Behind the Scenes of a Midcentury Reno With Love It or List It's Contractor

We're loving this bright, open midcentury modern reno featured on 'Love it or List It.' Go behind the build with LIOLI contractor Eric Eremita and learn how to recreate the look in your home.

If you're a Love It or List It fan, you know the show is all about oneupsmanship: Hilary tries to stretch the homeowner's reno budget to tackle more than they ever imagined, while David strives to find a stunning, move-in-ready spot within their budget. Well, Hilary's really outdone herself this time — I'd never want to leave this low-slung midcentury home after its bright, modern makeover.

To learn more about this episode's design (including how to recreate the look!,) we chatted with LIOLI contractor Eric Eremita, who brings Hilary's designs to life on the show with his no-nonsense personality and years of experience as a contractor and designer in Staten Island, N.Y. (You might also recognize him as the runner-up of Brother Vs. Brother season 2.)

Eric takes a selfie that offers a glance behind the scenes on set. 

Eric takes a selfie that offers a glance behind the scenes on set. 

His favorite part of the finished space? The kitchen, of course! "It went from dark, dingy and cut off to bright, airy and open concept. It made a huge difference," Eric says. 

BEFORE

AFTER

Read on for his tips to get the midcentury modern look in your home.

For a mini-dose of midcentury modern, start with a low-slung furniture piece. "Midcentury modern has become very popular again, but pieces are still relatively easy to find," Eric says. "I personally love looking around at thrift shops and yard sales for this period...you can pick up some really cool pieces without spending a fortune." For the biggest bang for your buck, seek out solid wood pieces with sleek midcentury lines. Bonus points for items that still have their original hardware or have fun details like hairpin legs or marble tops. 

"Spend the money in reupolstering and rehabbing old pieces to make them yours," Eric says. "You will appreciate them that much more when your signature spin is on it." Embrace the period with a vintage or vintage-inspired fabric, or juxtapose the vintage shape with an of-the-moment pattern, like herringbone. 

When renovating a vintage home, check with the local historical society first. Homeowners Sam and Valerie loved this midcentury-era home, but with all that historic charm came rules and restrictions on remodeling choices from the local Historical Society. "The house had to conform with the age and design style of the home, so everything had to get run past them for approval," Eric says. Planning your own remodel? Find out restrictions before you start, and cushion your timeline to allow for approvals. 

Photo by: Anthony Collins

Anthony Collins

Respect the old as you embrace the new. "When you're renovating and designing a period home, you have to respect the interior styling (a little bit at least,)" Eric says. In this renovation, Hilary and Eric stayed true to the home's design by using lighting, cabinetry and fixtures that nodded to the home's 1950s birthdate. Opening up the living space and adding blue-gray accents through the house brought the design sensibilities into this century. 

Take a before-and-after tour of the whole renovation, and watch premiere episodes of Love It or List It on Mondays at 9p | 8c.

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