Courtney and Mark Messenbaugh lived fast-paced lives on the East Coast, knowing they would eventually return to their roots in Denver. The newlyweds recently bought a townhouse that reminds them of their lives in the big city but is located in the suburbs. Designer Carriann Arkowski signs on to help them bring an urban vibe to their chic loft.
Barrie Yallof just bought her first place in Philadelphia's Queens Village. Since Yallof has a mountain of school-loan debt on top of her new mortgage, she does not have much leftover to decorate her boring living room. Designer Betty Kim recycles Yallof's old furniture and gives her a hip and cool living room full of Philly personality.
The first thing Jason Ott did when he bought his first place was dump trashy old furniture into it. Designer Carriann Arkowski helps this bachelor set up house by giving him a living room inspired by his favorite sport--stock-car racing.
If life were a movie, Howie Shanker and Typhaney Bennett would star in a big-budget romance with low-budget sets. The happy couple's ramshackle fixer-upper in South Philadelphia is 1,700 square feet of demolished walls, peeling wallpaper and exposed plumbing. Taking a cue from Old Hollywood films that reflect the couple's timeless love, designer Tom Zemon develops a plan to turn their master bedroom into an exotic Rudolph Valentino-inspired fantasy suite.
Erica Golding has her bachelor's degree, and now she needs to graduate to her first place. Her mother passed away four years ago, but she always wanted Erica to live on her own at least once. After three years in a dumpy college rental, she finally has her first place. Designer Carriann Arkowski helps her find her adult style by turning her living room into a Caribbean paradise.
Recent college grad Chris Wallace is already buying his first place--a 1,000-square-foot bungalow. The only furniture this go-getter has are hand-me-downs from Mom and Dad. Decorator Gary Kelly helps this young man move up in the world, surprising him with sleek new furniture and giving some of Mom and Dad's sentimental pieces a facelift.
Ethan Roelle lived with his family of 13 while stockpiling hand-me-down furniture for his first place. But when the family barn went up in flames, his collection of furniture went with it. Now he has nothing to bring to his brand new lakeside ranch home outside Detroit. Designer Carriann Arkowski signs on to update his bedroom from floor to ceiling and gives him a beach- house-style look that is the perfect match for his new home.
Jada Williams' college landlord is not just her best friend, but she is also her big sister and surrogate mom. Both agreed that it is time for grad-student Williams to move into her own place. Now they both agree that she needs help getting started with decorating. The living room in her condo in the suburbs of Detroit is all white, empty and sterile. Designer Carriann Arkowski agrees to establish a French sheik design theme that Williams can carry on throughout the rest of the place.
Kim Salerno and Scott Nuding's first place is a 1,200-square-foot, three-bedroom home in north Philadelphia. Using Nuding's favorite Asian artwork as inspiration, designer Tom Zemon signs on to help celebrate the new house with bold colors and a Japanese tea party in their dining room and kitchen.
In order to save up for her first place, Walida Miller has been living in a 450-square-foot shoebox in Philadelphia. Miller's new 1,300-square-foot home may be too small to handle her ever-growing collection of shoes. Designer Carey Evans is dispatched to give Miller a bedroom that offers both stylish chic and smart storage.
Lora and Ken Stock lost nearly everything in an apartment fire near Detroit. After finding asylum with Ken's mom, they are now ready to buy their first place. Designer Rebecca King helps them get back on their feet with an artist studio in their attic.
The Cowlays have outgrown the tiny Philadelphia row house they are renting. Dad worked two jobs so they could get their first place. Dad is a DJ on weekends, Mom sings, 11-year-old Tyshauna plays the keyboard and 3-year-old Gary plays the drums. So designer Carey Evans creates a jazz haven for this musical family. She frames old jazz records and turns musical instruments into lamps to make the theme come alive.
Michelle Taraschi and Justin Brame have finally purchased their very first place in the heart of Philadelphia, but corporate designer Taraschi is terrified to let fiance Brame get involved in the decorating. One of his favorite brainstorms: a full-scale waterfall in the dining room. Designer Barry Wood comes to the rescue and marries Taraschi's classy style with Brame's daring taste in an art-nouveau dining room that delights everyone's palate.
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