So, being new homeowners and all, let’s just say that we’re known to frequent our local home improvement stores: Lowe’s, Home Depot, Ikea, and Target (and yes, I do consider all of those “home improvement” stores!).
One amazing, magical summer day… (cue fairytale music… LOL… that’s how it felt), we were at Lowe’s by our house to get some pool chemicals, and as usual, we decided to peruse the aisles of the store to get ideas for our various projects. Now, here come’s the magical moment… we moved from the curtain aisle to the lighting aisle… and then what do we see… A CAMERA CREW bum-rush us, with you-know-who in tow… JOSH TEMPLE!!!!!!!!
For those of you who don’t know me… my family
jokingly lovingly calls me DIY Network’s biggest fan! Let’s just say that it was only 10am when we were ambushed, and we had already watched an episode of House Crashers that morning!!! Anyways, it was all just a whirlwind from there. The House Crashers crew came and checked out our house that day… and the next day, it was ON!!! If you’ve watched the show, you know that it is very fast paced. BUT, what you don’t know, or what is very difficult to convey, is that the homeowners and “the crew” are going that fast paced for three days straight! And, when I say crew, don’t think that there are a bunch of mystery contractors behind the scenes doing everything- everyone works their tails off! The crew is made up of a team of some of the most amazing, fun, versatile (no one does just one job), hard-working, and innovative people I have ever met in my life- this includes the host- Josh Temple, a lead contractor (Doug Tolson, in this instance), several assistant contractors, and all of the production people (directors, assistants, camera men, audio guys, etc.).
It’s INSANE and a total blast!!! (PS- I know I’m using a lot of exclamation points, but that is still how excited I am about the whole process and transformation.) In case you didn’t get to check out the Episode, it’s now online, here or you can view it on this page, here:
Ok, ok… I think that’s enough babbling for me… Here’s the action…
These are the BEFORE shots of the two rooms that they ultimately crashed- Dining Room and Living Room:
DISCLAIMER: these “before pictures” are after we had already patched all the holes in the walls and painted a nice crisp, clean color- but the room seriously still lacked style- aka, no real work other than clean-up had been done on them! To see the rooms when we just purchased the house, see the Home Tour.
I think it’s fairly safe to say that we loved the open floor plan, but we had no idea what we wanted to do with these rooms yet, so they were not decorated at all, and more or less served as a dumping ground for all of our excess furniture (no cohesiveness at all).
These are the AFTER shots of the Dining Room and Living Room (HUGE DIFFERENCE!!!!!!!!!):
Check out the Beautiful new solid mahogany door from ETO Doors! We were fully in love when that bad boy was unveiled!!! And, to his left, you will notice the awesome Shoji Sliding Doors, which we constructed under the instruction of the House Crashers crew. A lot of sweat and tears (no blood, that I recall) went into those amazing doors and we are so thrilled with both their function and style. Also, please note the now raised dining room floor (used to be all one level- see above) and quarter wall to the right of the front door, making more of a formal entry. And lastly, in case your eyes aren’t immediately drawn to the floor… the dining room was treated with solid mocha oak hardwood flooring from Lumber Liquidators, and the rest of the living space received a full resurfacing of the actual foundation of our home to create beautifully finished, marbled-looking, polished concrete floors! Yup, that is concrete, and we love it so much! Hypoallergenic, easy to clean, and nearly indestructible- that’s a good combination to me!
The raised floor was one of the largest and longest projects we did, but we absolutely can’t get over the impact that it made for the dining room. Before, the dining room felt small, yet vast- an equation which does not equal “intimate,” like you’d want for a dining room. It was just plain bad to say the least. After, the 9-foot ceilings were reduced to 8-foot ceilings. It really brought the space down to scale. It now feels warm, welcoming, and open, but still cozy.
Raising a dining room floor is a project I would HIGHLY recommend to anyone looking to make a major impact in their home, but you would have to have tall ceilings to afford the loss in height.
As you can tell, accessories are minimal for staging and TV purposes. We have added a ton-o-decor since the show filmed, so I will write a Living Room and Dining Room update so y’all can see the changes!
… And here’s a closer look at the “bird cage” chairs…
This picture highlights two of my favorite features, that may or may not be hard to tell… the fireplace and the stone wall!
- The Eco-Smart Fireplace burns ethanol alcohol and is absolutely amazing! The great thing about this fireplace is that it is zero emissions and does not require any kind of flu or chimney… this means NO cutting holes in walls, ceilings, or roofs. And most importantly, for those who live in emission-restricted locales like us, this is a PERFECT SOLUTION. And believe me… this fire gets crankin’ and puts out tons of heat!!!
- The stone wall is a very unique product that is made up of ground down aggregate (rock), which is about the consistency of sand. The mixture is the troweled onto the wall, similar to venetian plaster… this was quite a challenge! While it was fun to try, I highly recommend a pro (or lots of practice) for this one! Constant teaching moments were essential for this!
So, this CONCLUDES our tour of the living room and the dining room. They both endured an amazing, whirlwind of a makeover from House Crashers- and they never looked back. We seriously feel so blessed to have been part of the process, and just flat out lucky to have been plucked out of the home improvement store. It is still a dream come true! (I pinch myself occasionally to make sure that it’s all real!!!)