Tiffany Brooks knows how to stretch a dollar on her new show, “$50K Three Ways,” but her latest project ends up going way over budget.
In the episode “Demo Disaster,” Brooks meets with Ron and Theresa, a couple who are tired of sharing a bathroom with their two kids.
“The house is great,” Ron explains, “but it was built in 1906, so it’s very tight and segmented.”
Brooks decides to turn a spare bedroom into a second en suite bathroom. But as soon as demo begins, the team finds a big, expensive structural problem.
Still, the family decides to move ahead, and Brooks still manages to deliver a master suite on a minimal budget. Here’s how she pulls it off, and you’ll find plenty of take-home lessons that might inspire you to make some changes in your own abode, too.
Use a dark color for a cozy bedroom
Brooks’ first bedroom upgrade is an easy one that anyone can do: paint.
The room is already a calming gray color, but Brooks wants to go darker. So, she gives this space a coat of deep charcoal.
“It makes the space feel more expensive, and it gives it this dose of luxury,” she says.
When Ron and Theresa finally see their finished bedroom, they’re seriously impressed. This new, darker color instantly takes this space from typical bedroom to luxe suite.
Don’t forget to paint the ceiling
To finish off the bedroom paint, Brooks explains that it’s important to put color not just on the walls, but also on the ceiling.
“I always paint my ceilings, so there’s no obstructive white breaking the ceiling,” Brooks says, “because that would have interrupted the whole vibe in here.”
If she had left the ceiling white, it would have made the gray walls seem too dark by comparison. Instead, this gray ceiling blends in. It proves that if you pick a daring color, you should never forget to paint the ceiling, too.
Save money by holding back on the fancy hardware
Ron and Theresa are thrilled to get an en suite, because it’s hard sharing a bathroom with their two boys.
“It’s just too tight of a space for all of us to be in,” Theresa explains, “so I get ready at the kitchen counter most mornings.”
Brooks gets started on building a bathroom, but right away, she runs into a problem. This old house has some structural issues that will cost an extra $25,000 to fix.
It’s expensive, but Ron and Theresa decide to go forward with the project. Still, Brooks knows that she can’t go over budget any more, so she’s very careful about the finishes she chooses. While she wants to use glamorous, vintage hardware in the bathroom, she makes her favorite pieces count.
“We couldn’t afford really to do the whole bathroom with these vintage knobs,” Brooks says, “but a small touch of it just instantly amps up the feeling of luxury.”
While some people might be hesitant to have different knobs on their cabinets and drawers, the two styles complement each other well. Now, Ron and Theresa get that stylish vintage look, without blowing their budget.
Flashy lights in the bathroom heighten the look
To finish off this renovation, Brooks brightens up the spaces with flashy light fixtures.
In the bathroom, she spends $370 on matching crystal lights, then invests $1,331 on similar chandeliers for the bedroom.
“We did splurge on the chandeliers in the bedroom,” Brooks says, “but now that they’re installed, they have so much drama.”
Make a basement fun for kids and adults
In addition to updating the master suite, Brooks presents plans to update the basement. Her idea involves updating this kids’ space, which comes complete with mismatched couches and lots of games. It’s now a second living room that adults can also enjoy.
Brooks suggests removing the old furniture to make room for a classic bar that would be perfect for entertaining adults. It helps this basement feel more sophisticated than mere couches around a TV and an air hockey table.
“This is truly a space that adults and teenagers alike would love to hang out in,” she says.
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