common / Luxe Living

What’s old is new again

A Hickory Bay condo is reborn into a modern getaway
BY MICHAEL KORB
Florida Weekly Correspondent


Removing a wall that separated the kitchen from the main living and dining area and installing warm wood floors throughout went a long way toward refreshing the 11th floor condo, whose new owner likened it to “a cave” when she first saw it. Removing a wall that separated the kitchen from the main living and dining area and installing warm wood floors throughout went a long way toward refreshing the 11th floor condo, whose new owner likened it to “a cave” when she first saw it. The good news is that our area is awash with condos in terrific locations. The bad news is that almost all of those condos are in aging buildings and most of the units are in need of total renovation.

But that’s why there are still a few good deals to be had.

The McComb family of Ohio were fortunate to find this two-bedroom, two-bath Hickory Bay unit with spectacular views of both the Gulf of Mexico and the bay (thanks to its 11th floor placement). The building is so close to the water it has docks for residents’ use.

Unfortunately, the McCombs’ unit featured most of the 1980s inside. You know: mauve paint schemes, lame tiling and a lowered plastic tray ceiling in the kitchen that made you lose your appetite.


Before Before “We looked at about 25 properties,” says Mrs. McComb. “This one is in the perfect location, and that’s where we wanted to be, but inside it was very dated — pink carpets, wallpaper, very closed in. All the rooms felt like you were walking into a cave.”

After talking with more than a dozen contractors during their search, the couple chose Greg and Theresa Ulrich of KGT Remodeling to work some magic.

“They wanted to bring it into this century — with warm wood floors and clean, bright Shaker cabinets. They wanted to open up the kitchen and bring everything else up to date,” Mr. Ulrich says about the clients’ wish list. And, he adds, “We needed to stay within the budget.”

At 1,401 square feet, it wasn’t a huge job. But as in most cases, quality exceeds quantity. And in this case it had to, as the McCombs are used to a beautiful 7,000-square-foot home up north.


Before Before They decided to make the kitchen part of the main living area. In addition, they totally rebuilt the master bathroom, taking out the wall dividing the shower and toilet from the vanity and linen closet, installing glass walls for the shower and replacing all the tile, cabinets and surfaces.

“I am in love with my bathroom now,” says Mrs. McComb. “I just love how open it feels in there. And I would say that for the kitchen as well. Raising the ceiling and changing the configurations of the appliances and getting better cabinets made everything feel amazing.”

And that glass backsplash knocks it out of the park.

“I picked that particular tile because it reminded me of waves in the ocean,” Mrs. McComb says. “When I picked it out, I didn’t realize it had a brown hue to it, not as an actual color, but as a shadowy brown that pulls the brown from the wood floors up and really pulls everything together.”


Just look at that view. Taking the time to renovate an older condo pays serious dividends for owners willing to put up with a little dust. This Hickory Bay unit’s kitchen and living space has come light years from its previous state. Just look at that view. Taking the time to renovate an older condo pays serious dividends for owners willing to put up with a little dust. This Hickory Bay unit’s kitchen and living space has come light years from its previous state. She admits having had some doubts about the project early on, however. One, she was concerned the size would become an issue. And two, being 11 stories up can take some getting used to.

“But I am more than happy with how it turned out,” she adds. “I wish I could be there year-round. I am so in love with this place. I spent the best winter of my life down there this year.” ¦

— KGT Remodeling 1045 Collier Center Way, Unit 10 340- 2978; www.kgtremodeling.com


Before Before — L Design Studio 27911 Crown Lake Blvd., Bonita Springs 313- 587- 4036 www. l- designstudios.com



Kitchens and bathrooms are the eyes and mouths of a home — meaning they’re the first to give away its true age. And there’s no doubt that this condo needed a serious facelift. Adding glass walls to the shower and reconfiguring the layout of the bathroom makes it feel larger and young again. Meanwhile, fresh carpet and paint in the bedrooms make the entire space cohesive. Kitchens and bathrooms are the eyes and mouths of a home — meaning they’re the first to give away its true age. And there’s no doubt that this condo needed a serious facelift. Adding glass walls to the shower and reconfiguring the layout of the bathroom makes it feel larger and young again. Meanwhile, fresh carpet and paint in the bedrooms make the entire space cohesive.

Before Before

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