Home TV: 'Home Rules,' Not Enough Space for Hipster Couple

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Did you catch HGTV's "Home Rules" Tuesday night? We did. Don't worry, we'll tell you what you missed.

Life coach Fran Harris laid it on thick to another couple having troubles: "If your life is a wreck then so is your home." Because "Home Rules" is not only about renovating some lucky couple's home, it's also about fixing the family's problems before renovations begin. And before the contractors renovate the family must earn it.

Episode 6: A Couple Adjusts to New Lives as Parents & Landlords

The Setup:
Simon and Jen have both a new baby and a new house. Sounds good on paper. Except they renovated their cramped brownstone home so the upstairs could be rented out as an apartment to help pay their mortgage. Guess what? Their tenants left them high and dry -- they not only left in the middle of the night but also left the upstairs apartment a complete disaster. The ceiling is falling in and leaking. The wiring is completely screwed up.

Basically Simon and Jen no longer have that extra mortgage and renovation money to do the important repairs. While the entire house is left half-renovated, each room triples as another room. And in the tight space, Simon, Jen and the baby are constantly on top of one another. Basically, the couple (who met while traveling in Australia) now have found life very complicated -- sure they can fix their house, but can they fix their relationship?

The Prescription:
Fran's solution is to have the couple sit down and create a plan together. She wants them to think of renting out their apartment in the same way as running a business. By working together, and really listening to each other, the couple will learn to trust each other. With that done, the builders are ready to swoop in and start knocking down walls. The upstairs apartment is transformed from a two-bedroom into a three-bedroom so the couple can make it more appealing. The builders also create a separate entrance for the renters so the couple will have more privacy. Meanwhile, Simon and Jen interview potential tenants and get down to business as landlords.

The Conclusion:
On day eight the renovations are done. With the help of the designer they have transformed the couple's cramped brownstone into a sophisticated, modern space. Much like their relationship, it was all about space and communication. When Fran returns one month later she finds the couple still thrilled to be in a space where they can relax and find clarity.


Read other "Home Rules" reviews or see our coverage of HGTV's "Tough as Nails" or "Selling New York."
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