A self-proclaimed "master Dumpster diver," Sally furnishes her Nevada City, California, home with items from unexpected places. "I love going to salvage yards and finding things that people have cast off," she says.
From major furniture pieces to small decorative touches, Sally's home is a testament to her philosophy that, "One person's trash is another person's treasure." In her kitchen, she created an island for food preparation using a garage sale-bought antique bottle washer with a butcher block on top. To modify the look of her once-white refrigerator, Sally covered the doors with two sheets of metal, giving them the look of stainless steel.
Salvage yards provided some of the most unique items in Sally's home, including a church pew and a piece she turned into a sliding door. To decorate the banister along her stairway, she ordered panels from an agricultural catalogue that were meant to cage livestock.
Sally's reuse-it attitude spreads to the master bedroom, which holds a $2 garage sale side table and an armoire found at a consignment store for $300. In the master bathroom, she made the garage sale bathtub her own by sandblasting it and painting it red.
Nate says Tonya's Fallbrook, California, house looks like a million bucks, but she paid far less than full price for many of the furnishings. How does she get such great deals? Just ask.
Using this strategy, Tonya scored a major deal on a zebrawood handmade dining room table. "I said, 'Could I get a better price on this?' And because I asked, I got a better price," she says.
Tonya used her eye for a bargain to land more items—from her floor sample front door to hand-painted silk lights. "I went into a boutique and the woman said, 'I want this price for them,'" she says. "I went online. I found them for less. She matched the price, so I saved thousands." To avoid paying too much on furniture for her poolside, Tonya didn't mess with retail stores—she drove straight to the manufacturer. "We saved thousands of dollars."
Another source of Tonya's bargain-hunting success—shopping for already-reduced merchandise. A large African basket hanging on her wall was a $100 consignment store find. Tonya discovered two matching chairs from the 1950s for just $5 apiece at a garage sale. And $5 towels from discount store T.J. Maxx adorn her bathroom.
"I love the way my house looks, and I didn't have to break the bank to do it," Tonya says.
Nate can design a beautiful kitchen, but when it comes to actually cooking
, he needs a little help. "Nate doesn't know how to boil water," Oprah says.
Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis to the rescue! The host of the TV show Everyday Italian
, Giada is the author of three best-selling cookbooks, including Everyday Pasta
To prepare Nate for holiday get-togethers, Giada teaches him to make three of her delicious recipes. Now Nate can create crostini with gorgonzola, honey and walnuts, panini with chocolate and brie, and fried ravioli served with marinara sauce. "I serve it on a plate, and [you] dip and pop it into your mouth. Should I show you how to do that part?" Giada says.
"I've got that part. That part's easy!" Nate says. Get the recipes for these appetizers and more! Select products and companies featured in this show See more of the contest winners' and runner-ups' homes.
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