On tonight's episode of "Home Seekers," we follow Sam and Evie on their hunt for a four-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath home on a half-acre of land located close to downtown with a less than 5-minute commute to work.
Sam: "I refinish toothpicks." Evie: "I sell little packets of flowers I collect in the yard."
Together: "Our budget is 1.5 million."
Sometimes it might feel like finding your dream home is something that only happens in movies and home improvement shows such as these, and when you do see it, there’s always a massive budget to be spent on state of the art kitchens, basement movie theaters, and extra bedrooms for the dogs. So your dream house lives only in your daydreams as you watch your favorite real estate shows, believing that something like that is way out of your grasp.
It doesn’t have to be. With a few simple changes, you can easily turn the house you have into the house of your dreams without the massive budget and stress of construction. Here are a few tips on how to turn your house into the home of your dreams.
A lot of the features on those home improvements shows that we love oh so much are only exciting because they’re new. Your ten-year-old refrigerator? Old news compared to the fridge on TV that you can build your shopping lists for you. Take a look around your living space; what’s feeling a bit boring? Add a pop of fresh color to your neutral tone couches with a decorative throw pillow or spice up the pillows you already have with new pillowcases that add flair to the room. If the decor is looking a bit stale, take down all of the picture frames and swap out the old faithfuls for photos that usually stay stashed away in the family albums. Sure that group photo from Christmas four years ago is a classic, but hanging up the selfie you and the kids took while waiting in line for Splash Mountain is going to bring smiles aplenty when you have guests over. Who knows, maybe one of these fun pictures will serve as inspiration for the whole room. A photo with a lot of blue shades will look great on the mantle over a blue rug or new blue curtains.
It’s an issue all homeowners and self-proclaimed interior decorators find themselves up against eventually. Things go out of style. Set up a Pinterest board with furniture that fits your current aesthetic preferences, then compare the items on it to what you have. The only difference between the nightstand you have and the nightstand you want is a fresh coat of paint and new knobs for the drawers. Is the color of the couch what’s dragging it out of the modern age? Fluff up those old cushions and throw on a slipcover that better fits your decor dreams. You can also reupholster that sofa and replace the legs to turn it into something brand new (to you at least). If you have a big of a budget to spend on your dream house makeover, consider replacing a piece or two for newer versions that will freshen up the space without needing to replace everything in the room. You’ll be surprised how much newer a room feels when the couch in it hasn’t been squashed down by fifteen years of misuse.
The same goes for the bedroom, except instead of replacing the bed you can cycle in a new, comfy duvet cover or bed sheets without holes in them. Is it time for a new mattress? Are the curtains ready for retirement? Would it brighten your day to open a dresser without having to reattach the knob every time? You don’t need to replace absolutely everything to make a space feel brand new. Pick a couple of problem areas, update or replace them, then reassess. You might find that fixing a single part of the room that drives you up the wall is the key to transforming your bedroom into something brand new.
Another thing you see a lot on home improvement shows is space. A blank canvas ripe for the decorating, shining counters that aren’t covered with dishes and last week’s homework, a basement that doesn’t feel like a maze of boxes and bags. Believe it or not, you can have that too! Decluttering a space goes a long way to make a room feel bigger, less cramped, and, with minimalism being a rising trend in home decor, more modern. Invest in seagrass storage baskets to pack away the things you need but don’t necessarily want to see, and if it doesn’t have a place or a use, kick it to the curb. If it’s still in good condition, it’s likely someone else could make good use of it, so consider donating it or selling it on the local marketplace before tossing it in the trash. A little extra renovation spending money never hurt anybody.
Now back to the show.
Three months later: Rose was a great negotiator, so Sam and Evie were able to get the house for $50,000, well under the asking price. Since they moved in, they've torn it down and built a completely new house with all the features and upgrades they were after. In the meantime, you’ve refreshed your existing house into something brand new and are raking in the compliments from friends when they come over to watch house flipping shows with you. “You should be on that show,” they exclaim as they look around your newly decorated space, “this place looks incredible and feels completely new! You’re a decorating goddess!” You nod and smile as you nudge your Lands’ End catalog under your other magazines. Don’t worry, your decor secrets are safe with us.