Before and After Makeovers
You Have To See To Believe

Redecorate and remodel any home using Chic on the Cheap principles. Your house can look extravagant on a budget.

Chic on the Cheap is a FULL SERVICE interior design firm.  We do so much more than pick out pillows and paint colors. We can design new home floor plans from the ground up. We can move walls, add windows, tear out kitchens and replace it all with something spectacular. The Chic on the Cheap team includes one of the area’s most reputable and trusted contractors to make your vision into reality. With our decades of experience and guidance, we can help complete your project on time and to the highest standard and quality.

Check out some of the work we’ve done recently:

Historic Twitchell House Gets a Water View From Every Room

This Ralph Twitchell house DIRECTLY on Siesta Key beach obviously had GREAT bones but the current owners wanted a water view from every room. Thus, a full renovation of the home began.  A wonderful, warm, and welcoming updated home is the result! Instead of the quintessential white walls, a soft blue awakens the space. The stone floors mimic the natural surrounding and the custom made walnut furniture pieces were crafted from a fallen tree on the homeowner’s property in Illinois.

Take a Look at What Designer Jill Geisdorf Did to Renovate Her OWN Home!

As designers we try to practice what we preach.  When it came time for Jill Geisdorf to design her OWN home, it became a labor of love (before she actually went into labor!).  Jill and her husband bought a foreclosure built in 1958 and completely gutted it.  They put in a brand new kitchen, new bathrooms, rebuilt the laundry room, removed 7 pine trees, added a fence, installed a brand new A/C system, including duct work and zoned air conditioning units, added recessed can lights, new fans, paint throughout, refinished the original terrazzo floors, added a gas range.  It took about 4 months for all the work and the family moved in just 11 days before their son Quinn was born!

So how did Jill spend the money on her very own interior design?  Take a look:

This is What Happens When You Give Your Designer Artistic Freedom

After interviewing the top designers in Sarasota; these discerning clients decided to hire Mark Dalton’s Chic on the Cheap to help them with a complete remodel at The Sanctuary on Longboat Key.  They purchased this first floor walk-down condo from the ORIGINAL 1989 owners. The minute Mark stepped inside and saw the gulf though the palm trees he thought, “wouldn’t it be great to do this condo like a mountain lodge!”  The clients agreed and let Mark have all the artistic freedom he wanted (but not without some negotiation at some of his ideas). So what did the clients say after Mark and his team were done with the project?  “You are a true artist and  my home was your canvas. I wouldn’t change a thing.” It doesn’t get ANY better then that.

Dark and Dreary No More!

This North Carolina couple wanted a little taste of the Gulf of Mexico, so they bought a condo at Beachplace on Longboat Key.  They found a great corner unit with views of the water from EVERY window. But the whole place was outdated and dreary. The kitchen was completely closed off to the rest of the main living space making it feel claustrophobic.  We came in and opened it all up, added more lighting, and used lighter and brighter colors everywhere. The transformation went from dark and dreary to bright and beautiful! The clients couldn’t believe it was the same place! Mission Accomplished!

Just Buy The Place!

This Connecticut Shore couple asked us to look at this Watergate unit in downtown Sarasota before they bought it. When I heard the price and location I said, “We do NOT have to meet. Write the check and buy the place!” So began one of the most wonderful relationships of my career. I knew we could turn whatever was inside into something spectacular to feature the amazing views and great location. So we gutted and completely re-configured the spaces. Walls came down, toilets torn out, rooms merged, floors ripped up, and we even threw out the kitchen sink. But when we put it all back together, it had an elegant and contemporary, YET comfortable vibe. The couple likes their new condo so much they come down to stay here as much in the off season as the winter.

From NYC to LBK

The owners of this LBK Towers condo came down from NYC for the beach lifestyle.  They found out about us on Houzz and asked us to turn their beach getaway into a place that looked as good on the inside as the water views of the outside.  So we did our design magic and updated the entire condo to take advantage of the views. We left the walls brightly colored but bare so the couple can add their own artwork as they collect good pieces to feature.  But we think the best piece of art is the landscape outside the windows.

Lets Play Musical Rooms!

Sometimes a place needs more than a makeover. In this Longboat Key Club Bayside home we played a little musical chairs with the inside and ended up with a floorplan that was meant to be!  We decided to reconfigure a lot of the main spaces to make them more useful for today’s lifestyle.  So get ready, here’s the new layout:  The foyer is NOW the dining room, the dining room is NOW a sitting area, the kitchen/family room is now all kitchen…AND the Atrium is a waterfall.  This is Mark Dalton’s personal take on the sophisticated beach house. Sometimes you gotta break the rules, change it up, and take a risk.  Trust me, the end result will change your life!

The Kids Bedroom Hand Me Downs

When the children in this family started growing up, it kicked off a bedroom hand me down design dilemma.  But don’t worry.  We turned hand me down bedrooms into new spectacular spaces for the children to grow into (and eventually move out of when they’re all grown up).  This was a past client who asked us to come and rework their 2nd floor bedroom plans.  We transformed the traditional guest bedroom suite into the youngest daughter’s retreat.  It’s fresh but sophisticated so she can grow into it. The bathroom is timeless but the paint color helps make getting ready for school in the mornings a little more fun!  The girl’s old bedroom became the son’s new room with more space.  And then we turned the son’s old bedroom into the mother’s sitting room.  It’s now a calming space intended for rest and reading.  With a pull out sofabed, this quiet place instantly turns into a guest retreat.  Now everyone in the family is happy with their “new” hand me down bedrooms!

 A Vanilla Village Walk Home Gets Some Spice!

This homeowner purchased a vanilla box in Village Walk and relocated from London.  They called us because they wanted something chic, something bold, and something different.  Instead of starting from scratch and tearing it all out, MODIFY was the name of the game!  We re-worked the built ins to create a chic wine room and a sophisticated TV unit with marble tiles and mirrors.  A deep dark charcoal paint was the right finish to make the cabinetry come to life.  Painting the walls a soft gray made for a nice backdrop for the unique contemporary furniture.  Instead of gutting the bathrooms, we painted, changed countertops, lighting and plumbing fixtures for a fresh look.  The kitchen was tired so a facelift was in order- painting the cabinets, adding a dramatic granite and installing a marble backsplash fit the bill without costing a lot of bills!  And there you have it- Chic on the Cheap at it’s finest.  We used what was there and made it shine!

A Vacation Retreat Turns into a Long Term Lifestyle

A daughter bought this huge villa on Longboat Key as a vacation destination for the whole family to gather at during the holidays. She asked Chic on the Cheap to make it a “FUN” beach retreat, something everyone at every age would enjoy.   While there’s wasn’t anything wrong with this layout, we simply opened it up to offer a more contemporary flow through the home.  The decor is beach inspired with a lot of Resort Luxe influences.  The owner LOVES art so she plans to hang her collection on the the wide open walls spaces.  Her parents liked the results so much that they decided to move into the family vacation retreat….permanently!  Now that’s a job well done.

A “Fish Shack” leads to a “Great Catch” on a Golf Course

This is the second unit we have done for this particular client in the same complex. The first was “The Fish Shack,” which you can see below. And after we finished that project, the owners were able to charge one of the highest rents in the entire complex. So when a unit with a golf course view became available as investment property, they snatched it up and let us work our magic one more time. We removed all evidence of the 1980’s from this place and updated it with a contemporary open floor plan through the kitchen. One of our favorite features is the “wood look” tile on the walls in the master bath.  Before we were even finished with the renovations, this golf course crib was rented out at a high dollar amount for the entire next season.  Once again, we landed a Great Catch.

50 Central Makes Neutral Nice

This upscale downtown condo was recently purchased by our client.  They wanted a clean and modern space with pops of color.  White walls made for a simple backdrop while dark wood floors gave warmth and sophistication.  Instead of a chandelier and a fan in this small space, we added a fan that was a work of art with blades reminiscent of an airplane propeller.  The furniture is sparse and neutral and the rug is very textural to give dimension.  The entry to the condo has a nice drop zone including custom made art by us here at Chic on the Cheap!  The bedrooms have a bit more color, but the lack of color in the main living room is what gives it personality…agree?

Rivo Penthouse Now Has a Kitchen Worthy of Wow!

This downtown Sarasota penthouse in the Rivo building was nice before, BUT we stepped it up a few notches!  The cabinets and layout made the kitchen feel small so we added white cabinets, relocate the pantry to make way for a dry bar!  We also added a warm marble mosaic and beautiful granite.  Now this is a kitchen meant for a swanky penthouse!

A Long Overdue Overhaul of My Mother’s Kitchen

This 1979 antique kitchen belongs to Jill’s mother. It was time for a shake up!  She wanted to make a big change but wasn’t willing to replace the flooring.  This is a BIG challenge.  This was accomplished with a lot of creativity and a little help from Jill’s dad- he saved a dozen tiles when they replaced the floors many moons ago.  A breakfast bar was added, the wall between the kitchen and living room was removed, the ceiling was raised- bye bye dome light fixture!  The drywall pantry came out to make way for the new stove location. Floor to ceiling cabinet pantries were added to add storage and make the kitchen larger.  The light colored granite has beautiful movement and the backsplash is simple and elegant.  This kitchen is more functional than ever and is ready for it’s next 30 years of life.

Prestancia Foreclosure with a Powder Bath to Die For

This Prestancia home may have been foreclosed, but it wasn’t fogotten.  The homeowners contacted us immediately after they bought the house because they knew it was going to be an enormous undertaking to bring it back to life.  We saved the original travertine floors but everything else was removed and redone.  We updated the outdated kitchen and turned it sleek and sophisticated- including a stainless steel backsplash.  We re-planned the bathroom layout and even added an exterior door for a future outdoor shower.  And check out the powder bathroom.  It will be talked about for years to come.  We used IKEA laminate wood flooring on THE WALLS!  Yes.  That’s how we roll.

Turtle Beach Retreat

Often our clients have a great eye for property potential and they call on us to help them pull it all together.  There’s not much to not like about Turtle Beach, but the inside of this dated and dingy condo needed a lot of work.  The owners were able to look past the yuck when they purchased it for a family winter retreat.  With our assistance, we opened up the entire floor plan and added sandy neutral colors in the main areas.  Always budget minded, we included affordable fixtures but paired them with pops of high end accents.  It’s the details that make the difference, so why not focus your budget on the smaller items that stand out.  After the job was finished, this one time dumpy dated condo has turned into the show place of the entire community.

Small Bungalow, Big Style

This 1,300 square foot charming West of the Trail bungalow was dark and cramped. Going for style and volume, we vaulted the ceiling and added tongue and groove to the ceiling and the walls. Removing a pantry and a wall allowed us to rearrange the kitchen and add a spacious island. Keeping a mostly white color palate with pops of navy blue unified the main living spaces. We refinished the floors, added can lighting and installed a leather textured granite. Woven window treatments finish off the cozy feel of the space. The bedrooms got new furniture and a fresh coat of paint. The guest bath was gutted. We used white horizontal tongue and groove for the walls below sink, and vertical tongue and groove extending to the ceiling. To give an old-Florida look to the shower, we used gray grout with white subway tile. For a little punch, we painted the ceiling a gray tone to coordinate with the decorative mirror.

Vacation Beach Rental Inspired by the Sunset

When you live on the beach, the best décor is the view of the sunset from your windows. We took that inspiration and redesigned this Siesta Key condo. The owners have loved this property for many years, but it was in original condition. Since they plan to use it more frequently, it was time to remodel. A warm tile floor set the tone so we kept the walls neutral and put pops of color in the furnishings. The closed off kitchen is now integrated with the main living space and open for everyone to enjoy the glow from the sun outside.

Retiring to Paradise

This Massachusetts couple is retiring from the cold north to sunny Palmer Ranch and wanted a tropical feel for their new home. We know a little bit about that. :-) The first thing we did was remodel the kitchen to bring out it’s best features since it’s the focal point of a great room floor plan. Wood flooring in the bedrooms brought out the Tommy Bahamas feel the couple was going for. The best part is getting to furnishing the entire home from scratch, all on a budget. Now the owner sends us an email every week telling us how much she LOVES her new Florida home.

From Foreclosure to Fantastic!

Bright, light and very happy describes our latest remodel. This amazing home was a foreclosure in the Country Club at Lakewood Ranch. The new owners saw the potential and asked us to bring some new style into the house. We completely renovated the kitchen and turned an old closet into an enormous new butler’s pantry. The dining room, living room and family room got a complete work-over so that the flow in the house made more sense. All the dark colored paint made this enormous home look small and dark. We brightened it up with lighter colors on the walls and in the furnishings so you can really see the splendor of this place.

Sanderling Road Revival!

This mid-century modern gem needed a fresh look.  Previous owners built new additions to the home over the years. Instead of continuing the trend by adding on, we used the already amazing “bones” of the home to bring it back to it’s intended splendor.  We refinished the floors, revamped all of the lighting, and painted the walls to bring out it’s fabulous features.  Reworking the kitchen island and adding a pool added a ton of value to this property.  We picked out stylish yet simple furniture and created white walls to show off the homeowner’s art collection.  What was a cluttered ranch home is once again a modern wonder!

Two Bedroom. Family of Five.  Now it Sleeps 10!

At Viente we took a tired and dated two bedroom and make it suitable for a family of 5 with the capabilities of sleeping 10!  We divided the unit into thirds, with 1/3 as a private master suite that sleeps 4. Another thirds of the condo includes the living room which sleeps 2, and a brand new open kitchen concept.  The last third is a semi private den and bedroom for the family’s 3 children.  The space can sleep 4 people and can also be closed off to make a private area from the rest of the home. Overall we were able to achieve a chic, sophisticated beach home that can accommodate 10 comfortably.  So who’s coming down this weekend!?

Furniture and Finishing Touches on Longboat Key!

This villaComments 0 on Longboat Key was recently remodeled but the homeowner called us to add the furniture and finishing touches.  He had a clean slate and that was overwhelming…oh the possibilities! He was stuck and didn’t have a clear vision of what he wanted or where to start.  We swooped in and saved the day by starting with a colorful area rug.  From there the color scheme fell into place.  The living room is colorful and sophisticated and the bedrooms are mellow and monochromatic.  To add some personal touches, we added shelving for display and storage.  Yes, we can just do furniture (and we can do it WELL!).

A Family Friendly Retrofit!

When our clients said they wanted a more family friendly space, we got to work! The boxed in layout  of this home wasn’t working for this Bird Key Family.  By opening up the kitchen, we connected all of the main living spaces so the family could be together.  We carved out a space for a home office which was high on the priority list.  Also, we enclosed part of the living space for a laundry room, which allowed us to re-work the layout of the kitchen.  The laundry room is perfect for the family’s 4 dogs because it has a built in bed and a new dog run outside.  By using one floor tile and keeping things neutral, we created a home that is sophisticated and accessible.

The Suite Life!

The owner of this Promenade on Longboat Key condo wanted to feel like she was living in deluxe suite at a 5 star hotel. No problem. We started with the philosophy that less is more. We replaced the mish-mosh of northern furniture with simple contemporary pieces that complement each other. We removed the smaller pictures on the walls and replaced them with larger artwork or mirrors that tie the space together. Then to add warmth, we created a funky fireplace wall as the focal point of the living room. Want to know a secret? It’s not a real fireplace; it’s a Florida fake fireplace! Completely electronic, so you can turn it on in the summer without breaking a sweat! The bathrooms got a cost friendly makeover with new cabinets, faucets, sinks and tile. The money saved on the bathrooms went to completely renovate the kitchen. Now this one time tired condo has a “suite” new style!

From Foreclosure to Furnished in 21 Days!

This client bought a mid century modern home on Siesta Key in foreclosure and needed it completely furnished ASAP.  In just three weeks time, we used our savvy shopping skills at local retail stores and online to pull off this amazing transformation in time for his family’s spring break vacation.  By the way, this was done as a surprise present for his wife and kids….what a nice guy!

Hand Me Down Condo Takes a Step Up in the World

Sometimes the words “original condition” can be a selling point for things like baseball cards and old cars. But for this Casarina Condo on Siesta Beach, “original” was a nice way of saying “awful.” It had a closed kitchen, wild wallpaper, florescent lighting, and a useless breakfast room. We completely modernized the entire space from the floors to the walls and ceilings. The first step was ripping up all the flooring and installing sand looking tile on a diagonal throughout the condo. We even carried the floor tile up the shower walls in the master bath for a bit of whimsy. The kitchen was the star renovation room. We knocked down walls to create the “open concept” kitchen/living room that everyone wants for today’s lifestyle. We also added the “new” beach colors of sands, grays and aqua, and Voila! a beach house fit for any generation.

Plain Jane Bathroom Turns Into a Spa Retreat!

Outdated! That’s the only way to describe this 1980’s nightmare. Now the owner has an open spa inspired retreat that’s beautiful and functional too. First, we got rid of the gigantic, enormous, space hogging tub and replaced it with a gorgeous white tiled, over-sized rainfall shower. The old layout crammed the cabinet space into a corner and didn’t allow for some of the drawers to open. In its place, a new waterfall style counter top with a 9 foot long mirror to reflect the glow from the new recessed lighting and sparkling pendant lights. But the wall to wall and floor to ceiling cabinet leaves more storage than any couple could ever dream of in a bathroom. This Plain Jane bathroom is now ready for it’s Hollywood close-up!

We Landed a Great Catch at the FISH SHACK!

In just 90 days Chic on the Cheap completely gutted (like a fish) this BeachPlace condo on Longboat Key.  We moved mechanical equipment, knocked down walls, and raised the ceilings, so the bones of this dated unit got a complete overhaul.

We installed tile floors that look just like wood and built a custom light fixtures for the dining room. The coffee table in the living room is made of driftwood that washed ashore. Check out the vanity in the master bathroom; we added a nautical touch by using dock cleats for door hardware. Right now warm gray walls are the NEW go-to color for a beach feel because they’re soothing and unexpected. Plus it’s a nice compliment to the blue water and white sand right outside the windows.

All of this is a great example of what can happen when a designer and homeowner develop a trusting relationship.

Lots of Drama in this Home Renovation!

Asolo Repertory Theatre’s Artistic Director, Michael Edwards, knows a lot about big time productions.  So when he told Chic on the Cheap to completely renovate his home and surprise him with the results, we knew it was show time!  The kitchen and living room are the stars in this remodeling story. For just over $5,500 we replaced ALL of the kitchen cabinetry with more sophisticated dark wood cabinets and stainless handles. The bold back splash added a pop of drama to the space while keeping the fresh modern feel. For the living room, Chic on the Cheap turned to IKEA to put the fun back into funky. The ENTIRE living room- furniture, fixtures, and everything in between- cost only $3,500. But it was the drapes that stole the show, costing only $149 for the panels and rods! The living room now has a clean minimalist look to it while keeping a warm inviting atmosphere.

So what was Michael Edwards reaction when the curtain opened on the final home design renovation? A standing ovation, of course!

Custom Furnishings Can Cost Less Than Buying Retail

The owners of this beach house didn’t want to settle for anything less than what fit their needs exactly, and we agreed! Chic on the Cheap collaborated with an expert woodworker to create their vision of a comfortable beach lifestyle. We gutted the fireplace and two bathrooms, replaced all the beige tile with warm hand scraped engineered wood, and designed a half dozen one-of-a-kind furniture pieces.

The fireplace mantel and parts of the buffet were made out of locally sourced pecky cypress. The custom driftwood coffee table makes for a very unique conversation piece at the sitting area. We also created two new sinks out of two antique wash basins for the bathrooms. The best part is that all of these custom furnishings were created for LESS than what you’d pay in retail stores! They owners didn’t compromise on their dreams, and neither should you!

Even a Model Home Needs a Facelift at Some Point

Back in the day this University Country Club model home was HOT! But this place needed a little nip and tuck to get back to its glory days. No worries. In just ONE MONTH the Chic on the Cheap team surgically gutted the house to give every room a lift. They ripped out the kitchen, tore out the dated flooring, and reconfigured the master bathroom. Now warm, hand-scraped, engineered wood floors flow through the home and every room has a fresh new feel and better functionality. The whole process, from design to finish, took only 30 days!

Too Much of a Good Thing

Sometimes too much of a good thing is still too much. The all white decor in this condo might’ve been en vogue back when Miami Vice was cool, but not anymore.  The new owners asked for an updated vacation retreat.  Right off the bat, we added color and warmth to every room with paint and fabric. The kitchen is the real steal though. The cabinetry looks like a high end European brand, right? Surprise! It’s from Ikea and cost a fraction of what you would pay for the “real thing.” In fact, one of the neighbors compared it to her $50,000 kitchen remodel. We didn’t have the heart to tell her she overpaid big time.

A Sarasota Family Homestead Gets a Second Life.

The owner has lived on this property her whole life. Her father built her this house when she was 18 and we helped her remodel it last year. ALL the cabinetry in the entire house came to $9,000 and was bought directly from the manufacturer.

Adding Artwork Can Make All the Difference

This home had beautiful bones, but needed a fresh start in a new decade.  We added artwork to the large wall areas purchased from Rooms to Go (but please don’t tell anyone.  It’s our little secret.)

Back to the Future

Hello 1980, this is the future calling and the island light bridge has got to go!  What was stylish back then doesn’t always work for today’s interior design styles. Out with the white, and in with more natural materials. We did the same thing in the living room by warming up the wall colors and bringing in more family friendly furniture. Now this family room really is where the family hangs out.

Hello! Is There An Echo in Here?

Large rooms are sometimes a designer’s greatest challenge.  At this home we used color and space planning to make a huge home feel cozy, warm and welcoming.  Paint, window treatments and area rugs are some of the most affordable ways to warm up any sized room.  The large master bath started out looking dark and dated.  We brought in some lighter touches and white marble to make the room feel like a spa retreat.

Something Old, Something New

This house was dying to show off its curb appeal, but it was hidden behind overgrown landscaping.  We cut back the trees to show off the home’s original character.  The pergola on the front makes the entire entrance feel larger and more welcoming.  A new coat of paint and a pop of blue color pulled it all together.

The kitchen in this older Paver Park home needed help. To keep under budget we replaced the appliances, but kept the original cabinetry, adding some new doors and handles. A new sink, better lighting, and affordable granite counters give this small older space a luxurious new feel.

Many of the amazing “before and after” renovations you see here were constructed by our friends at J & K Building and Remodeling in Sarasota.