My Garage Into DIning Room reno for “Fix It…” featured in Australian architecture and design publication!


“Fix It and Finish It” – Better Living

This weekend’s episode of “Fix It and Finish It” titled Better Living is a compilation episode of three of the best living rooms. It features my very first reno for the Daughtry family in Montgomery, AL.  This was also the first two room makeover for our series.

On our scout, four strides off the front step, Colleen Snyder, Fix It’s producer, turned to me and said, “You get them because you “get” them. And, she was right. I knew the minute I saw Samantha’s painting that I would be able to give them a more functional home that reflected their unique personality.

R36A1406Samantha Daughtry’s painting, my inspiration for the renovation and her father’s day gift to her husband Chris.

Sam and Chris Daughtry and their young sons Logan and Corbin desperately needed a new floor. Their original wood floors were marred by numerous add-ons that left embedded chunks of concrete. Active baby Corbin could never be left alone on the floor because it wasn’t safe.  Below, are the ‘before” and “after” photos of this episode.  Thanks to our partners who helped us realize this renovation – Chase Ming of All Development and his ace contracting crew, Lumber Liquidators, ATG Stores, Select Blinds, Aztek Wallcoverings, Emtek Hardware, and Benjamin Moore Paint.  Special Thanks to artist Gary Baseman, whose iconic characters enlighten the dining room walls.

20140527-R36A0801Check out the floors…No way they could let their baby crawl in this space. Samantha and producer Colleen Snyder explore the living room.


New floors, new rug, new sectional sofa, new ceiling fan, shades, pillows, wallpaper, paint, and chest.


View into dining room from living room. We removed the shelving unit that was a former doorway to the outside.


untitled-1357Bonus: The dining room was also renovated and they can now eat there. Lavendar light reflected from the wall paint fills the dining room with an inviting afternoon glow and Gary Baseman’s whimsical art lifts their spirits…


“President’s Heads” wallpaper by artist Gabe Gonzalez courtesy of Aztek Wallcoverings.  Logan Daughtry said that he now has the “coolest house” of all his friends.

Here’s Baby Corbin, learning to walk on his new floor.

unnamed-1unnamed-2The Daughtry’s…my first reno family…Living Better thanks to “Fix It and Finish It.”

“Fix It and Finish It” – The Mercer Reveal

This kitchen for the Mercer family in Louisville, KY was my hardest renovation on Season One of “Fix It and Finish It.” It was a heartfelt reno, one that everyone involved felt deeply about because the Mercer’s youngest daughter, Baby Hadley, had just been through 3 rounds of chemo and a bone marrow transplant, starting at 6 months. With all her treatments, she had very little immune system left.  Germs flourishing in the grout in their 1940’s kitchen were a very real threat to her recovery.  Every single person on all the crews stayed till the early morning hours without one complaint. It took a village to pull it off in a day, but thanks to the following people, WE DID IT:

Michael Cadden/ Promaster Design and Build and his entire team, especially Pete

Haas Cabinets/Bryant Haas and the Haas Factory

Cardinal Kitchens/Tim Slayton, Chuck O’Koon and their ace installers

White House Painting/Amy Bergeron and her entire crew

Silestone USA


ATG Stores

RAM Lighting


QuickStep Floors







1950’s Ranch Garage Into Dining Room – Louisville, KY – The Reveal


20141003-_36A198020141003-_36A194220141003-IMG_215520141003-_36A192220141003-_36A196820141003-IMG_211520141003-IMG_211120141003-IMG_2110Nearly every mid-sized city in the US has a considerable number of post World War II 1950’s red brick ranch-style houses. They are all the same..either 2 or three bedrooms with one small bath. The GI bill made housing for returning vets and the families they made in the subsequent “baby boom” affordable. Like millions of Americans, I grew up in one of these homes. Now, over 60 years old, many of these houses have never been renovated. Across America, these are the homes that many young American families live in. Often, they’re located in neighborhoods that have grown into “good” school districts. And, more often than that, they are what is still affordable for young families. Their small room size and choppy floor plans are completely out of sync with what families need and want today.

On the TV show “Fix It and Finish It,” I always try to select one of these 1950’s post-war homes to renovate and bring into the next century.  The Maetschke family in New Albany, IN, a suburb of Louisville, KY,  lives in a two bedroom ranch model. Their toddler Harrison occupied the nursery, but he would soon be moving into the dining room which they would turn into a bedroom to make way for his new brother. So, now, the Maetschke’s were in need of a dining room and the garage was the only underutilized space they had. This is how we did it, turned their garage into a fully functioning dining room, in just one day.

The hatch was created to cover the stairs to the basement. It can be raised or lowered by an antique OK Meyer pulley from the late 1800’s. Closed, the cover creates another work or serving space. The laundry room was moved inside a closet. We gave them a new garage door courtesy of Sprigler Door Company which can be opened via remote for spring and summer dining al fresco. The entire space has heating and cooling. Finally, the flooring, the one element necessary to make this design scheme work, is a wide plank dark wood engineered flooring by Unilin Quick Step. Big thank you to Thad Adams of CALL28BUILD Construction and a small army of super sub-contractors for this performance, which truly it was. And, those cabinets…Right….They elevate any and every space they live in. They can be found at my biggest supporter, Gabby Home. Right now. PS Antonio really liked these cabinets. He installed them. x0x0

Thanks to all my partners in Tuesday’s episode of “Fix It.” See it Tuesday Jan. 20 in the “Fix It” zone!


MAETSCHKE_Vendors_72Adams Construction Services, Gabby Decor, ATG Stores, Unilin Quick Step Flooring, Sprigler Door Services, Hikes Point Paint and Wallpaper and all our contractors helped turn this 1950’s garage into a hip dining room!