Times We Kept the Old

We love redesigning and flipping houses. The work of walking through an old house and dreaming of how we can repaint, tear down walls, install tile and generally redo the entire house is a fun part of the planning process. But we also look at the bones of the house, when it was built, and we try to keep some of the integrity of the old house. Throughout the years we have enjoyed keeping a retro toilet, exposing a wall and even leaving wallpaper in some places.

Louise Avenue

Perhaps one of our most notable projects that we kept the old in is the Louise Avenue bathroom. When we first walked through the house we just knew that the maroon toilet and sink needed to stay. So we painted the walls white and installed a simple white tile to let the toilet and sink shine. We also tore out the ugly white cabinet and let the sink stand on it’s own. We worked hard to remove the pink wall tile, and the floor tile. We even bought and installed a different toilet lid. In the end the bathroom was transformed, and the old looked new.

Walnut Street

The Walnut Street was a disaster when we first walked through the house, but we saw it for the it’s potential and quickly started dreaming. We painted the kitchen cabinets green, left the hardwood floors shining and installed a crazy black and white penny tile in one bathroom. But when we started to redesign and tear apart one of the bathrooms we notices the character behind the drywall. We loved the way the old exposed brick looked with parts of the original wallpaper. So we installed glass and made it a feature in this bathroom.

“Old houses are full of memories and that’s why they resist collapse!”

-Mehmet Murat Ildan

New Dorwart Street

The New Dorwart Street is most notable for the color Bosc Pear that we painted throughout the house. But in one bedroom we kept it more simple. We tore out part of the wall, exposing the brick. We then painted the entire wall, including the brick, white. We styled the night stand with the retro tape player complete with old tapes. But we also left a part of the room complete with the old heritage of the home by leaving some of the original wallpaper along the bottom of the brick wall.

Prince Street

You may recognize the deep green cabinets from the Prince Street kitchen. We loved the way the room turned out with the green cabinets, vintage knobs and dark tile. But we also love the small corner that we left the original wallpaper on – it’s not a large statement in the room but it’s a fun reminder of the original house. We also left a light pink toilet in one of the bathrooms, because why not?

Columbia Avenue

If you follow us on Instagram you may remember the controversial choice that we made one day when we chose to keep this round mirror. We were working in the house when Claudia spotted the broken mirror and decided to try to save it by gluing it together with glitter glue. It may not have been our most modern choice in a bathroom, but it allowed the house to keep something of its history.

We love renovating and flipping houses, but sometimes you have to keep something from the old house. Whether we keep a broken mirror, a retro toilet or a little wallpaper – we love to keep something from the original home. After all, the original home has many of its own stories and history of times when other people made their own design choices. They may seem outdated to us, but – with a little imagination – we hope we can modernize some that original character.

Would you like to work with us? We’d love to help you design your space. Check out our design page here to learn how.


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