My husband and I are hoping to buy a house at the end of the year, which means that, naturally, I must check Zillow 3 times a week, “just in case.”
While procrastinating on Zillow, I have noticed a disturbing trend among the entry level mid-century ranches that are so common in this area. No, scratch that. I’ve noticed multiple disturbing trends, many of them courtesy of “house flippers.”
Please Stop Tearing Down Walls
Stop removing all the walls! Stop it! Not only are you left with weird little baby walls, you’re also stuck with an empty void of a room instead of what used to be 2 or 3 neat little compartments. Some of us don’t want to have to tune out the clanging and sizzling in the open-concept kitchen while we’re simply trying to read in the also-open-concept living room. And you know what would help with that? Walls. Why is everyone so scared of them?
Please Stop Making Ugly Kitchen Updates
Stop making the same 2 updates to every single mid-century kitchen: hideously colored vinyl plank flooring and subway tile with black (?!) grout. Please note that I have nothing against vinyl plank flooring or subway tiles—they are both affordable and accessible ways to bring good design into your home, which I am all about. However, I ferociously oppose flooring that is the color of a sickly tree. I am also vehemently against grout that makes small tile look even smaller, making an already busy space look even busier.
Please Stop Painting Everything Black + White
Let’s just chill out with the paint, okay? I get that white paint is trendy (and I am all aboard that trend train), but must we repaint everything white? The fireplace, the cabinets, the exterior, the trim, the brickwork, the doors—is nothing sacred? And just as equally guilty is the color black. I feel like house flippers think that adding pops of dull black against a cheap white makes a space look ‘modern’ and ‘edgy’—it doesn’t. It just makes the home look like a Rorschach Test. All I’m asking for is that we embrace a little bit of contrast and texture.
I’d like to clarify that I have nothing against renovating old homes—I am not one of those Mid Mod purists whose last words will be “Give me clerestory windows or give me death!” (Though clerestory windows are beautiful.)
I just wish that the renovations that were done didn’t all look the same. This seems to be a problem more with the flipped sub-$300k homes, rather than the pricier ones. Which makes sense, as you would (hopefully!) care more about the details if you were selling the home for twice as much.
All this is to say that in a housing market full of open-concept living areas decked in unnaturally-colored vinyl plank flooring, I’m just a girl standing in the middle of it, asking for some hardwood.
Anyways, back to Zillow.