Move over, “Property Brothers.” HGTV has just debuted a new home design show that’s perfect for today’s tumultuous times: “Build Me Up,” starring Orlando Soria.
Soria, who previously doled out design advice on “Unspouse My House” and “Secrets From a Stylist,” now helps refresh the homes of people undergoing a big life change. Whether that change involves divorce or family members moving in, Soria’s renovations prove all too well that shaking up your home environment is the perfect way to turn a new page.
And there’s lots to learn for anyone who’d like a new perspective on their home or beyond. Here’s what we discovered from the first few episodes that might inspire a few upgrades in your own abode.
Wall cladding adds privacy and personality
In the premiere episode, “Mogul in the Making,” Soria helps Sarah, a newly single mom with three kids. Sarah has a long list of “must-haves” for her house in Somis, CA. While the place itself is in good shape (with a few fun, midcentury touches), it’s bland on the outside. The garden is bare, and the home’s paint color is boring.
Soria decides to freshen up the exterior with some new colors, new plants, and privacy cladding on the front porch. This dark and dramatic cladding gives the exterior a dynamic look, and a more midcentury vibe, a style Sarah loves.
In the end, the cladding looks amazing, and the exterior of this home is transformed.
Wallpaper is worth the hassle
Since Sarah is such a big fan of the midcentury modern look, Soria wants to bring that style to the inside of the home. One easy way to do this is with some midcentury-inspired wallpaper.
Though Soria cautions that wallpaper can be a bit pricey (he spends $2,600 on the paper) and difficult to remove, but it can quickly transform a space.
So, ready to take a style risk, Soria selects a fun orange and green floral print for the dining room. He also dresses up the space with midcentury-inspired furniture to complete the look.
When the renovation is finished, Sarah is shocked to see how much the dining room has changed. It’s transformed from a plain dining space to a stunning and stylish midcentury feature.
Get creative with paint and shapes
In addition to the living space, Sarah wants to change up the look in her bedroom.
She explains that this is the room she shared with her ex-husband, so it doesn’t hold many happy memories now. She wants to give this space a new look and hit the reset button.
So Soria decides to add a painted, geometric feature to the wall behind the bed. He knows that fresh paint will make the space feel new—while still keeping with the home’s midcentury aesthetic.
“There’s a lot you can do with paint,” Soria says when the work is finished.
Of course, the colorful feature wall looks amazing—and Sarah loves it.
A nice shower can transform a bathroom
On the second episode, “Son of the Year,” Soria gives single dad Scott both a new look for his master suite and a much needed update to his guesthouse in Valley Village, CA.
After Scott’s divorce, he’d invited his mom to stay in his guesthouse. While this space has the perfect location (close to the grandkids), both Scott and his mom know it’s small and not very functional.
With no closet, a cramped kitchen, and no windows, it’s far from ideal. But perhaps the worst part of this guesthouse is the tiny shower.
Soria points out that the bathroom isn’t really that small, but it’s set up so poorly that it feels cramped. He decides to remove the small shower in the corner and replace it with a beautiful, larger shower that stretches across the wall.
When Scott and his mom finally see the finished bathroom, they’re amazed. It’s hard to believe how much a new shower can change a space.
Save money by refinishing the furniture
While Scott knows his mom needs an updated guest suite, he also wants to upgrade his own area. The bedroom he once shared with his ex-wife brings up tough memories, and he’s hoping to give this space a makeover.
With a tight budget, Soria knows he won’t be able to completely revamp the space, so he plans to refinish the bed frame to give it a more modern style. As Scott explains, this bed was a wedding present, so refinishing it, and giving it new life, feels therapeutic.
Plus, the now-black bed frame looks beautiful in this space. It’s masculine and modern—but still homey.
How do these renovations stack up?
Soria does an amazing job on both Sarah and Scott’s single-parent homes. He’s able to give Sarah an amazing living space and bedroom, and even refresh her home’s exterior—all for just $25,000. For Scott, he’s able to stick to the $80,000 renovation budget, even after running into an expensive sewage issue.
These two renovations are very different, but they’re both perfect places for a fresh start!
Outdoor Kitchen: The Pros and Cons
6 Valuable Ways to Personalize Your Townhome
How To Renovate Your Home on a Budget