Flip Fix: 1 BR Coop in SW DC

One thing that my husband and I love to do is renovate properties.  We got started with a few properties in Washington, DC, and are looking to do the same in the Columbus area now that we have moved to New Albany.  We’ve learned a lot from the properties we’ve done so far, and I’d like to pass along this knowledge to you!  Here are some before and after photos of our very first flip – a coop in the Southwest neighborhood of Washington, DC – as well as some tips we learned along the way!

Living/Dining Room

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FLIP TIP #1: Bamboo flooring is an attractive and more affordable substitute for hardwood flooring.  It comes in a variety of stains and styles.  With this renovation, we chose a lighter color for the flooring to brighten up the small space.  But beware – bamboo is very soft and can scratch easily, so it may not be a good choice if you have kids or pets!

FLIP TIP #2: Although not visible in the “Before” photo, there was originally a coat closet jutting out from the left-hand wall between the front door and the rest of the room.  We removed the closet to really open up and enlarge the space.  And as a substitute for the coat closet, we simply placed an armoire along the back wall.


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FLIP TIP #1: When working with a small kitchen, a counter-depth refrigerator is a must to streamline the look of the kitchen and make the space feel larger.

FLIP TIP #2: With no natural light in this space, we chose white cabinets to brighten up an otherwise dark kitchen.

FLIP TIP #3: To maximize storage space in this small kitchen, we installed 42″ wall cabinets rather than the standard 30″ cabinets.

FLIP TIP #4: Always make sure your appliances are in compliance with building code!  The original location of the stove violated DC building code because it was adjacent to the wall.  Fortunately, we had just enough space to move it over and place a small cabinet to the left of the stove.


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FLIP TIP #1: A damaged bathtub is not always a lost cause.  You can frequently salvage the original bathtub by having it refinished, and at a fraction of the price of replacing the tub. {Sorry it’s not visible in the photos!}


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FLIP TIP #1: While I wouldn’t recommend it in most spaces, mirrored closet doors can help to enlarge a smaller space.

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