Fashion vs. "integrity" in house flipping
The Friday Express has an article about the revival of house flipping, "Lucrative New Life for the Obsolete: House Flippers Are Back Post-Bubble," where people buy houses (ideally for a low price), renovate them cheaply and quickly, and resell for a higher price.
Starting at 9:30 a.m., one-hour workshops will be presented, including: Caring for Your Historic Windows, Maintaining the Wood Floors in Your House, Landscaping for Old Houses, Period Details for Kitchens in Old Houses, and Maintaining The Masonry in Your Old House. Each workshop will be offered twice.
Jane Powell – author of six books on old houses, hands-on restorer, speaker and columnist – will give share her experience renovating kitchen and bathrooms, and her love for linoleum, the real stuff, during a special one-hour luncheon presentation. Tickets for the talk, including a box lunch, cost $10...
Numerous exhibitors will be on hand to showcase products and services that are specific for houses built from 1860 to 1961. Various retail vignette areas for Victorians, Bungalows, Denver Squares, Tudors and Mid-century Modern homes will feature accessories and furniture for sale – from fancy lace items for a Queen Anne to shiny chrome wares for the Ranch. Attendees will have an opportunity to win household furnishings, products and services in special drawings held throughout the day.
From the Denver Post article:
Jane Powell couldn't care less about self-expression through interior design. The outspoken preservationist and self-proclaimed "bungalow Nazi" has just one rule: Don't mess with the fabric of an old home. "My attitude is . . . you are temporary in this house," says the California-based author of six books including "Bungalow Bathrooms" and "Bungalow Kitchens." Quite simply, Powell says: "You don't disrespect the integrity of a house." ...
Powell's talk should spark lively debate among homeowners who relish the charm of old houses but struggle with how to modernize them. [Amy] Carbone appreciated that Powell's book presents three restoration plans for three budgets. A homeowner can hint at the period a house was built through accessories; step it up with period lighting, subway tile and white appliances; or do a full-blown historic restoration with period appliances, original light fixtures and antique hardware. "Those kinds of compromise solutions were important to me because I couldn't afford to be obsessive about it," says Carbone, whose renovation cost a modest $12,000.
Carbone remodeled her kitchen to include a flip-out countertop and more room for plates. "I had an idea of what I wanted, but all that changed completely" after reading Powell's "Bungalow Kitchens," she says.
House-restoration experts consider Powell a lightning rod in the remodeling industry, where homeowners are pushed to update every five to 10 years. Powell underscores the idea that a period kitchen will always look appropriate in an old house — regardless of current design trends — while a remodeled one becomes dated.
Note that open concept first floors (where the living room, dining room, and kitchen are one long room) can be done in ways that are congruent with "old" houses, it all depends on the execution. The flow present in Arts & Crafts, Bungalows, Wardman style "porch front" rowhouses is similar, albeit with some partial walls and wide openings.