Transforming problem houses into Dream Homes

A Modern Makover Refreshes A Rental

David Locicero / architect

Completed in 2020

Renovation of a 1970’s studio apartment

Client: the architect

The Problem: The studio condo, a rental property, had not been significantly updated since it was built in the early 1970’s. The cabinets were falling apart, the appliances were sucking up energy, and the plumbing fixtures were dated. The whole place was tired.

The Client: Me! An architect who cares about where and how people live. He has an appreciation for the late mid-century vibe of the condominium complex and wanted to keep the renovation in the spirit of the original building style. The studio needed to remain a rental, but with more polish to attract good tenants.

The renovated kitchen has all new appliances and a sturdy IKEA kitchen. The cork floor extends into the kitchen. Photo copyright 2020, David Locicero, architect

The Solution: We completely replaced all the kitchen and bath cabinets, fixtures, fittings and appliances. The Bathroom was mostly gutted in order to add insulation in the walls and to remove the bathtub. We wanted to ensure that the shower enclosure had not leaked in the last 50 years.

We updated the finishes in the bathroom with marble tile in the shower enclosure and large porcelain tiles on the floor. All the plumbing fixtures and bathroom accessories were sourced at Home Depot.

The bathroom was completely gutted and rebuilt from the studs in. We kept the color palate to white, grey, and chrome. Photo copyright 2020, David Locicero, architect

We replaced the counter, cabinets, and appliances in the kitchen. Ikea was our friend. The tiles selected for their mid-century colors and shape. We also liked their varying textures.

We replaced the old carpet with new cork floors, encapsulated the “popcorn” ceiling under a new layer of sheet rock, and completely repainted the unit.

Not bad for an IKEA kitchen. We kept it economical with a plastic laminate counter, and basic cabinets. The “wow” comes from the lux back splash tiles which have a great mid-century vibe. Photo copyright 2020, David Locicero, architect

The Results: the renovation brought the unit into the 21st century and looks so much cleaner and more contemporary. The color palette is consistent with the mid-century vibe of the building, but neutral enough to allow tenants to bring in their furniture and belongings without visual clashing.

The project came in right on budget.

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