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Wanted: Room to Grow

Holly and German Vasconez need help getting their starter home ready to sell.

Holly and German Vasconez's starter home isn't cutting it anymore. It's bursting at the seams with clutter, and they need help getting it in shape to put on the market. That's where the Designed to Sell team comes into the picture. With a $2,000 budget and just days before the open house, they are eager to get started.

First on the scene is real estate expert Donna Freeman. She begins with the exterior, noting that some of the house is hidden by shrubbery, and the rest of the area looks unkempt in general.

Moving inside, Donna finds clutter and dirty spots in nearly every room. The closet in the hallway is packed so full that everything falls out when opened. Remember, buyers check out everything when doing walk-throughs.

The next one to check out the home is designer Lisa LaPorta, who comes up with a plan to get this house in order:

Step 1: Give 'em room to grow. Buyers pay more for space and storage so we need to find it and show it off.

Step 2: Beef up the bones. Strengthening the home's basic structure will add more weight to the asking price.

Step 3: Downplay the dingy. The wall colors and decor need a fresh feel before buyers will want to nest.

It's going to take a lot of elbow grease, but she's positive it's possible. Helping her make it all happen is the usual team of contractor Jim Collins and carpenters Brad Haviland and Nick Ralbovsky.

The Kitchen

This space is narrow, small and awkward. There is clutter throughout, some appliances need maintenance or even replacing, and it needs a thorough cleaning. Making up some of the clutter is a cramped office area. There is not enough space in this room to have dual purposes.


The bathroom is another problem area in this house. The lighting is dark, and the shower curtain and bath mats are dingy and dated. Since it's the only one in the house, it really needs to shine.

Master Bedroom

The last area that needs an overhaul is the master bedroom. It is uninviting, disorganized and cluttered. The good news is everything can be easily and inexpensively fixed with a little paint, accessories and TLC, Lisa says.

With such tight quarters the team hits a few snags along the way, but the results prove all the hard work paid off.


Now it is an inviting space with plenty of room. New shelving eliminated the storage problem, and there is even room for an eat-in kitchen. An easy-to-clean laminate surface, fresh paint and accessories add the finishing touches.


Now it is bright and full of life, thanks to the new French door. Not only did it add more natural light, it creates the illusion of a larger space. New linens and accessories complete the look.

Master Bedroom

Now this is a room to which people will want to retreat. The bed has been placed in the middle of the room to show off the wonderful open floor space and great hardwood flooring. The ceiling crack is fixed, and fresh paint window treatments, side tables and lighting top it off.

Cost Breakdown:

countertop $255
flooring $142
plumbing materials $152
French door and furniture $471
window treatments $80
decorative accessories $103
lighting $301
paint and lumber supplies $451

Total: $1,955

Products from The Coaster Company:

kitchen table, 7439
chairs for Kitchen,7444
bed tables for bedroom, 3228
lamps for bedroom, 1509

Products from Contractors' Warehouse:

kitchen sink, 754859631907
French door for bathroom, 604389

Products from Lowe's:

countertops, Natural Canvas, 131973
kitchen flooring, Eurostone, 166221
kitchen light fixture, Sienna Co., 154620
cabinet handles for kitchen and bathroom, 90764
chandelier for bedroom, Verona Mini, 218954
light fixture for bathroom, 4 Lite Vanity Bar, 251756
sconce shades for bathroom, 87274
shower liner and curtain rings for bathroom, 135519 and 135400
two tension rods for bathroom, 13997
towel ring for bathroom, Preston, 169474

Products from The Home Depot:

Behr paint for bedroom and kitchen, Wild Porcini 250E3 and Classic Taupe 290E3
hinges for French door in bathroom, 043156986262

Product from Orchard Supply Hardware:

deadbolt for French door, Tulip Combo Lock, 039208959346

Products from Linens 'n Things:

shower curtain, Capulet Pole Top curtain, 082327888141
curtain rod for bedroom, Gold Leaf, 680656004784

Products from Anna's Linens:

Pacific hand towels for bathroom, 817704 and 807744

Products from Bed Bath and Beyond:

two window treatments for bedroom, Hampton 84" panes, 751612000010

Product from Big Lots:

cork board for kitchen, 1635200113845

Products from IKEA:

Bastant kitchen baskets, 074374000

Products from Target:

window valance for kitchen, 068030216

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