A Blogger Home Flip That Blends Budget and Beauty


This rambler ranch started as a fixer-upper and turned out to be a diamond in the rough. Check out the transformation of this budget-friendly remodel by blogger Jen Stagg.

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Exterior Appeal

home exterior

The remodel of this 1970 rambler in Salt Lake City took seven months. The homeowners did a gut job and opened up the floor plan, raised the roof, and brought in new windows, appliances, and fixtures. To ensure your remodeled house will flow and you'll stay on budget, purchase the majority of fixtures (lighting, faucets, handles) at the same time.

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Before: Entry and Formal Dining Room

formal dining room wallpaper before

The home's original entryway was dingy and dated, while the itty-bitty dark dining nook wasn't workable. As a formal dining room, it didn't make sense for the homeowners; instead they converted it to a playroom, which served more purpose for their family.

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After: Entry

raised ceiling modern door after

The major house renovation project was raising the roofline. The process paid off, especially for the look of the entry and front room. The modern front door and windows further transform the space, bringing in additional light.

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After: Playroom

play room

The main-floor playroom was a game-changer. The homeowners wanted to accentuate the vaulted ceiling, so they designed the shelves directly into the ceiling pitch along with a window seat for added storage.

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Before: Living Room

living room before

The age and style of the valance and plush carpeting date the look of this living room, making it appear stuffy and too formal for a young family. However, the midcentury-style granite fireplace, original to the house, set the decorating tone for the rest of the rooms.

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After: Living Room

family room
Adam Albright

Opening the doorway to the living room created a freely flowing path into the foyer and kitchen. The room's layout started with a huge estate-sale sofa. It fills out most of the room, while smaller pieces finish the look. The natural wood coffee table was custom-made to fit the room and pairs well with the other midcentury modern pieces, such as a starburst mirror and brass nesting tables.

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Corner Unit Purpose

book shelf

Shelving to the side of the doorway separates the living room from the rest of the open floor plan. Collectibles coordinate with the furniture and decor, while white walls set off wood flooring. The daybed -- found for a steal online -- is perfectly placed without obstructing sight lines through to the playroom, kitchen, and dining room spaces.

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Before: Kitchen

kitchen before

The original U-shape kitchen layout was small and dysfunctional, with a fridge awkwardly placed in the hallway. But with some clever designing, the homeowners created a kitchen unrecognizable from its starting point.

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After: Kitchen


After knocking down walls to link the kitchen and dining room, it was imperative the homeowners paid attention to where they saved and splurged. Splurge: waterfall-edge quartzite countertops, which have the look of marble without the etching or staining of natural stone. Save: DIY cabinetry installation and an inexpensive subway tile backsplash.

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Saving with DIY


All base cabinetry came from IKEA. The homeowners ordered the doors unpainted so they could create a custom look and still save money. Self-installation of both cabinetry and the gold drawer pulls was a big money-saver.

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Stylish Shelving

kitchen shelving

Open shelving continues the breezy look of the home's open floor plan. Stylish items get a front-and-center view, while more cumbersome items -- like the toaster and coffeemaker -- stay hidden in lower cupboards. Inexpensive fiberglass window frames are painted black to look like metal.

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Create Open Shelves from Cabinetry

Give plain kitchen cabinets a new look by converting them to open shelving. See the step-by-step process for this easy kitchen project.

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Open Dining


The homeowners gained space for a large dining area off the kitchen by adding a 4-foot bump-out, vaulting the ceiling, and adding a wall of windows. Black painted fiberglass window frames -- an inexpensive choice compared to the metal lookalike -- provide contrast to the midcentury modern look of white walls, rustic wood, and neutral furnishings.

Tip: Fiberglass frames are usually found with black exteriors and white interiors. Paint the interior black (primer plus two coats of paint) to get this look.

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Great Room

living room

Lightweight, easy-to-install beams add definition to the ceilings of the great room and dining room. This DIY project started with unfinished beams that were stained after installation. The room's console was original to the house -- an item the homeowner scored at the estate sale of the previous owner.

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Before: Family Room

fireplace before

A wood-burning fireplace with a white stack-bond brick surround didn't have the same midcentury modern charm as its upstairs counterpart. Deciding it and the outdated wood paneling had to go, the homeowners converted their basement family room into a more personalized space to gather.

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After: Family Room

living room

A gas insert replaced the wood-burning fireplace while built-ins replaced the paneling. The dark wood mantel draws attention to the stone surround and makes furniture arranging easy. The chairs (inexpensively updated with upholstery) were a thrift store find.

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Fairy Tale Dreams


What child doesn't want a canopy bed? Homeowners made their little girl's wishes come true with a DIY valance bed canopy. The secret? It's a crib skirt! A string of butterflies emphasizes the canopy framing.

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Play, Read, Sleep

chair swing

Conveniently located across the hall from the playroom, this bedroom reading spot is the perfect place to settle down before bedtime. DIY picture ledges house favorite bedtime books while an ottoman below doubles as a step stool. A swinging rattan chair provides a whimsical approach to rocking children to sleep.

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Primary Bedroom


Clean lines, simple decor, and cozy materials make this primary bedroom the best combination of relaxing and charming. A pair of thrifted stools at the foot of the bed are repurposed as a bench and a reupholstered headboard looks spendy but was purchased preowned.

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Colorful Collection


Clutter and trinkets are kept to a minimum on open bedroom shelving. Sticking with a specific color scheme prevents the storage from appearing too busy. The homeowners' watercolor painting sets the tone for the shelving color scheme and the rest of the bedroom.

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Primary Bath


Retro and modern meet to create a tranquil yet edgy primary bathroom. Brass accents repeat throughout the room, including a faucet, sconces, cabinet hardware, and the shower frame, reflect in a streamlined mirror. Hairpin legs on the vanity complete the midcentury-modern look.

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