Ty Pennington has pulled together many different home designs, but in the latest episode of his new series, “Ty Breaker,” he goes all out to help an engaged couple feel right at home.
On the Season 1 episode “Engaged to a Money Pit,” Pennington meets John King and Carson Cash, an engaged couple whose house in Atlanta is filled with cow prints and natural tones, giving off a warm (if slightly overdone) country feel.
It’s up to Pennington and design buddy Alison Victoria of “Windy City Rehab” to tone down the look and make the house more functional—and they’ve got a $160,000 renovation budget to pull it off.
Read on to learn how Pennington and Victoria achieve some country vibes without going over the top, which might inspire a few changes around your own abode, too.
With Southwestern style, go easy on the cow prints
“There’s one thing that’s for certain when it comes to John and Carson, that you’re going to have to bring a Southwest vibe in somehow,” Pennington says. “Because Carson grew up on a ranch, she’s obsessed with cattle.”
Pennington and Victoria don’t want to overwhelm the home with cow prints and end up making it feel like a country-western bar. So they add Southwestern style in a subtle way, adding natural wood tones and rustic blue colors. To top it off, they incorporate a few cowhide rugs that give a nod to country style but that don’t overwhelm the space.
Avoid busy tile if you want to highlight a great view
With much of the living room decor done, Pennington and Victoria focus on the kitchen. They want to give the space a classic and clean look, so Pennington is surprised when Victoria rejects one aspect of his design: the backsplash.
“This may be too much for the whole backsplash,” Victoria says of Pennington’s blue and white tile. It’s so eye-catching, she warns, it might distract from the pretty view outside the large kitchen windows. Instead she suggests restricting the backsplash to over the range.
When the kitchen is finished, it’s clear this was the right choice. The backsplash over the stove is pretty, but doesn’t compete with the beautiful greenery in the backyard.
A wet bar should complement the kitchen
Part of Pennington’s design includes a wet bar, which is perfect for entertaining. Cash and King are excited for their stylish new party feature, so Pennington and Victoria know they need to really deliver when it comes to the design.
They end up installing the same backsplash from the kitchen, making the two spaces feel connected.
“I like that because I think it just ties it together,” Victoria says.
Still, Victoria and Pennington don’t want the bar to be too matchy-matchy, so they install gray cabinets to contrast the white ones in the kitchen. This ends up being a great choice. While the kitchen is bright and white, the darker cabinets give the living space a moodier feel, perfect for cocktail hour.
Horses on wallpaper can work if they’re subtle
One thing King and Cash want to change is their guest bathroom, which also functions as the laundry room.
Pennington and Victoria move the toilet out of this space, create a separate powder room, and then decorate this new room with some fun wallpaper.
To match the home’s Southwestern stylee, Victoria suggests using a light-blue wallpaper covered in horses. As she points out, it’s not immediately clear that the wallpaper is covered in horses, since they’re subtle.
“It’s kind of fun because it’s, like, ‘Wait, what is it? I don’t even know what I’m looking at,'” Victoria explains. “And then you go, ‘Oh, horses.’”
‘Brand’ your furniture to make it your own
King and Cash will be starting their marriage in this home, so Pennington wants this decor to feel extra special. So he’s thrilled when King asks him to make a table for the house.
King has some spare maple wood, so Pennington builds a table out of it. But that’s not all—to make it match the home’s Southwestern style, they create a branding iron that combines “K” and “C” (from King and Cash’s last names) and brand the table.
“What if we just put it in the center?” Victoria says when they talk about placement of the brand. That way, she explains, the couple could do “a flower arrangement and have it covered when they want.”
In the end, the brand looks amazing in the center of the table, adding ranch vibes and a personalized touch, much like monogrammed towels—but way better.
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