Re-imagined: Fixing Up a Trinidad Fixer-Upper

by Lori Steenhoek

A back room in Trinidad re-imagined.

In Re-imagined this week, Lori Steenhoek helps envision how various features of a row house in Trinidad (map) could be transformed. The home is a true fixer-upper and needs a cosmetic make-over. Luckily, the shell of the house has a great layout, and each of the rooms simply needs a more modern look. Check out some of the before-and-after images below to see what Lori would update.

Currently: Outdated
Re-imagined: A Modern Update

The Living Room

The living room is really just suffering from a tired old floor, dated-looking wallpaper, and walls that could really use a fresh coat of paint. We decided to lay new, wide-plank hardwood to cover the existing green floor, remove the floral wallpaper border, and paint all the walls with a crisp coat of light green paint. We painted a darker accent wall at left and added a few recessed lights. We removed the door in the foreground area and left the entryway open as a path into the kitchen. The result is a cozy living space just off the kitchen, with plenty of seating.

Currently: Yellow Everywhere
Re-imagined: A Softer Look

The Kitchen

The kitchen really needs a total overhaul in order to fix the overly yellow walls and ceiling, dated appliances, and old cabinetry. We decided to keep the layout pretty much intact, and added a counter-height bar with stools for seating. We also installed modern appliances and cabinets, a textured ceramic tile floor, a pendant light fixture, and granite countertops and backsplash. The color palette was kept soft and neutral in order to make the space feel more warm and inviting.

Currently: Needs New Finishes
Re-imagined: Modern and Clean

The Bedroom

For the bedroom, we again kept the layout the same, and simply updated the finishes. We added a light hardwood floor and crown molding, and replaced the small chandelier with a lighted ceiling fan that felt more size-appropriate for the space. Striped, neutral-colored wallpaper and some new furniture were the final touches needed to make this space feel like a comfortable master bedroom.

Currently: Small and Underutilized
Re-imagined: A Screened-In Porch

The Rear Porch

The rear porch area of the home felt small and uninviting, so we decided to open it up as a screened-in porch. By taking down the walls and windows, and defining the space with a deck railing, wooden floor boards and ceiling, and a light mesh screen, it now functions as an indoor room with an outdoor feeling. It lets much more light into the back of the house, and helps open up the view into the backyard, which we planted with greenery and enclosed with a fence. By adding a few pieces of indoor/outdoor lounge furniture, the space becomes a great place to sit and relax.

Lori Steenhoek is a Digital Artist with over six years of experience creating architectural renderings. She is the founder of Capital Pixel, a DC-based rendering company, and is currently finishing her Masters thesis in Animation and Visual Effects. She can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Do you know of a home that needs some re-imagining? If so, drop us a line at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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See other articles related to: trinidad, renovation, re-imagined, dclofts

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/re-imagined_fixing_up_a_trinidad_fixer_upper/5278


  1. Les said at 12:51 pm on Saturday March 17, 2012:

    I was a bit confused at first. The pictures didn’t look real. But as the article title says its “Re-imagined”, that is, it’s what it could be. How much would this renovation cost? How about the bathroom? I love the clawfoot tub. Would hate to remove that. Any ideas?

  1. Lori said at 9:26 pm on Sunday March 18, 2012:

    @Les - Yep, all the ‘before’ photos are real pictures from the actual online listing, and the ‘after’ photos are all ones that I digitally created to show what could be.

    Since all the changes I’m suggesting are just hypothetical, I don’t really spend the the time to figure out the cost of the renovation. There are too many unknown factors to do that, it would really depend on the buyer and their budget/tastes.

    I agree with you though on the bathroom and clawfoot tub! I loved that feature too and definitely wouldn’t remove it, though I might relocate the tub to under the window area in that photo and make the bathroom layout a little more organized.

  1. reno said at 5:20 pm on Monday March 19, 2012:

    it goes beyond tastes.. in order just to do what you see in that house there is so much that needs to be done first that you don’t even see.. plaster removed, drywall, knock down walls, fix floors, joists, electrical, plumbing to even put the kitchen in.. you could probably more easily come up with an estimate for the new stuff if you *assumed* you have a blank slate, but if you are buying a house like the one in the listing, you don’t know what needs to be done to the bones of the house before you can even put the re-imagined stuff in. Does the plumbing need to be moved? Do you need to knock down a wall?  If so, is it a load bearing wall? How is the electric? Do you need to frame out the kitchen for the cabinets (current kitchen is just plaster over brick)?. Is the porch in good shape or does it need to be removed and rebuilt? How is the concrete or footings underneath the porch? Can you refinish the floors or do they need to be replaced?  Is the plaster in the ceiling falling apart? Is there water damage? and the list goes on..

    After recently doing something similar myself, I’d estimate between 60-100k.  A huge range, but there are too many unknowns and so much of it you won’t know until you dive in.

  1. Erik said at 1:30 pm on Monday April 9, 2012:

    The work Lori does is for people who value sensory comfort.  Her magic is that she can see the good in a junky run-down space, and transform it into a place where you’d actually like to hang out.  I think the porch b/a says it all - in the 1st photo it’s so awful I think I can even smell it, and in the rendering I’d love to kick back there.  Well done, Lori!

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