1) pass-through window between kitchen and living room enlarged
2) carpets and old tile replaced with hardwood and porcelain tile
My condo has a really great view, but the interior was kind of dingy looking, which is maybe why it hadn't sold, despite being on the market intermittently for much of the past year. It had been rented out, and the tenant had chosen a drab colour that made the interior look dark. I was willing to bet though, that due to the river view and the western exposure, that it was a diamond (well, at least a cubic zirconia) in the rough, and I bought it for 90% of the current asking price.
Part of why it looked dark though was that it really was dark. When they built these in 1974, the kitchens were completely walled off. Since then, most units have had them opened up to some extent, but in this unit, they had just added a small, conservative window to bring some light into the kitchen. The net result was... not that much light really got in.
Here are the before pictures:
Because so many units were for sale when I bought this one, I got to see how others had renovated their kitchens. I considered totally taking out the upper wall and replacing it with cupboards and countertop, but decided that I liked the clean lines of a larger window I had seen in another really nicely renovated unit. This had the added benefit of being much cheaper to do than putting in cupboards, and would preserve floor space, which is not that abundant in this kitchen.
I hired a carpenter through Handyman Connection. Here are the after pics. Bear in mind that it looks kind of rough as the painting hasn't been done yet:
You probably can't tell from the photos, but this really makes the light travel better around the apartment, it goes into the dining room now and the kitchen is way brighter, you don't need to turn the lights on in there any more during the day.
So, that was step 1. It cost around $900, and took the guy 2 days (some of that was waiting for plaster layers to dry). In 2 days the flooring guys come to rip out the carpet and tile, so stay tuned...