Ben and Erin Napier of “Home Town” usually renovate single-family homes, but in their latest episode, they’ve turned their keen reno eye toward a good cause.
In “Color Psychology,” Napier’s clients Lisa and Mike Cochran have bought a house in Laurel, MS, for $25,000 in order to turn it into a women’s home. They want this nonprofit to be a welcoming place for women who have run into tough times. It should be comfortable and beautiful, but they also know it needs to function for multiple people (and their kids) at once.
Ben and Erin set out to create the ultimate “roommate house” with a modest all-in budget of $100,000. Read on to find out Erin’s favorite beautiful (but inexpensive) upgrades, and find out if you can use them in your own space.
Use bright colors for a welcoming home
Erin knows that the women who will move into this house have been through a lot, so she wants to create a welcoming, happy ambiance.
One way she does this is by using color to make the common spaces and the exterior give off a joyful energy.
“I did a lot of research in college about color psychology, and certain colors make you feel hungry or happy or sad or sleepy,” Erin explains. “In a color palette of sky blue, light-coral colors, lemon-meringue yellow, and then lots of neutrals and creams around those colors together give you a feeling of happiness.”
So Erin paints the exterior a beautiful blue, with a playful coral on the front door. Inside, she brightens up the living room with sunny yellow walls set off by creamy white trim.
When the paint is dry, the house looks like it’s bursting with joy and life. Sometimes, the right colors can make all the difference.
Invest in small updates everyone will appreciate
Just like a fresh coat of paint, new windows are something everyone in the house will enjoy, and a window upgrade doesn’t have to cost a lot.
That’s why Ben and Erin decide to upgrade this house by replacing a window upstairs. While this only brings extra light to the attic, it also gives the exterior a more elegant look.
“That window is beautiful,” Erin says when she sees the new window installed. “That small change is like changing the world for this house.” This new window proves that sometimes the smallest update can have a huge impact.
Create a designated workspace for everyone
Erin knows that a home should be beautiful as well as functional, which is why she decides to add two custom desks to the living space.
With kids living in the home, she wants to make sure they have space to do their homework—but these convenient desks could also work in a house with roommates.
“We can make it even more multipurpose,” Erin says when looking at the dual kitchen and dining room. “We’re going to have kids. I want to think about how we have a really communal sort of dining space where there’s also maybe desks.”
Ben and Erin find space in the corners of the dining room where one desk could be tucked in on either side of the room, away from the dining table and out of the way of foot traffic.
The desks look lovely and prove that, while there might not be room for a dedicated office in a shared house, there can still be workspaces for everyone.
Use inexpensive and easily-cleaned materials
Ben and Erin next move onto the kitchen, choosing a backsplash that is beautiful, inexpensive, and easy to clean. They use vinyl wallpaper as a clever substitute for tile, giving the room a pop of color that doesn’t cost a lot. To protect the wallpaper from messes, Erin covers it with plexiglass so it can be quickly cleaned.
“We went with this because it’s affordable but it’s really pretty, because we want this to be a lovely, soft first landing for these women and their kids,” Erin says.
Best of all, Erin’s wallpaper is peel-and-stick, so it’s easy to put up and easy to take down. This makes it an especially great choice for any roommates who want to be able to change up the look of their kitchen without spending too much money.
Don’t go too pricey with kitchen features
With a great roommate-friendly backsplash, Erin wants to continue the theme of inexpensive, sharable space with style. So she uses laminate countertops in the kitchen, knowing that this durable material will look great—and cost just $300. And that frees up funds for the nonprofit to use somewhere else.
“People want to be down on laminate,” Erin says, acknowledging how laminate might not be the popular choice. “But it wouldn’t make sense if we had put $2,000 worth of countertops in this house that was all about the budget.”
And the laminate counters look just like marble, giving the new tenants a beautiful kitchen that isn’t breaking the bank.
When the house is finally finished, Erin and Ben get to present their clients with a happy home that will be enjoyed by many deserving women for years to come.
The post ‘Home Town’: Ben and Erin Napier’s Top Upgrade To Give a Home Happy Vibes appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.