'American Dream Builders' Episode 8: Before & After

Todd Davis ArchitectureLeather furniture works in a rustic room.


By Erika Riggs

The designers on American Dream Builders have taken on a variety of home and décor styles, ranging from traditional colonials to rustic cabins in Big Bear, CA. This week the five remaining designers were charged with transforming a former factory warehouse into a livable loft.

Loft apartments are common in big cities, where turn-of-century factories provide perfect blank slates for city living.

Each team chose to stick with a minimal style - featuring exposed architectural elements, such as brick, stone and wood - and clean lines. Here are some tips for replicating the look.

Look No. 1

Designer Darren, working with team members Lukas and Elaine, created a master bedroom with a decidedly rustic feel. His inspiration came directly from the industrial elements of the loft.

"Every room is different, so I would encourage people to grab inspiration from a space rather than trying to replicate it," he explained.

A paneled wall is a great backdrop to a simple bed.
A paneled wall is a great backdrop to a simple bed.

How you can get the look:

1. Create a paneled statement wall. Buy new, thin boards at a home store, or go the truly rustic route and use reclaimed wood pieces.

A plank wall can be a full or partial installation.
Groundswell Design GroupA plank wall can be a full or partial installation.


2. Go for an open closet. Don't have a closet? Try a free-hanging one or garment rack. If you're after an open floor plan, this is a great option, Darren says.

A simple wardrobe rack is a great closet alternative.
A simple wardrobe rack is a great closet alternative.


3. Add minimal accessories. Don't lose the sleek look of a room with heavy bedside table lamps or additional accessories. Try installing a simple wall sconce instead and keep bedside clutter to a minimum.

A simple, elegant room by DKOR Interiors.
DKOR Interiors.A simple, elegant room.



Look No. 2

Designers Jay and Nina created this living room in a space where awkward angles made traditional furniture placement difficult. They chose to outfit the room in a masculine and minimal style.

Jay and Nina created a classic, masculine space.
Jay and Nina created a classic, masculine space.

How you can get the look:

1. Embrace the exposed materials in a home, whether it's a brick wall, stone or wood.

Brick gives a room warmth and texture.
Brick gives a room warmth and texture.

2. An industrial wall needs to be paired with similar, strong-looking furniture. Pick pieces in a dark color with simple lines and thick, straight legs.

Leather furniture works in a rustic room.
Todd Davis ArchitectureLeather furniture works in a rustic room.

3. Add a bit of warmth and bring the open living space elements together with a neutral rug.

A white rugs contrasts nicely against a wood floor.
A white rugs contrasts nicely against a wood floor.

Get more design inspiration from "American Dream Builders" contestants on Zillow Digs!

Erika Riggs, the Zillow Digs manager, covers home design and trends. Read more of her work here.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum