In the episode titled “Living in Harmony,” we meet Leanne and Jordan, who currently live in a two-room shack in Nashville, TN. That’s cramped, especially considering that they both work from home. Leanne is a country musician who needs a place to make music; Jordan, who works for a medical device company, craves a quiet space where he can concentrate and take conference calls.
The problem is their all-in budget is $425,000, which ain’t much in these here parts. Can the Scott brothers stretch that amount to meet this couple’s dream of owning a home with a bit more wiggle room? As they try, they deliver some fascinating tips on how we can all make the most of the limited space and cash we have on hand. Here’s what we learned.
There’s no harm in looking
Drew first takes Jordan and Leanne to a humongous, $1.1 million home to look around—not because it’s a viable contender, but to check out the finishes. The couple’s preferred style is “coastal cottage.” Drew believes they’ll find inspiration here, and they do, in beach-inspired flooring, moldings, wall coverings, and tile. Best of all, the Scotts believe they can get the same look for much less.
Shiplap is not just for farmhouses
Remember, it’s called shiplap, as in very big boats. It’s just the thing for a coastal vibe, and Jonathan uses it liberally on the walls of the 1,200-square-foot, three-bedroom bungalow the couple decide to buy.
Jordan and Leanne spend $320,000 to buy the bungalow, which means they need to shave $15,000 off Jonathan’s original $120,000 reno budget to stay within their overall $425,000 budget. Since the appliances, particularly the dishwasher and refrigerator, are in good shape, Jonathan suggests incorporating them into the new kitchen design, and the couple are fine with that.
Make prefabs look fancy
Another way Jonathan suggests they save money is to buy prefab kitchen cabinets, and then trim them with crown molding to make them look custom. He says he saves a whopping $10,000 this way.
Eke out more dining space
In order to have a bigger kitchen, it’s necessary to tear down the dining room wall. The only problem is, where will Jordan and Leanne eat? Jonathan cleverly solves this problem with a standard kitchen island and an adjacent drop-down table.
The couple find a really nice antique table online that is just the right size, and it even has an extension. So instead of fastening it to the island, Jonathan leaves it so it can be pulled out, be turned sideways, and have a leaf added for when they have company. It would take up too much room positioned like that for everyday living, but on special occasions it can work just fine.
Pedestal sinks save space
The couple want a half-bath for guests, and Jonathan opts to put it adjacent to the master bath, because plumbing will be much easier and less expensive that way. The only problem is, the guest bath is about the size of a small closet. Jonathan makes it feel bigger by using a pedestal sink instead of a bulky vanity, allowing more legroom as well.
Hanging lights can visually expand a room
The couple want a king-size bed in their master bedroom, but there isn’t a lot of space there, either. So instead of using lamps on the bedside table, Jonathan hangs globe lights over them. This, again, reduces bulk in the room and brings the eye up so the room looks and feels more spacious.
Free-standing shelving units save cash
The built-in shelving that Jonathan originally designed just won’t fit in this couple’s budget, so he finds a free-standing shelving unit that works just fine, and can be moved around if desired.
Do the ‘Property Brothers’ stars deliver?
Despite some unforeseen contingencies that cramp his style, Jonathan is able to craft a perfect coastal cottage out of a nondescript brick bungalow, and come in right at budget. Jordan and Leanne are so thrilled that she writes a happy little song about it, and performs it on the renovated back deck.
And so she sings them off into the sunset, onto their next project.
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