Tamara Day of “Bargain Mansions” is always getting creative with her renovations, but with her latest project, she is given a clean slate, with a house that’s been stripped down to the studs.
In the Season 3 episode “On Par for Glory,” Day has purchased a classic Kansas City home for $247,000, and spends $150,000 on the renovation. That money won’t go far, though, since the house has already been demolished on the inside. She’s left with very little to work with, and the few features that remain—like the old fireplace—desperately need to be replaced.
Nonetheless, once this renovation is complete, Day plans to list this home for $495,000, which would mean a profit of nearly $100,000.
Here’s how she reimagines this empty house, which might inspire you to steal a few of her brilliant looks for your own abode.
Use dark colors to balance white paint
Day loves the exterior of this house: The structure itself is in good shape, and the front lawn is big and green. However, Day knows that buyers will want a home with a fresh look and updated style. She decides to give the house a new coat of bright white paint.
Still, Day realizes that white paint can be risky on an old house like this, as it can make the exterior look boring or sterile, so she takes care to add some character back into the design.
First, she adds vertical siding, which gives the home some new texture, then adds black aluminum windows for some modern flair. She finishes the look with an edgy black door.
The dark features give the house dimension, and while they’ll be attractive to buyers with modern tastes, the tones also bring a timeless elegance.
“The look from the street now is much brighter, inviting, and has these subtle pops of black to welcome you to this home,” Day says of the house when it’s finished. “Much more modern and clean-looking than it ever was before.”
Don’t overcrowd a kitchen with too many cabinets
Day wants to elevate this house by giving the kitchen a sleek, high-end design. She plans to give the space a minimalist look by installing beautiful grain-matched oak lower cabinets and skipping the upper cabinets completely.
“It’s going to be a very clean, minimal look so that you really are appreciating the quality of the cabinetry,” Day says.
When the cabinets are installed, they look beautiful. The wood tone works well next to the marble countertops and, without upper cabinets, the room looks bigger.
To finish the look, Day adds three beautiful pendant lights to the wall where cabinetry would be. These lights add an artistic touch to the kitchen that really makes the space shine.
Go for a modern fireplace
When it comes to the fireplace, Day admits that she’s disappointed she can’t simply refurbish the existing brick one.
“It’s in such bad condition it just doesn’t make sense to me to try and save this fireplace, when putting in what I really want is probably going to cost less,” Day says.
The team removes the fireplace, and Day gets to work, not only finding the right style, but also making the new fireplace surround herself. She finds the perfect fireplace mold and helps spread the concrete into it.
When the piece is finally finished, it looks incredible in the room. This fireplace surround is light, which brightens up the space, plus the clean, simple design gives the room a modern, updated feel.
Replace windows with a sliding door
Day knows that, these days, it’s more important than ever to have a home office, so she decides to convert the front family room into a beautiful office space. While she has plans for new furnishings and floors, the best part of this office renovation is certainly the new set of sliding glass doors.
She replaces the window with two glass doors, which let in lots more natural light and give a better view of the beautiful yard outside. Plus, Day chooses sliding doors to save space.
“I like that they slide, they don’t swing,” Day says. “So there’s no lost space in the room for the door.”
In the end, these new doors make the room look much brighter, plus this private entrance makes the space feel a little more like an office and less like a converted sitting room.
Use different-sized tiles to make a bathroom unique
The bathroom can be a major selling point in any house, so it’s important the design be a crowd pleaser. Day also knows that many bathroom renovations have fallen prey to the hot trend of being too wild, leading to a ton of postrenovation regrets.
So Day plays it safe by choosing white marble tile, but she mixes up the look by using three different shapes. She has a square tile on the floor and a rectangular tile going up the shower walls, giving them a vertical lift. Then, to finish it off, she uses pointy picket tiles on the back wall.
“All the tile in this space is a beautiful marble—but with interesting changes in pattern,” Day says.