A Condo Makeover Story

by Heather Rovet

I have been in a lot of condos. Some have been staged (which is obvious), some have owners who have style, some are left empty and some look like they belong on an episode of hoarders. I recently had the opportunity with a condo listing to transform the space from a half-decorated, in-need-of-help condo in to a gorgeous, light and airy space representative of a true urban lifestyle.

There are certain things that do not cost a lot but that I feel will enhance the space and in turn get the seller the best price. If you ever watch any of the real estate/interior design shows on TV, they show that if you invest say $10,000 into your space your return is more like $18,000. My goal with this new listing was to create an inviting, clean and classic space, keeping the design simple and beautiful and appealing to potential buyers.

As you probably guessed, the first thing to do was paint. I love white as it makes the space seem larger and airy and allows for a flow and continuity throughout the space. As well, you can see from the before pictures that some of the walls were only half-painted. If left as is, this would be a challenge. People really like to be able to walk in and just see themselves living in the space – so white paint in every room.

Before

After

The next thing I wanted to do was the kitchen especially because this was an open concept and I wanted it all to work together. This kitchen had black appliances and black counter tops and not-so-nice cherry wood cabinets. What to do? Paint those too – in white! Now these had to be done off-site with a special kind of paint and it was not cheap but in the end it still cost less then replacing the cabinets all together. Another simple and inexpensive way to update a kitchen is to put new hardware on the cabinets and drawers. Hello Ikea! Now this kitchen has style and complements the rest of the space.

Before

After

If you were on a super tight budget I would say stop here and now de-clutter, arrange furniture neatly and buy fresh flowers. But if you have a little bit more cash to invest (because yes this is an investment) keep reading.

Living Area After

Next was the bathroom. I felt that a new vanity as well as new tile in the shower would make the place feel more current. Subway tile is surprisingly inexpensive. So between the fresh paint, new tile, new vanity and new accessories (towel hooks, mirror, shower curtain) this bathroom was completely transformed.

Storage is important in any home and in a smaller space it can be more challenging. I wanted a vanity that provided storage and with the use of hooks, baskets and open shelving, was able to show potential buyers how functional the space is. Another little trick to keep us within our modest budget was instead of replacing the light fixture – which was the typical 3 round bulbs – was to get cool light bulbs. You can actually buy round mirrored light bulbs that make this standard light fixture interesting without having to replace it.

Bathroom After

So that is what some fresh paint and minor upgrades can do for a condo to make it fresh and market ready! Stay tuned for the next part of this story – furnishings and final touches before we hit the MLS.


About the Contributor

Before Heather Rovet started matching people with the right home, she spent many years putting people in the right clothes as a wardrobe stylist for the television and film industry. Both are very much the same to Heather – it’s about listening to functional needs and understanding a person’s vision – and she brings those two key elements together to find the right solution. With a love for the unity of beauty and order within a space, Heather feels that our homes are the place in which this can be reflected and defined.

Coupled with a passionate and keen eye for style and design, Heather sees the potential in the reality and helps clients to really envision their dream space. Whether it is a starter property, an upgrade, an income property or one’s own private sanctuary, Heather works with her clients every step of the way to put them in the home that is right for them.

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