As a contestant on Home Free, I was able to design some spaces I am really proud of! We have limited time, limited instruction, limited resources, and limited sleep. Add all that together, and you could get a mess, but what you get instead is a beautiful home that goes to a deserving family each week.
We got the first hand view, and while we were not able to take our own photos (we had no cameras or phones for the entirety of filming), the Home Free team took a couple photos of our spaces. Some of the spaces I included here were not included in the "before and after" photos of the house, so I had to take screenshots of the show. I apologize for the poor quality of those photos.
This house was the best of the three so far. Nothing seemed to truly be in terrible condition, it just looked like someone had run out of funds and chose to abandon a project. But honestly, I think we all thought "alright! it's all in once piece!" and we really did see a lot of potential in this property. Not only is the shape of the house attractive, but this house sits on two acres of land surrounded by horse farms. If you're going to live in way outside the city, this is the place to live!
This space was done by the design team, The Design Hunters. They designed all of the spaces the contestants did not work on, as well as the exterior of the house on episodes when that was not included in the project list. Originally, this room had a wainscoting treatment at a different height than what we using for the dining room, and the design team worked with us, removing the wainscoting in the living room so that the two did not compete. They were great about working with us and understanding that our designs felt crucial to us!
This room turned out to be so much of what we envisioned! Victor and I had the idea to use corrugated metal to create a wainscoting treatment. We used reclaimed boards for the chair rail and cut a rebate along the length of each chair rail and baseboard so that the metal would sit down into both pieces being "sandwiched" into place. In addition to that, we used construction adhesive and pressed the pieces against the wall, paying special attention to the seams to be sure they were totally flat and would not pose any risk of cuts. I think it turned out really beautifully and looks much more upscale and smooth this way. If we had used screws to attach the metal as it is traditionally attached in more utilitarian settings, it would have ruined the smooth aesthetic, essential for keeping the balance of industrial and upscale in this dining room.
Originally, we planned to make a built-in bench with storage for below the windows. I was going to upholster it, and Victor was going to build it. However, due to some codes, we were not able to make that happen in the amount of time we had since the two of us were busy getting the room put together and finishing the water feature, and everyone else was tied up with their projects. We could feel the pressure on week three of being one team short again!
I wish we had drapes for the bay window in the master, but unfortunately, there was a curtain rod mix-up and we did not have the appropriate rod for the bay window upstairs and downstairs. So, we used it downstairs and sacrificed drapes in these windows. I really think this room turned out beautifully. It's calming, serene, and still has that industrial farmhouse edge. On TV, they never mention that when you have "wallpaper in the master" or "art installation in the master" that the team is also responsible for designing and styling the entire room as well. We did, and it was a lot of fun! I think we really came together to make this room look like a cozy master retreat.
Also, I completely disagree with the decision on who won the art challenge in this episode. I saw both pieces up close, and heard the concept behind both, and I truly believe that Siddiq and Aidah's concept and execution was much better. They planned ahead, hung it beautifully, and it looked finished and thoughtful while still maintaining a rustic charm.
Since we were in charge of the master bedroom and the bathroom was open to the bedroom, we were tasked with designing many features in there as well. This large sink was already chosen, so we selected a mirror, accessories, and the lighting and window coverings to complement the fixtures. We wanted the room to be light, bright, and sort of disappear into the background of the room. Having a master bathroom open to the rest of the room is a bit odd, so by keeping things very neutral and subdued, we made sure the bathroom was pleasant to look at, but did not draw the eye.
This bedroom completed by The Design Hunters.
Another bedroom completed by The Design Hunters.
I love this kitchen! It's a little bit modern, a little bit farmhouse, and a little bit glamorous. This is the room we did our demo in since the dining room did not really require much demo. For some reason, the ceiling was dropped and there was a flourescent light being used there--eek! We removed the ceiling and it was lifted to create more height. That alone made the room feel much bigger. Taking the wall down and opening the kitchen up to the living room made it feel like half of the house is kitchen! It's open and lovely and much more useable now.
Victor designed this water feature and we built it together. I struggled to get a good screenshot of it as I was playing the show sine none of the photos were included in the before and after shots, so this is the best I have so far. The foutain is made from a clawfoot tub. Victor immediately had a good idea, sketched it out, and then we found some of the main pieces in the reclaimed scrap yard! The idea was to bury about half of the tub as if it had sunk into the ground with the back feet sitting flush with the ground. An old water pump (found) sits on top of a post (also found) and slowly pours water into an old bucket which trickles down into the tub below. The powered water pump is covered with gravel which is pouring out all around the part of the tub that is buried and a hose carrying the water supply was fed up through the post behind the tub, and up into the old water pump. It worked beautifully! We use super-dangerous power tools to grind down the enamel off of the tub to reveal the iron below so that over time, it will rust a little and give the entire feature that rustic old-farmhouse look. We love it and I could not be more proud of Victor! He is an engineer but has worked tirelessly to produce works of art, something that is not in his typical zone. You could say, we are growing by leaps and bounds and while I learned new power tools I'd never used before, he was learning to make art and stretch himself in different ways.
The barn was also beautiful. I'm proud of both teams for the work we put into this week. However, again, there were no photos of the barn in the before and after photos from FOX, so I don't have any beauties to show of the barn. If you haven't seen this episode, you should check it out for yourself! The work we all put in is intense! It's amazing what we can all accomplish when we work as a team! Watch this episode here.