Before and After: HGTV’s “Build Me Up” Transformed This Cramped Space Into a Healing Sanctuary

updated Aug 6, 2020
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Credit: HGTV

Home can be a difficult reminder of those who once lived there and have since passed. On the latest episode of HGTV’s “Build Me Up,” Orlando Soria helped his latest client and mother of two Corie heal by bringing new energy into their living spaces while keeping her late husband Michael’s memory alive

Shortly after moving into their new home in Irving, California, Michael was diagnosed with brain cancer and become wheelchair bound. Corie tried to make the house as comfortable as possible for Michael and naturally put any home renovation plans on the back burner. After Michael’s passing, the home’s interior stayed the same, and Corie was ready for Soria to create a new home for herself and her daughters to be able to move forward. 

Corie expressed to Soria that one of her main wants from the renovation was to open up the living spaces and create a welcoming hangout for friends and family. And so, Soria knocked down three walls to create an open floor plan in the main parts of the home.

Credit: HGTV
Credit: HGTV

For the kitchen, Soria built a large peninsula extending around the corner from the countertops to add more seating, brightening up the are with white and lightwood cabinets and marble countertops. To maximize space, Soria installed a built-in fridge surrounded by a large-scale pantry and replaced the sliding doors with a single door to open up more wall space. 

By knocking down the walls, the dining room was already drastically transformed. Without being boxed in, all that Soria added was some lightwood furniture, a woven floor rug, and bamboo hanging light fixture to tie the area together. 

Credit: HGTV
Credit: HGTV

In the bedroom, Soria created what he described as a meditative retreat space by focusing on a neutral color palette. He painted the yellow walls white, installed lightwood flooring, and added in soft furnishings that modernized the space while giving it a calming presence. 

Credit: HGTV

And finally, there was the living room. Corie said that Michael spent most of his time on the corner of the couch during his battle with cancler, and it’s where she felt his presence. However, this room was where Corie wanted to let go of some of the past and mold a warm space for company. Like the other rooms, Soria lighted up the space by replacing yellow with white paint and added lightwood floors. He also brought in a new couch with Corie’s approval, and houseplants created pops of color and brought new life into the space.

To honor Michael’s life, Soria covered an entire wall with family photos and gifted Corie with a quilt made up of Michael’s old t-shirts. That way, she can feel his hug whenever she’s in the room.

Build Me Up airs Wednesdays at 9/8 central on HGTV.