Vintage Condo Conversion

Repurposing rooms makes a vintage condo ready for sale.

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Hide CaptionShow CaptionThe real estate expert said the way the house was laid out, this room would make more sense as a dining room than a TV room. She loves the room's high ceilings, big windows and marble fireplace.
Homeowners Shanelle and Tshurhad Bell are preparing to move to sunny Florida. But before they go, they need to sell their vintage condo on Chicago's south side. The 2,300-square-foot home has beautiful high ceilings and a lot of interesting architectural details. The couple has owned it for three years, and in that time, they have renovated the three-bedroom, two-bath condo to suit their tastes and needs.

Real estate expert Brandie Malay stops by to dole out some selling advice. She likes the vintage style of the building, but feels the exterior looks a little tired. After walking through the living room, Malay comes upon a big room that is filled with toys. She advises on clearing out the toys because not all buyers have kids, which means with toys strewn about, they won't be able to picture themselves in the space. Moving on to the bathroom, she finds it contractor-gray and completely boring. In the TV room, she wonders why the room isn't being used as a formal dining room. It is right next to the kitchen, and buyers looking for a vintage home are going to want a formal dining room.

Designer Monica Pedersen agrees with Malay's critique and has a plan to highlight the positives and eliminate the negatives.

Step 1: Turn the playroom into an elegant sitting room.

Step 2: In the bathroom, add some warm color, a new vanity and update the hardware.

Step 3: Transform the starkly-furnished TV room into a formal dining area.

Carpenters Robert North and Chad Lopez are part of the talented team that are on hand get the job done.

All of these are great selling features and should be emphasized. When a potential buyer walks into an older home, they expect a vintage theme and period details like these.

The playroom (not shown), will not appeal to buyers without children. Turning the space into a sitting room that everyone can enjoy will certainly add to the home's allure. The dark, pea-soup-green walls need be toned down to a more neutral, buyer-friendly color, and the expansive windows should be highlighted.