Couples often have a hard time agreeing on how to decorate their home—and a new show has arrived to help them.
In “Mash-Up Our Home,” the husband and wife design team of Kele Dobrinski and Christina Valencia assist couples by creating a mashup of their different design styles, resulting in a hybrid that everyone can love.
“We see clients all the time who want completely different things,” says Dobrinksi.
In the episode “New Old World,” they work with Mario and Jenny in Sacramento, CA. He loves a dark, rustic, old-world Italian style, while she prefers light and modern. So Dobrinski and Valencia must attempt to bridge their old- and new-world styles, all within 16 weeks with $150,000.
As these designers attempt to reconcile Mario and Jenny’s clashing styles, viewers get some fascinating pointers that could work in their own houses, with their own spouses and partners. Check ’em out!
Search for a common color palette
When Mario thinks of an old-world color palette, he envisions deep reds, purples, greens, and blacks. Jenny’s more modern taste leans toward whites, beiges, and warm honey colors.
Sound like an impossible merger? Dobrinski and Valencia scour the couple’s house for signs of things they have in common and find a big clue in a painting of the Italian Riviera.
Based on this painting, they go with a color scheme of light blues and greens from the ocean, sandy colors from the beaches and cliffs, and antique whites from the plaster walls that make up many buildings along the Riveria. It’s the perfect compromise and will remind both Jenny and Mario of a place they love.
Design a multiuse room
Mario and Jenny have a sunroom at the back of their house, but it’s dominated by a large, built-in bar. They use this room for more than entertaining. It’s also a playroom for the kids, a media room for the family, a home gym, a guest room for the in-laws, and an office for Mario. But it has no space for a desk, so he sits on a stool and works at the bar.
Obviously, it’s not an ideal situation.
So the renovators rip out the bar (they give Mario a dry bar in the dining room to replace it) and add a nice desk against the wall. They also add a futon daybed that can accommodate guests and beanbag furniture so the room can easily be reconfigured. Now that’s flexible!
They also use Italian-inspired floor tiles with a sea-glass green pattern and paint the walls a pale aqua, colors that appeal to both Mario and Jenny.
Blend in support pillars
The plan is to rip out some walls and connect the living room, dining room, and kitchen, but this can’t be done on their budget without adding pillars in the middle of the room to support the ceiling.
To get the pillars to blend in, they place them on either side of the kitchen counter, and give them a light, natural wood finish so they match the wood floors and ceiling beams. Mario gets his desired rustic look, while Jenny gets the light and airy vibe of an open floor plan—it’s a win-win.
Replace old brick with Venetian plaster
There’s an entire wall of used red brick in the home, and while Mario likes the old-school color and texture, he can’t deny that the mortar between the bricks is crumbling.
Plain white drywall just doesn’t have the character or texture he desires, and Jenny sees what he means. So Dobrinski and Valencia come up with the idea of covering that wall with Venetian plaster.
“With time and patience, you too can have a perfectly textured wall in your home that looks 100 years old,” says Valencia.
“You had me at ‘Venetian,'” jokes Mario.
Give a vintage chandelier more modern bulbs
For the dining room, Dobrinski and Valencia find an ornate, vintage chandelier that they think would suit Mario, but the fake candlestick lights on it don’t really go with Jenny’s more modern style.
So Dobrinkski suggests using a different glass on the lights.
“If we didn’t want to use the original glass, we could use some exposed bulbs,” he says. “I’m thinking to make it kind of a balance of modern and old. Or Edison bulbs or big milk glass bulbs.”
They go for milk glass orbs, and the result is the perfect mix of old and new.
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