Carmeon Hamilton: Follow Design Principles but Break the Rules

On this episode of The Better Buy, Carmeon Hamilton shares how to “Elevate the Everyday” in any space from a rental to a home remodel.

Carmeon Hamilton featured on the Better Buy Podcast
Photo: Kim Thomas

The Better Buy, a new podcast from Better Homes & Gardens, explores all things home—from decorating and DIY to renovating and budgeting. Each week, we'll talk with homeowners from around the country about the highs and lows of home ownership, and share stories, advice, and practical tips you can put to work in your own home. We're on a mission to inspire and empower you to create your dream home. New episodes every Wednesday!

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On This Episode

Host Mélanie Berliet talks with Carmeon Hamilton (@carmeonhamilton) host of Reno my Rental on Discovery+ and HGTV. She recently became a homeowner but after years of renting she has plenty of tips for upgrading a builder's basic rental with lighting, paint, and more that she shares on TV and on her social media posts.

Meet Carmeon Hamilton

Memphis native Carmeon Hamilton is the interior designer turned reality show winner turned host of Reno My Rental. Her hundreds of thousands of social media followers know her mantra, "Elevate the Everyday," which she infuses into everything from her morning coffee to her design projects. "'Elevate the Everyday' is making things better for yourself or simplifying things to give you your time back … or [making] a moment special so you can slow down and enjoy the life that you've curated."

Advice from the Episode

Carmeon shares her advice for making a space your own including the power of a coat of paint.

Carmeon Hamilton

I don't trust new construction at all, like….I want something that's been standing for longer than 50, 60 years because if it standed the test of time for that long it can stand another 50, 60, 70, 80 years if you take care of it. But if you're the first person to kick the tires on something, you're the first person that gets to experience everything that goes wrong with it…

—Carmeon Hamilton

What She Looked for When Buying Her First Home

  • When looking for a home, Carmeon prefers to take on an older home and remodel it rather than new construction.

Carmeon Hamilton

The prettier things are, the happier we are in those spaces. Just thinking about walking into a beautifully designed restaurant for dinner or an amazing hotel for vacation, you immediately feel the difference when you're walking into these environments. So, I wanted people to understand how important that was for your home. Like as soon as you walk into your home everyday you should get that same feeling that you get walking into a boutique hotel or an amazing restaurant because those feelings should come from the places where we spend the most time. The better you feel in a particular place, the better you behave in a particular place as well, and the better you treat people in beautiful spaces.

—Carmeon Hamilton

On How Well-Designed Spaces Can Change Your Outlook on Life

  • The better you feel in a space, the better you treat people in that space.
  • Design has the power to impact your mood and environment.

Carmeon Hamilton

I was one of those renters that knew we weren't leaving in a year, so I actually made lots of decisions in our apartment that could have, I guess… gotten me evicted or lost my deposit. But I convinced my husband, like, we paid this deposit, we're gonna be here for who knows how long. The deposit is to pay for all of the stuff that we're changing anyway, so 'Why are we looking to get it back, like that money's gone. It's spent.' So, I hung floating shelves. I painted the island in our kitchen. I put holes in the wall to hang our amazing art collection. I painted an accent wall … in our walk-in closet, because it just made me feel better to walk into a blue closet than a beige one. All of those things were things that were easily repairable, or I could've put them back. I did swap out light fixtures, but I made sure I kept the old ones.

—Carmeon Hamilton

Design Decisions She Made When Renting

  • Carmeon recommends making a rental your own—even if that means losing the deposit.
  • A coat of paint can go a long way in making a space your own.
  • Add your own light fixtures but make sure you keep the old ones!

Carmeon Hamilton

Beginners can absolutely get their hands dirty with painting. It's very funny, I was with my husband almost 10 years exactly, like two weeks shy of 10 years, but he had never painted a room until last year. It was his room for shoes and his video games and where he hosted his podcast and all these things, so he wanted a new paint color and I just let him do it. But to see him struggle painting a room, I was like, 'Okay, this is clearly something that needs to be the baseline for the DIY community. Let's start with painting. And, this is a roller, and this is how you cut in, and this is how much paint you need to get on your roller when you start.' But once you get the hang of it, the world is your oyster because painting is the number one way to transform any space whether you're renting or owning.

—Carmeon Hamilton

The First Home Decor Project Every Beginner Should Tackle

  • The first project to tackle is painting.
  • Paint is the number one way to transform a space whether you're renting or owning.

Links and Resources

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