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She covered over the non-working, non-original fireplace that was in desperate condition with a bold accent wall made from simple 1x2s and a neutral paint to give the large wall a focal point. By moving the front door to the other side of the room and adding a feature wall where the fireplace was, she opened the flow of the room and made it feel much bigger. / Image courtesy of Nicole Nichols // Published: 6.2.20

The "Cozy Corner Cottage" Rehab Puts Our Quarantine Projects to Shame

Many of us have been passing the time during quarantine by catching up on house projects. You know, painting a room, planting a garden, cleaning out the gutters.

But I'd be willing to wager a guess that very few of us spent the past few months relocating the front door, residing, gutting, and otherwise completely rehabbing a 1,350-square-foot, 101-year-old ranch home like Nicole Nichols of Revival Designs did.

This probably comes as a surprise to no one, as readers familiar with our love of home design know that when Nicole puts her mind to renovating a house, she's going to deliver—pandemic be damned.

Her latest project, Pleasant Ridge's "Cozy Corner Cottage," started out as a two-bedroom, one-bathroom mess of a house with many shortcomings. For example, Nicole says the second "bedroom" was actually just a former tiny sunroom with a makeshift door added to it right off the living room that could barely fit a twin-sized bed.

The kitchen was separated from the living and dining spaces by two walls flanking a basement staircase with an attic staircase above it. Oh, and one side of the kitchen just opened right on up into the laundry room.

"The flow was terrible," Nicole says of the house that lingered on the market for months before she scooped it up. "It didn't lend itself toward the open-concept living so many people want. The layout was just so odd, I don't think people could see past it."

Luckily she was able to see past all of the house's peculiarities and turn it into something remarkable. "I saw the major shortcomings to the house that prevented it from selling right away, but after walking through twice, I had some simple ideas for how to fix these 'problems' that many others might not have had the vision to contend with," Nicole says.

It was that vision that enabled her and her team to deliver amazing changes in just 16 weeks, amid not only the usual challenges that come with house flipping but also the ones you'll almost never know, like a country-wide shutdown.

Some notable feats Nicole was able to pull off at the Cozy Corner Cottage include:

  • Relocating a wall to make the second bedroom larger
  • Renovating the kitchen by removing attic stairs, shortening walls, and adding quartz countertops, a tile backsplash, and all new finishes
  • Installing new gutters, water heater, furnace, and AC
  • Adding new flooring throughout
  • Turning the awkward laundry room into a second full bathroom off the master
  • Finishing the basement
  • Adding siding and exterior trim, as well as new front porch railings and front door

Although Nicole typically stages all of her flips alone, this time around she had some welcome company from two other local women entrepreneurs.

She partnered with Lindsey Riemenschneider, founder of C&B Home Staging out of Columbus to help her with staging items that fit the house since she wasn't able to go out shopping like she usually would due to Covid-19. Yuliya Bui, owner of Gia and the Blooms, also helped breathe some life into the ranch by loaning out live plants to place throughout the space.

"It was so nice to have others to collaborate with on this staging," Nicole says. "I was able to bring in a lot of my own furniture and accessories and then specify to Lindsey what I needed, and she totally delivered! I would not have been able to do this without her help. I also think the live plants made a major difference to the level of polish."

The house, located at 5723 Ridge Avenue (45213), is currently on the market through Sibcy Cline for $242,000.

Click through the gallery above to see before-and-after photos as well as detailed images of all the work that went into rehabbing the Cozy Corner Cottage.

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Learn more about Nicole Nichols' design business and projects at Revival Designs. To see the house listing, click here.