my money in big ticket items everyone will appreciate. Items like new HVAC systems, good insulation, thick windows to keep the noise down and the temperature more controlled, a security system. These are all items that, no matter what your personal taste is, I believe most humans appreciate.
Anyways, this week was a long post, and SUPER detailed. Let us know if we missed anything! OR, if you have suggestions for building out future design books!
Feel free to comment on the blog post HERE and let us know what YOU think!
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p.s. stole a page from my own personal “design book” for this week’s blog picture!
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Me– this week’s post is based on my personal experience and findings