Kitchen before

fixtures and all new appli- ances. Floating shelves add to the open feel while gray cupboards under the counter offer plenty of storage space. The bedrooms have huge walk-in closets and, like the rest of the house, are designed to maximize space and light. Blake brought out contrasts using the unusual

Mudroom before

Laundry/Bath after

Mudroom after

design technique of com- bining dark wood door- frames with the white walls and made a bold decision to install glass panels in the custom closet doors (see lower right). Invisible but Important: The home comes with Google Fiber Fast internet, a must for today’s renters in this trendy area. “If I had it to do over again, I would have subbed out more work to my subcontractors,” Blake said. “I bought this house in the late fall [when I] was going into my slow season of real estate during the holidays, so I was hungry for a project. I didmost of the work myself at this house, which hurt my realtor business because I was not out hustling to find leads for the coming Spring months. If I could do it again, I would have subbed out way more work and payed more than $35,000 for the rehab. Lesson learned!” THEWALKABILITY FACTOR: According to, walkability affects health (average residents in walkable neighborhoods weigh about 10 pounds less than those in sprawling neighborhoods), financial stability (1 walk score point may be worth more than $3,000 of value for a property), and community (walkability is associated with higher levels of arts organi- zations, creativity, and civic engagement). Blake’s property, with its close proximity to neighborhood parks, dining and entertainment options, and even local employ- ers like KU Med, is located in the perfect spot for residents who value walkability. However, he noted, the property does have two- car off-street parking, so you don’t have to give up your wheels. • Kitchen after LOOKING BACK: DELEGATINGWORKWOULD HAVE HELPED

Blake did not alter the layout of the mudroom and adjacent bedroom, but his decision to dramatically adjust the way the rooms are used, including moving the laundry facilities to a different location in the home entirely, created far more usable space than the previous owner had accessed. In the “after” photo (above), the mudroom, which opens onto a brick pa- tio, offers plenty of room for residents to sit down and remove outerwear or enjoy the view out the window on cold days. Blake decided to enlarge the bathroom and moved the washer and dryer to their

Bedroom after

own specialized nook in the same area. The result, in con- junction with the classic white tile, dark floors and vanity, and new, wider door with frosted glass panes, is a relatively small bathroom that feels luxurious. The living room, adjacent to the one bath, now without the built-in bookshelves and with new, multicolored hard- wood flooring and simple, modern lighting, is warm, well-lit, and inviting (see before and after at right).

Living room before

Living room after

Bedroom before

Bedroom closet after

Probably the most dramatic transformation in the property was the kitchen. Blake removed the central divider, moved the sink and appliances so they lined up (along with plenty of custom wood counterspace) along one wall, put in a classic white tile backsplash, and installed a modern farmhouse sink with gold

Kyle Blake is a realtor, remodeler, and real estate investor based in Kansas City, Missouri. Learn more at or email him at

16 | think realty magazine :: december 2018

thinkrealty . com | 17

Made with FlippingBook Online newsletter