A Space for Everything
Harris Family, Nashville, Budget: $15K–$25K
Nuts & Bolts: After 50 years together in a house that Andy, 73, and Betty, 73, bought from Andy’s mother, the feisty, fun-loving couple want an activities space.
Room for Improvement: Building a three-car garage gave the Harrises the welcome option of a second-floor bonus room. Now they’re happily bickering over whether to make it Andy’s man cave, Betty’s lair or a rumpus room for visiting grandkids.
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Property Brothers Rx
“We love a blank slate, and we love couples who love each other,” Jonathan says. “I don’t think we’ll have any trouble getting Andy and Betty to see eye to eye.”
1. Celebrate Your Years
Wear your age proudly. The brothers recommend lining most of one wall with floor-to-ceiling built-ins, leaving open shelves here and there to showcase favorite artifacts and pictures. Oh, and one large opening goes to Andy for a big flat-screen.
2. Wiring for the Future
Even if Andy doesn’t want cinema-quality surround sound, a future buyer might. Drew suggests running cables and wiring, as well as hookups for recessed lighting, before the drywall goes up. “It’s cheap to do now.”
3. All in the Family
The Harrises decide to use furniture to section the room into thirds. Betty gets an area where she can play cards and games with her grandchildren. A few reclining sofas give Andy his own private Cineplex. The rest is a fun zone for the grandkids.
Love It or Lose It
In your 70s and up, you’ve got memories galore. But as much as keepsakes matter, you don’t want them taking over. Be honest with yourself. Do you really need 50 extra programs from your daughter’s first wedding? Send her five and keep one or two. And why not donate that treadmill you haven’t trod in years? “I have a word for you: Purge,” Jonathan tells Betty, handing her the portable music player. “But that’s for my language cassettes!” she says. “Betty,” he says, “it’s a CD player.”