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Tina Rodriguez

11
Nov

Vintage Flip Season 2 Episode 11 | Queen Anne Victorian

We were so excited to be back in Redlands! We bought another beautiful Victorian Home. This time it was a Queen Anne Cottage, built in 1899. It is 1860 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths.

Redlands is a lovely college town full of historic homes. It reminds us very much of Claremont, where we live. We have grown quite attached to Redlands. The city was founded in the 1880s when people came to Redlands because of cheap land and a warm climate.

Queen Annes were known for their gabled roofs, ship lap siding, stained glass windows, and wrap around porches. This home had all of that, including a grand entrance with built-in bookcases and bench. The entrance also had a wooden pocket door that led into the grand dining room. We are crazy about pocket doors!

The home was magnificent but a little tired and worn. The natural wood built-ins and moldings needed a good cleaning, the hardwood floors needed to be refinished, the kitchen and baths needed a total renovation. The ceiling was covered in acoustic tiles that were probably added in the 1960s. We removed them and discovered many cracks in the plaster. The most efficient fix for this was to dry wall over the ceiling.

The kitchen had an original butler’s pantry. This is where Victorian homeowners would keep all of their special china and silver, and in fact the butler would sometimes sleep in the pantry to guard all of the valuables. This butler’s pantry had a built-in with shelves and an original butcher block countertop. As much as we loved the pantry it made more sense to take down the wall into the kitchen. This opened up the kitchen, made it so much larger, and we were still able to keep the built-in. 

Tina wanted to do a checkerboard pattern on the kitchen floor. This pattern was very popular in Victorian times, as they were mimicking the floors of castles and grand homes. Jessie thought doing a large (24×24) tile would look very dramatic and Tina agreed, but she wanted to do the tile in a subtle gray and white. Finishing off the kitchen we installed white shaker cabinets, open shelving with corbels that duplicated the ones on the built-in, a gray quartz countertop, and a beautiful marble backsplash. Marble and tile became very important to the Victorians. It was beautiful and very easy to keep clean, and they were obsessed with germs and cleanliness during that time.

The only other changes we made to the floor plan were adding a closet to the second bedroom and closing one wall of the Jack and Jill bathroom to make it a master bath. Once the wall was closed we had a true master suite. We used subway tile in the shower up to the 11 foot ceiling, ceramic tile on the floor, and quartz that resembled marble on the bench top in the shower. 

We put a geometric hexagon tile on the tub wall in the hall bath, and white hexagon tile on the floor. Clean and fresh was the vibe in this home!

Our next dilemma was the cabinet doors on the dining room built-in hutch. One of the doors was missing and we wanted to reproduce it. Building it wasn’t the problem, staining it was. We couldn’t find a stain to match all of other wood in the house, and we certainly didn’t want to re-stain the entire house. But we got lucky! The guys found some of the original stain in the basement. 

There was a little hiccup with the lighting. Tina found authentic Victorian lights, but when transporting the dining room light to the house one of the globes broke. Tina and little Max visited a local antique store and they were very fortunate to find a replacement!

Time to paint the outside! Tina took her inspiration from the Victorian Painted Ladies, the most famous of which are in San Francisco (the Full House home!). Painted Ladies have three or more colors, and for this home Tina chose teal, seafoam green, and white with accents of purple. The transformation was incredibly beautiful.

For the landscape we decided to use flowers that would have been at the home back in 1899. Lots of lavendar, roses, and hydrangeas. The result was just what we hoped for.

We are very proud to have lovingly restored another historic home in the beautiful city of Redlands. May the current and future homeowners enjoy living in it for another hundred years – and then some!

8
Nov

Vintage Flip Season 2 Episode 8 | Americana Craftsman

We got the opportunity to buy this 1918 Grove House in the city of Ontario from another investor. He started the project and was unable to finish it. It was a great house, but unfortunately we inherited a few of that investor’s problems. This was one of our largest home renovations to date with 1900 square feet, 4 bedrooms and 2 baths.

Ontario was settled by the Chaffey brothers, who came to California from Ontario, Canada. Easterners flocked to California in the early 20th century. The warm weather and ability to grow crops all year round was a real draw. Southern California had the perfect climate for growing citrus. There were lemon and orange groves all over the area, and this home was originally a farmhouse for the groves. It would have been the only house for miles around at the time it was built in 1918, surrounded by lush citrus trees as far as the eye could see.

The house is on the historic registry, thus we couldn’t make any changes to the floor plan. It still had many of the original features, such as the river rock planter on the front porch, coffered ceilings in the living room, and beautiful mahogany paneling and built-ins. It had a large kitchen and large dining room. 

There wasn’t much demo to do on this house, but we had to make sure the house was up to code. We updated all electrical and had to reframe some of the walls. We had two major surprises, however. The foundation needed major repairs – new rebar, posts and concrete. This was an additional $10,000 we hadn’t planned on. Also, the city threw a wrench into our plans when they required us to gable the back roof that was over an upstairs addition. Another $5,000! This was adding up fast. Oh well, it’s only money. Right?

True to the period there was no master suite but we were lucky to have two bathrooms, one up and one down. The upstairs bath was huge and we wanted it to have a dramatic design.  Tina chose black subway for the shower walls, dark green paint for the bathroom walls, and a mahogany vanity that had a double sink and was 72 inches wide. It was uncertain if the vanity would fit through the door at first, but it just squeaked through. Whew!

The kitchen was large, and we wanted it to have a traditional look. Because of this we used bead board cabinets, marble countertops, a farmhouse sink, and tin backsplash. Tin ceilings were everywhere in the early 1900s and now companies have adapted the tin and made it into backsplash material. This kitchen was unique, beautiful and true to the period. We were very proud of the final result.

Finish carpentry was very important in this house. We are proud of the talented crafts people that work for our company. From installing and adapting the vintage French doors in the living room, repairing and rebuilding some of the mahogany panels, refinishing the coffered ceilings, and giving the beautiful built-ins some tender loving care – they hit a home run!

On the exterior we decided to stay with the Americana theme. We painted the siding a navy blue, the trim a crisp white, and the corbels a beautiful red. In the porch planter we put red and white geraniums, and in the front yard azaleas, gardenias and camellias. Just like the plants the farmer’s wife would have lovingly tended in her yard back in the day.

This house will always be special to us because you got to see the day that our third beautiful boy, Max, came into the world. This is why we do what we do. In the end it is all about family! Not just our family but the families that will be living in the homes we renovate for many years to come, making their own beautiful memories. We are truly blessed.

7
Nov

Vintage Flip Season 2 Episode 7 | 1950’s Ranch

This time we found an abandoned ranch home in West Covina that was built in 1952. It was just off the 10 freeway, and truly was one of the most run-down homes we had ever purchased, including peeling paint and water damage. The house was 1050 square feet, with three bedrooms and only one bathroom. The purchase price was $275,000. However, we saw a lot of potential in this home.

In southern California in the 1950s the freeways connected Los Angeles to the suburbs, marking the beginning of suburban living. As a result of remarkable expansion during the post World War II building boom, West Covina became one of the fastest-growing U.S. cities between 1950 and 1960. Everyone had a car and garages were very important, which is why builders starting building single story homes with attached garages. It truly was the beginning of the car culture, which remains today in southern California.

We thought we could have fun with the design on this house, using touches of car culture, especially after we discovered a stove that was left in the house. It was a 1950s O’Keefe and Merritt stove, De Ville edition, and had decorative features that looked like a hood ornament and speedometer. We decided to restore the stove and return it to the kitchen.

Other original items we wanted to return to the kitchen were the mid-century boomerang style cabinet pulls. They were in pretty rough condition, but we took them to Inland Powder Coating Corp. in Ontario. The pulls were sandblasted, taking them back to the bare metal, and then powder coated in a bright yellow that Tina chose. Very eye-catching!

This house only had one bathroom, and we strongly felt we needed two. We found the solution in the laundry room behind the kitchen. We sealed up the wall between this room and the kitchen, and opened the adjoining wall to the bedroom. We made this room a bathroom, thus creating a master suite. We then were able to take a hall closet and convert it to laundry space.

 

The other floor plan change we made was taking down the wall between the kitchen and dining area. This opened up the area and made it feel more spacious.

Tina originally wanted to use cement-look tile on the kitchen floor. This industrial look was very mid-century and also a nod to the car culture (aka a cement garage floor). However, upon further research she found that you could now buy Terrazzo tiles and that idea intrigued her. The tiles are much more cost-effective than the large poured Terrazzo floors that were common in the 1950s and 1960s. She also wanted to use metal strips between the tiles to join them, and the result was both unique and striking. We then installed modernistic flat panel cabinets with a quartz countertop that was also the backsplash, and with the yellow cabinet pulls the kitchen was complete!

We wanted to use the same upbeat style in the bathrooms! We used the 12×24 concrete-look tile on the floors and shower walls, laid in a stacked pattern. To add a bit of whimsey we laid penny-round tile in a bright colored accent racing stripe coming down the shower walls and across the floor to the doors. 

To complete the inside we had the hardwood floors refinished and stained gray, giving the floors a true modern feel.

Designing the exterior of the home was just as fun as doing the interior. A custom milled front porch screen was designed and built by Jessie and our contractor Casey. The wood was layered in different sizes in order to help provide a sound barrier from the freeway noise. The front door is a modern design painted yellow, which gives the front of the house a true pop of color. 

The backyard had an old travel trailer, which we needed to pull out. It was a bit of an adventure getting it out, and Tina was a little nervous about it fitting without hitting the house. However, it made it out and Jessie and the boys had a blast washing it out front. He thought it would be fun to turn it into a mobile coffee shop, but that plan is still up for discussion.

The modern landscape and horizontal fencing completed the mid-century look of this home. We really did have a fun time on this one!

6
Nov

Vintage Flip Season 2 Episode 6 | 1959 Mid-Century Ranch

We were very excited at the opportunity to purchase another home in the city of Upland, Tina’s hometown. This time it was a mid-century modern home, built in 1959. This renovation promised to be both an adventure and a lot of fun!

The home had been built by the previous homeowner. It is rare that we are able to buy a home and be only the second owners! We had the privilege of meeting the homeowner’s children, and they told us that their dad’s building of this home was a true labor of love. 

True to mid-century design, the house had a flat roof, vertical board and batten, large front door with a glass sidelight, hardwood floors, a vaulted ceiling with beams in the living room, a geometric fireplace, built in bookcases, and large windows that brought the outdoors in. We wanted to honor these features, while also bringing a 2017 sensibility to the home so that it would appeal to today’s buyers.

We made very few changes to the floor plan. We took down the accordion doors between the  living room and kitchen and enlarged the opening, making each room flow right into the next. We also squared off the wall in the master bath and removed a closet, making the bathroom and shower much larger.

The living room had a fireplace with a very geometric shape that we wanted to keep. The travertine tile that was on it was not true to the era, so we replaced it with a combination of geometric tile (laid randomly) and a textured plaster. The bookcases on either side of the fireplace were painted white, the beams on the ceiling were painted charcoal gray, an accent wall was painted teal, the ceiling and other walls were painted white – and the result was breathtaking!

 

The kitchen needed to be completely gutted, as none of the cabinets were able to be saved. We took out the peninsula and soffit to further open the area. Tina found flat panel wood grain doors for the lower cabinets, to mimic the previous cabinets, and white doors for the uppers. A white tile floor, with a blue and white 3-D tile backsplash, finished off a perfect kitchen.

Squaring the wall in the master bath and taking out the linen closet made such a difference. The bathroom and walk-in shower were greatly enlarged. Because there was no window in this bathroom we wanted to use light colored tile, and found some beautiful geometric tile that reminded us of the original. Also the original light in the room was amazing! It consisted of four cut glass rectangular pieces on a light bar. Unfortunately the light bar broke when it was being taken down, and we were so sad. Luckily we have a friend, Rob Lewbel, who owns Moonshine Lamp Co in Claremont. Jessie took the glass pieces to Rob and he was able to make a new light bar for the glass pieces to attach to. The result was perfect and provided a lot of light in the room!

The hall bath was roomy and just needed new tile, paint, vanity and mirror.

Moving on to the floors, we hoped that the laminate that was laid over the hardwoods in the living room could be successfully removed and the hardwood floors restored. Once again we were able to patch, sand and stain the original floors in the entire home, and they were gorgeous! 

Outside we wanted to give the home a little more interest, so we removed some of the board and batten and installed horizontal tongue and groove siding. With a paint scheme of light gray and white with charcoal trim, the house had just what it needed. A final touch was the beautiful large front door. It needed a pop of color and the perfect shade of tangerine was it!

Modern landscape is defined by strong elements, clean lines and unusual materials. In our front yard we wanted to incorporate all of this, and used a combination of grass, gravel, pebbles and native plants. We already had the curved sidewalk pavers, and the space between them was perfect for the pebbles. We couldn’t be happier with the exterior of this home.

Time to stage! The previous homeowners left us many period pieces which we used in our staging. Mid-century homes call for lots of color, and we were able to add color with our furniture and accessories. The house looked amazing – a real showstopper!

23
Jun

Vintage Flip Season 2 Episode 4 | Stately Craftsman

This time we are back in our hometown of Claremont, with a large 1914 Craftsman home. This home is 2700 square feet with three bedrooms and three bathrooms. It is on a beautiful tree lined street right in the Claremont village.

We love Craftsman homes and this beauty has all of those features and more. The large front porch with natural rock, the original wide wooden door, the dining room built-ins with pagoda cutouts on the cabinet doors, the wood paneling, the grand fireplace, and the pocket doors between the living room and dining rooms – all we could say was WOW!

The main living areas needed cleaning and brightening and the large fireplace needed something special to make it stand out in this beautiful home. The fireplace is the first thing that you see when you enter. Batchelder tile was very common on fireplaces of that era, but our fireplace didn’t have any special tile. Ernest Batchelder was an artist and teacher who lived in southern California in the early 20th century. He created art tiles and was a leader in the American Arts and Crafts Movement. His tiles became hugely popular and by the 1920s could be found in homes throughout the country. 

Pasadena Craftsman Tile currently has the blessing of the Batchelder family to make authentic reproductions of his tiles. We hired them to make special tiles for our fireplace, a tree pattern in a beautiful green/blue color surrounded by tiles in the same hues. The cost was $4500, and worth every penny!

The original hardwood floors were in great condition and only needed sanding and stain to bring them back to life.

The kitchen had been remodeled in the 1960s and needed an update and a style more in keeping with the style of the home. Tina wanted the kitchen to be bright and light, so she decided on white cabinets for the uppers and a sage green for the lowers. Also we had that amazing pagoda cut-out design on the dining room cabinet doors, and Tina wanted to carry that design into the kitchen. A template was made from an original door and a machinist used the template to cut out the doors. The result was truly original. The finishing touches were the soapstone countertop and handmade wavy tile backsplash.

The floor plan included two bedrooms and two bathrooms downstairs, and one bedroom and bath upstairs. In order to make a true master downstairs we opened the wall between a bedroom and bathroom. This bathroom had a built-in that we decided to keep, and we installed the vanity in the center of the built-in. The original clawfoot tub was still there. We restored the tub by cleaning it, painting the outside black, and applying a wax pigment patina on the feet. We did a marble tile floor in a basketweave pattern and the same wavy handmade tile from the kitchen for the wainscot. The final result was beautiful!

We were so fortunate to have original pictures of the home, and the exterior of the home still had the original cedar shingles. We were hoping to power wash them and keep them in their original condition. However, the force of the water was making gouges in the soft wood. We had to paint the shingles instead, and chose an olive green for the shingles, blue on the windows, and brown trim. It gave the home a very natural look, which is the Craftsman way.

The original wide front door had a lot of cracks in it. We stripped it and installed a brand new sheet of oak on the face. Once it was stained you couldn’t tell that it had been repaired. It was good as new!

New landscape added the finishing touch. This home was returned to it’s stately elegance and will be a lovely home for at least another hundred years.