Caroline wanted to move to not only a great place, but an affordable one. “I looked at this house and liked it. Then I came back to look at it again. And it just felt like home. So, I took the plunge, put in a low-ball offer, and surprisingly, it was accepted.”
During the coronavirus pandemic Caroline purchased a standard 2005 Fleetwood built double wide in an active 55+ mobile home community. But the three-bedroom mobile home didn’t stay standard for very long. This home is a perfect example of what can be achieved with a basic manufactured home and a vision!
Buying an affordable used mobile home allowed the new homeowner a chance to splurge a bit on renovations. The double wide was completely original when Caroline bought it. Caroline saw that the home had good bones and great potential. The key was finding the right people to help her with her dream. When she saw Just Counters & Other Stuff trucks out front of one of her neighbors’ home in her quaint neighborhood, she knocked on their front door. She not only had the opportunity to speak to the neighbors, but also with one of our installers, Tyler Mowatt, who was just finishing up a new kitchen. The neighbors highly recommended us. Incidentally, Tyler was the one who ended up installing Caroline’s kitchen, too. He did an outstanding job!
When you slide the bar (left to right), you’ll see what the home looked like before the remodel.
On that very first visit with Caroline, I noticed that she had previously painted several different shades of soft blues and grays and one yellow hue on several walls. “What color do you suggest I paint?” she said when I looked at the paint colors.
I replied, “As tempting and convenient as it is to move into a new home and slap some paint on the walls in the empty rooms, I suggest you step away from the brush and reconsider. Painting is one of the last steps in completing a room. Why? You need to know a room really well to make an educated color choice… what type of light it gets, how it reflects, what furnishings you are going to put into the room, etcetera.”
Mobile homes are made fast, so to make a quick job of covering the walls, they put up sheets of pre-wallpapered wall panels. The wallboards are much thinner than traditional sheetrock or drywall. To cover the seams they put narrow strips over the gaps, which are also covered in the same wallpaper. One of the first things Caroline did was hire a contractor to remove the narrow strips, then tape and mud the walls to make them look like regular drywall. Mobile homes are not only made fast, but they’re also made cheap. So beautiful flooring isn’t their main concern—cheap and fast is! Linoleum was the flooring used in the kitchen and two bathrooms. Wall-to-wall carpeting was used in the living room and all the bedrooms.
A high knee wall with open shelves divided the kitchen from the living room. The kitchen sink was located in the ill-shaped corner. There was no way Caroline could reach the countertop in the far corner. Caroline proved it to me during that first visit. She used a spatula to show me how she couldn’t reach the corner on the other side of the sink. I suggested we relocate the sink underneath the window and get rid of the knee wall. Caroline was looking for her new kitchen to have Shaker style cabinetry for their crisp and clean lines and timeless design. She also wanted her new cabinets to reduce the need to bend down and fish things out of a cabinet. She also wanted granite countertops. Whatever finishes we used in the kitchen, she wanted to do the same in her two bathrooms.
“The biggest trial was living here while it was under construction,” Caroline said. She found she was constantly sweeping and mopping. There were times she was glad that she was there to give the workers guidance when needed. Like the time the painter starting painting the guest bedroom with the wrong paint color…even though a sample of the correct color was already painted on the wall.
Caroline invited me back to her beautiful home after the remodeling was completed. Wow! What a transformation! As you can see in the after pictures, by altering the wall panels, replacing the linoleum, and carpeting with luxury wood look vinyl flooring, and painting the walls blue gray, it gives the double wide a much more traditional vibe.
There’s so much to love in this new kitchen. The result is a sophisticated kitchen that’s also warm and inviting. From the clean white Shaker style cabinets, to the long-gone high knee wall separating the rooms, to the undermount sink centered directly underneath the window, to the many wide drawers on the island, and pull outs in the tall pantry, this kitchen is spectacular. Caroline loves all the storage. There are many drawers and pull outs. She’s not digging through cabinets trying to find what she needs anymore.
Honestly, it doesn’t matter how old your mobile home is, you can create a gorgeous home and this is a shining example of that.