Sabrina Soto Dishes On The Biggest Paint Mistake People Make and Other Design Secrets

published Sep 26, 2017
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You may still be jumping for joy over the news that design star Sabrina Soto is returning to TV in TLC’s reboot of Trading Spaces so brace yourselves, because we’ve got even more Sabrina Soto news for you. The “High Low Project” star recently held a roundtable at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel to discuss all things design.

At the event, which was sponsored by Century 21, Soto dished on fall design trends, where she shops for deals, tips for first time home buyers and renovators — and oh yeah, the fact that she’s got a wine tap in her personal laundry room (laundry day just got a whole lot more fun!).

Here’s what Sabrina had to share:

On the latest design trends

  • Light-colored wood floors are very popular right now – blond wood and grey wood are making a comeback.
  • Brass and copper are hot, but I don’t think copper is going to translate into hardware as much as brass has – it’s more about accents.
  • I’m also seeing tuxedo kitchens where people have lighter upper cabinets and different, darker colored bottom cabinets.
  • I love marble, but it’s so high maintenance. That said, it’s making a comeback for wallpaper.

On first-time home buying

  • I think what people don’t realize is that there’s insurance, taxes, utilities, etc. Be realistic about what you get pre-approved for with all those things in mind. First time homebuyers always make that mistake because they get so excited.
  • Always find a kick-butt inspector that’s going to find anything wrong with the house.

On making a budget-friendly reno a reality

  • Find places where you can save money – like tile. Or consider keeping your existing cabinets and refinishing them yourself. It is a little more tedious than what people see on TV – you have to remove the hinges and hardware, and then sand it down.

On where to start when designing a space

  • Get the couch and the area rug. For me, I start with the couch because it’s the biggest piece in the family room.
  • People think paint comes first, but for me it comes last. It’s the biggest mistake because then you’re constantly trying to match that paint color.

On favorite places to shop for budget-friendly pieces

  • Target, Home Goods, Cost Plus are great. Ikea for their accessories, Etsy, Room & Board, and West Elm.
  • I love finding a good deal, so also Craigslist.

On designing family-friendly spaces

  • Splurge on upholstery and outdoor fabric. There’s actually a new fabric that was used in hospitals, so it’s super easy to clean.
  • Splurge on paints that have a flat finish so you can scrub them. Just yesterday, I was scrubbing [my little girl] Olivia’s paw prints off the walls. It’s important to get higher quality paint so you can clean it constantly.

On home staging musts

  • In the bedroom, you can easily make your own headboard. In the living room, invest in a good couch and piece of art.
  • Spend a weekend and go to every open house in your neighborhood. See what your neighbors are up to. Try to exceed the other houses on your block, but just a smidge.
  • On “Get It Sold”, I was shocked at what a mess homes were! At the very least, decluttering and personalizing go a long way. After all these TV shows, I can’t believe people don’t understand staging!

Want to see who’s joining Sabrina on Trading Spaces? Learn more about the other new faces on the reboot for 2018.