Design team uses $1,000 to make over family's room

Design team uses $1,000 to make over family's room Managing Editor Amy Lehtonen won a $1,000 gift card to HomeGoods. Charlotte Today gave Charlotte designers Tony Johnson and Dan Boyett of Knock Knock Designs a big challenge. We asked them to makeover Amy’s family room only using the gift card.


by NewsChannel 36

Posted on April 11, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 25 at 11:34 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- We often hear about store promotions like lavish trips or big shopping sprees, but you don't hear much about the winners.

HomeGoods opened a new store in SouthPark this summer and it turns out one of our employees won the grand prize. Managing Editor Amy Lehtonen won a $1,000 gift card to the store.

Charlotte Today gave Charlotte designers Tony Johnson and Dan Boyett of Knock Knock Designs a big challenge.  We asked them to make over Amy’s family room only using the gift card.

Amy and her family spend most of their time in the family room.  From watching movies with the girls, to feeding the baby, they use the family room a lot, especially for entertaining.

Tony and Dan visited Amy’s house to look at the family room they’d been asked to makeover.

It didn’t take Dan Boyett long to find the first problem.

“The rooms (family room and kitchen) are very disconnected in so many ways,” Dan said.

The kitchen is cream and red, while the family room right next to it has a definite blue, green and brown color scheme.

"So there's not that flow," Dan said. "Instead it's like sitting room, kitchen area, instead of one big open space."

Dan and Tony say it's paying attention to the little things that make a room feel special.

"Little details are typically what people miss the most," Dan said.

For example: windows.  A fabric valance above the two windows in the family room is hung too low.

"We're all sensitive to light.  The more light the bigger the room," Dan said. "Even taking (the valance) up three to four inches so it's more at the top of the window.  You wouldn't believe the couple of extra inches of light. Visually it will make your ceilings look taller."

Amy has a sleeper sofa in the room that they want to keep along with a leather ottoman that doubles as storage for the kids' toys.

Tony and Dan suggested Amy paint the ceiling a lighter color and get rid of the entertainment center in the corner for their plasma television. They suggested mounting the television to the wall to free up more space.

Then, with Amy's $1,000 gift card in hand, Tony and Dan went shopping at HomeGoods. They found a black side table for $49 with a matching table for $99.  To help pull the red from the kitchen into the family room, Tony and Dan bought a red fabric chair for $199. They also purchased three table lamps along with a reading lamp.

"I think she's going to be so happy with the end result," Tony said as they wrapped up their shopping trip.

"Well, we hope so," Dan said. "That's what they pay us for."

In the meantime, the ceiling was painted a lighter color that Tony and Dan selected. 

To save money, engineer Karl from NewsChannel 36 showed Amy just how easy it is to mount the television to the wall.

With fresh paint and the television mounted, the room was ready for Tony and Dan.

After bringing the new pieces into the room, Tony and Dan worked on the little details. They glued a silver tray to the end table so its size would be in proportion to the sofa and chair. They used a side table they purchased for $99 to store the DVD player and cable box.

Tony and Dan hung a new picture above the fireplace to bring in the green, red and browns of the room.

Then, they were ready for the big reveal.

"We're excited to see it," Amy said as she walked into the house with her husband and two kids.

Everyone loved the new room.

"Oh, Tony and Dan, this is fabulous," Amy said.

Amy's 3-year-old daughter was happy to see the ottoman with all of her toys was still in the room.

"We added wheels to this so that you can pull it over (in front of the sofa)," Tony explained. "You could always put a tray on it and use it as a coffee table."

Everything Tony and Dan brought in the room was kid-friendly and practical.

"It's very usable space," Tony said. "We didn't bring anything in that you couldn't use."

Amy said she liked the strip of red fabric that was added to the brown valances.

"We took your existing valances and we raised them up so that more light can come into the room," Tony said. "We also kind of freshened them with pops of red."

"I thought, 'Brown and red. I don't think I'm going to like that.' But I love it," Amy said.

On the sofa table, Tony and Dan added a basket for pictures.

"We also have a place for your pictures. You can go back and date them. That way it becomes a conversation piece," Tony said.

The new room was a topic of conversation in the neighborhood. Everyone was anxious to see it.

"Oh my gosh, it looks so pretty," one neighbor said.

"It looks fabulous," another said.

Tony and Dan stuck to the original $1,000 budget, only going over by five bucks.

And, the pieces Amy had in the family room that they didn't use were rearranged in the living room.