You may know Jasmine Roth as the host of HGTV's Hidden Potential, a show that turns everyday homes into design masterpieces. And now, you can tap into her wisdom anytime you'd like, thanks to her soon to be released renovation guide, titled House Story (October 12, 2021, Ten Speed Press). The book is jam-packed with tips on everything from defining your style to tackling DIYs and also features countless photographs, all from Roth's own projects.
Meet the Expert
Jasmine Roth is a designer, building, and the host of HGTV's Hidden Potential. She owns a residential development company, Built Custom Homes.
We spoke with Roth to learn a bit more about her evolving personal design style, favorite home design memories, and her love for hidden spaces.
Finding Her Own Design Style
Roth's own design style has evolved over time, and her aesthetic has been greatly influenced by the places in which she's lived, from childhood to today. Having grown up in Virginia, she was initially drawn to traditional styles, but time spent attending college in Boston also introduced her to Cape Cod elements. Moving to the West Coast shaped her aesthetic even further. "When we started building our first house here in California, I started coming up with this 'California Cape Cod' style," she reflected. "I was really into the industrial look as well—I thought that was kind of the edginess that we needed." Now, Roth has begun to gravitate to more modern, casual elements. However, "I still definitely have those traditional leanings," she said.
How to Decorate When Your Style Changes Frequently
Like Roth, many people witness their own aesthetic shift over time. So what's the best way to address the possibility of ever-changing preferences in the home design process? "It's a matter of identifying exactly what the things are about each style that you're drawn to and incorporating those items," Roth said, referencing the four core styles she outlines in her book: contemporary, cottage, traditional, and rustic. "You might like something in every one of those styles, and that's okay," she added. "It's a matter of identifying what it is that you like about each of those different styles and then going from there." This will help you better focus in on the elements that are most important to incorporate into their space in the long term.
When to Spend and When to Splurge
Most people can't splurge on every single item going into their home—so where is the best place to invest some extra cash and where is it wise to cut back? Roth encourages people to think about those items that they plan to keep for a long time and view these as opportunities in which to invest—a couch, mattress, and dining room table all fall into this category, she explained. Clients should also evaluate which items they may not want to have for the long haul. Throw pillows that may frequently be picked up or damaged by by children or pets are one example. And this comes with a fun perk for those who like to switch things up from time to time—replacing smaller items such as throw pillows is "a really easy, fun way to change out your decor regularly," Roth added.
The Room to Renovate First in Your House
When one has a whole house to tackle, which room makes the most since to address first? According to Roth, it's the kitchen, or "the heart of the home."
"Everybody uses the kitchen," she said, noting that of course, it's a complicated space to renovate given the many steps and components involved.
So, if this isn't possible, Roth suggested turning to the primary bedroom and bathroom, spaces that are often neglected until the very end of a renovation project. "[Clients] do their kids rooms, they do the garage, the do the exterior, they do the backyard, they do they kitchen—and then they have this beautiful home except for, you walk into the main bedroom and you're like, 'What happened in here?'" she reflected. However, Roth is adamant that such spaces shouldn't be neglected until the last minute. "I think there's something psychological behind about that—where as nice as it is, and as thoughtful as it is to have all of your other spaces done first, what you don't realize is that area is... where you start your day, where you end your day, and it's really important that it's giving you that serenity and functionality and happiness that you deserve." Tackling the main bedroom and bathroom shouldn't be seen as selfish!
Her Favorite Remodeling Project (So Far)
Roth was particularly thrilled when she finally had the opportunity to renovate a 1960s, mid-century modern home and incorporate two additions as well as solar panels. "Being able to integrate new technology with old architecture is really one of the coolest things to do in a remodeling projects," she noted.
In her new home, Roth greatly enjoyed being able to incorporate a hidden bookcase into the design "which has been a dream of mine for a really long time," she commented. Roth has long had a penchant for these types of nooks (an entire chapter of her book is all about hidden spaces).
Her Advice to Anyone Intimidated by Home Reno
What does Roth have to say to those who are nervous about preparing to undertake their first home renovation projects? "I would give them they same advice I would give anybody who's intimidated by something," she said. "If you have a plan, it's less intimidating." Figuring things out as one goes "is the worst thing you can possibly do, especially during home renovation," she added. Roth described the overall process as a puzzle. "Everything plays upon the next piece. If you don't have the first piece in place, nothing else can follow," she said. "So understanding what's going to take and having a plan is so important."
All photos reprinted from HOUSE STORY by Jasmine Roth. Copyright © 2021 by Jasmine Roth. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Photographs copyright © 2021 by Dabito