Christina Hall of “Christina on the Coast” has returned to resume the rest of Season 5, kicking things off with plenty of advice for designing the perfect entertainment space.
In the episode “Outgrowing Old Spaces,” Hall talks to her friend Amy. She and her husband, Scott, have recently renovated their home’s exterior and now want to focus on the inside. They love entertaining, but their tight kitchen doesn’t flow when they have lots of guests. Hall ends up giving Amy and Scott’s living room an update as well, creating the ultimate party house.
While Scott and Amy originally want to spend no more than $150,000 on the project, the renovation ends up costing $191,050. That’s a big jump in price—do her clients consider it worth the splurge?
Find out what Hall does, which contains plenty of lessons you might be inspired to incorporate in your own abode.
Open up walls for easy entertaining
Amy wants to update the style of her kitchen, but she also hopes to change the layout. The kitchen is tight with an oddly placed wall that separates it from the front living room. It creates a pseudo hallway between the lower and upper levels of the living space.
“The fact that it’s even here is a bit odd,” Hall says of the wall. “I feel like it would be easy for it to come down because it’s awkward. There’s, like, this random space here like a runway.”
The designer suggests taking down the wall and creating space for a big island. She also updates the railing that separates the lower living room level from the upper kitchen level.
When the renovation is finished, Scott is particularly impressed, pointing out that the team used the railings from the new back patio to create flow from inside to outside. Hall’s upgrade improves both function and style.
“Our kitchen was dated and dark and removed from every other room in the house,” Amy says. “Now it’s completely the opposite.”
Continuous flooring is expensive and overrated
Amy and Scott want to update the flooring in the entry, kitchen, and family room. However, they don’t want to rip up the perfectly good flooring in the front family room, spending money when they don’t need to. So they ask Hall if she can find new flooring that can complement the floors they want to save.
Hall finds one sample that looks a lot like the existing floor and a second choice that is similar but just a bit lighter. Amy and Scott love the lighter choice, saying that they think this will complement the existing floors while also brightening up the space.
“It matches certain tones in this one,” Amy says.
When the new flooring is in, the living room and the rest of the main floor look great together. It shows that homeowners don’t need to spend extra money to have the same flooring throughout a home. Sometimes finding complementary colors is good enough!
Bi-fold doors create great indoor-outdoor flow
Amy and Scott are excited to replace the sliding door in their kitchen with bi-fold doors. This feature is expensive, costing $15,000, but Hall still suggests adding a second bi-fold door in the living room.
“It’s going to look so much better down there, and you guys really use that outdoor space a lot, so that flow is going to be so much better,” she says.
Amy and Scott agree to the splurge, and the team installs frameless bi-fold doors, a particular design that makes the wall look completely open.
“You can see everything now,” Hall says when they’re installed.
A fireplace is an eye-catching focal point
After the home renovation has begun, Amy tells Hall that she wants to update the fireplace in the living room, and Hall agrees that it could use a refresh.
“For me, it’s just the shape,” Hall says. “Like, it kind of looks like a pizza oven.”
Hall’s fellow designer, James Bender, assures Amy that updating the fireplace won’t cost too much, and they decide to move forward with the project.
Hall notes that changing the fireplace will make a huge difference.
“A fireplace really is the focal point, so I feel like … [it] will really just transform the whole room,” she says.
But to Hall’s surprise, Amy and Scott redo the fireplace without her input. While the new look isn’t exactly what Hall would have chosen, she admits it makes the room look much better.
With this fireplace update, Amy and Scott will definitely want to show off this space when friends come over.
Darker colors help set the mood
Amy and Scott are excited to redo their dry bar, so they help Hall pick out a dark design, which includes black paint and teal tile. However, once the plans are set for the bar, Hall points out that all these moody colors might look odd next to the bright, white built-in bookcase. She suggests painting the bookcase black.
“That’ll look really pretty,” Hall says. “It would just, like, really blend.”
“You’re creating a mood on this whole back wall,” Bender adds.
The team paints the bookcase, and when it’s done, the whole wall makes a real statement in the room. It’s proof that a new bar can be a great asset to an entertaining space—but so can a bit of paint!