Friday, September 30, 2016


I love when a reporter or fans pull back the mask of reality shows to reveal what really goes on. Take, for example, one of the most popular shows today on HGTV (one of my faves too!) FIXER UPPER, at first glance Joanna Gaines does an incredible job with her team transforming a space (no argument there), but do you ever wonder why the entire house is furnished with new pieces (shouldn't it reflect the homeowners a LITTLE bit?) THE REALITY: Joanna packs the houses she does with furniture from her own store, MAGNOLIA, and will make a few pieces for the clients within their budget (that's when we get the plug from the guy she works with who makes tables). When the cameras turn off the clients are asked if they want to BUY all of the "stuff" and if not, it leaves the next day and the clients are left to decorate their home. The story is the same with many reality shows that end up being a big advertisement for whoever is hosting. My point? From time to time I TOO like to check back in on several projects I've talked about here to give you the TRUTH behind how they really went down, if they worked, etc. Today there are a few things I'll check back in on...
1.) In renovating a friends house in Connecticut, we researched the best deals for appliances for her new kitchen and landed on a packaged deal from Lowes. After waiting six weeks for them to arrive, one of two double ovens were broken, so we had to wait another month. The other problem? While saving a few hundred dollars, Lowe's did NOT mentioned that the "package deal" included different brands, so the refrigerator is Frigidaire, the dishwasher Kitchenaide, ovens GE. If you don't care, no problem, but just a word to the wise.
2.) I found an incredible deal at Lowes on a stainless steel sink and faucet combination for $215. They look incredible together and a similar combination from a kitchen store could run as high as $1,000.00 or more. The problem: the grading of the sink here is a bit off, so water sits on the outer edges of the interior of the sink and have to be guided into the drain. If you don't mind the extra work, I'd say go for it.
3.) The burlap project above...wrapping ugly metal support beams in a basement...certainly looks good in the end but was a little more work than I thought. A roll of burlap rope from Home Depot cost $8.75 and this 8' pole took about four rolls. I attached with liquid nails after my hot glue gun bailed after the first time. Lesson here: give yourself a few hours and use liquid nails. Hot glue guns SUCK!
4.) For another client and a different kitchen renovation, we ordered a higher end dishwasher from Kitchenaide with noise-dampening technology..this proved to be a MUCH NICER feature than I'd imagined (it's basically wrapped in insulation) especially in an open concept home as after dinner conversations won't be interrupted by the noisy dishwasher. PROBLEM: new dishwasher don't hold bigger dishes because of the interior mechanisms so MEASURE when you are in the store to make sure your dishes fit. Thankfully the upper deck was designed to carry dishes, so my client found a solution without returning the unit she waited four months for!