Home tour: Real estate agent turns Madison Park fixer upper into entertainer’s oasis

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Katie Roche bought her Madison Park home almost a year ago. As a real estate agent and a Charlotte native, she knew she wanted to invest in the area, and after months of renovation, she moved into her dream home just before the pandemic hit Charlotte.

The house: Roche bought the house in August 2019 for $316,000. It had been sitting on the market for a few months and “just needed some love,” she says.

The house has 3 beds and 2 baths, and was originally 1,100 square feet. She added on a large family room with a fireplace and built-ins. Plus she expanded the kitchen and owner’s suite, increasing the square footage to about 1,900 square feet.

For the exterior, she gave the house a more contemporary look by painting it white and adding a covered front porch. She also expanded the entryway.

Here’s what it looked like before.

Katie Roche Home Tour before

Katie Roche with her builder Butch Miller on closing day.

Katie Roche Home Tour before interior

Roche worked with draftsman Shawn Panders to transform this into her dream home.

Budgeting for a remodel: Roche says she had one overall number in mind and worked with her contractor, Butch Miller, to stay on budget. She invested in fresh paint inside and out, cabinetry, and adding square footage, and gave herself allowances for each category.

She didn’t share the final cost of her full-home remodel, but she did share some figures that might be helpful if you’re thinking of renovating. Keep in mind, costs for home projects vary greatly and prices might be impacted by Covid-19.

Here’s a breakdown of what she spent:

  • $21,000 for cabinetry through Lake Norman Granite and Cabinetry for the kitchen, bathrooms, built-ins, and closet.
  • $10,000 for surfaces. This includes kitchen countertops, island, and bathrooms.
  • $16,000 for paint, trim, and ceilings. She had the interior and exterior painted, popcorn ceilings removed, and new trim installed throughout the house.
Katie Roche Home Tour house

Roche added new shutters and a covered front porch, and painted the entire exterior.

Katie Roche Home Tour entry

The shiplap in the entry sets the tone for the rest of the house: relaxed and stylish. You’ll find neutrals, soft textures, and light pinks throughout. Those details make the space feel cozy and chic.

Katie Roche Home Tour before office

The home office right off the entry could also be converted to a formal dining or living room in the future.

Money-saving tips: Roche wanted to spend most of her budget on renovations instead of furnishings, and she managed to stay within her budget on both.

To save money on countertops, for example, she used slab remains for her bathroom counters. Slab stores save leftovers from other projects that are much cheaper than cutting from a fresh slab. She spent a couple hundred dollars there.

She also bought her Thermadore range from Ferguson’s showroom floor. It retails around $8,000 and she got the store model for $2,500, never used. Similarly, she worked with her contractor to find her fridge at discounted price.

She thrifted a lot of her furniture and refreshed it with paint and new pulls/handles. No matter what your budget is, she says paint and new hardware go a long way in transforming your space.

Katie Roche Home Tour before kitchen

Katie Roche Home Tour before coffee bar and fridge

Katie Roche Home Tour kitchen and living

The kitchen has a giant eat-in island, custom cabinetry, a Thermador range, a coffee bar, and an oversized fridge. It opens to the family room — a layout that’s great for now and resale purposes.

Katie Roche Home Tour before dining book

Roche didn’t need a formal dining room so they made a little nook with tons of natural light.

Shops: Roche got all of her lighting from the Light Fixture Outlet. She showed the staff pictures from her Pinterest and they sourced affordable options; everything was under $300.

She got her living room rug from Carpet Discount Warehouse. The oversized custom piece cost $1,700 (including white-glove delivery). I’ve been eyeing similar styles online at Ballard Designs and One Kings Lane that are $2,000+.

South End Exchange, Slate, Sleepy Poet, and Cotswold Marketplace are her favorite local home decor shops. And a lot of her furniture and accessories came from Joss & Main, Overstock, Wayfair, West Elm, and Crate and Barrel.

Katie Roche Home Tour living area

Roche added this entire living area onto the house. There’s an entrance to the main bedroom off of this area, as well as a door to the private covered patio.

Katie Roche Home Tour fireplace

Resale value: Roche worked with her contractor to design a house fit for her own needs, but as a real estate agent, she couldn’t help but think about resale value when making these not-so-cheap decisions.

“Having two living spaces is really important for resale,” Roche says. “I use the front room as an office, but it could be a formal dining or living room.”

The house works for her, and she hopes to be in the house for a long time. But if she were to sell, the layout makes sense for a young family with kids, or someone with a roommate.

If you’re renovating your own house or buying a fixer upper, Roche says investing in the owner’s suite is never a bad idea. Features like a walk-in closet with custom shelving and a spa-like bath with dual vanities can help sell a home. A big open kitchen is another must.

Katie Roche Home Tour owner's room

The main bedroom is bright and airy, and it’s secluded from the two other guest bedrooms toward the front of the house.

Katie Roche Home Tour closet

Katie Roche Home Tour bedroom details

Katie Roche Home Tour bathroom

Katie Roche Home Tour bath and shower

The bathroom has duel vanities, a spot for Roche to get ready, and a separate soaking tub.

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