Lo­cal home­own­ers tackle five projects for ‘The Week­ender.’

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE - By Ni­cole Vil­lal­pando nvil­lal­pando@states­

Jesse and Alex Coul­ter are handy peo­ple who love to tin­ker in the garage of their Round Rock home. She paints fur­ni­ture. He does wood­work­ing.

Their garage is also where their chil­dren, 1-year-old twins Walt and Whit­ney and 4-year-old Turner, keep many of their out­door toys as well as use as a play space. It was be­com­ing dif­fi­cult to work and use the garage with all the kids’ stuff min­gling with tools and wood.

Han­nah Kight had very lit­tle ex­pe­ri­ence in the do-it-your­self world aside from paint­ing walls. Her North Cen­tral Austin con­do­minium looked like it was straight out of 1977 — be­cause it was. It also was filled with mis­matched handme-down fur­ni­ture that the 26-yearold ac­quired from fam­ily.

Kight and the Coul­ters were cho­sen to be part of Lowe’s on­line home im­prove­ment show, “The Week­ender,” which takes one room and shows you five things you can do to trans­form it dur­ing the course of a week­end.

“This is ac­tu­ally for real home­own­ers,” says show host Mon­ica Man­gin. “It’s all so doable.”

That’s how Man­gin got her start. She’s a mother of four and a home­owner who was tack­ling her own projects. Soon she was work­ing be­hind the scenes on HGTV shows and then in front of HGTV shows and on “Live with Kelly!”

Man­gin and her crew trav­eled to Austin in January to shoot the show. The Coul­ters’ episode be­gan stream­ing on on Thurs­day. Kight’s episode will be avail­able March 9.

It’s the sec­ond sea­son of the show. Last year, the show was shot in New York, New Jer­sey and Penn­syl­va­nia, around where Man­gin and her crew live. This year, the show shot in Char­lotte, N.C.; Nashville, Tenn.; New Or­leans; Mi­ami; and Austin. All the home­own­ers had to ap­ply to be on the show with

in­for­ma­tion on which room they would want to trans­form and why.

The Coul­ters ac­tu­ally ap­plied first to do the liv­ing room and then ap­plied to do the garage. Kight wanted her kitchen to be done but ended up get­ting the liv­ing room, din­ing room and kitchen, be­cause it’s con­sid­ered one big room.

Each episode of “The Week­ender” has a video show­ing how the work got done as well as a writ­ten how-to for each project with a list of ma­te­ri­als and then step-by-step in­struc­tions with pho­tos.

It helps to have some ba­sic tools and a cir­cu­lar saw, but you also can have Lowe’s cut your lum­ber to your mea­sure­ments be­fore you bring it home, Man­gin says.

In the Coul­ters’ garage, Man­gin and the Coul­ters tack­led these five projects:

■ Paint. They re­painted the garage to give it a fresh look and painted the door to the house with chalk­board paint to cre­ate an area for kids to be cre­ative.

■ A mud­room. They used bead­board panel, ply­wood and kitchen cab­i­nets to build stor­age for shoes, bags and other items for each kid. It looks im­pres­sive, but Man­gin ex­plains that it’s just build­ing a series of boxes. ■ A stor­age rack sys­tem. Us­ing ply­wood and 2-by-4 lum­ber, they built a free­stand­ing shelv­ing unit that fits those big blue bins. Each bin gets la­beled with items such as “X-Mas Lights” and “Camp­ing.” They also added a sys­tem for hang­ing bi­cy­cles. ■ Floor­ing. They added vinyl roll floor­ing that looks like wood. Like many of us in Austin, the Coul­ters use their garage as an­other liv­ing space and stor­age area, not a place to park cars. Man­gin says it gives the space “a homey feel to it and it’s easy to wipe up.” ■ A work­bench area and

scrap lum­ber bin. Be­fore, it was a big ef­fort to pull out the work­bench and start work­ing on a new project. Now the work­bench is eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble, as are all the tools and paint in cab­i­nets. Plus there’s now a rolling cart to keep scrap lum­ber, rather than just a pile.

The project that the show doesn’t count is clean­ing out the garage be­fore “The Week­ender” crew ar­rived, and then as they got ready to start work. The Coul­ters got rid of about 40 per­cent of what was in the garage. Now, ev­ery­thing has its place. “We’re go­ing to re­ally try,” Alex Coul­ter says about keep­ing it that way.

In Kight’s liv­ing room, din­ing room and kitchen, “The Week­ender” tack­led these projects: ■ Sig­na­ture tile wall. Kight had up­per shelves in her kitchen that didn’t do much for space. By tak­ing them out, it gave Man­gin the op­por­tu­nity to cre­ate a sig­na­ture piece in the condo — one that is viewed from the en­trance. Black matte tiles with white grout get used on both this wall and in the back­splash on an­other wall.

■ New sink. Gone is the one with the hole in it. In its place, a black matte sink.

■ New coun­ters. Man­gin opted to save money by go­ing with lam­i­nate coun­ters that look like mar­ble.

The new lam­i­nate coun­ters make it worth re­con­sid­er­ing what you thought about lam­i­nate, she says. “It’s so bud­get­friendly and easy to in­stall,” Man­gin says. Other ma­te­ri­als, like gran­ite, she says, “isn’t some­thing you DIY.” ■ Re­fresh­ing the cab­i­nets. In­stead of buy­ing and hang­ing all-new cab­i­nets, the crew re­fur­nished them with olive green paint and added hard­ware. ■ Dis­play shelf/book­case. Man­gin used ply­wood and dow­els to cre­ate a book­case unit with mov­able dow­els that al­low Kight to ad­just it as her dis­play items change.

Man­gin wasn’t done with just those five projects. She also brought in new fur­ni­ture, a rug and paint­ings from Lowe’s. Most peo­ple prob­a­bly don’t re­al­ize that Lowe’s car­ries in­door fur­ni­ture in its stores, but also even more on­line.

“She had a great blank slate,” Man­gin says. “It just needed style and so­phis­ti­ca­tion.”

“The Week­ender” never spends more than $4,000 a room on ma­te­ri­als. That seems in­cred­i­ble, es­pe­cially in Kight’s kitchen, din­ing room and liv­ing room com­bi­na­tion room.

“They re­ally did show me that it could be done in an af­ford­able fash­ion,” Kight says. “I could have ac­tu­ally af­forded it on my own.”

Kight, who had very lit­tle DIY ex­pe­ri­ence, had done some things to her condo when she moved in, such as get­ting new floors in­stalled.

Now that she’s done “The Week­ender,” she says she could do many of the projects again but would prob­a­bly still need help. “I wouldn’t be very good at fin­ish­ing out the edges,” she says of the coun­ters. And the tile “wouldn’t look as per­fect.”

The Coul­ters had a lot more ex­pe­ri­ence work­ing with tools than many of the home­own­ers on “The Week­ender,” but it was the first time Jesse Coul­ter used a power saw, and she also got to use a paint sprayer.

“It was great for me,” she says. “I’d like to do more kinds of projects that do use power tools.”

One of the most sat­is­fy­ing parts of “The Week­ender” is teach­ing home­own­ers how to get com­fort­able do­ing home im­prove­ment. “We work with home­own­ers where they are,” Man­gin says.


On “The Week­ender,” the kitchen of Han­nah Kight’s Austin condo was re­done with a tile wall, re­painted cab­i­nets, and new coun­ters and a sink.

Now, new fur­ni­ture and a new rug lighten Kight’s condo up.


Now the Coul­ters can work on wood­work­ing and paint­ing projects and not have to search for their ma­te­ri­als.

Be­fore “The Week­ender,” the Coul­ters’ garage looked like this, with stuff ev­ery­where.

“The Week­ender” kept the wood wall in the liv­ing room, which is the el­e­ment that sold Kight on the condo.

The Coul­ters had to start by get­ting rid of about 40 per­cent of the stuff in their garage.

“The Week­ender” cre­ated a mud­room in the garage of Jesse and Alex Coul­ter’s house.

Be­fore, Kight’s condo looked dark and dreary.

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