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How to make a cookie cutter home modern...(lots of pics!)

by Dan Semar last modified Jun 15, 2007 07:24 PM
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How to make a cookie cutter home modern...(lots of pics!)

Posted by Dan Semar at July 02. 2006

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Making a Midwest cookie cutter home modern

My Wife and I purchased our home back in 2001 for $116,000. It’s about 1200 sq ft. We are located approximately 20 minutes from downtown St. Louis in the suburbs called, St. Peters, MO. We purchased this house primarily because of its location to both our jobs and accessibility to ample shopping and restaurants. We were against buying a split level home when we started looking but when we viewed this one we fell in love with the loft like openness of the foyer, living room, dining room and kitchen. It made the home feel so much bigger than it really is. We knew the home would take some work to get it to reflect our style and we were willing to experiment. We have now painted the foyer, living room, kitchen and master bedroom twice since we moved in. Let’s just say the first color choices made us say, “What were we thinking”? When asked to describe our decorating style I would have to say a cross between mid century modern and minimalism.

Following are some pictures of our house in its current state:

Front of house



When picking out plants and materials for the landscaping I wanted a maintenance free solution. That is why I chose 1-inch limestone rock and all ornamental grasses. I only have to cut/trim them once a year!









My friend’s parents owned a lake house that got bought out by a developer who was going to tear it down to build condos. My buddy asked me if I wanted any of the furniture from the house. I snatched up these two butterfly chairs for $5 each, which I believe are originals!





As soon as you come in the front door and look up to your right this is what you see.







As you come up the stairs from the foyer and look to your left you see the living room.



View if you’re sitting on my couch





Look at this handsome guy!





Judge (black) and Billy (fawn)



The paint on the walls is Sherwin Williams Soft Suede Grey. We chose this paint and finish because it had a resemblance to concrete.



Instead of typical baseboards I finished the walls to the floor and just used quarter round to give it more of a clean look. Lot’s of work but I think the end result turned out great.











I painted the original oak cabinets with Rust-Oleum hammered paint (charcoal). I replaced all the brass hardware with brushed nickel and luckily the previous owners didn’t put any hardware on the cabinets so there were no holes to cover up.





On each end of the cabinets was wood grain sticker paper. I went to a sign shop and got some brushed aluminum sticker paper and recovered it. I then covered the edges with aluminum L-channel.



I wanted something durable for the toe kicks since the old ones had been water rotted. So I purchased some stainless steel pre-cut to size and Liquid nailed it to some marine grade plywood. The corners were covered with stainless steel L-channel.





In this shot you can see the openness of these rooms combined.



The bathroom is going to get a complete makeover hopefully next year. For the meantime I remove the linoleum and painted the luan with gloss white concrete paint. The cabinet was painted black and the counter I painted with Fleck stone paint and poly urethaned it with about five coats. I built a frame out of OSB board and painted it to match the cabinets. It’s amazing how a little detail will change the feel of a room. Overall this temporary bathroom redo only cost us $100.



As the people on MTV Cribs say…”This is where the magic happens”.





If you are a guest in our house this is where you will sleep.





We took the third bedroom and converted it into a computer room with a built-in birch plywood desk. My brother Chris helped me build this desk and it killed him to leave the grain exposed. He wanted to laminate it. I think he liked it once it was finished he just wouldn’t admit to it.





And the room that drives the neighbors crazy. At least it’s only twice a week. I’m in a metal band www.therend.net or www.myspace.com/rend and we practice here. We tried to do as much as possible to cancel the sound from escaping to the exterior. Flor carpet tiles on the bottom half of the walls and window plugs that fill the window and sliding glass door.




All the work done to our house was done by my Wife and I, except for help from my brother on the desk. I think that is the coolest part about owning a home and fixing it up, being able to say, “I did it”! Overall we have invested only about $7500 into this home. This is proof that you can make drastic changes on a budget. We’ve painted every room, re-carpeted the bedrooms, computer room, stairs and basement. We installed laminate flooring throughout the hall, kitchen, dining room and living room. All the carpet is Flor carpet tiles. Luckily we have a resource locally that sells overstock and imperfect tiles for only $2.30 each and sometimes you can find them for as cheap as $1.00…don’t be jealous! All artwork was done by me except for in the guest room, my late brother Doug Semar did that one.

If you have any comments or questions please reply!

Look for our house on HGTV’s – What you get for the money airing sometime this month. I will post in this thread once I know the exact dates and time.

Well that’s about all. Hopefully you all enjoyed the virtual tour of our home.

Dan, Tiffany, Billy and Judge


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Re: How to make a cookie cutter home modern...(lots of pics!)

Posted by tom mot at July 03. 2006

I really love what you've done with the house. Great job! It's especially nice to see that a non-descript regular house can be transformed in such way. I wonder, do you have any plans for the exterior of the house aside from landscaping?

I'm also jealous of your music room! What I wouldn't give to have a setup like that! Oddly enough, I'm in a metal band myself. If you ever need contacts for Austin, Houston or San Antonio hit me up. I just sent you a myspace add request from my band's page. We're called Cardinale by the way. And if you happen to read Metal Maniacs we're on pg 42 of the June issue!

http://www.myspace.com/cardinale

Great work and I'll definitely look for you on HGTV as I love that channel and show!

Re: How to make a cookie cutter home modern...(lots of pics!)

Posted by Ralph Lopez at July 04. 2006

My girlfriend loves your house(I like it a lot to!) But we had a few questions, 1 - whats the color called on the walls in the dining room and kitchen? 2- Where did you get your Sofa set? We can never totally agree on a sofa but we both like yours. 3 - can you take another picture of your bathroom showing the osb cabinet you made I need to do something similar.
You did fantastic work was this your first time or are you an experienced D.I.Y.er?

can't wait to see the bathroom

thanks
Ralph

Re: How to make a cookie cutter home modern...(lots of pics!)

Posted by Dan Semar at July 04. 2006

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[quote:fuel123 format=text/plain]My girlfriend loves your house(I like it a lot to!) But we had a few questions, 1 - whats the color called on the walls in the dining room and kitchen? 2- Where did you get your Sofa set? We can never totally agree on a sofa but we both like yours. 3 - can you take another picture of your bathroom showing the osb cabinet you made I need to do something similar.
You did fantastic work was this your first time or are you an experienced D.I.Y.er?[/quote]

Ralph,

The color in the dining room and kitchen is:

Sherwin Williams
Color Accents - Deep Base
Brassy (SW-6410)

The sofa is the Petrie from Crate and Barrel. Excellant sofa!

The cabinet in the bathroom is the stock cabinet just painted black with new hardware. I painted the top with Rust Oleum (American Accents Stone Creations) - Black Granite.

This is my first home so everything is a first time for me. I'm ready to do it again but the Wife isn't.



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Re: How to make a cookie cutter home modern...(lots of pics!)

Posted by Liz Hart at July 04. 2006

Great job!

Re: How to make a cookie cutter home modern...(lots of pics!)

Posted by Java Henderson at July 05. 2006

I will not be jealous, only if you tell me where you got the FLOR for $1.00-$2.30. Where is this overstock place. I really like your place. Thanks

Re: How to make a cookie cutter home modern...(lots of pics!)

Posted by Joyce Shaw at July 06. 2006

Impressive! I think we have the same ceiling fan! Can you tell me where you got the hanging lamp in your foyer? I can't seem to find anything we like in Austin. Thanks!

Re: How to make a cookie cutter home modern...(lots of pics!)

Posted by Dan Semar at July 10. 2006

iluvashnjj,

FLOR carpet tiles at HOODS on Natural Bridge and 170. See the St. Louis Stores thread for exact address.


joyceshaw,

I got that light at a local light store (Metro Lighting) and can't remember the brand name.

Re: How to make a cookie cutter home modern...(lots of pics!)

Posted by Dennis Beech at July 10. 2006

STLModern

What a lovely house done, with style and good taste.

Do you have any before photos?

I am certain being able to track the change from 2001 will inspire those of us who hope to achieve what you have.

Regards

Re: How to make a cookie cutter home modern...(lots of pics!)

Posted by Aisha at November 28. 2006

Dan,

Love what you've done. Especially since I'm all too familiar w/cookie cutter styles in outlying St. Louis suburbs. I live in Ballwin in a very typical two-story house. We've been trying to makeover the country-rustic look since we moved in three years ago. (Think vine-printed wallpapered kitchen with a forest green accent wall and dark oak cabinets. It made you feel dizzy just to walk into it).

 Do you have any recommendations for contractors or designers who share a modern aesthetic?

Much appreciated,

Aisha

Re: How to make a cookie cutter home modern...(lots of pics!)

Posted by Dan Semar at December 14. 2006

We finally found out when our house will be on TV!

What You Get for the Money
Episode HGFTM-226

$200,000

Compare what kind of house you can get for $200,000 in six markets across the country. Our first home is a 65-year-old Tudor located in Jackson, Miss., that was originally purchased for $55,000 by Karole Sessums and HC Porter. Next up is a fixer-upper in Norman, Okla., where Michael Pullen and Jim Allred put lots of TLC into their project. Our final feature is a surprisingly hip house in the suburbs of St. Louis, where young couple Tiffany and Dan Semar surprised everyone. Last up is a look at homes in Birmingham, Ala., Little Rock, Ark., and Charleston, S.C.

Air Times:
January 21, 2007 11:30 PM ET/PT
January 22, 2007 3:30 AM ET/PT

Re: How to make a cookie cutter home modern...(lots of pics!)

Posted by Sruti Ram at May 29. 2007

Previously Liz Hart wrote:


Hi,


I am thinking of painting our kitchen cabinets. I have one question regarding the paint technique, did you spray paint or did you use a good brush?

Sruti

Re: How to make a cookie cutter home modern...(lots of pics!)

Posted by Rebekah Sneed at June 15. 2007

Dan- Your house is sensational!  You have a talent for interior design.  I love the minimalist style and the colors you chose.  Thanks for sharing.  Rebekah

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