A Modern Tropical Home With Bold Patterns and Bright Colors

Following tragic loss and years of instability living in their native country of the Congo, the Barobi family of refugees are given a new future, and a chance to grow roots in Ogden, Utah. See the photos of this incredible home.

February 23, 2020

Meet the Barobi Family

Following the tragic loss of his parents and a younger sibling, and years of fear and instability in the Congo, Ashraf Kambare, his younger sisters Azida and Habiba, his aunt Anifah Barobi, and cousin Zulufa have found their permanent home together in Ogden, Utah. The family poses on the front porch of their new house alongside the Extreme Makeover team.

See more of this new Modern Tropical home now!

Surprising the Barobi Family

Marching with an army of volunteers from Ogden, Utah, host Jesse Tyler Ferguson, designers Darren Keefe, Carrie Locklyn, and Breegan Jane are joined by Wadman Corporation, the UN Refugee Agency and many others ready to give back and support the Barobi family.

MEET THE DESIGNERS: Meet The New ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’ Design Team

Surprising the Barobi Family

Upon arriving at the Barobi family's rented apartment, the family of five is overwhelmed and excited to greet the hundreds of volunteers who arrived to participate in the surprise.

Surprising the Barobi Family

Ashraf is comforted by host Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who praises the young man's commitment to his family, and promises them a fresh start that will help them continue to heal and grow roots in the United States.

The Build

While the build of the family's new home took place over 5 days, it was advantageous for some construction to take place offsite. The home's roof was one of those pieces that was built elsewhere, and delivered to the property in one piece with the help of a crane. The construction team worked safely and diligently to navigate the enormous structure between homes and power lines.

The Volunteers

Designer Breegan Jane demonstrates to volunteers how baskets will used as dining room light fixtures. The design team relies on volunteer participation to create custom accents like these to add appeal and a personal touch within the new home. With textures and colors reminiscent of the Barobis' Congolese heritage, they aspire to help them remember and honor their past.

The Team

Special guest Tamara Day of HGTV's Bargain Mansions poses with designers Breegan Jane, Darren Keefe and Carrie Locklyn. The design team leaned on Tamara to approve bold tile choices in the kitchen and on the stairwell, and used her keen sense of design to bring in accents that would honor the family's history and personality into this newly constructed home.

MEET TAMARA: Behind the Design with Tamara Day of 'Bargain Mansions'

Move That Bus!

As the Extreme Makeover bus pulls away, the Barobi family is overcome with joy. The design team, volunteers, and the family's new, supportive neighbors joined them to celebrate during this emotional reveal.

The Reveal

A stark contrast from the small basement apartment the Barobi family had been renting, the new Modern Tropical home is designed with plenty of space to accommodate the entire family. The 2,900 square foot home includes 6 bedrooms, generous living space, a landscaped front and backyard, and covered porches from which the family can embrace the beautiful Utah scenery. The property is also outfitted with solar panels to offset energy consumption, providing a net-zero environment for the family.

Curb Appeal

Landscape lighting leads the way to the front entryway of the new home. The lush perennials, colorful home accents, and big porch make this a welcoming place for the Barobi family, and their friends in the community.

The Entryway

Just inside the welcoming front doors, the Barobi family is greeted into their main living area with easy access to the upstairs bedrooms. The open space is intended to offer a connected atmosphere for the close-knit family. Textures and design details offer warmth and nod towards the family's Congolese heritage.

The Living Room

Large windows and bright walls invite natural light into the new living room. With plenty of space for the family, light for indoor plants, and brightly colored and textured accent pieces, this is bound to be the perfect space for the family to relax together.

The Living Room

Host Jesse Tyler Ferguson commissioned Congolese masks for the family to thoughtfully represent every family member, including the lives that were lost during the war in the Congo. Displayed in the living room, the family can feel connected to their loved ones and reminisce on the memories they left behind when they came to the United States as refugees.

The Kitchen

Just beyond the living room, the floorplan flows into an open kitchen. The functional layout offers expansive countertops, an oversized sink, and a generously sized island. Open shelving and a boldly patterned tile floor add interest to the space, while rattan fixtures and woven seats add tropical appeal.

The Kitchen

Contemporary accents complement natural finishes in this new kitchen. The balance of bold patterns, contrasting colors, and a thoughtful combination of open and concealed shelving options make this space both fun and functional.

The Kitchen

Behind the kitchen island, the design team incorporated floor-to-ceiling built-in shelving. This space will function as a library for the family to keep their books.

The Dining Room

Just beyond the kitchen, the Barobis' new restaurant-inspired dining room offers spacious, comfortable seating, bold colors and patterns, and hanging basket light fixtures that the volunteers helped to assemble. Bold tropical wallpaper adorns the walls, and natural light pours in from the backyard.

The Dining Room

A variety of seating choices including velvet sofas and café style chairs invite the space to become a multi-purpose room where the family can gather to eat, entertain, play, or study.

The Upstairs Hallway

The upstairs hallway is a bright, modern space designed to fit the home's six bedrooms, as well as a study nook, bathroom and access to the front balcony. For the first time since arriving in Utah, each family member now has their own bedroom and closet. The hallway is decorated with new portraits, as well as their only keepsake, a family photo that Ashraf carried with him when they left Africa to come to the United States.

The Study Nook

Designer Carrie Locklyn created a special built-in study nook for this family of students. The nook, though an open concept space, offers a quiet, cozy escape with a floor-to-ceiling built-in bookshelf.

Anifah's Bedroom

The master bedroom of the home was reserved for family matriarch, Auntie Anifah. Deep blue walls and a rich upholstered bed anchor this luxurious retreat, while Congolese textures and design elements honor her family and her past.

Anifah's Bedroom

Large french doors fill Anifah's bedroom with natural light, and access to a private outdoor balcony that overlooks the Utah landscape, and her front yard. She spends much of her time helping and caring for the four children in the home, and the team felt that she deserved a retreat with a view.

Anifah's Balcony

The private balcony accessed through Anifah's master bedroom offers an extra space where this doting mother and aunt can relax. The woven swing chair and tropical fans accent the wood ceiling, while copper lanterns create a warm, peaceful environment.

Azida's Bedroom

Designed to appeal to the quintessential American teenager, and specifically to Azida's youthful personality, designers Carrie Locklyn and Tamara Day created a modern, glamorous escape with a contemporary bed, stenciled chest and pink Aztec-patterned wallpaper. Additional texture comes by way of wall hangings and fabrics chosen to decorate the space.

Zulufa's Bedroom

The designers gave Zulufa a bedroom as unique as her personality, with a gold canopy bed and coordinating flower mirror. Her new space is sophisticated, and features soft grey walls and carved wood accents.

Ashraf's Bedroom

As the only man in the house, Darren wanted to give Ashraf a space where he could unwind and feel at home. Ashraf's love of nature and the Utah landscape inspired the room's theme, anchored with the green upholstered bed and accented with blue-grey walls. Wood, leather and steel also add a masculine style to the room.

Habiba's Bedroom

Habiba's room is equally radiant and relaxing. With its shibori upholstered headboard, white sconces and serene blue board and batten walls, the designed space has a modern beachy feel. The bedroom has a large closet, and is accented with plenty of texture including rattan accents and African decor.

The Bathroom

A trio of sinks offers maximum convenience for the teenage girls who will share this colorful bathroom. Pink tropical wallpaper, modern faucets, large mirrors and more counter space than ever before elevate this upstairs bathroom into a room that checks all the boxes.

The Bathroom

The upstairs bathroom also features a modern mosaic tile accent in the shower, offering balance to the colorful accents used throughout the rest of the room.

The Backyard

The Barobi family enjoys nature, and their former rental did not have an outdoor space. Though small, the design team made the most of the new backyard and outfitted it with multiple living areas including a covered patio with seating, a woven hammock and a custom pergola with built-in seating.

The Backyard

Two seating areas on the covered back patio make the backyard an easy place to dine and entertain. In the warm months, the french doors on the back of the house can easily open to make the back patio feel like a true extension of their home.

The Backyard

A custom pergola and floating deck with built-in seating offer a comfortable outdoor living space for the Barobi family. Surrounded by a privacy fence and outfitted with colorful accents, string lighting and comfortable cushions, this area is perfect for entertaining, or simply sitting and reading a good book.

The Backyard

Adjacent to the pergola and attached to the side of the family's new garage, designer Darren Keefe created a vertical herb garden that the family could enjoy. The Earth box design offers a low-maintenance approach to gardening for this busy family. Ashraf especially appreciated this, having expressed fond memories of gardening with his father in the Congo.

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