The latest “Home Town Kickstart” takes us to La Grange, KY, where HGTV stars Alison Victoria (from “Windy City Rehab”) and Joe Mazza (“Home Inspector Joe”) shows how a few simple changes at home can make the whole town a nicer, friendlier place for everyone.
In the episode “Love for La Grange”, Victoria and Mazza meet Brandi and Andrew Dunk. While stay-at-home mom Brandi already has her hands full with five children during the COVID-19 pandemic, hearing that many essential workers were desperate for childcare, she opened her doors to their children and continues to support them. provide free daycare services to date.
Still, the Dunks’ house isn’t designed to be kid-friendly, so Victoria and Mazza make some changes to their living quarters and then create a fun community space on another resident’s property. Ultimately, La Grange has a lot more going for it that might inspire you to improve some things around your home and community as well. Take a look and learn!
A kitchen should allow you to keep an eye on the children
Victoria and Mazza want to give Andrew and Brandi a nice home makeover that will make taking care of all those kids easier — and right away, the HGTV stars see there’s room for improvement in the kitchen. Not only are the cabinets dated, but they also block the view of the front of the house.
“If Brandi is here cooking, no one sees the kids,” Victoria says.
Mazza and Victoria reconfigure the kitchen, removing the peninsula and adding a new island. Victoria chooses a butcher block countertop with a waterfall edge, noting that it will be a nice contrast to the manufactured stone perimeter.
In the end, the butcher block looks great in the kitchen, but the real change is in the function of the space. With the disappearance of the upper cabinets blocking the view and all that storage now moved to the island, this kitchen is much more open. Not only can Brandi now see children playing in front of the house, but she also has great island seating where the little ones can keep her company while preparing meals.
“Now that kitchen is a much more efficient space for the kind of food preparation the Dunks need for their own family, as well as the other children they care for,” Victoria says.
Continuous flooring provides better drainage
When Victoria and Mazza first visit Brandi and Andrew’s house, they notice the delicate transition between the parquet floor in the dining room and the tiled floor in the kitchen.
Victoria examines where the two materials meet on a chunky transition strip, saying, “I would trip over it all day. I love that the flooring runs everywhere.
The team replaces the mismatched floors with vinyl plank flooring that runs throughout the living room, eliminating the risk of tripping while giving the home better flow.
Wide planks and warm colors look great in the dining room and kitchen, providing stylish and durable flooring throughout any space that little ones can easily walk on.
A brick accent wall doesn’t have to be original
While the kitchen remodel and floor upgrade is fairly simple, Victoria and Mazza are interested in a brick wall in the dining room. Brandi loves the brick look, but with what are clearly support beams up front, it just doesn’t work to retain that original brick feature.
Still, Victoria knows she can create a similar look by enclosing the wall and adding thin bricks on top.
“That way I get that whole look that I always wanted, which was originally to keep this and whitewash it,” Victoria says.
When the accent wall is finished, it looks like it is original to the house. Brandi finally gets the brick look she wants without spending a ton of money removing support beams.
Make a Fireplace Child Safe
Downstairs, Mazza and Victoria find the main playroom, which is spacious but raises concerns about children playing and falling against the large brick fireplace.
“We definitely need cushions around the fireplace,” says Victoria, adding that they can turn the fire pit into a banquette seat with a soft cushion on top.
Brandi and Andrew love the idea, and when the fireplace is finished, Brandi is thrilled. Now she has a ton of child-friendly seating and a much safer playroom for toddlers. Plus, Mazza and Victoria update the paint on the brick fireplace, giving the room a pop of color.
A brick surface transforms the floor into the perfect gathering space
After the Dunk family home is complete, the HGTV stars meet Heather Hottenroth, who wants to clean up the driveway behind his property just off Main Street. Her vision of “Alley Loop,” as she calls it, is a space where people can congregate and vendors can set up pop-up shops for locals to browse. Mazza knows this space will require a lot of work from scratch.
“We have to clean it all up,” Mazza says after examining the floor. “There is way too much mud, way too much tripping hazard. It needs to stabilize. »
To make this alley more user-friendly, Mazza and Victoria chose interlocking bricks so that pedestrians have a clean and safe surface to walk around. Combined with other upgrades, including a fresh coat of paint, lights, and even a fire pit, this space now feels much less like an alley and more like a proper hangout.
“A little styling will go a long way to making that back area more inviting,” says Mazza.