Chip and Joanna Gaines make home remodeling and home design look easy on their syndicated HGTV show "Fixer Upper." (Courtesy photo)
Chip and Joanna Gaines make home remodeling and home design look easy on their syndicated HGTV show "Fixer Upper." (Courtesy photo)

One of my guilty pleasures on a lazy weekend is watching the HGTV design show “Fixer Upper,” where home improvement gurus Chip and Joanna Gaines transform either damaged homes or those in need of expansion, into repurposed showplaces. With overcrowded spaces, restrictive budgets, and a conservative amount of time, the Gaines (and sometimes their children), seem to miraculously pull together the vision of the homeowners with their combined design tastes and renovation skills.

“Home is my favorite place on earth, but I’ve learned that not everyone feels the same way. I’ve realized that it’s not uncommon for some people to feel immobilized when they try to make their home a place that feels significant and unique to them. But I truly believe that this doesn’t have to be the case, and there is something in me that wants everyone to find a way to love the home they’re in,” Joanna Gaines told Parade magazine recently. She said design can be intimidating, but also rewarding when the practical and creative sides of remodeling come together. “I think there are some misconceptions out there that lead people to think that in order to create spaces you truly love you have to spend a fortune or have flawless taste; I don’t believe that’s true. When all is said and done, I think what matters the most is that you surround yourself with things that tell your story. It’s also important to remember that in design, just like in life, we try and fail and then try again, and eventually we figure out what works for us.”

This sentiment helped several of my close friends take on home remodeling jobs in the last year that saw them transform 40-year-old family homes into more modern and sleek spaces, converting a warehouse loft into an art décor flat with room for a photo lab, and the use of barnyard doors as outside seating for a newly minted deck. In each instance, the homeowner came up with a concept that was sketched out by a designer, sanctioned by planning commissions, and finally crafted and installed.

“There was some headache involved in me getting ahead of myself and not understanding the logistics of housing regulations — but that was down to my impatience, alone,” one friend, Tabitha Gilpin, told The Informer. “I am so proud of the final product and that I was able to bring my vision to life. My home truly represents me which makes this space uniquely mine.”

Interior designers and planners can help create specific environments within a home, including more tranquil bedrooms and family rooms based simply using color schemes, making the profession of high demand — with the industry generating more than $10 billion in revenue annually.

Our 2019 Homeownership Supplement gives Washington Informer readers an opportunity to stretch their creative muscles and consider adding to the existing frame or remodeling their homes in order to transform them into new spaces. With the increased value of homes based on remodeling, additions, and upgrades, a house can easily become both a home and an economic stronghold in shifting financial times.

Read, Learn, Enjoy!

Dr. Shantella Sherman is a historian and journalist who serves as the Informer's Special Editions Editor. Dr. Sherman is the author of In Search of Purity: Eugenics & Racial Uplift Among New Negroes...

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