Sometimes a real estate listing makes you grin. Sometimes a real estate listing makes you shudder. And then there are the real estate listings that make you straight up laugh. That’s exactly what Kris Willard and her husband, Anthony, did when they first checked out the photos of the house they now own in New Zealand.

The home’s living room/dining room was “dark and old and boring,” Kris says. It had a patterned carpet that belonged in another era completely. “Never in a million years did we think we’d end up buying the place!” she says.

But then the couple attended an open house. “We knew the place had great potential after we sneakily pulled up a section of carpet at one of the open homes to reveal original wood flooring!” Kris says. “We were hooked on the idea of a reno instantly.”

They went for it. Like, really went for it: “We got the keys at 4 p.m. on a Friday, and by 6 p.m., my husband and I had ripped up all of the carpet ourselves,” Kris says. Their family helped them remove all of the staples, and they hired pros to handle the sanding and coating of the wood.

“Our only real setback was finding out that a section of our dining room was actually an extension done in 1978, and so half of the dining room was actually chipboard/particleboard,” Kris says. “After calling over 15 places, Anthony finally found an old demolition yard that was able to source very similar wood for us to use for flooring. It’s not an exact match, but we love that it adds to the story of the home.”

The pair already owned all of the furniture and art (Kris is an artist and created almost all of it herself!), and the walls just needed “teeny touch-ups” and a good clean, so the only real cost was the floor makeover. With labor and recycled wood combined, the total cost was about $2,200.

Kris and Anthony still hope to make a few more changes once they save up for them, including swapping out the light fixtures and adding a wall mural. “But Anthony and I are in it for the long game,” Kris says. “Plus, we’ve still got to renovate the pink porcelain bathroom first…”





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