Each week, a team of hundreds of carpenters, laborers, designers, and experts in many other renovation related fields descended onto a home somewhere outside of Atlanta to begin a major renovation that would be completed in just five days along with the help of two teams of contestants competing to win a home!
Week four was our last week on set, and though I know we could have gone much further and that we have the talent and drive to have continued for many weeks, we were dismayed to be eliminated. Victor and I are both extremely competitive, and me being a designer, and Victor being an engineer, I am very confident we had much more to offer! I was so proud of Victor who proved himself to be a creative and talented guy with leadership skills that inspired great teamwork. Thankfully, in the real world no one else can end one's journey. We decide our own fate through hard work and a drive for success. This is just what Victor and I will continue to do as we grow in our careers and show what we’re made of.
Many reality shows leave eliminated contestants heartbroken and viewers feeling sorry for them. On Home Free, things are different. Whenever contestants are eliminated, they are given the home they just completed. I can tell you it is the most confusing feeling to be so shocked and confused to have been eliminated and then be handed the keys to a newly renovated home. Talk about an emotional roller coaster!
Here are the photos of the before and after of the house we won. It is in Stockbridge, GA, which is about an hour and a half from Atlanta.
This house was supposedly a hoarder or squatter situation when we arrived, FILLED with junk outside and inside, smelly, and just filthy. During our drill down challenge this week, I could barely breathe! With allergies and asthma, inhaling dust and animal urine scent was ROUGH. Look at the transformation! Would you have ever guessed looking at this house that it started out in such a condition? The design and build teams, along with the landscape team did an outstanding job making this house into a Victorian beauty.
This kitchen was a total disaster before but is really beautiful now! I'm not really a Victorian style fan at all. I prefer clean lines and modern architecture, but the design team did a great job of making their spaces Victorian-inspired while still maintaining a modern twist that makes sense for a family in this day and age.
I LOVE this light fixture and the media console! Very sleek and modern and a great contrast to the deep teal walls. This room is just off the kitchen and the deep tones are a great contrast to the pale wallpaper throughout the kitchen.
I love the bar cart and the light fixtures in here! Another room that is a good mix of modern and ornate and lots of houseplants which I always appreciate! Also, the color of this dining room reminds me of the gorgeous blue green that I loved in episode three.
Our competition, the green team, was responsible for converting the master bedroom/bathroom/closet into a master suite. The design plan included removing the closet and absorbing one of the small bedrooms into the room to create a GIANT bathroom! Seriously, the bathroom is giganitc! The green team stuck with a much more traditional Victorian style in the bedroom.
Didn't I tell you it was huge?! And what you can't see here is there is a glass shower and water closet, too!
The kids retreat was our team's responsibility this week. In addition to designing this room and making a bed or fort, we each had to repurpose an item. Victor and I had books and we did two different projects. Unfortunately, only one of them made it to TV. We created a custom wall paper out of story books for the art area of the room and out of encyclopedia pages for the reading nook. In addition to that, I used a jig saw to cut books into letter shapes to create little sculptures spelling out words and put them on the bookshelves.
This structure in the room was designed by Victor and me and built by our entire team. We wanted to create something ambitious that was Victorian in style. It's a bit of a challenge to make a space kid-friendly and also true to Victorian aesthetics which are ornate and decorative. So, we designed a little Victorian house/bed/fort! It has a queen sized bed on top with all sorts of fun, soft pillows and underneath is a FORT! A trunk door (Ben and Kasey's repurposed item were trunks) leads into a hidden fort with a chalkboard wall, a TV, bean bags, and even a little octagonal window with tiny curtains I made to match the fabric on our pillows and stool cover.
Here is a view of the art section of the room. Kasey made an easel from a trunk and we recovered a piano stool with the same fabric used on the pillows and the fort curtains! I love the bright colors of this room and the twist on Victorian style that we achieved by mixing fun elements together and building a fort that looks like an ornate house but is appealing and safe for kids!
Here is a view of the reading nook, slightly rearranged. When we came back to look at the house a few weeks after our elimination, we met Dave Bohler, the lead of the build team, along with his wife and kids at the house. The kids LOVED our space and did a little rearranging and playing. They did not want to leave and had to be practically peeled out of the room. I consider that a SUCCESS!
The reading nook features encyclopedia pages in the custom wallpaper. We sorted through many pages and made sure to use the most illustrated pages with specifically Victorian elements' descriptions. We even used a page featuring fish scale tiles like those we used on the playhouse!
Victor and I are so thankful for this opportunity to be on Home Free. We met so many wonderful people and made great friends. It's so much fun to design within the challenging constraints of the limited time and resources that we had and see that, espeically when we combine our talents and skills, we create beautiful work we can be proud of. Being eliminated was very upsetting because I knew we were not done and could go further. I was not ready to stop and did not want to stop making these homes more beautiful along with our new friends. Even after we discovered that we had won a home, I still wanted to get back on that truck so that I could make the homes of each of our friends better and better and be a part of the transformations.
Being on this show gave Victor and me the opportunity to test our relationship in a situation that hardly any couple gets to experience and see that we did not fight ONCE the entire time we were on the show. And lastly, walking away from this experience with the keys to a house is an asset that will put us in a great position to build our lives together and eventually renovate or build a modern style home in the city. And now we know we can do it without breaking the relationship!
We are so thankful to the generous network and to the production company, to the design team and to the build team! I hope we will have an opportunity to work together again in the future.
If you are interested in having interior design work done, contact Susie here!