A fire broke out in Sheri and Chris’s garage and caused massive damage to the home. It started when the line connecting the propane tank to the heater caught on fire. Then the fire traveled through the garage, up to the two bedrooms above it, and into the mud room and kitchen. The family had an emergency plan and were able to safely get away from the house to wait for help. This fire was a devastating accident, and we wanted to do everything we could to help repair the house and make it feel like home again.
As we started to assess the damage, we got a full picture of how the fire had impacted the house. The fire completely destroyed the garage and bedrooms above it, and we needed to rebuild this part of the house. Though the steel door kept the flames from traveling into the main floor, smoke still seeped into the porous materials of the house. We got to work rebuilding the garage and bedrooms, replacing the floors and upgrading the kitchen and mudroom.
Reimagining the kitchen
We reworked the entire kitchen layout to better fit the space and the family’s needs. Chris and Sheri didn’t want to go back with a dinette table, so we extended their kitchen island to ensure access to stairs and patio door. We even angled the island to mimic the angled walls in the kitchen!
Additional Square Footage
The homeowners wanted to pay additional money to add onto the bedrooms above the garage. It was the perfect time to do this because we had to get new trusses to rebuild and took advantage of the opportunity to extend the bedrooms. We added larger windows to the bedrooms to bring in more light and offer an amazing view of their lake in the backyard. Each of their 3 sons have a strong love for their hobbies, so we focused our design around those themes–soccer, Lego and anime.
Enhancing the mudroom
The mudroom got an upgrade to make it more practical and cohesive with the rest of the house. We took down the walls in the mudroom to open up the space and make it feel larger. Then we added back in the steel door between the garage and mudroom to ensure safety and code compliance. A bench and hooks for the family’s coats and backpacks add some form and function.
Fresh Takes on Design:
THE Backsplash - SHOWSTOPPER…tile by design…not only are the grout lines geometric, but the tiles themselves are as well. To separate the mudroom from the entryway, we added a modern flower wallpaper with bright colors to the open concept.
A modern Scandinavian look
Perimeter base cabinets are white and perimeter upper cabinets and island are dark charcoal to give it a modern scandinavian look. The countertops on the perimeter, from C&D granite, have veining for movement and the island is a solid white quartz for a clean look.
Floor - epoxy coating to match the dirt road leading to their home! Christmas tree - bought Chris and Sheri a new Christmas tree to start new traditions in their transformed home. Storage - small start to his new collection of tools as most were ruined by the fire.
The ABC Foundation, which helps students of color get a better education, was having trouble maintaining heat in the basement. What was meant to be a multi-purpose study and hangout space couldn’t be used because it was getting so cold. We wanted to help fix this problem and update the space to make this basement functional again.
When we came to check out the basement, we immediately noticed how freezing the space was. We discovered that the exterior wall had no insulation, which was making it impossible to keep heat in. Thermophysics tells us that heat seeks cold. The heat is getting pulled out of the house because there was no thermal break. So we made a plan to improve the space, including changing the furnace filter and adding insulation to the outside wall.
A multi-functional room
We wanted this room to serve all the students’ needs, so we created cohesive but separate areas for each purpose. The study and crafting space has a large desk with plenty of seating and storage. We created a hangout space with a sectional and TV near the fireplace. Lastly we added a reading nook with cozy chairs.
Fresh Takes on Design:
In the study and hangout room, we chose a bold floral wallpaper accent wall to give a modern, neutral update to the large space. Wallpaper is such a fun way to add personality to a room!
Paint can easily freshen up a space, so we got strategic with how we used it in the basement. We painted the fireplace brick a dark charcoal to add a pop to the room. Then we used a nice neutral color on all the walls to make it feel clean and bright.
New lighting fixtures
A new center light fixture with matte black and gold accents and ceiling can lights offer better lighting in each designated area. Now the space is bright and inviting for the students to spend time studying, hanging out with friends or enjoying a good book.
One of the best parts of our job is the opportunity we have to create beautiful and functional spaces. We’re so glad we got to help these homeowners rebuild and restore their houses so they can call them home.
Tune in for the next episode of Renovation 911 Tuesday evening at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV, and available to stream on discovery+.