More or Less {American Dream Builders} Episode #5

You guys!!! I LOVED this week’s episode. When I got the photos of the homes last week I was drooling and couldn’t wait to get started on the post. There was one house out of the four that stood out to me as the BEST. And I had so much fun recreating it on a budget.

I know last week’s post was for episode #3 and if you are confused as to why this week is #5, that is because they had a bonus episode on Monday last week. And because it takes me 2-3 days to find items that match the room, make the collages in photoshop, link to all the products, and write the post, I chose to only do one of the two episodes last week.

Here are the links to the previous posts in case you missed them:

Episode #1

Episode #2

Episode #3

When I get the sneak peeks, I don’t usually know who the designer was for that room. I know which was team red and which was team blue, but the person who is responsible for each space is a mystery until I watch the actual episode on Sunday night. But this week since they did it differently, I knew who the designers were for each house. I did NOT know what the judges thought. I made notes about each house as I was looking at the pictures for the first time. I wrote what I loved and what I didn’t like. And it was so fun to watch the show and see the judges point out the same things that were in my notes. And my FAVORITE house ended up being Nate’s favorite house. And that my friends, is one of the many reasons why we should be BFFs :)

I am going to quickly give a run down of the notes I took about each house. Super quick and then I will show you the area I picked to recreate on a budget.

Elaine and Darren

This was a close second for me and since my first fave didn’t win, I was glad they did. That living room really was amazing! I did wonder if the rug crept into the kitchen too much and I worry that grease and food could get on that lovely gray chair that also seemed really close to the kitchen. I wasn’t wowed by the landscape but once I watched the show and realized that Darren didn’t get his order of plants it made more sense. I think he did a great job with what he had. That is a valuable skill. This next thing may have to do with the fact that I live with 5 guys, but I would never want a dining space that close to a bathroom. Enough said.

Jay and Nina

I wrote down that they had way too much furniture in the living space and I hated the couch facing the wall. And guess what? So did the judges. Which is really a shame because Nina’s style is superb. I did LOVE the dining space as far as the furniture and styling but again, I would not want to eat that close to the toilet. The bedroom was a home run. I really liked the color scheme in the whole house.

Dan and Vanessa

First of all, I actually liked Vanessa’s light on the porch. It was unique and a pretty good plan B if you ask me. But…. that living room was all over the place. I usually like eclectic but it didn’t seem to mesh well. I LOVED the wallpaper cut the way it was and facing different directions. That was one of the first things I noticed in the photos. I absolutely adored the desk area. I thought is was a brilliant use of that space. And their breakfast nook was cute (and not right outside the bathroom). I was sad to see Vanessa go home. I really liked her and think we could totally rock building furniture together.

Lukas and Erinn

I saved my favorite for last!!! Maybe it is because “Modern Country” is kind of my own personal style or maybe it is because they really did just knock it out of the park, but this house blew me away. Out of all the spaces I thought they had the best furniture planning. This wasn’t mentioned in the show, but they were the only ones that provided an outdoor eating space. Another thing that wasn’t mentioned was that because of their living spaced being laid out the way it was, it made it so they could open both doors and have an indoor/outdoor living room. I LOVED that! I loved every. single. room. And their dining room space was the farthest from the bathroom (are you sensing a pattern with me?) which was good. Their kitchen and dining space was probably my favorite and since I haven’t recreated those type of spaces before I thought I would tackle them this week.

more or less

American Dream Builders Episode #5

Before we get tot all the details, let’s admire their up close.

Modern Cottage Kitchen

I now want to rip down all my upper cabinets and have open shelving! It looks so clean and fresh.

I will admit I was not a huge fan of the flooring. But it would hide dirt well I guess :)

Modern Cottage Eating Nook

The Table

I was able to find the same table used in this space which is pictured top left.  It is from West Elm and wasn’t a bad price considering the mid century modern style (remember episode #2?).  It is priced at $499. The one next to it is priced at $347 and the bottom one is $189. I think round tables are awesome for tight spaces.


(Top Left: West Elm    Top Right: Carolina Discount Furniture      Bottom: Wendy Furniture)


Since I just purchased tolix chairs a couple of weeks ago, I was happy to see these in here. They make me happy no matter what color or finish they are.  But I love that these are white since they match the kitchen and are a nice contrast to the darker table. These type of chairs can be pricey. The one on the right that is the same as in the room I was able to find as low as $90 for a set of two.  The metal stacking chair on the left is a bit different but a good price at $170 for a set of four.



(Left:        Right: Meijer)

Light Fixture

I liked that the light was over sized and hung low. And I love drum shades as much as the next person, but it was nice to see the cone shape shade. I found one that was really close. It has a silver inside but other than that it is spot on. It is priced at $269. I found another over sized cone light but with a different texture/color of shade. It is more affordable priced at $49 and I think it would work just as well.


(Left: Shades of light         Right: Bellacor)

Side Board With Drawers

I loved the chippy white piece behind the dining room table. And honestly I think it would be best to search yard sales, Craig’s List, ebay, etc to find something truly vintage. You will get a much better deal too. You may have to alter it a bit or fix it up, but isn’t that part of the fun? But for those of you how would rather just click a link, buy it, and have it done with, I have found a cute version for $259 that is pictured on the right.


(Left: Etsy, Junk From My Trunk        Right: Wayfair)


The faucet was very unique and added a modern touch to the cottage kitchen. I assumed it was bought at Lowes since they are a sponsor so I looked there first and found it right away. I looked to see if I could find it or something similar for cheaper and I couldn’t. I found similar ones going for $250+ while this one was $199.




I think shopping for the little touches in this space would have been fun! And the best part is, that none of them are too crazy expensive.

The cutting board:

The one on the top right looks the most like the one in the room to me and is only $19.99. Even though the darker one on the right is a little different I am a sucker for walnut. It is priced at $41.65 and is hand crafted. The other one is $20 as well.

cutting boards

(Top Left: Nisbets     Top Right:  Etsy, Foodie Bords    Bottom: Etsy, Knotty Pine Designs)

Tea Kettle:

The tea kettle is a Le Creuset enamel kettle and they sell for $124 brand new. If you are okay with a gently used one, you can find them on Ebay for around $50.

tea kettle

(Left: Amazon  Right: Ebay)


I loved the water hyacinth basket on the shelf! Here are a couple of options. The first one is from West Elm and costs $24. It has handles like the one in the picture but is a different material. The second is a closer match and is about $32.


(Left: West Elm     Right: IVG Stores)


Luckily all white dishes are both easy to find and (can be) inexpensive. I liked that not all the dishes on the shelves matched. It would be fun to collect dishes over time as you visit thrift store, antique stores, and flea markets. But here are some options if you want to buy now. The bonjour cow plate is the exact same one and is only $4.49 from Kirkland’s.


(Top Left: Macys       Top Right: Big Kitchen      Bottom Left: World Market      Bottom Right: Kirklands)


Fresh is best in my opinion, but if you want a floral arrangement that will last longer than a couple of weeks, this one is yellow and cheery like the show and is only $55 from Wayfair. Rosemary is easily accessible at your local nursery or Home Depot in the spring and summer months. It smells yummy and you can cook with it too. The artichokes that are on the shelf are artificial and you can get a set of 6 for $49.99 online at Home Depot ($8.33 each). The next cheapest price I found them was at $13 each so that really is a good deal.

accessories(Top Left: Wayfair      Bottom: Home Depot)


I love jars in every shape and color. I have them everywhere! I have some of the jars pictures on the right. They are inexpensive and I have found them at Walmart and Target and World Market. If you live in a humid area and are planning on storing food in them you will want jars with a rubber seal. These big jars from Crate and Barrel would be great.


(Left: World Market    Right: Crate and Barrel)

Hand Towel:

I found some crazy expensive kitchen towels people! But luckily I also found some good deals. The one on the left is most like the towel in the picture and sells for $8 each. The other is from World Market and sells for $4 each.

hand towels

(Left: Iron Accents    Right: World Market)

Cabinet Hardware:

I actually have these drawer pulls in my kitchen and I love them. I have the ones pictured on the left only when I bought them they were a little less. I can’t remember if they were on sale or what but I didn’t pay the $6.41 per pull. But it has been awhile ago. The other option has a slightly different finish but is priced at $1.85 each.


(Left: Home Depot           Right: D. Lawless)

Did you watch last night?  What did you think of each of the homes?  Which one was YOUR favorite?


Share your thoughts :)

More posts:

Episode #6

Episode #7

Episode #8

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  1. says

    I LOVED seeing what they all did with a blank canvas this week. I also thought that Elaine made HUGE strides in making an effort to get along with her teammate. She usually gets on my nerves a lot, and I thought she really improved.

  2. says

    Loved last nights episode! I love the pieces you chose from last nights episode–just goes to show that everyone can decorate just like they did!

  3. says

    Love, love, love that kitchen and I’m slowing getting caught up on the episodes! Such an awesome show and I’m loving your series Stacy!

  4. Liz H says

    I don’t even watch this show, but I LOVE this series on your blog! It is great that you track down all of the accessories and “little touches” that make the rooms so interesting.

  5. Cyndi Lynne says

    Does anyone who how a homeowner can enter to have their home featured on the show to get a make over? I would love to enter my home!! Thanks in advance.

  6. Susan M. says

    I loved the unit done by Lucas and Erinn! But I’d be happy to snuggle in to Elaine and Darren’s. Makes me giggle a bit to find out that these are being sent to a campground.

    So nice that Elaine seems to be minding her p’s and q’s – so much more enjoyable to watch.

  7. says

    Hi Stacy – Did I hear correctly that Nate said “pops of color are over?” Was he just being picky of the blue pillow and orange throw to which I completely agree? (to me they weren’t pops of color – they were items with random colors.) Or was he serious? There is no way I can let go of pop of color, even if Nate says it is so. I just can’t. Please tell me it’s not true!!!!! Can you ask him to recant his statement to the world? Pretty please? For me? Hugs, Holly

    • Sharon says

      I’m Sure he was being sarcastic. (or making a reference to what she have been thinking- not that he agreed with it)

  8. says

    Fantastic series, Stacy! (Such a great idea to pitch it to the producers of the show.)

    I loved Lukas and Erinn’s house the best. They seemed to have the most style and creativity. (Of course, that doesn’t always appeal to the masses…)

  9. Heather says

    Thank you so much for posting this! It is so helpful having a source list. I am trying to find out information about the area rug and blue chairs in the living. Thanks for your help!

  10. says

    As much as I don’t LOVE Elaine..just from past episodes, she really worked it out this week with Darren! I also LOVED Lucas and Erinn. The feel of their home felt so homey and warm. LOVED every piece. :)

  11. Jennifer Lane says

    Since you did such an AMAZING job with finding items just like they used in this episode, I was wondering if you had any ideas on the shag rug and chairs in the living area? I just love them both!!