This Is What a $220K House Flip Looks Like

For new parents Nick and Noel, the dated, Englewood, New Jersey, ranch house was a love-at-first-sight situation. Despite the fact that the home was stuck in 1960s "design don't" territory, the couple saw loads of potential in its vaulted ceilings, ample natural light and gracious footprint. After taking a deep breath and signing on the dotted line, the duo hired interior designer Natalie Chianese of Homepolish to whip it into their dream home. 

“At first we discussed small updates, like painting the interior and saving the kitchen cabinets with minor updates,” says Chianese. “But, somehow that evolved into knocking down walls, demolishing the entire kitchen and basically ripping the entire first floor down to the studs!” (A reno tale as old as time.) To offset these expenses, Chianese got clever, integrating much of the couple’s existing furnishings and scrimping across the decorative layer where possible, like the rugs which are from HomeGoods (!). The end result? A bespoke forever home that Chianese describes as “comfortable, provocative and chic.” (We’re inclined to agree.) Here’s how they did it—and where all that money went. 

Reno Addicts, Prepare to Fall in Love With This Antique Cape Before and After

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Courtesy of Nick Fiorentinos

Before: Kitchen

The kitchen was functional and well equipped—but far from glamorous. (So. Much. Brown.) Plus, with its dark, boxed-in location at the center of the home, it was also an entertainer’s nightmare.

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Photo: Daniel Wang; Design: Natalie Chianese; Courtesy of Homepolish

After: Kitchen

Now that is a kitchen for having company. Nick and Noel are avid entertainers and a big, open-concept kitchen was their primary wish. So they took the leap, demoing everything and reconfiguring the layout—which in turn changed the flow of the entire home. The biggest splurges? The massive waterfall kitchen island (made of a single slab of quartz), the La Cornue French range and the custom brass hood. Drool. 

Cost: $103,800

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Courtesy of Nick Fiorentinos

Before: Dining Room

The dining room was rather meh, with dated cherry flooring and generic architectural features. 

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Photo: Daniel Wang; Design: Natalie Chianese; Courtesy of Homepolish

After: Dining Room

Ahhhh, that’s better. To update this space and tie into the home’s black-and-white palate, Chianese selected extra large, industrial doors, and painted the interior doors in a high-gloss ebony. New furnishings from Restoration Hardware complete the picture.

Cost: $15,970

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Courtesy of Nick Fiorentinos

Before: Family Room

“[Nick and Noel] bought the home for the natural light that pours in through the wall of windows in the family room”, says Chianese. And it’s easy to see why: the views of that private yard and woods beyond are amazing—but the dated built-ins, fireplace and ceiling paneling weren’t doing it any favors.

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Photo: Daniel Wang; Design: Natalie Chianese; Courtesy of Homepolish

After: Family Room

Behold: the transformative power of white paint. In addition to giving the space a bright white facelift, Chianese added custom built ins, refaced the fireplace in honed quartz, installed sleek exterior doors and brought in cloud-like furnishings to encourage guest flow from the kitchen.

Cost: $23,350

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Courtesy of Nick Fiorentinos

Before: Bathroom

Is it just us or does this bathroom look haunted? The dark, cumbersome materials were begging to get lightened up.

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Photo: Daniel Wang; Design: Natalie Chianese; Courtesy of Homepolish

After: Powder Room

Yas. A total gut job made room for gorgeous new features, like the subtly patterned cement tiles, the splurgy floating vanity and the brass wall-mount faucet, which just looks so clean and elegant.

Cost: $10,500

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Courtesy of Nick Fiorentinos

Before: Living Room

Yep, cookie-cutter ranch house doldrums. This beige-tastic space needed a colorful makeover.

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Photo: Daniel Wang; Design: Natalie Chianese; Courtesy of Homepolish

After: Living Room

With a little paint and feng shui, the formal living room became a glamorous sitting room respite—a place for guests to enjoy drinks and intimate conversation. (Shout out to those gorgeous Horchow leather chairs.)

 Cost: $20,750

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Courtesy of Nick Fiorentinos

Before: Entryway

This space was not making the best first impression. (See: confusing rock wall and bargain bin tiles.)

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Photo: Daniel Wang; Design: Natalie Chianese; Courtesy of Homepolish

After: Entryway

Nothing short of perfection. We love the practical but pretty choice of glossy tiles, and the stunning new front door. Also, note how a fresh coat of paint and a new runner completely changed the look of the existing stairs and balustrades. Love.

Cost: $16,850

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Photo: Daniel Wang; Design: Natalie Chianese; Courtesy of Homepolish

Additional Expenses

The last major expense in this epic transformation was the new flooring throughout. It was a difficult decision, but Chianese ultimately decided to scrap the not-so-nice original wood and add engineered hardwoods. Not only do they match the clean, modern vibes, but they’ll be virtually indestructible for Nick and Noel’s growing family, playful puppy and—of this we’re certain—loads of very envious guests. 

Cost: $30,000

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Photo: Daniel Wang; Design: Natalie Chianese; Courtesy of Homepolish


Cabinets: AKI cabinets; Iron doors: Pinky Iron Doors ; Kitchen appliances: Perch and Miele; Custom ood: Ventahood; Oven: La Cornue; Kitchen runner: Chairish; Cabinet pulls/handles: Luxholdups; Floors: World Wide Floors in white oak high gate; Kitchen pendants: Robert Abbey Brighton; Entryway sconces: Jonathan Adler; Sofa in family room: Restoration Hardware, Cloud; Coffee table in family room: Restoration Hardware; Console table in living room: Theodore Alexander; Entryway table: Horchow; Living room mirrors: ABC home; Interior doors and paneling: Exquisite Doors; Cabinet paint:; Benjamin Moore silver satin; Vaulted ceiling: Benjamin Moore stonington grey; Walls: Benjamin Moore simply white; Molding: Benjamin Moore chantily lace; Exterior doors: Sherwin Williams black iron


Home Editor

From 2014-2019 Grace Beuley Hunt held the role of Home Editor covering interior design, styling, trends and more.