flipping the rental

the mirror that you could barley see into…but now is shining bring like my overbite

just call me joanna gaines now, i mean come on! its only fitting right? well kind of, i didnt knock any walls down, i didnt install an island and i didnt give the space that cute modern farmhouse style she has. and i didnt even do this alone, nick was there too…this wouldnt have been possible without him.

now are you wondering what im talking about? or do you already know and you want to me stop talking and get to the juicy stuff?

for the peeps who dont know, nick and i own a duplex (we live in the bottom unit and the upper is our rental) in bayview, wi. i love bayview, i would suggest moving there so we can hangout ๐Ÿ˜‰ ANYWAYS, the old guy that lived upstairs for the past 20 something years had to move out (we are not going to get into details here) but that meant we had the opportunity to get up there and fix it up.

now before they moved all this stuff out, the space seemed pretty “clean” and “taken care of” but we were wrong. after our old tenant moved out there was outlines of his pictures still on the wall + very dusty and dirty walls, the bathroom mirror looked like it had been to hell and back, the stove had a weird smell to it, the oven door was being held up on by a screw. The light above the sink had wires exposed, the rugs we thought he “left” there were actually nailed into the floor. the carpet was so worn down and pieced together in some spots.

yeah, it was a total mess. on top of all of that stuff, we only had about a week and half to get everything done. now im not complaining because we had the place rented within two days of posting about it but still, that mean a lot of work in a short amount of time.

so where did we start? well, we first started by figuring out what we needed to do to get this place up and running again. we figured we should start with the floors but didnt really know where to so we asked one of our good friends. he suggested lumber liquidators. i literally knew nothing about this place but i knew they had commercials on tv and what was about it. we went there and loved it! i would recommend this places 100%. the staff was very helpful and they had a huge selection of flooring. now, since this is a rental, we didnt go with the best of the best, we went on the cheaper side but literally, you can not even tell that is a cheaper choice of laminate flooring. i would suggest though, asking for a couple of samples, taking the home and try to match them with the trim. i know a lot of homes have white trim and white goes with everything. in our case, our trim is cherry colored so we had to play around with a couple of floor choices to see what would look/match the best.

next, it was paint color. again, this is a rental so we went with white because we knew in the future that would be the easiest color to fix and also cover up. we just went to home depot and used glidden pure white paint. we shouldve just bought the five gallon sized one because i had to make a few trips back to get more paint but ya live and ya learn. we used this color literally everywhere, on the walls and the ceiling and personally, i wouldve used the same paint in my own space if needed.

just look how discolored the walls were.

here is where the party starts! we started by washing all the walls and the ceiling because duh! it was so dirty and gross. so after everything was washed, we taped off all the rooms. i loved it because we didnt have to worry about the floors. plus i can be a messy painter…RIP to my favorite pants. from there we started painting, i took one room and nick took another. we banged out the painting pretty quick.

then the floors went in. first nick tore up all the gross carpet. thank god we had the help of our friend greg because both nick and him were able to finish the dining room, living room and bedroom in one day. no… its not A LOT of space but still, its a lot of up and down, cutting while making sure everything lined up. i could not believe how amazing the space looked after the floors were in and the walls were painted!!

so our house used to be a single family. the L is there the stairs used to be before it was converted into a duplex.
i am still crying over the floors being cover with glue and then carpet.

ugh at this point, i just wanted to move in myself. arissa and i dreamed of making it our office and just working out of there all day BUT you cant have it all ๐Ÿ˜‰

like i said before, the stove was a hot mess lol , okay but seriously! it has a weird smell to it, it was painted, yes painted and the oven door was being held together by a strew, kitchen fashion 2019? the kitchen space is not small but its also not huge. therefore, we chose to go with a small range but with going with an “apartment size” stove that means it came with mansion price tag. who knew little ranges costed so much money! so this did take some time find one that was reasonably priced. we looked everywhere, menards, home depot, lowes, second hand appilances and even sears outlet (yeah i didnt know sears was still a thing but they are!). after a lot of comparing stove after stove, we finally found a new one at sears that had minimal scraches and dents on it. i think if i didnt tell you, you wouldnt know it was from an outlet like that. getting the stove installed was a whole different story. the guys who came, didnt know how to install the store becasue they “couldnt find the gas shut off valve”. long story short, we had to call the WE Energies to come and help us. and of course, were was a shut off valve and it took the WE Energies guys like five mins to install the stove for us. ~eye rolling here~

lastly, it was just the little things that needed to done, like cleaning, scrubbing the paint from the kitchen floors (my fault), changing the kitchen light, changing light bulbs and replacing the smoke detectors.

and just like that! it was done. a little bit of me died walking away and just leaving it. i felt like a parent dropping their child off at school for the first time, okay thats a little dramatic but you get it! i am proud of all the work nick and i put into it in for the time frame we had. i think im crazy and i would do this again? i enjoyed it even though i didnt get to be a full joanna gaines but great things take time, right?



kitchen before
kitchen after
kitchen after

living room:

living room before
living room after (sorry for the yellow lighting)
living room after
living room after

dining room:

dining room before
dining room before
dining room after with wet floors from cleaning!


bedroom before
bedroom before
bedroom after
bedroom after


and this stayed the same, just has a clean mirror now ๐Ÿ˜‰

i hoped you guys enjoyed our week and half journey of flipping our rental. id love to hear of any question you may have or if you need a recommendation for your own place.

and no, i am not coming over to paint ๐Ÿ˜‰

xoxo kelsey

simple and cute porch tips:

its finally spring! well, anything over 40 is considered spring here in wisconsin!

ive been waiting to focus more on decorating because i want to show you guys my ideas & inspire you to create a space that youll love too.

i have a thing for cute porches, come on guys… i know im not alone here. well, last year was the first time ive ever had my own porch so “i played it safe” and only had a few chairs, a table and lantern. i did have flowers, but i dont want to bore you with the non-ending stories of the squirrels. they arent cute, theyre evil. my flowers were their playground! and yes, i tried it all. i even tried sprinkling cayenne ALL over and nope, they enjoyed it. *ive been eye rolling this whole time*.

now my porch is not very big. so i found it be to semi of a challenge. like how many are too many pillows? do they make outside rugs small enough to fit the space? Will those stupid squirrels ruin these super cool candle lanterns i bought?

i was concerned about spending “too much” on making my small porch look pretty but i was that person, and watched for target to come out with a sale on outdoor stuff. well last week, the stars were aligned and it happened! I was able to get a rug, two pillows, two lanterns and a vase for $119. NOW that is still a lot for me but i was okay with spending that much because we do spend a lot of time out there in spring and summer, so its fiiiiiiine.

i also kind of went the lazy route and only went to target for my patio needs but im not even mad about it because target is my second home . i guess the reason why i didnt check out other stores is because i told myself to make my patio different than the rest of my house, different than any other design I’ve done before, so i did just that, at target. all at target.


i have put together a few of my tips for getting that porch feel youve always wanted:

  • dont be afraid to try something different, i did and LOVE it.
  • wait for a sale, it doesnt make sense to pay full price for something because they are going to put it on sale. its just up to you to watch out for the sale.
  • dont work yourself up if you cant afford EVERYTHING you want, the porch isnt leaving! save your money, thrift, try a different store until you get what youve been looking for.
  • dont let the size of your porch freak you out, like i said – mine is small and i made it work. take the size as a challenge rather than a let down.
  • plant flowers/plans you normally wouldnt. i love doing this. i love being creative and paring different flowers with one another in the same pot.
  • invite your friends over and show them! i love having people over so this is a must for me! okay, this wont make you have the porch youve always wanted but who doesnt like friends? food? or drinks?

okay, i am off to sit on my porch and dream of a squirrel free spring & summer!



photos by the AMAZING arissa: