Light-Bulb Ideas for a 'No Demo Reno' From Jenn Todryk

No complete gut jobs here. Jenn Todryk is a master at completely refreshing a home without tearing down every wall, and we have her top tips for doing the same in your space.

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Changing a floor plan takes major time and money, which is why Jenn's goal is to stick to a home's existing footprint. Working with the aesthetics and surfaces of a home, she maxes out the potential and transforms houses into spaces that truly fit families' needs.

Reuse or Sell

After she comes up with a design plan, Cleanout Day is next, and it's a big deal to Jenn. Her team knows she wants as little as possible going into the dumpster (and she checks it often!). Wherever she can, she reuses pieces. She's been known to recut granite countertops so that she can save major $$$. And whatever she can't recycle, she sells via garage sales, online or even to salvage yards to make extra money to go toward the home redo.

Photo by: Rachel Whyte

Rachel Whyte

Consider Those Cabinets

Cabinets are such a huge part of your kitchen, and if you're not in love with them, it's the ultimate eyesore in the heart of your home. Jenn has two tricks for tackling cabinets. One, repaint your existing cabinet boxes and add new door fronts for an instant update. Or two, if you're completely replacing your cabinets, save a lot of money by opting for cabinets that aren't pre-finished, and then paint them yourself.

Find a New Home

Even if you're ready for new kitchen cabinets, be careful removing them on Cleanout Day. Jenn often finds a different room to reuse the kitchen cabinets, moving them into laundry rooms as extra storage or even as a base for a brand-new living room built-in.

Sometimes Walls Have to Come Down

While typically she avoids removing walls, every now and then, a wall must fall. As long as it doesn't require a permit or isn't load-bearing, then Jenn says it still counts as no demo. For example, this kitchen had superfluous walls that created a closed-off space. She and her team cut the existing wall down and added cabinets on one side to create a functional eat-in peninsula.

Pull Out the Paint

Before Jenn tackled this living room, the fireplace was a yucky shade of pink. Instead of completely refacing the surround or removing the fireplace (an expensive task!), she grabbed a can of paint to freshen up the look.

Embrace Those Lucky Finds

Take a little extra time when pulling up flooring or removing a façade off a fireplace. You never know what treasures you may find — original hardwood floors or a gorgeous brick surround. Before, this fireplace was covered in outdated, rugged stonework, but beautiful brickwork was discovered underneath. Instead of her original plan to wrap the fireplace in wood, Jenn embraced the bricks with a little cleanup and a new classic mantel.

Make a Door Disappear

Consider the flow of your rooms. Some spaces have multiple doors when one is plenty. One of Jenn's handy no-demo tricks is to fill in a second doorway, creating a wall, and giving the room more space.

Photo by: Rachel Whyte

Rachel Whyte

Steal Some Space

Don't let a little drywall get in your way from re-envisioning your room. Underneath the stairs is often an unused spot just waiting for you to discover it. Here, she created a creative kids' nook, perfect for pretend play or hiding away with a good book.

Rethink Those Pony Walls

If your half wall has columns, chances are that column is load bearing. Removing it and having to install a steel support beam easily becomes a $30,000 project. Instead of taking on the cost and time of a major renovation, Jenn works with half walls, not against them. She figures out a way to incorporate them into the functional design, such as adding a granite countertop and barstools to turn a half wall into an entertaining space or a place where kids can do homework and crafts.

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