Time Warp Makeovers
"There was a time when [country] was really considered cute," Oprah says. "Time has moved on!"
Nate says that your home décor needs to be updated the same way your hairstyle needs to be updated. "Look at the pictures of your hair when you got married. And then look at your living room," he says. Unless you've updated your home's style since then, Nate says, "your living room is wearing blue eye shadow!"
To help America break free of its old ways, Nate headed out to make over two lucky viewers' homes that were stuck in a time trap.
In Margie and John's defense, Nate says their country style is at least understandable—"Okay, you guys have a cow walking across your backyard. We really are in the country!"
Although Margie agrees her home needs a serious update, there are a few things Margie loves about the room. "The best thing about this room is our fireplace." She also likes the large bay window, although she admits she hasn't been able to find much use for it.
"There's not an ounce of masculinity in this room," Nate says. "How does your husband feel about that?"
"Well, he wishes it were a bit more macho," Margie says. But she does point out John's one masculine piece of décor—a picture from the Vietnam War hanging in the bathroom.
Since their children have moved out of the home, Nate says it's due time that Margie and John get and updated style. "Because you guys are empty nesters now, I think it's time to give you guys a master bedroom that's part of the next chapter."
"I want it to be pretty, but yet not foofy," Margie says.
"It's so warm too, it just has such a warm and comfortable feeling to it," John says.
The sea foam carpet was replaced by new hardwood floors by Lowe's, and Nate painted the ceiling a vibrant green. "People are like, 'Oh my ceiling has to be white'—it really doesn't," he says.
The tiny sofas and big mauve chair are replaced by two cane-backed chairs by Wisteria and a large sofa by Williams-Sonoma Home. "I really wanted you guys to have a sectional, because I wanted as many people piled in here as possible," Nate says.
The walls are now covered with a natural woven material that Nate says adds texture to the room. Replacing the floral drapes are natural, woven bamboo shades.
The 15-year-old television is replaced with a new flatscreen by Sony, which is built into a bookcase adding symmetry to the room and a place to store all Margie and John's family photos.
While the style is a far departure from the home's country look, Nate says the design is not out of place. "You would think that a room has to match the outside of a house, but I think this room matches the nature outside of the house," Nate says.
After the couple solemnly swears, Nate reveals their new California-style suite. "You had said your favorite colors were browns and blues, so I wanted to do something with browns, blues and accents. This is all neutral. It's no country, no pink, no hearts, no frills, no lace, but all California casual."
Margie and John's new bed from Ballard Designs is upholstered with a great fabric that Nate says is "masculine and feminine at the same time."
Nate replaced the old carpet with a soft taupe wool one from Lowe's and covered the windows with natural woven shades by Great Windows. "I actually faked it, and I mounted these even higher than the window frame so that now this room actually feels much taller than it did before," Nate says. "That's a designer's trick."
Margie and John also received some great upgrades, including new nightstands for more storage and an LG TV.
Besides the new furniture, Margie is also happy with Nate's design sense. "We never once thought about changing the orientation of the bed, and it made so much more space," she says.
Nate says he moved the bed to allow for more space when someone walks into the room. "You need time when you walk into a room to actually get used to your surroundings. And when you walk in and you have a foot and a half before you hit a piece of furniture, you can't appreciate the room."
Keith, who is 6'8", has to squat far down to see under a cabinet that hangs over the counter. And whenever they cook, Tonya and Keith head to the laundry room—which is where they've set up a makeshift pantry.
"We need help in here, big time," Keith says.
Nate agrees that the kitchen looks bad, and he is particularly shocked by the floor's tile pattern. "It looks like a bad Mexican restaurant from a long time ago," he says.
Before setting to work, Nate wants to know what Tonya and Keith dream of for their new kitchen.
Keith dreams of a center island, a modern gas range-top, stainless steel appliances and earthy colors. Tonya agrees with Keith's stainless steel appliances, but craves color. "Really cool, fun, vibrant tiles in the kitchen." She also wants to open up the space. "Maybe the whole thing about a formal dining room doesn't need to be here. Maybe we have a really nice table and we just eat there all the time."
Now Nate has a plan!
Nate knocked out a wall and cabinets dividing the kitchen from two dining areas, leaving one enormous room. "I wanted to create one space here," he says. "Not only does it make the kitchen feel much larger, your family can sit down and have breakfast since it's part of the kitchen."
He got rid of the Lyndon Johnson-era appliances and replaced them with sleek GE Monogram stainless steel models. The Shenandoah cabinets from Lowe's are tall and deep, and they're topped off with knobs from Nanz that he says are "like jewelry."
Tonya loves the dark wood floors. "I want to put it through my entire house," she says.
And Keith finally got the island he wanted—though, it's not built-in to match the cabinets. "You don't always have to have everything match," Nate says.
The countertop is truly special. It's not marble, it's not steel…it's zinc, which is commonly found in bars in France and Tuscany. "As this countertop ages it's going to get this beautiful, beautiful patination," Nate says. "And it's going to look like it's been here since the 1920s."
With all the extra space from knocking out walls and old cabinets, Nate brought the pantry out of the laundry room and into the kitchen, using an antique chest. Nate says Tonya and Keith now have three times more kitchen storage.
"For a couple of days I didn't want to touch it," he says. "It was so nice, I didn't know if I could actually use it. It looks like a model."
"We didn't want to touch anything," Tonya says. "We left everything exactly the way it was—the flowers and everything."
This room demonstrates some of his cardinal sins of decorating. The busy patterned sofa sits on top of a busy patterned rug. The pillows and curtains are both ruffled. Personal photos are trapped in multiple-picture frames. The entire room overflows with dried flowers and knickknacks.
Time Warp 1: Busy patterned rugs underneath busy patterned sofas
Update: Patterned rugs and patterned sofas make for a cluttered look. Update the old sofa with a simple slipcover, and replace patterned rugs. "A simple rug—cotton, wool," Nate says.
Time Warp 2: Ruffled throw pillows
Update: Replace ruffled pillows with modern linen, cotton or velvet ones. "You can find these absolutely everywhere," he says.
Time Warp 3: Dried flower arrangements
Update: Get rid of those dried flowers. Try replacing them with an elegant, live orchid. "It really does make a huge difference," Nate says.
Time Warp 4: Ruffled curtains
Update: When you ditch those frilly curtains—which you really should do—Nate has a trick to make your windows look bigger. Above the top of the window, hang an inexpensive bamboo shade and add simple cotton or linen draperies.
Time Warp 5: Multiple photos in a single frame with matte cutouts
Update: While photos are an important, personal decoration in any home, Nate says the multiple-photo frames actually make those photos seem less important. "You don't have to throw anything away, but just frame them individually," he says.
Products and companies featured in these makeovers