Ty Pennington is back! After a long hiatus from the reality TV spotlight, the famous carpenter who hosted the original “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” has resurfaced in a new HGTV show, “Ty Breaker.”
And he has a new renovation partner, too: guest designer Alison Victoria from “Windy City Rehab.” At first, these two compete to come up with the best plan for Atlanta-based homeowner Morgan. Pennington proposes renovating Morgan’s current condo, which she shares with roommates. Yet Morgan prefers Victoria’s suggestion of starting fresh by buying a new house instead (which explains the episode’s title, “Roommates or Single Living”).
So Morgan purchases a house for $205,000, but it needs work. This is where Victoria and Pennington team up to renovate the place with Morgan’s remaining budget of $85,000. Here’s how they make Morgan’s first solo living experience special, which might inspire similar upgrades in your own abode, too.
A magnetic backsplash allows you to change up your look
Pennington and Victoria know that Morgan wants her home to look glamorous and elegant, but they also realize that, as a younger homeowner, her style will likely change and evolve during the years she lives here. Pennington and Victoria want the design of this house to grow with Morgan and change with her tastes.
So they decorate her kitchen with a simple but stylish backsplash made of large subway tiles. The look is timeless, but if these tiles don’t work for Morgan in the future, they’re easily changeable.
“The installation’s magnetic,” Victoria explains, “so it’s supereasy to change out in 10 years. You can just take ’em down and stick new tiles onto the steel plates underneath.”
Kitchen hardware can be easily swapped out, too
While the magnetic backsplash is a clever way to enable this kitchen to change with the times, Victoria points out another kitchen feature that can be easily changed as Morgan’s style evolves: the hardware.
Pennington and Victoria choose simple, industrial-style hardware for this kitchen, but acknowledge that Morgan probably won’t keep these pieces forever.
“Ten years from now, when Morgan’s sick of this, all she has to do is change out the hardware and bring in brass,” Victoria says. “If she wants to bring in chrome, if she wants to bring in purple, like, it’s up to you. This becomes like the jewelry of the kitchen.”
A ‘convertible counter’ adds a dining area in a small space
Morgan’s old house didn’t have enough space for a dining table, so Pennington and Victoria want to make sure Morgan’s new home has space for formal meals. Unfortunately, the living room in the new house is still pretty tight, and with such a large kitchen, Pennington and Victoria realize that they’re going to have to get creative to find a dedicated dining space.
“What she needs is a convertible counter that, when you need it, you can flip it and do whatever and it’s there,” Pennington says. “But when you don’t need it, it’s not there.”
Pennington comes up with an idea for fitting wood boards into the peninsula, which could extend the counter space to make a table. He notes that the boards can be installed one way to make a larger table, or in a different way to provide a smaller surface, which could act as a peninsula extension.
Pennington’s convertible table is perfect for Morgan’s space, plus it complements the kitchen with wood that matches the floating shelves. It’s a beautiful, space-saving solution.
Combine your shower and tub
The house that Victoria picks out for Morgan is a big upgrade from her tiny condo, but it doesn’t have a ton of space. In fact, the master bathroom has such a small footprint that Victoria and Pennington know, right away, that they won’t be able to fit both the standing tub and the shower that Morgan wants.
However, they come up with an idea to include both the tub and shower by putting the bath under the shower head.
It gives Morgan the best of both worlds—plus, Pennington dresses up the space by using subway tile in a herringbone pattern, bringing a fun, trendy feel to the bathroom.
“It’ll add, as you say, a little bit of bling to the bathroom,” Pennington tells Victoria.
A painted mural is unique—and easy to remove
Pennington and Victoria want to make sure Morgan’s new bedroom is as fun and youthful as she is, so Pennington decides to hand-paint a mural on the headboard wall.
At first Victoria is skeptical of Pennington’s idea, but it turns out this carpenter has some serious painting skills! When she sees the soft, floral mural, she’s impressed.
“It’s feminine, it doesn’t compete with anything, and it just feels really organic,” Victoria says.
The mural is proof that just a little bit of paint and creativity can go a long way. This mural cost next to nothing to put up, and it can easily be changed. It’s a budget-friendly way to customize a room without making expensive alterations.