Some of the questions we get asked most about the house are what the heck are we doing with it?! Is it a flip home/investment property? Why are we putting in such nice finishes if we're selling it? Why are we staging it? Are we selling it? Are we filming a TV show? AND MORE.
I'm the first to admit it's a little confusing. As we head into the final 3 weeks of construction at the house, we thought it was about time to answer these questions and clarify a few things.
How we got here...
Even before starting this whole business, I knew my end career goal was to own a nationally-known interior design firm. I just had to figure out how to get there🤪.
When I officially launched my blog, I was in college and realized that at that moment of time I was obsessed with decorating my dorm room. Like, I thought about how to make my dorm room look cute wayyy more than anything school related 🤷🏻♀️ I knew if I was thinking this way, there had to be other girls that were too.
I started writing about decor, organization and cleaning for dorm rooms. I realized that if people were interested in those topics when it came to dorm rooms, they would be interested in them for their apartments, and eventually their homes.
BySophiaLee.com has slowly evolved with me through college and now into post-grad life. Through my dorm room, college apartment, apartment and soon to be a home. I realized this would be my gate way into owning the interior design firm (ya know, the goal from the very beginning).
As we've generated more and more money, we've saved a ton. We knew the next step for the business was to get into homes.
There's only so much you learn in college, so even though I went to school for Interior Architecture, I felt like there was SO much for me to learn. That is one of the biggest downfalls of going straight into my own business after graduating is that I wasn't able to learn other interior design practices or methods.
We DO want to have clients in the near future, but because I had a lot to learn, I wanted to be able to learn on my own house (and money...hah!) before learning on someone else's house.
Side note - since doing the GBOGH house I am SO glad we went this route and I have seriously learned more in this one year than the four years of college!!
Then came the GBOGH House...
Last March, we were in a good spot and felt confident about putting that money into our first home project. Our realtor had an off-market property that she'd been trying to get the owners' to sell for forever and she finally got them to budge. I mean, this was the deal of a century and it was perfect for us.
At the time, we thought the project was going to be a quick 4-month cosmetic renovation. As you probably know, that did not happen in the slightest 🤣 This project has taken a life of its own... hence the name Go Big or Go Home. We definitely went BIG haha.
We want to continue to do project after project (more about that later!) which is why we're giving them each a name. Something so we can remember all of them by!
The GBOGH house was originally a 3 bed, 1.5 baths (click here for the before photos!). The initial plan we had was to do some quick renovations but nothing too major. After months of planning and debating what to do, we decided to do a two-story addition to make the house 5 bed, 2.5 baths. We never make things easy for us over here 🥴🤣.
It's been over a year since we purchased the house so we are itching to see it completed! We're in the home stretch right now and it's really coming together. If you want more behind the scenes of design decisions, click here for all the posts.
Why we're doing this:
This is SO confusing for pretty much everyone so I wanted to clear the air! The concept is not the "normal" approach so I think that's why so many people can't get their head around what we're doing haha.
This is NOT a flip home. We are not simply putting in the cheapest stuff we can in order to make a profit. While a profit would be nice, that is not the goal of this.
This is a portfolio piece and a "trust" piece.
I have never actually done a house renovation in real life. This house allows me to show off my design style and what type of projects I want to take on. It also allows people to gain trust in what I can design and instead of just saying I can design something really cute, I'm actually showing it. While I love my apartment, it definitely does not show off my style like I want it too (aka hello red cabinets and red floors everywhere🙃).
Eventually, after proving myself and the quality of the work, we want to take on clients.
ALSO! BySophiaLee.com surrounds around taking readers through decorating their home. Doing this home allows us to show every aspect of the decor process... from beginning stages of renovation, construction tips, what products were choosing, how we're styling the home, and more.
And honestly, for all the future houses we buy to renovate, we probably won't talk about how we own it and will be selling it after we're done. I think once people know that, it's hard for them to understand that this isn't a flip and we're not trying to make a profit off the home.
What are you doing after it sells?!
Do the same thing again and again!
We want to get as many projects under our belt as possible. I will say though, the next project we do will be wayyy smaller haha. I need a break from this huge house 😂.
I want to get to the point where the renovations last 3-4 months per project and right when one project ends, the next one starts. That way it won't be year long projects like this one haha.
What's with the film crew?
We are filming the entire process with a professional film crew!! We are documenting each project and creating a series on YouTube. We want it to be raw and real. To show the good and the ugly. It will basically be like an HGTV show (with the BSL pizazz on it ;).
It's hard to capture everything that's happening behind the scenes on Instagram. We wanted you to be able to come along the ride with us through it all and we thought this was the perfect way to do that!
The series will come out at the end of May and we CANNOT wait!! We've seen glimpses of some of the shots they film crew has gotten and all I can say is... it's going to be good. Like reallyyyy good 😜
Why not just hire a staging company to stage the house?!
If we were doing a traditional flip, this is for sure the route we would go. BUT, we have all of you that we're trying to find the best products for!! By staging this house on our own, we are buying products and decor that are available right now, so if you see something in the house, we can link it for you.
Staging companies have the decor pieces for a long time so majority of the things aren't available to be purchased which...would be annoying since I am constantly showing things for you to use in your own home ;).
Also, by staging it all on BSL's dime, I'm able to have full control of everything I've bought for it. When I tell you this house is my baby...I really mean this house is my baby hahaha.
We will be doing a walkthrough of the home in late May (we think) and every.single.thing. in the house will be for sale at a discounted price. We're selling everything at a discount and none of it has been used. I'll be posting more about this on my Insta stories!
We're 3 WEEKS away!!
Here's what's coming -
This week is HUGE. It basically will determine if we finish on time. We have movers and the photographer scheduled and contracts are signed so we basically have to finish on time haha.
When we say to pray, I am literally saying a prayer every morning hahaha. The entire BSL team is flying out to help stage it and the movers/photographers are scheduled. So, it literally has to be done.
Where We're at Now:
The house is in full force this week. Everyone has to be out of there before the 20th so the flooring guys can get in. Since they're refinishing/staining all floors, the house has to be empty.
Specifically this week, all landscaping, countertops, finish carpentry, painting, and iron railings are going in (I think I hit it all haha). Every time I go there something else is happening!
The entire BSL Team is flying in to help stage the house on May 5th. It's going to be crazy!! We basically have two days to completely style and decorate the house🤯.
MILWAUKEE FRIENDS AGAIN - Last thing I'll say about selling the house but I keep getting questions about it - house is going on the market week of May 10th!
Phew! Hopefully that makes more sense...I promise by house #3 you will completely understand what we're doing ;).