On “One Week To Sell,” New York–based designer Taylor Spellman takes homes that have been sitting on the market and makes them over so they get snapped up by buyers. But in the latest episode, she faces what may be her most challenging project yet.
“This might be the toughest job we’ve ever worked on,” Spellman says.
In the episode “Construction Zone to Home,” Spellman and her team work on a home that’s next to a huge construction site. While she has a sizable budget of $10,000 to fix up this house, Spellman is given just five days to transform this home into an attractive purchase. Between the terrible view and poor floor plan, Spellman has her work cut out for her.
Read on to see what may be Spellman’s most impressive makeover to date, which might contain some wise advice for your own abode.
Empty rooms should always be staged
Spellman’s latest project may be in a terrible location, but the house itself isn’t too bad. In fact, this designer approves of the living and dining rooms.
“They’re very clean,” Spellman says of the spaces. “The wood floors are in great shape. But because the rooms are empty, it’s not doing a good job of distracting the buyer from the construction next door.”
So Spellman fills the rooms with furniture from her warehouse. In the dining room, she adds a simple table and chairs, and in the living space, she brings in two couches on either side of the fireplace, which pull attention outward to make the room seem wider. To finish it off, she decorates with a rug to make the space feel cozy.
With just a few pieces of furniture and a few accessories, Spellman is able to turn two empty rooms into homey spaces. It’s proof that simple staging can do a lot.
Turn adjoining rooms into a children’s suite
One of the biggest problems with this house is the upstairs layout. While the home has four bedrooms, three of the rooms are connected, making them difficult to use as bedrooms. So Spellman will need to get creative to make this space attractive to buyers.
“Adjoining rooms are pretty common in older homes,” Spellman explains, “so I’m going to use the three connected rooms to my advantage and create an awesome children’s suite.”
She makes one room into a nursery with a crib; gives another room a lofted bed, perfect for an older kid; and connects the two with an amazing playroom. Now, buyers (and their kids) will be seeing an epic children’s wing instead of three awkwardly linked bedrooms. It’s a big upgrade and a great idea.
Use common colors to make rooms feel connected
Spellman wants to make sure that the two kids’ bedrooms are unique; however, she knows that these spaces should also feel connected in some way.
“Both bedrooms are going to have a relationship with each other,” Spellman says. “One has a green theme, one has a pink theme. That said, the connector is white.”
She uses green paint and green wallpaper in one room and decorates the other with pink paint and pink wallpaper. Then she uses white trim in both. This way, the rooms have unique colors, but are similar. The rooms are different, but there’s intentionality behind their difference.
Turn a boring closet into a must-have book nook
Spellman is proud of the new kids suite, but there’s one part of the area that she doesn’t like: the nursery closet. It’s small and awkward, with a weird section jutting out at the bottom.
“Currently, this closet is ugly and makes no sense,” Spellman says. “So I was thinking if the closet becomes a book nook, there’s function and it’s cute.”
Spellman has the inside of this closet painted pink and adds shelves. She uses the jutted-out section as a seat, the perfect size for a kid, and fills the space with books. It’s a great fix that turns an odd, unappealing closet into a must-have feature.
Don’t be afraid of a painted ceiling
Spellman has a strict budget for this project, so she needs to be smart when it comes to design. This is especially true when it comes to updating the popcorn ceilings.
“Most designers would walk in and see that popcorn ceiling and say, ‘We either have to completely replace it or try and ignore it,'” Spellman says. “But for me, I see it and I say, ‘OK, this is an opportunity to take a negative and make it a positive.’”
In the playroom, Spellman decides to paint the ugly popcorn ceiling, using blue paint to create a beautiful sky mural. The design takes attention away from the texture, plus it makes this playroom feel extra fun.
After spending $9,996 and five days on this makeover, the house looks great. Not long after Spellman fixes up the space, a family with kids snaps it up—proof that even a construction zone doesn’t doom the odds of a sale.
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