Christina Haack is back for Season 4 of her hit HGTV show “Christina on the Coast”—but it seems things are a bit more complicated now.
“It’s been crazy,” Haack admits off the bat, and it’s no exaggeration. At this point, her ex-husband Ant Anstead has moved out, so she’s juggling her design business while learning how to co-parent her youngest, Hudson, along with her two older kids with Tarek El Moussa.
She’s also busy with what may be her trickiest renovation yet.
In the episode “Heartfelt Hacienda Makeover,” Haack meets Jason and Amy, who have a hard time letting go of their past. This couple (and their two young boys) live in her parents’ old house in Fullerton, CA. And while Amy knows this 1951 Spanish-style structure needs a lot of work, she’s hesitant to change anything that might ruin the home’s history.
These clients have a $70,000 budget, which Haack quickly blows through, spending $84,000. Is it worth it? See for yourself, and learn some of her latest design tricks that might be worth trying on your own abode, too.
Floorboards should ideally run in the same direction
It seems Amy is sentimental about almost everything in the home, from the furniture to the floors.
In fact, she tells Haack that she wants to keep the home’s original 1950s hardwood flooring even though it’s flawed. Amy points to a dividing line in the middle of the living room where the floorboards run in opposite directions. She explains that this is where a wall used to be, and that she’d love to keep this bit of history intact.
“I feel like this tells the story of the house,” Amy says.
However, Haack plans to take down another wall in this renovation, which means the flooring in the main living space will now point in three different directions! Haack worries that may be a little too much character.
Luckily, Haack comes up with a way to keep most of the original floors Amy loves without making the room look like a patchwork quilt.
“My suggestion would be to replace this area and then get a flooring that matches,” Haack says, “and then we stain it and tie all of it together.”
While pulling up the entire original floor and replacing it may have been easier, this half-new, half-old flooring gives Amy and Jason’s home a special touch of history. These floors represent a creative way to preserve at least a small part of a classic home.
With a limited budget, keep what you can
Haack tries her best to preserve as many of Amy’s family memories as possible, but there are some things that simply need to be replaced. For example, while some classic features can and should be saved, the midcentury windows throughout the house aren’t one of them.
Jason and Amy are happy to replace the windows, but the problem is that new ones are going to cost $10,000. They also consider replacing the old sliding door with new bi-fold doors, but when Jason learns that these could cost $15,000, he’s suddenly eager to keep the original door.
The lesson: With a limited renovation budget, it’s worth keeping what you have if it works well enough.
Two different tiles can work well together
Haack brings Amy and Jason two kitchen backsplash options that both work great with their hacienda theme. While Amy loves the poured-concrete option, she’s nervous when Haack suggests using the blue tile instead.
“I don’t have tattoos because I’m always afraid that I’m going to get tired of something,” Amy says to Jason.
After a little back-and forth and a trip to the tile store, Amy decides that using a little bit of both tiles in the kitchen is the perfect way to compromise. This way, Amy gets to give this room a little color without getting tired of it too quickly.
Update your workspace
While Amy and Jason originally plan to make over the kitchen and dining area, they decide to expand the renovation to the nook just beyond the kitchen, an office space that has doubled as their pantry.
With Haack upgrading the kitchen storage, Amy and Jason can now use this as a dedicated workspace, and they want to make it look professional. Haack paints the cabinets black and puts in the same hardware that she used in the kitchen.
The upgrade costs only $2,500, and when the space is done, it’s much more usable.
“I love how it complements the kitchen, but it doesn’t look exactly like it,” Haack says. “I like that we included the knobs, but the cabinets are black. It’s so pretty.”
Old furniture can look new with a fresh coat of paint
While the whole house is special to Amy and Jason, Amy points out a few furniture pieces that she wants to keep, including a turquoise desk she and her late mother picked out together.
Haack is happy to keep the desk in the home, but she’s not sure how the turquoise will look with the new hacienda design. She suggests painting the desk white or black instead.
“I’m having a hard time parting with the turquoise,” Amy says, “but I know we’re turning new leaves and we’re doing this remodel, and I think it’s time for a makeover for this desk. My heart is saying let’s do it black.”
Haack is glad that Amy is open to painting it black, because not only will it match the new cabinets off the kitchen, it’ll also bring some dimension to this large room.
“A few dark elements will look really nice in the space,” Haack says.