One Woman is Redoing Her Parents’ 1970s House While They’re Away, and She’s Sharing Updates on TikTok

published Jun 29, 2020
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If you thought TikTok was just for dance videos, then you’re sorely mistaken. Emily Shaw, who goes by the TikTok handle emilyrayna, is an interior designer chronicling the renovation of her parents’ house while they’re out of town. And as you can see from her videos, the transformation is pretty amazing. 

“Hi, I’m Emily! This is my parents’ house. It was built in the 70s, and hasn’t had many updates since. There’s furniture blocking entrances, flooring that is lifting up, and all sorts of other messy things,” she tells the camera. “My parents are away for the month and I’m an interior designer, so I decided it was time to finally make a change. I have their permission, but most of it’s a surprise.” 

“The first step to this house makeover is to purge everything. Don’t worry, we have permission beforehand, but the outcome is a surprise,” says Shaw, who is chronicling the renovation with her boyfriend Dillon. 

“It is entirely possible to refurbish your house without spending a dime. All you have to do is post the items you want to get rid of on Facebook Marketplace or other local groups. If you check these things often, you can find amazing things for your own place,” she says. Shaw also sold a ton of items at yard sales, and used the profits to complete the renovation.

Shaw noticed her parents had a thing for black furniture, so she chose to modernize what they already had by replacing the beige tones with white. After creating some mood boards, she shared bargains she scored, like some cabinet pulls she found on Amazon for $1 each. 

Of course, there were a few unusual quirks about the space, like an upside-down Christmas tree adorned with patriotic flair that’s falling into the wall. “They didn’t feel like taking it down, so they decided to decorate it for different holidays,” says Shaw. Though she took it down, Shaw said she can guarantee that it’ll be “right back up there next holiday season.” 

After pulling everything out of all the shelves and closets, the scene looked pretty disorganized, Shaw acknowledged. Some areas hadn’t been touched in about 20 years, so it required a pretty significant purge. 

To open up the space, they took out a window that had been placed in the center of a room when an addition was put on. Using inexpensive pine wood, Shaw constructed a bar area. 

In one of the most satisfying clips, Shaw and her boyfriend peeled off the existing wallpaper. Using a water sprayer they got at Walmart for less than $7, they sprayed down the wallpaper backing. “Now that it’s gone, we are one step closing to painting,” said Shaw.

After painting the walls, Shaw even created an outdoor space for her parents. “I wanted to create a little outdoor area where my parents could grill, hang out, and do things that weren’t in our driveway,” she said. They used pressure-treated wood shoring blocks found for free on Facebook Marketplace to create a small patio area. 

 “In the end, we will have a little porch that was basically free,” says Shaw. She found some pebbles for free on Facebook marketplace, and decided to use them as a path to the porch area. 

“Outdoor tables are so expensive, so I went on Facebook Marketplace and got this stump for free,” said Shaw. They sanded it down and covered it with some Polyurathane for protection, creating a perfect side table. After sanding down a fire pit they got for free on Facebook Marketplace and giving it a quick spray for a cleaner look, the outdoor space was complete.  “It’s so fitting that it was done hon Father’s Day, because I know it’s going to be my dad’s favorite hangout spot,” said Shaw.   

Seeing as the before and after for the porch area is pretty tremendous, it’s safe to say that Shaw’s overhaul of the entire house will be very successful. Follow along to see how it turns out.