After gaining fame as the host of “Property Virgins” and “Flipping Virgins,” Egypt Sherrod has now teamed up with her husband, Mike Jackson, for a new HGTV show.
In “Married to Real Estate,” Sherrod and Jackson, a builder, help homebuyers around Atlanta find their dream home (which typically involves some renovations to get just right). In the episode “Midcentury Mission,” though, the homebuyers, Jeff and Jessica, buck this trend, insisting that they want to preserve nearly every feature in their 1973 house—dated or not.
“When they say midcentury, they mean they want a time capsule,” Sherrod says. “They love that.”
While it’s a puzzling choice, Sherrod knows the one golden rule in renovation: Never remove a feature you adore just because it’s dated. If you love it, keep it! All it may need is some freshening up.
Here’s how Sherrod and Jackson put their $110,000 budget toward balancing both old and new styles, in a way that keeps the best of both worlds.
Check out which dated features they save, ditch, or upgrade, along with plenty of inspiration for your next home makeover, too.
River rock floors are worth preserving
Jessica and Jeff love midcentury design, so even before the renovations, they’re impressed by their new house from their first step in through the door.
Jessica loves the entryway, with river rock flooring and a stone planter, saying, “It just says midcentury to me.”
While many designers wouldn’t want to keep these dated stone features, Jackson likes the idea.
“That gives me a bit of relief as a contractor, because that means that’s less work in this area,” he says.
Sherrod ends up making one small change to this space, limewashing the planter to brighten it up. Otherwise, she keeps the entryway, and the river rock flooring, exactly the same.
While the HGTV stars end up making a lot of big changes to this old house, this entry proves that there are many features in a midcentury home that are worth leaving largely as is.
A stone fireplace is worth saving, too
In the living room, Jessica and Jeff explain that they like the original stone fireplace, although they aren’t particularly attached to the color.
“I love the wall, but the finish—no, I don’t really like it,” Jessica admits.
Sherrod suggests continuing with limewash, matching the massive stone feature to the entryway planter.
“I’d like to limewash the fireplace and match it with your beautiful box in the foyer, marry it to the walls, and allow the texture of the fireplace to shine through,” Sherrod says at her design meeting with her clients.
Then the kicker: “I did it in my own house, and I love it.”
The limewash instantly brightens up the room, adding a modern look to the very midcentury room. To finish off the design, Sherrod has the wood beams painted black, adding a little extra modern flair while also giving the room some dimension. In the end, it’s clear that the limewash was the right choice.
“That fireplace is beautiful,” Sherrod says. “It has really become an asset for this room now.”
Keep at least some of your wood paneling
Ripping up the carpet is a no-brainer for this room, but Sherrod is shocked when her clients say they don’t want to demo the wall paneling.
“I mean this is nice paneling, real paneling,” Jeff says in defense of the wood.
Clearly, this isn’t a typical design choice.
“It’s going to be a bit challenging,” Sherrod says of the decision. “I’ve never been asked to design around wood paneling.”
Sherrod does ultimately remove some of it in order to open up the entry between the kitchen and living room.
In the end, there’s less paneling in the room, but the parts that remain make enough of a midcentury statement to satisfy these hard-to-please homeowners.
“The paneling is still there, I’m still getting all of my midcentury vibes,” Jessica says when she sees the finished design. “But everything is just so clean and bright and beautiful, more modern.”
Keep parts of midcentury built-in cabinets
In the family room, Jessica and Jeff find a bulky wood bar in the corner. While Jessica likes the idea of a bar, this one is a bit dated, even for her tastes.
“If I’m being honest, I’m not in love with this particular bar,” she says. “It’s pretty heavy and dated.”
Instead, Jackson suggests repurposing the room’s old built-in cabinet as a dry bar area.
“I’d probably take all of this off,” he says, indicating the top of the cabinet. In its place, he installs a few floating shelves.
When the feature is done, Jeff and Jessica still have a bar area, but it’s much more sleek and modern.
One feature to ditch: wall-to-wall carpet
While Jeff and Jessica love saving most of these midcentury features, they wisely want to remove this house’s old carpet. They’d rather have terrazzo flooring throughout the house, but Sherrod warns that terrazzo can be pretty expensive.
“You love terrazzo flooring, but honestly, to do that throughout the house would cost upwards of $30,000, easy,” she says. “And you would like to spend that money elsewhere, I’m sure.”
Sherrod suggests a dark tile that has a speckled look, similar to that of terrazzo, but Jessica ends up deciding on a simpler tile in a concrete color.
In the end, this simple tile looks wonderful. It’s a beautiful addition that proves there are lots of flooring options that will look great in a midcentury home.
While wood flooring is often a go-to for homeowners, both terrazzo flooring and light-colored tile can also add a fresh look.