Designer Sarah Richardson is taking on the suburbs as she tackles the renovation of a typical split-level home room-by-room, bringing today's sense and style to the entire space. That is, once Sarah finally finds just the right house, which proves to be more of a challenge than she bargained for.
Sarah and Tommy squeeze practical style from two small, neglected rooms. The home office takes on a bold, comfortable tone, while the tiny high-ceilinged nursery becomes a serene study in whites, pale grays and blues. Each room musters practicality and pizzazz on very small budgets.
This is one absolutely bland, beige and boring master bedroom. Sarah ups the comfort and romance factors, but not before addressing moldy non-insulated closets and creaky wood floors, adding square footage and correcting a sharply slanted ceiling.
After the kitchen, bathrooms are the most important and expensive renovations in the home. In this project, both baths give way to the wrecking ball - one becomes a showcase for the master bedroom, and budget-friendly options for the other result in modern style and practicality for guests and family. It's a rigorous exercise on getting exactly what you want on a limited budget.
Sarah transforms an unused basement space into a multi-purpose suite that works for temporary and long-term visitors, including the boomerang generation. This newly captured room brims with five-star features; it's light, bright and inspiring.
Storage is one of the most important and complex issues in any home. Sarah makes every basement nook and cranny accountable by incorporating storage you don't even notice is there. As for the laundry room, she creates a colorful, light space to give a fresh, new spin to this mundane chore.
Sarah steps up to a large yard, untouched since the house was built. Stone work, landscaping and green space set the foundation for a jewel-like pool and cabana. Everything fits in nicely with plenty of room to spare and forms the perfect backdrop for all-season entertaining. The neighbors will be envious!
Sarah and Tommy set a budget challenge of $2,500 to bring this unused space up to the demanding specs of the fickle tweens and teenagers. Not only that, the entire design is positioned to evolve at the whims of this age group's hottest new must-haves.
Sarah breaks down the walls of this nowhere space to make a family room that serves a multitude of purposes. While the design scheme skews male, it's meant to welcome all with comfort and style. Sarah devises a unique solution for high tech gadgetry and busts the budget to create much-needed access to the new pool and backyard area.
This is purely a case of making the most of what you've got. Sarah unites a dated living room and entryway, giving them modern appeal and flexibility. A sense of drama comes via a heightened doorway and new set of stairs. Modern touches such as glass stair rails, skylights and a revamped fireplace create the illusion of space and bring this entire room up-to-date.
One of the costliest renovation challenges in any house is the kitchen. Sarah bucks this trend with stylish, customized ready-made cabinetry and useful solutions for absolutely everything. Enlarged access to a side deck creates outdoor lounging space and infuses the entire interior with light.
Nothing makes a better calling card than curb appeal. It's also one of the most expensive home renovation projects to undertake. Sarah modernizes the house's exterior by replacing a tangle of trees, adding a skylight to the carport and color tinting the brick.
How far have Sarah's imagination, limited budget and sheer determination taken her? On buying the house, Sarah's real estate agent strongly advised she be penny-wise and spend no more than $170,000 on the entire renovation. Did Sarah spend that or more? What will a trio of top agents say the house is worth now?
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