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How to Update an Industrial Apartment to Chic Urban


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One of the best ways to update any type of dwelling is to clean things up. Of course, that means scrubbing the place down, but I also mean to visually make the place look and feel clean and tidy.
Here are some views of the living room during construction.
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(this is the glass front door and also a door to the attached artist studio)
You can see that the cement floors have faded with use looking more rough than rustic. 
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Some of the walls were painted by the tenant several times. That would be fine if she hadn't painted the light switches, vents and everything else in one fell swoop!
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We evened out the floors with a dark porch paint tinted with a bit of black and thinned the mix with a bit of water to just stain the surface. We added two layers of clear coat to protect the floors from wear and tear. We also added storage and a curtain to the entry to make that area more useful and cut down on cold and sound that might drift in from the studio.
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The walls, ceilings AND baseboards are painted Kelly-Moore Paints, Greybeard. Looks clean yet much warmer and more welcoming than white. The soft color gives the space an open feeling by distracting your eyes from all of the angles and odd more industrial details like the cinder block wall. Please, I'm begging you, take the time to take down switch plates, doors and their hardware, and vents. It makes all the difference int he world to live in a space that is properly cared for and painted. Trust me.
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Only the doors and door jambs are painted white, Kelly-Moore Broken White. Painting small insignificant baseboards to match the walls gives the room the a tidier more spacious feeling and keeps your eyes on the walls.
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The 2nd bedroom needed to look more open and be much more useful.
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So we painted the built-in office shelves to match the walls, hung a closet bar below and added billowy white curtains from ceiling to floor. Now the space can accommodate any type of activity; office, craft room, bedroom...
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I can't even show you the bathroom, it was so sad (and we couldn't wait to tear everything out!) Suffice it to say that bringing new fixtures and color to a bathroom will go a very long way in attracting new residents or make your own time in a small space more enjoyable.
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We also put in a new linoleum tile floor (sustainable product!), repainted the tub (re-use!) and added new cabinets, mirrors and toilet.
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The walls and ceiling are painted with Kelly-Moore Broken White, a very neutral white without any blue or green (horrible for small dark bathrooms!) in the mix. The tub base is painted Blackjack. For bathrooms with strong vents or large windows, I choose low sheen paint finishes like egg shell or satin. This makes the walls washable and mildew resistant without the glare of semi-gloss or gloss paint.
Finally, the kitchen and dining room...
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The place was a mess. The storage and counter space was a jumble and both rooms were painted in brownish dijon color. 
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I can't imagine anyone wanting to eat in this dingy depressing color! Everyone knows that these rooms are where everyone ends up at a party, so they need to make us all look good and feel good.
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For the kitchen we went back our neutral paint color, Kelly-Moore Greybeard, then added new counter tops and better storage. We even boxed in the gab between the oven and cabinets to add more storage and keep the overall look tidy and cohesive.
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We chose Kelly-Moore Brazen Orange to give the dining room some warmth and show the custom steel and wood shelving that was built in when the office to apartment conversion first took place. Can't you just see supper surrounded by friends and all of your favorite books and things?
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As soon as we staged the space the crowd started showing up and we just finalized rental with 2 new tenants today! So in just under 4 weeks we renovated, staged, showed, and rented the apartment for $1000 per month more than the previous tenant. Color makes a difference.

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