October 24, 2016

Romancing the home

mia-and-rob-257The Expandables find 10 ways to reignite the passion

AT THE SHOW
By 
lucy hyslop 

When it comes to falling back in love with your home, there’s nothing like learning the three Rs: Re-evaluate, reinvent and reorganize.

That’s the overarching take of designer Mia Parres, who along with master contractor Rob Evans make up HGTV’s The Expandables, the duo debuting at the Vancouver Home + Design Show this month.

“Homeowners fall out of love with their homes because they lose hope, and the house begins to dictate the way their family lives, and not the other way around,” Parres explains. “Whether it’s structural, functional, behind the walls or purely décor, it can feel like an overwhelming task to tackle the renovation and redesign of a space.”

Excited to share tips at their Oct. 28 and 29 events on the Urban Barn Main Stage, Evans explains how the pair focuses on “finding spaces in impossible places” such as sorting out a layout that is too closed in or one with no storage. Put simply, he adds, it’s about people telling their house “how they want to live, and not the other way around.”

So without having to pick up and move home, we asked, what are the 10 best ways to reignite the love?

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Mia Parres’ picks:

Dream big: Do you need to renovate a whole floor or do you need a new kitchen? Make a wish list, think of your overall budget and then tackle one step at a time. “Perhaps there isn’t enough wiggle room, and creating this list will help you realize what you need to save in order to make these dreams come true,” Parres says.

One-room challenge: Take one room in your house, clean off the surfaces, tuck away all the unnecessary items and declutter.

Take pride: Repurpose beautiful furniture pieces or accessories—heirloom pieces or something from your travels. “Taking something that you love and breathing in new life can really help set your course for a beautiful journey of falling back in love with your home.”

Get personal: Dig up old family photos and create a gallery wall.

Save for a rainy day: “Think of something you’ve wanted to purchase for your house, something you’ve dreamed of, and open a free bank account to start saving,” Parres suggests. “Every month, tuck away a little money when you can, and that rainy day will come before you know it.”

Homeowners fall out of love with their homes because they lose hope, and the house begins to dictate the way their family lives, and not the other way around.

Rob Evans’ essentials:

Spend the time and money necessary to come up with the most effective plan for your small space.

Open up your space. “I’m not telling you to remove all the walls in your house,” Evans says, “but taking out a strategic wall will allow better sight lines and create a flow.” (Obviously it’s important to consult with your contractor before removing any walls.)

Make your window and door openings as large as possible. “The more natural light coming through, the bigger your place will feel.”

Declutter your TV area. Mount your TV on the lowest profile bracket possible and hide all the cabling.

An old real-estate sales trick is to put brighter bulbs in a house to make it seem bigger on the inside. “This actually works,” Evans says.

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