Budget Blinds®, parent company Home Franchise Concepts (HFC), and sister brands Tailored Living®, Concrete Craft®, and AdvantaClean® recently participated with HGTV’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to completely renovate the home of the Fifita family in Hawthorne, California. The makeover was indeed extreme, including almost doubling the square footage, from 887 to 1,600+ sq. ft., and transforming a portion of the large, under-used backyard into functional living space with an amazing pergola for year-round outdoor dining.
Beautiful window coverings from Budget Blinds were just the beginning of the surprises for the Fifita family as they toured their fully renovated new home
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition transforms lives
The 2020 relaunch of the iconic Extreme Makeover: Home Edition TV series continues with its goal of extreme home renovations for deserving families that give of themselves to their communities and who now can use a helping hand. New show host, Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family), is joined by a dynamic design team, including designers Breegan Jane and Carrie Locklyn, and carpenter Darren Keefe to personalize every facet of the renovations. “The first thing we look at is what they need. To aid the lives of these hometown heroes and to help their families, not to mention their contribution toward their communities is our primary objective.” –Carrie Locklyn
The Fifita family and the moment everyone has been waiting for … Move. That. Bus!
For the Fifita family, this meant expanding the home’s footprint with some very specific changes:
- Expand the kitchen and integrate with the dining area.
- Make the living room and entryway functional.
- New wood floors throughout the house to unify the space.
- Convert the master bedroom to a master suite.
- Give the bedrooms proper closets from Tailored Living.
- Add a second bathroom and third bedroom.
- Bring the son’s garage room under the same roof as the rest of the family, with sleeping for six.
- Convert the huge backyard to functional living space with decorative concrete resurfacing by Concrete Craft.
- Fence-in the front yard for privacy and safety and transform it into a tropical paradise.
- Increase energy efficiency with custom window coverings from Budget Blinds.
- Ensure home safety with two years’ air duct cleaning from AdvantaClean.
This is the house that love built
Brian and Lisa Fifita have lived in their home for 17 years, and are parents to five children, two currently living at home along with innumerable “heart” children that they welcome into their home. Living in a neighborhood where gang violence is a threat, the Fifitas have made their home a haven for local kids to have a safe place to hang out, eat, do homework, play basketball, and spend the night if need be. Having lost a nephew to random gang violence, Brian says he doesn’t ever want another family to have to go through that. Hospitality is a big part of their Tongan, Polynesian culture so their doors are always open. That’s why their niece, Kina, nominated them for the show, their incredible generosity: “They’ll be uncomfortable so everyone else can be comfortable.” And that’s been the case for many years as they cram an amazing number of kids into their home (Brian says up to 23!) with the resultant wear and tear. Show host Jesse succinctly summed up the major problem: “The house is too small for the amount of love you want to give.”
Home Franchise Concepts’ franchise brands step up in a big way
For Budget Blinds and its sister brands, participating in the home renovation was a labor of love. It was exciting to be part of such a life-changing event and local franchise owners, Home Office associates, and our vendor manufacturing partners contributed time, product, and expertise to help make the home amazing for this special family.
Our in-house installers did the honors, outfitting the home with custom motorized shades and drapery for the living room, bedrooms, and woven wood panel tracks for the “bunkhouse” boys’ room. Specific window coverings were chosen throughout to complement the modern, Polynesian island vibe of the home, with neutral colors and natural materials for ultimate beauty, functionality, and convenience.
Soft, neutral window coverings create a light and airy ambiance for comfort and tropical splendor
- The light-filtering motorized shades can be programmed to automatically open and close to enhance energy efficiency.
- White ripple-fold draperies with a blackout lining provide complete privacy when needed and easily slide open and closed with a baton.
- The Black Matte decorative drapery hardware coordinates with the dark furniture pieces in the room and makes the neutral colors and wood tones pop.
The new master suite with custom window coverings that create an accent wall to anchor the room’s design
- Fixed white drapery panels frame the windows and make them appear larger.
- Warm white window shades with an opaque cream lining enhance the white-on-white décor.
- Touch-of-a-button control for the shades makes lighting and privacy control effortless from anywhere in the room.
The small bedroom is now an ideal space for Nancy to focus on homeschooling with breathing space and beautiful surroundings to inspire her
- Woven, natural fiber shades retrofitted with Smart Home motorization will keep her bedroom light adjusted day and night.
- Layered textures throughout the room create a welcoming, calm space to relax when schoolwork is done.
- A custom closet storage system from Tailored Living organized all Nancy’s clothes behind closed doors, changing the “10% bedroom and 90% closet” clutter into a real room.
The bunkhouse bedroom
Panel track shades are the perfect window covering for the bunkhouse “man cave,” with texture and color that enhance the island vibe
- The natural woven panel tracks make an elegant style statement with a room-darkening beige liner and Chocolate edge binding tape.
- For outside views and to let in natural sunlight, the panel tracks slide and stack off to one side exposing the windows.
- Four built-in bunk beds plus two Murphy Beds and an entertainment center by Tailored Living make this the ultimate hangout for young men.
Move. That. Bus!
The family was moved out while all the work was underway and only returned when the house was complete and hidden behind the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition bus, awaiting the “Move. That. Bus!” moment when the family finally sees their new home. For the Fifitas, the magic just went on and on from the first glimpse of the front yard to the backyard makeover with a faux stone flagstone decorative concrete driveway, courtyard, resurfaced basketball court, patio area, and a new shaded pergola for outside dining and relaxing. Jonathan Thiessen, HFC’s Chief Development Officer, made a special presentation to the family: “We have a program at Home Franchise Concepts called Heart & Home and it’s designed to give back to those that do great things and give back in their community. So, on behalf of HFC, we would like to give you $25,000 to continue with that.”
Ending up in the new backyard meant party time for all the friends, neighbors, and volunteers, with a special presentation from HFC
There are far too many memorable moments and quotes to share them all, but here are a few highlights:
- Actor Anthony Anderson came by to help: “I grew up not too far from here and what you’re doing, taking people into your home and providing a safe haven for them, I just have to thank you and that’s why I’m here.”
- Ty Pennington, original Extreme Makeover host, crawled under the house for Breegan to check sewer lines that could have impacted the pergola. All good! Open upper shelves in the kitchen were his design.
- The master bath was a big hit. “This is the best part of the house!” according to Brian, and Lisa is all smiles, “This is our bathroom; we don’t have to share with the kids!
- Jesse recognized the magnitude of this home makeover, “We’re not just helping the family, we’re helping all the people they open up their home to.”
- View more before-and-after photos of the complete Fifita home makeover: Creating a Safe Gathering Space Within a Polynesian-Inspired Home
New window treatments to enhance your home
If more time at home has you staring at your window coverings and this extreme makeover has inspired you, contact your local Budget Blinds to learn more about how we can help. In line with public health guidelines for safely sheltering in place, our local neighborhood experts can do it all virtually* for you—design, order, and set an appointment to install when the time is right. Call 877-503-5680 (US) or 866-973-2405 (CAN) or go online to https://budgetblinds.com/ to find the Budget Blinds design expert near you.
Catch new episodes of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Sunday night at 8p|7c on HGTV as well as watch previous episodes at https://watch.hgtv.com/tv-shows/extreme-makeover-home-edition.
*Virtual consultations are not available at all locations.