Announcing: Flipping School Cincinnati!

Have you been talking about flipping houses for years? Watching all the shows on HGTV and DIY Network? Driving around and re-designing ugly houses you see in your head? Well, maybe you should just shut up and flip a house already - bite the bullet and do the damn thing!

Want that last little kick in the pants you need to do it? We can help.


Join Wendy Doris of FlippinWendy Design and I at our next Shut Up and Flip a House Already Seminar -- aka Flippin' School -- aka F-School. It's like B-school, but way cooler ;) (and I've been through B-school - I can say that!)

Our next Flipping School is July 21-22 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

We held our first house flipping class in Phoenix last month and it was PACKED with information. So much so that we went overtime and then ran out of time. We also realized there was even more information we could bring to our next class. In order to fit everything we want to share into the class, we have extended F-School to TWO DAYS.

Our immersive two-day class will cover all of the following and more:

financing options (we'll even go into your own situation if you like)
finding good crappy houses
evaluating potential flip properties
designing the renovation to receive maximum value and sell-ability
how to sell the home once it is finished
marketing and branding your new business
buying and managing an Airbnb property

The days are split between a relaxed classroom setting and hands-on site visits for real world evaluation with a contractor and Realtor.

F-School Tentative Timeline:

Saturday, July 21
9am - 5pm: Classroom (lunch, coffee and snacks included)
7pm: Dinner with open discussion (dinner included)

Sunday, July 22
9am - 10am: Potential flip property tour and evaluation
10:30am - noon: Potential flip property tour and evaluation
12:30-1:30: Lunch with open discussion (lunch included)
2pm-3pm: Finished flip tour and evaluation

Also included:
With our F-School, you'll receive a copy of our ebook, as well as lunch and dinner on DAY 1 and lunch on DAY 2.

Special Guests:
Flippin' School is hosted and instructed by Brenna Brooks and Wendy Doris. Throughout the weekend, though, we will have special guests stopping in to help deliver ALL the DETAILS. We'll be joined by a licensed contractor, a wholesaler and a real estate agent. We'll also offer a financier for your next flipping project.

There is a block of rooms available at a special rate just a half mile from our Flippin' School classroom. Details about the hotel will be sent after sign up!

F-School capacity is limited to 16 students. This class is set up to be just like our ebook: a casual, real talk, no-BS coffee shop chat. We want an intimate setting to make sure your questions get answered! With Brenna and Wendy as instructors and special guests also in attendance, F-School offers plenty of one-on-one attention.


To sign up for our jam packed two day Flippin' School, the cost is just $750*. But, bring a friend or two and you can take advantage of a 10% discount! Use code FSCHOOL10 at checkout.

The button below will take you to our Shut Up And Flip A House Already site, where you can purchase your seat for the class.

If you have any questions about class content, will this help you, logistics, etc. - feel free to contact me through my website, email or Instagram and I'll be happy to help! Wendy and I hope to see you there!

Power Home Series: Episode 4 with Brenlow Properties

I've said it before and I'll say it again: many people are surprised to learn that flipping houses is on the side for both Barlow and Brenna. Barlow is supposed to be (cough) RETIRED (cough) from the manufacturing industry, and Brenna works full-time as a Project Manager in advertising. 

WELL - it just so happens that Brenna works for Power, a B2D2C (that's Business to Dealer to Consumer) agency that specializes in home installed products. It turned out to be a perfect fit when Power asked her for help with their Home Series - a short video series that partners with different pros in the building and remodeling industry, to help our clients be even better at communicating with that niche of consumers. So with video camera in tow, we headed over to our Canoe Lane property to talk fixture selections, working with dealers, and more.

Check out Episode 4, part 1 of the Power Home Series here - and follow Power on Facebook and Instagram for more informational tidbits (and some shenanigans) from the home products world. Part 2 is coming soon!

"That's Not The Same Room" - Or, Our First Addition

I've posted this picture on our Instagram twice now. Both times, I've had several commenters accuse me of posting a "before and after" picture that is of two different rooms. I assure you, both pictures are of the exact same room. 

So... wanna hear how and why the hell we did it?

 The living room Before and After at our  Canoe Lane  property

The living room Before and After at our Canoe Lane property

I realize that there's a door in the bottom picture where there was a window in the top picture - it's because we added on a giant master suite to the rear of this property. Our first addition ever. And just in case we didn't have enough to manage on this renovation, we did another addition  on to the front of the house as well. But that's another post for another day.

This house was a 3000+ square foot, 3 bedroom, 3 full bath home when we purchased it. All of the bedrooms were on the top floor, with the living areas on the middle floor, and a walkout basement with full living room and garage on the bottom floor. It's in a higher-end area of Louisville called Rolling Fields, adjacent to the highly desirable Country Club section of Indian Hills.

In this area, we knew we had to create at least a fourth bedroom - three bedroom houses don't sell in this area because it's almost all families with children. Additionally, the existing master suite wasn't going to cut it in this area and price range: it was a nicely sized room with hardwood floors and several windows - but the closets weren't walk-in and the bathroom was small, and only allowed for a 36" vanity and a good-sized stand up shower. Now, in another neighborhood and price range, this setup would be perfectly fine. But this property is located in a neighborhood where sales START at around $450k for the smaller houses needing tons of work, and go up to $1 million-plus. We HAD to meet the neighborhood "standards" or this house would never sell.

SO - we decided the best way to do this was to add a master suite onto the rear of the home, off of the living room. There was an unused, flat corner of the backyard that seemed like the perfect spot for it. Upon further inspection, it was definitely the place for it since all of the plumbing was in the rear of the house, and accessible by crawl space - making running plumbing to the addition about as efficient as it could get. I don't have official measurements/design drawings of the ground floor layout that the house had when we purchased it, but here's a quick sketch that is NOT to scale:

Canoe Layout.jpeg

Hm. That drawing actually looks pretty decent and semi-to scale. First try too, woohoo! *brush my shoulders off*

Back to the addition, here's photos of the back of the house and the sunroom when we bought it:

 Sunroom view from the kitchen door. Master suite addition is going on the right.

Sunroom view from the kitchen door. Master suite addition is going on the right.

(That glassed-in sunroom has been called a greenhouse, an old-school Wendy's, a natatorium, and some other adjectives that I probably shouldn't publish here.)

We knew the addition had to go in that corner between the glassed-in sunroom, which we wanted to keep the layout of, and the rear of the existing structure, so behind the living room. We measured a max length for the addition of about 28 feet long and 21 feet wide. We tried to design the layout on our own, trying to keep the bathroom as close as possible to the original structure to minimize plumbing work, but just couldn't come up with a layout that felt RIGHT. And in this neighborhood and price range (over $750,000 for this size house) - it HAD to be right. It wouldn't sell if it was a little weird. 

So, we enlisted the help of Lesa Buckler from Details Interiors to help us come up with a layout - and she NAILED IT, y'all! Here's the layout that she created and we ran with:

 Floor plan for our Canoe Lane master suite addition

Floor plan for our Canoe Lane master suite addition

So with this layout in hand, architectural drawings, a permit, and some decent weather, we set to work! The construction started in mid-April 2016 and lasted through July. Considering the scope of what we did, I'm shocked it didn't take longer!

 Living room window boarded up, concrete patio removed and backyard grading in progress

Living room window boarded up, concrete patio removed and backyard grading in progress

 Forms up!

Forms up!

 Framing going up! (maybe on a Tuesday)

Framing going up! (maybe on a Tuesday)

 Walls, wrap and roof decking on 

Walls, wrap and roof decking on 

 Siding and roof on, windows in, backyard graded!

Siding and roof on, windows in, backyard graded!

 Aaaand, finished!

Aaaand, finished!

The master suite that we added is a total of 540 square feet, with the bedroom being 20'10" x 13'0 with a huge vaulted ceiling. The master bathroom has two separate vanities, a linen closet, a large soaking tub, and a large stand-up shower. There are TWO large walk-in closets across from the bathroom. All of this is on a separate HVAC from the main house for maximum energy efficiency and comfort of the homeowners.

 Master bedroom with vaulted ceiling

Master bedroom with vaulted ceiling

 View from the entrance to the master bath

View from the entrance to the master bath

 View from the rear of the bathroom

View from the rear of the bathroom

Bonus: Wanna see how big this bathtub is?


This addition definitely helped bring the house up to the standard that is required in Rolling Fields. I know I'm super jealous of it!

And finally, some more before-and-afters of the rear of the house to see just how much this really changed: 

 Rear sunroom, showing the master addition on the right side

Rear sunroom, showing the master addition on the right side

 Rear view of our Canoe Lane project

Rear view of our Canoe Lane project


You can see more photos of the finished renovation over here.

Cheers, y'all!

Get the look! Click on any of the images below to view the exact products we used in this renovation. Disclaimer: Some may be affiliate links. If a product isn't linked, it's most likely either custom or it's staging that belongs to our stager and we don't know the source. As always, feel free to email us with any other questions.


Listing photos by Tim Furlong Jr., RealTourCast Photography

Staging: Jennifer Durenberger, Reflections of you, by Amy

Cabinetry: Wellborn Cabinet from Century Entertainment and Home Furnishings

Tile work: Shane Woods, Innovations in Tile

Custom Shower Glass: Cardinal Shower Enclosures

Rear sunroom glass and sliding doors: Patio Enclosures

Before, During and After: A Midcentury Modern Kitchen

Midcentury Modern homes aren't all that typical in Louisville. It's not like Phoenix or Palm Springs around here - there's a great mix of Victorian, Craftsman, Cape Cods, etc... but Midcentury Moderns are few and far between.

So, when we bought our Dorsey flip which was a textbook Midcentury Modern hidden under many years of other design eras' renovations... we had our work cut out for us. In order to do this house right, we had to do a lot of research into MCM characteristics, design signatures, etc. in order to be able to keep the original character of the home - which was of utmost importance to us - while still updating it to be appealing to today's buyers, and have the features that are appropriate for a home in this area and price range.

One of the most important pieces of a renovation (and maybe the most fun for me) is kitchens. I LOVE DESIGNING KITCHENS. Maybe it's because I love to cook and am really good at it, maybe it's because it means I get to shop for (read: play with) a bunch of pretty things. Whichever one it is, I was especially excited for this kitchen because I was going to get to go more modern than our recent projects.

Let's start with the some "before" pictures of this kitchen.


If you can look past the aesthetics (SO MUCH BROWN), there were actually some really good things about this kitchen when we bought the house - by far not the worst we've tackled. First and foremost, the kitchen was already open to the dining and living area. One of the #1 things on most buyers' wish lists is an "open concept" eating and living space - and this house already had it. SCORE!!! Secondly, even though the galley layout isn't my go-to kitchen floorplan, it actually worked here - which meant we could leave the sink and dishwasher plumbing and range plug and gas line in the same place. SCORE AGAIN - that's less time and money we would have to spend moving plumbing and electric, even more essential in this house because it's built on a slab and moving those things would be $$$$. Lastly, with some rework of the back wall (we'll get to that in a minute) - there could actually be a lot of counter and storage space in this kitchen. All good things, and a great starting point for us.

However, there were also some things about it that we knew we wanted to change: 

  1. Hands down, the first priority was de-cluttering the back wall, the one with the range. It felt way too cramped but more importantly, lacked function. Due to the enclosed area around the range and how small the enclosure was - there wasn't even enough counter space to sit a normal-sized dinner plate on the counter between the range and the "wall". Got a plate of chicken ready to put in a pan? Sorry, better put it somewhere else. Cutting board of veggies? Definitely not. Also, I'm short (5'5") and standing at the stove just felt... claustrophobic to me. I can't imagine how a tall person would feel. Also, having the fridge on that back wall meant there was even less counter space available - and we're guessing that the buyers of a 4000 sq ft house in this price range are either going to have kids or love to entertain (or both), making counter space a necessity.
  2. Second priority was mostly functional: Removing the higher level of the peninsula to make the peninsula all one level. Yes, there was a counter on the other side that theoretically someone could sit at - but it was so narrow, a normal-sized plate wouldn't even fit on it, let alone a full place setting. About all you could set there was a drink. Not functional for casual eating. Also, having the higher level meant it blocked the view of the kitchen a bit. Some people may like this (helps hide the dirty dishes) but I personally thought that a single-level peninsula would look better in this home.
  3. Update the design to be more cohesive with the Midcentury Modern style of the home. While natural wood elements are a signature design characteristic of MCM, it's usually teak wood - not cherry, which is the color cabinets that the house came with. And cabinets with arches on the doors are definitely not fitting for MCM. What we were shooting for was bringing back MCM design elements like flat-front cabinets, clean, angular lines as opposed to curved, and a bold color somewhere.

So, in order to accomplish those three major priorities, what we decided to do was:

  1. Remove all upper cabinetry and range "surround" from the back wall of the kitchen to make room for only open shelving on the back wall.
  2. Move the fridge to the right-hand wall, where the wooden bar top is. This involved removing the two exterior windows and framing them in - in this case, no big deal since that side of the house was plain white vinyl siding - very easy to match. We were also able to reuse the windows.
  3. Remove the higher level of the peninsula - take layers of bricks off to allow for a single-level peninsula.
  4. Order new cabinetry. We were originally hoping to just replace the doors on the cabinets and just paint the boxes (save some $$$), but the cost savings were minimal once all factors were considered. We used the same floorplan for the lower cabinets, and we added a stand-up pantry on one side of the new fridge location (adding storage to balance the loss of upper cabinets from the range wall), and an upper and lower cabinet to the right of the fridge. We thought this would be a great "coffee bar" out of the main traffic flow of the kitchen. 

Please enjoy my Paint drawings to help visualize numbers 1-4 above. LOLOL.


So, after some demo and selling the old appliances (which were still in good shape) via a Facebook yard sale group, we set to putting things back together!

(There is clearly more that happened between the planning stage and here, but those pictures are boring)


We selected to do concrete counters because a) I've been dying to try it and never had the right house for it before; b) granite wouldn't work in this house, too much movement to fit the MCM aesthetic and it would have been REALLY hard to find one to match the tile that came in the house; c) it was less expensive than quartz, which was our (slightly safer) other option. AND OMG I AM IN LOVE WITH THE CONCRETE COUNTERS. They looked perfect in this house. Definitely not for everyone, or every house, but that's okay because it worked here.

You guys. There's like 1942 decisions that these pictures don't show. It's not as simple and quick as choosing your layout, ordering your materials, and giving your contractor the cabinet layout. Things like what do we do with that vent in the beams? Exactly how wide and deep do the shelves need to be to have enough storage yet still be proportional to the wall? What is the design for the box around the range vent? Is the range all gas or gas + electric? Will there be a disposal? What pattern do you want your backsplash tile laid in? Where do you want your handles installed? What finish/color stain on the concrete? True story, I made the electrician change the plugs in the backsplash from white to black because white stuck out too much. Also, we almost forgot to run a water line to the new fridge location for the icemaker. Thankfully someone caught it before it was too late.

But in the end, it looks like THIS.


This is one of my top two favorite kitchens I have ever done. I got to use different materials that I had never played with before, I went BOLD on a backsplash, and I did open shelving for the first time! 

You can see more photos of our Dorsey renovation over here. Cheers y'all!

Get the look! Click on any of the images below to view the exact products we used in this renovation. Disclaimer: Some may be affiliate links. If a product isn't linked, it's most likely either custom or it's staging that belongs to our stager and we don't know the source. As always, feel free to email us with any other questions.

After photos: Eric Heick, Down Set Heick Photography | Staging: Sue Bush, Staging Your Next Move | Contractor: Z Remodeling