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Purchasing an older home is a great way to get a space with built-in character, but that often comes with some required updates, too, for spaces that are aesthetically or functionally outdated. The latest episode of HGTV’s “Married to Real Estate” proves that you can keep the charm but still get a space that works for you (and looks fresh, too).
In the Feb. 9 episode, hosts Egypt and Mike helped new homeowners Stephanie and Justin snagged a 1970s farmhouse with some cool vintage features and a classic farmhouse style that the couple wanted to maintain — albeit with contemporary upgrades that would make their home safe and livable for the soon-to-be family of four.
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With some creative thinking, Egypt and Mike took the home from outdated and worn out —and in some areas, dangerous — to modern and family-friendly. “We are going to bring [the house] to life, giving ode to tradition but embracing modernism as well,” Egypt told Stephanie and Justin. Egypt was committed to “adding the antiquity back” to any major modern upgrades that they made, mainly in the kitchen and primary bedroom, which were both located on the first floor of the farmhouse.
Before, the kitchen was dark and drab, and featured only one wall of counter space. Although the flooring added a nice vintage touch, the walls featured old, torn wallpaper, the appliances needed to be updated, and the location meant that it didn’t get enough light. The living room, which would become a primary bedroom, was similarly aged. To make it work as a sleeping area, it would need a new layout and a fresh wall color better suited for relaxation.
To get more light to the kitchen, Mike and Egypt opted to move its location, swapping it with the old dining area on the other side of the house. Their team quickly realized that the flooring in the new kitchen space had been decimated by dry rot and termites, rendering the pine structurally unsafe; all that wood needed to be removed and replaced. Mike was able to find new flooring with a similar wide-plank pine as the old boards, and stained the pieces to match the rest of the house.
Stephanie and Justin picked out a cheerful yet soft blue-green for their kitchen’s Shaker-style cabinets, which are arranged in a much more space-savvy L shape. A new fridge and range hood were both hidden with a similar cabinet style for a seamless look. For even more prep space, the team built an island and added solid, quartz-like countertops throughout the room. They also installed a massive basin sink that easily accommodates sheet pans and other large items.
The main bedroom’s redo was mostly cosmetic, with a new wall color of creamy white and decor that brings a relaxed farmhouse vibe. Egypt and Mike were also able to carve out space for an ensuite full bathroom. As for decor, they brought in a bed, a neutral accent chair, some vintage-looking wood furniture, and a few plants to add to the light, airy, and calming aesthetic of the room.
“I’m ecstatic,” Justin said after the final reveal. “From the second we pulled up, it already feels like a home. It really does.”