HGTV Dream Home “Mega” Fan?
It was Frank, the HGTV Dream Home editor emeritus, who alerted us to Kate Seaman, a New Jersey native who posted pictures of her look-alike HGTV Dream Home bedroom on Rate My Space. The photos circulated around the office and we were so impressed, we decided to contact Kate to get the inside scoop:
Why did you decide to redo your bedroom?
Well, I actually didn’t really decide to do it, it sort of happened. I watched the unveiling of the 2009 HGTV Dream Home and just really loved the master bedroom. I found the whole design just stunning and elegant. I thought to myself, “When I redo the master bedroom, I’d consider doing something similar.” Of course I couldn’t get it out of my mind and found myself accidentally shopping the web for items similar to those in the room. After a week, I found I had a collection of items and coupons and figured that with a little paint and a few purchases, I could be sleeping in my own dream room in no time. But in hindsight, the real driver was that while I was busy fantasizing about the HGTV Dream Home, my husband was in the hospital with a serious leg injury … While not the best time for a bedroom redo, it was also absolutely the best time for a bedroom redo since I needed the precise sanctuary that such a fabulous bedroom would provide. So in the evenings, after working, after visiting the hospital, after making dinner, doing homework and putting the kids to bed, I started the bedroom.
What features of the room are identical to those in the HGTV Dream Home master bedroom?
Well, nothing is quite “identical.” Sorry, Ethan Allen – it’s a bad economy! I made do with what I had and purchased a few budget alternatives. I think I did my whole bedroom for the cost of the comforter set alone in the real HGTV Dream Home.
What features did you have to copy using budget tricks? Where did you purchase items?
I purchased fabric at a local fabric store and made the pillows on the bed and the chairs. I also bought enough fabric to make a duvet. I painted my existing furniture white. If I had the luxury of buying new, I would have bought the lovely Ethan Allen set in the HGTV Dream Home, but I had to work with what I had. The headboard was a great bargain. I found it at HomeDecorators.com and purchased it with a $100 coupon … I also purchased materials at Bed Bath & Beyond, SelectBlinds.com, Fabric.com, Target and HomeGoods. You can find amazing items at great prices there, like 600-count sheet sets for $49. I purchased many of my accessories for this room (lamps, candles, mirrors) at HomeGoods. And the great thing is there probably isn’t a neighborhood in America that doesn’t have a strip mall with all of these stores linked together. I found white faux-suede fabric at a local shop for $65/yard, but I paid about $8/yard online. You need to know what things cost so you can recognize bargains.
What was your budget for this project? How long did it take to redecorate the room? Did you have any help from family and friends?
I didn’t really establish a budget, but I was careful to watch what I was buying and how much I was spending. You can find great stuff at great prices if you are a little patient and know what to look for. For example, I found the bench, which is nearly identical to the HGTV Dream Home bench, online at Target for $83 with free shipping. How can you beat that? I also used every Bed, Bath & Beyond coupon ever mailed to me for the canopy panels and window treatments. So with creative shopping, a bunch of coupons, and some bad-economy-driven “free shipping” offers, I was able to contain costs nicely. And of course using what you already have and doing the work yourself saves the most. Painting the furniture and walls was easy. Probably the most challenging part of the work was putting the wallpaper on the little red chest, which is now all white and textured. Matching up the pattern and carefully trimming the paper was detail work and quite time-consuming, but well worth the effort. I completed the room in about eight days, working at night, after work, after the hospital, after the homework and the bed-time stories. Unfortunately – well, probably fortunately for my family and friends! – I don’t mind working alone, and I like the “ah factor” such a job generates. I had no help with my late-night labor of love, except, of course, for offers from my kids to help paint.
What responses have you received from friends and family?
They really love it. And somehow my kids know not to leave their toys in the bedroom, and they ask if they are “allowed on the bed.” Everyone is most shocked by how well lime green on all the walls and ceiling can work. It surprises me too.
What do you like most about your new bedroom?
What I love most is the feeling I get living in that room now. I honestly am surprised at the difference it has made in my general well-being. Maybe there is something to feng shui, but that green is so fresh, happy and healthy, and that is how it makes me feel. The bedroom is my sanctuary in that I don’t let my kids clutter it up, and I keep it so neat it’s almost sterile. But at the end of a long day, I can go in there and just exhale. I wake up more pleasantly and I am convinced I’ve lost five pounds from the stress relief I get just starting and ending my days in there. I even wake up earlier (ok, that might be the longer days we have now) but even so, I wake up happier. Everyone should sleep and wake in a “happy” room.
Any advice you’d like to share with other DIYers?
Don’t forget that your friends at the hardware/lumber stores are more than happy to cut wood and show you how to do things. I’ve learned over the years that, although most home-improvement projects aren’t rocket science, you should never discount the value of experience and the importance of proper tools. I stone-faced the front of my house myself when we couldn’t find a mason willing to do the work. A little smart thinking, a good saw with a masonry blade and a little practice mixing cement – voila! And, lastly, if you can read, you can do anything.