At Posh Living we were excited to be asked to lead the team fabricating Window Treatments, Slipcovers and Pillows for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Episode 720.
As soon as our announcement went out by email, Twitter and Facebook, we had a flurry of phone calls from people offering to help.
We arranged an old-fashioned, 3-day Sewing Bee for our team to complete curtains, shades and slipcovers for the Suggs family’s new home. We’re so thankful to everyone who offered to come out and help – it was such a busy time but lots of fun.. And of course, we couldn’t wait to see the beautiful new house and the theme bedrooms the show’s designers created for the kids!
In these challenging times, we welcome the opportunity to work side-by-side with our friends and neighbors to help make something wonderful happen. Keep reading to find out what it was like to work on the project, and click on a thumbnail to see our slideshow of the finished home.
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Click here to see the WBTW news video: Extreme sewers get busy stitching for ‘Makeover’ home | SCNow.
DIARY OF AN EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME EDITION
By: Layla S. Altman, ASID
There are times in life when you can give your talents and help others. The Extreme Makeover: Home Edition show allows people to do exactly this. When Posh Living was called to help in this process, we were elated. Not knowing what was in store for us, we began our journey with a positive attitude and energy to help the Suggs family. This journal chronicles our days working on the Suggs new home, although I shorten some of the entries for this article, it still conveys our experiences working on this Extreme project.
Day 1 – Tuesday, January 5th
Submit entry forms to Extreme Makeover – Home Edition via www.extremehorry.com. We submitted several entries from staging designer to window workroom and reupholstery. Thank goodness we do an array of designing!
Day 2 – Wednesday, January 6th
Kerry Ann receives notice via email that we have been selected to “Head Up” the window treatments for this project! Yes! We are ecstatic to say the least!
Day 3 – Thursday, January 7th
We get “the list “of items to be fabricated by Posh Living from Lisamarie. Wow! Boy do we have lots of sewing and volunteer recruiting to do over the next 11 days! Get ready South Carolina.
Day 4 – Friday, January 8th
We are emailed that the design team meeting will be Monday. No more specifics are given. They will be in touch. Posh Living’s workroom will be focusing on the sofa slipcovers & other more complicated items. Volunteers will help with more simple flat panels, roman shades, throw pillows and bedding.
Days 5-6 Saturday & Sunday, January 9 & 10th
The calm before the storm. Kerry Ann & I do our own research on the Extreme Design Team. We decide to follow Ty Pennington on Twitter to see where he is and if he will give any information on the SC home. We soon realize that there is another house in progress in Texas. He is flying back & forth to work on both house projects.
Day 7 –Monday January, 11th
Design meeting day changed to Wednesday. Knowing we will be installing on Saturday or Sunday…. This creates a little concern on our part.
Day 8 – Tuesday, January 12th
A normal work day at Posh Living.
Day 9 – Wednesday, January 13th
Our scheduled meeting with the design team is set for the morning. We arrive at the shop ready to head to Loris and then we receive a text message from Lisamarie. Meeting postponed until 3pm. An hour later, another text. Can you come now? It’s 1pm. We call our upholsterer, grab our supplies and head to Cane Branch Rd. We go through security and park next to the production trailers. We meet at the “design producer’s” trailer. We are cramped into a small room to brain storm on our project list. Deciding last minute on pillow sizes, fabric selection, bedding & window treatments.
We head to the house to take field measurements. Paige walks by in her pink construction gear. No time to stall for a photo op! We still have furniture arrangements, drapery fabric selections and design details to work out. The fabric for the drapery is not the right color! We take it with us anyway hoping we can move forward with fabrication.
Day 10 – Thursday January 14th
Change of plans for the main drapery fabric! Design team checked color with the paints and need to re-order. We must work on pillows and bedding while we wait on the replacement fabric to arrive. Ann, Senior design producer emails us that Ty loves our fabric idea for the Master Bedroom! It’s a go! We will be supplying our fabric for the master bedroom. Our team of volunteers set up their equipment right in our showroom. Get ready to sew extreme ladies!
Day 11 Friday – January 15th
Business still continues at Posh as we juggle a large drapery install this morning, work with a photographer for an upcoming Ad and oh yeah direct our volunteers for the Extreme makeover! Ladies start showing up for work at 10am and we continue with the bedding and pillows. Our volunteers are enjoying the camaraderie. We are emailing back and forth with the design team confirming measurements and details. The fabric we are waiting on is shipped to the wrong address. I am on the phone with UPS for two hours trying to locate it so we can have it in time. We need this fabric immediately because this is the main fabric for the Living room, Dining room and Kitchen window treatments. Can you spell STRESSED? After almost threatening the UPS customer support team we find out it has been delivered back to their distribution store. We send Tom & Donna to pick up the UPS shipment and head towards Wilmington to pass off to another volunteer. Last fire to put out for the night is the location of the Dining chair, so that we can start the slipcovers.
Day 12 Saturday – January 16th
We get a text late night Friday that the dining chair is at the Hilton instead of the house. My sister Emily & I head to North Myrtle Beach. Call from Kerry Ann, pick up 5 ½ yards of vinyl for Steve to wrap the corner posts in the “workout room.”
Our seamstresses have the fabric cut, ties made and are ready to start the slipcovers. 12 Volunteers are sewing, cutting, filling and cleaning. All items were being made. We have another run to Lowe’s for the Roman shade metal weights and wood for the new valance that got added last night.
Green fabric equals “extreme pain”! It takes hours to complete the last throw pillows for the Living room and Master bedroom. We need to find a grey fabric now! We send Khrissa, a volunteer & former Posh Living intern to locate the perfect fabric for one of the boy’s rooms. She doesn’t let us down! We are ready to make the pillows and throw.
Late night: The master bedroom panels need to be pinned, ironed and needing last “blind hem” on finished edge that meets the floor. Swag panels for the bed! They are cut, pinned and hemmed! Roman shades are measured, mounted to the 1”x1” board, valance applied and metal rod installed. It is midnight and the extreme sewing team is done.
Day 13 Sunday – January 17th
It’s Sunday right? Wow, about 5 hours of sleep I think and it’s time to get moving again. We need to string the roman shades, pick up slipcovers & chairs and then head to the home in Loris. We arrive at the house and it is flooded with local volunteers to help. Our trucks are unloaded and we are ready to install! We start in the Master bedroom then proceed to the Kitchen & Living rooms. It’s like we are sleep walking and communicating our thoughts to Lisa Marie & Ann is challenging.
Day 14 Monday – January 18th
I got more than 4 hours of sleep last night. This is nice! My son is still with the grandparents, so getting ready to head out is quicker than normal. We arrive at the house at 11am and they are ready for us. We start hanging the swag on the master bed, gathering it just so. The ends cannot touch the floor, so we do a quick alteration with double sided foam tape and voila! Just as we are finishing up, the tech crew has been setting up and I hear “Ty is here.” He walks in the Master bedroom like he owns the place. They are arranging an Art piece made in the last 15 hours before the reveal. It’s an emotional piece with meaning for Amanda. Meanwhile we are concerned about a change we made with Ann and need to ask Ty if he wants to use the tiebacks we made. Ty is confused as there is only one panel per window, not two. Yikes! As I explain to him what we did Kerry Ann pipes in “Ty see how these tiebacks are going to look.” Kerry Ann places the modern tieback around the panel just so and Ty leans his head to the right. “I like it!” “Great” says Ty. Whew! We finish up and head outside for the “reveal.”
Hurry up & wait. This is Hollywood people and this is how it works. Let’s all stand around for 3-4 hours waiting for the bus to move. Let’s shoot the scene without the family. Let’s get the crowd going….move that bus, move that bus, move that bus. You feel you are part of something great, something special. Finally the limo arrives with the family and everyone is near tears or crying. The final “move that bus” and the family is overwhelmed by what they see. Welcome home Suggs family! There’s nothing better than a happy ending.
As we walked the house for the last time I felt a calmness in my heart because we helped to build a future for the Suggs. I felt a warmth because this is a home, not just a house. There is no better feeling. In this life you can be a giver or a taker. Our community showed what it means to be the giver and what can be accomplished when people volunteer to help others. My best wishes for the Suggs family.Copyright 2009 by Layla S. Altman. May not be reproduced without permission.
For more information about Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, visit Episode 720 on the show’s website .