Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Insider: HGTV Designer Carrie Locklyn’s Home Quarantine Family and DIY Tips

Written by: Meagan Lynn – April 9th, 2020 3:23pm pst


A heartwarming first season of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition on HGTV came to a close Sunday, and it definitely lived up to expectations in terms of tears cried, stories that pull on your heart strings, and a dose of restored faith in humanity. 

The series, a revival of the ABC network hit by the same name which ran from 2003 to 2012, is a twist on the original show, incorporating renovations alongside brand new houses to provide deserving families with homes they can afford to keep living in. 

While the Extreme Makeover crew surprised 11 families with the gift of a lifetime during filming last summer and fall, audiences might say the show came to their television screens at just the right time, too. With America on the brink of a divisive election and dealing with a pandemic, Extreme Makeover provided just the glimmer of hope and taste of nostalgia for simpler times many are craving–they even brought back charismatic host Ty Pennington for a few episodes, though Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson has done an effortless job taking the reins.

While Americans stay hunkered down in their own homes in quarantine across the country, they don’t have to wait for Extreme Makeover to show up at their door to fix up their home. Carrie Locklyn, one of the show’s designers who specializes in organization, gave AfterBuzz TV some exclusive tips for organizing and enjoying your home. 

Photo Credit: HGTV

What are a couple tips you have for staying sane during lock down?

First and foremost is to remember there is no right way to be, no right thing to be doing or feeling. In my opinion, and what has been helping my family, is staying active, staying kind, eating consciously, and sleeping well. Every day has been different in our home and that works for us, I believe taking it easy on yourself and finding your new flow during this time is the best way to stay sane.

Your specialty is home organization, have you re-organized your living space since the stay-at-home orders went into place to make it more structured for work vs. play? 

As a whole, our home is organized and practical for a family on the go. Ever since the stay-at-home orders, I’ve shifted things in our home to be more conducive to comfort and productivity. More specifically, I’ve turned a spare bedroom into a video conference room by adding adequate sound dampening items, like an area rug to a hardwood floor and extra pillows to soften the room’s acoustics, as well as diffused lighting. We are a tidy family in general, however with the increased time at home, it’s even more important to make sure the house is being tended to on a daily basis and that everything is returning to its proper home.

Do you have any tips on how others might be able to organize/separate their spaces, especially if they are in a smaller home/apartment?

Right now seems like a great opportunity to edit and reevaluate your space. When editing, we are not only discarding items we no longer need, we’re also revisiting the items we have. Certain things may hold more priority now with stay-at-home orders. For example, leftover material can now be used as a video conferencing backdrop, the extra chair in the corner can be turned into a reading nook, and those sweatpants can now be moved to the front of the closet. Reevaluating, redesigning and reorganizing your home will help you regain control of your space during these unprecedented times. Doing this will create a feeling of empowerment. Narrow down what you need in your space during this time whether it be for work, comfort, family, sanity or all of the above. 

A few things to keep in mind that’s worth mentioning again:

  • “Everything needs a home” – AKA find a place (home) for your items and make sure they “live there” when not used.
  • “Shop your spaces” – Right now is a great time to walk into other spaces in your home, whether it be a spare room, the corner of your living room you never use, or even that cabinet/closet/drawer that you stuff everything into. See how you can reimagine the space, no matter the size, and pull items from this space. Maybe an ottoman from your spare room now acts as a more comfortable coffee table/work station and perhaps the spare room now becomes your conference room as mentioned earlier.
  • Don’t let not having the right “product” stop you. If organizing your pantry is what will increase the productivity of your daily life but you’re not feeling like you have the right bins, boxes and labels, don’t let that stop you. Go on a scavenger hunt in your home, you’re sure to find boxes and items you can repurpose in order to get the job done.
  • Now is the time to store away off season items, less clutter means less distraction and more space in your home and mind. 
  • “Separate your spaces” – If you need to make a room multi-functional consider separating them with bookshelves, curtains, even tall plants can do the trick. Adding an area rug is a great way to mark out and identify a space within a space. 
  • “Think outside of the room” – Need to get to stuff daily but don’t want to necessarily see it all the time? And you also don’t want to walk into another room to get to it? There’s a ton of great rolling carts on the market, a perfect way to take your workday necessities with you from room-to-room and stay organized. 

Other than Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, what are some shows you recommend watching right now? 

My family are huge fans of Lego Masters. My son is a fledgling Lego Master himself. Additionally, my husband and I have been catching up on some documentaries we’ve had on our lists. Older sitcom reruns are always welcome.

Photo Credit: HGTV

Are there any easy DIY home projects you recommend for people to keep busy during this time? 

Painting!! I have now painted three rooms in our home. Painting is a process that has a great end result. It’s easy, your children can help and most importantly, it’s a great bang for your buck. Painting a room can alter its energy entirely and can give you a big sense of accomplishment and newness, of which, in my opinion, is something we could all use a little more of right now. It’s also a great time to get outside and build that garden bed you’ve been talking about for years. 

As a mom, what are some things you have been doing with your son to keep him entertained?

Anything we possibly can! We have a very active and social five year old, so it’s been very important to keep him fulfilled physically and mentally. Science experiments, nature hikes, Legos of course, dance parties, anything to exert energy and keep him engaged daily. We’ve also been using this time to introduce our son to longer bike rides and things we may have passed on before like taking an adventurous walk in the rain. We recently created a personalized scavenger hunt specific to our area and passed it out to our neighbors. And by the way, did you know combining baking soda, food coloring and vinegar can be an amazing supervised activity that can take up an entire afternoon? At the moment everything feels like an adventure. It’s tremendous to see how simplicity has reentered our lives at this time; a simple walk to see the trees blooming can feel like a great escape.

Photo Credit: HGTV

What is a favorite ‘local hero’ or ‘pay it forward’ type of story that you’ve heard since we’ve started social distancing? We all need a little good news!

My best friend of over 20 years is a triage nurse in Washington D.C.. She’s been mentioning often lately how she and the entire medical staff are met with an enormous amount of homemade food, flowers and gifts. To see communities rallying around those who are on the front lines of this battle is so incredibly heartwarming. This is an incredibly difficult time for so many, however the stories of kindness and gratitude are shining so brightly. 

For more design advice and inspiration, follow Locklyn on social media, and tune into HGTV Sunday at 9 and 10 pm EST for two behind-the-scenes specials on Extreme Makeover’s “Behind The Bus.” Share this article and tweet us @AfterBuzzTV to let us know what you think of the show! 

About The Author:

Meagan Lynn is a host at AfterBuzz TV and Elon University graduate with a degree in journalism. She loves singing, listening to inspirational podcasts and watching reality TV.

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