Community//

“5 Things You Can Do To Help Your Living Space Spark More Joy” With Candice Georgiadis & Tamara Day

I believe that kindness and acceptance can change everything. Choosing to love even what you might not understand is the start to making a difference in the world. You never know what struggle someone might be going through and choosing kindness and love and acceptance makes all the difference. As part of my series on […]

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and though they are reviewed for adherence to our guidelines, they are submitted in their final form to our open platform. Learn more or join us as a community member!

I believe that kindness and acceptance can change everything. Choosing to love even what you might not understand is the start to making a difference in the world. You never know what struggle someone might be going through and choosing kindness and love and acceptance makes all the difference.


As part of my series on the “5 Things You Can Do To Help Your Living Space Spark More Joy”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Tamara Day

Interior designer Tamara Day, is the host of HGTV’s hit show “Bargain Mansions” and owner of Growing Days Home, a 2,500 square foot retail store, showroom and design studio in Prairie Village, Kansas. As a busy wife and mother of four, Tamara’s “laid back luxe” style is synonymous with blending glamour, comfort and family into the look and function of the spaces she designs. On Bargain Mansions, Tamara brings old Kansas City mansions back to life with modern design, function and style — giving these large, neglected homes a second life for families to enjoy for years to come. She has redone everything from great big houses to little homes, transforming them into a beautiful blend of original character and modern amenities.


Thank you so much for joining us in this series Tamara! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I’m thrilled to be joining the series! Growing up working on my family’s farm in the Midwestern plains of Salina, Kansas, my passion for all things design and restoration came at an early age. I inherited my “do-it-yourself” attitude and hands on skills from my father and Bargain Mansions co-host, Ward Schraeder, while helping him maintain and refurbish the homes we lived in growing up. I never thought that the years of hanging sheetrock as punishment for missing curfew would eventually lead to a career of transforming run-down properties into gorgeous dream homes.

In 2008, my husband and I bought our first true “bargain mansion” — a neglected 5,000+ square foot 1980’s foreclosure with a lot of hidden character that we transformed into our forever family home. We originally planned to enlist the help of hired contractors for the renovation but the economic crash of 2008 left us with little wiggle room financially and caused a change of plans. With my husband working fulltime, I was chasing after three toddlers around-the-clock, and I decided to take on the project myself. I rolled up my sleeves with a baby strapped to my back and the others crawling around the playpen, and poured my heart into our home working 12-hour days for months. From sanding down floors to tearing down rotting walls and wallpaper, I did it all.

Sticking to a tight budget when it came time to decorate and furnish our home, I visited local estate and garage sales to seek out diamonds in the rough. I purchased a combination of old and new furniture and décor pieces that I would then breathe new life into by sanding and painting them in our driveway to fit my vision. Long after I finished furnishing our home, my newfound passion for restoring furniture landed me a space at our local market where I sold my specially curated pieces. Eventually I outgrew the space and relocated from the market to open houses at our home where over 1,000 people would visit in a single weekend to walk through and buy anything they saw on the first floor. This is where my interior design, furniture, décor and lifestyle brand, Growing Days was born — a clever play on my name, thriving businesses and growing family.

In 2013, with a new baby making her debut, I decided to take a break from selling vintage furniture to stay at home with my four children. My loyal Growing Days shoppers eventually came calling in need of my interior design and home renovation expertise. I started small, taking on a few clients at a time, however I eventually found myself with yet another rapidly growing business, in full-service home renovations.

In 2019, I opened Growing Days Home, a 2,500 square foot retail store, showroom and studio in Prairie Village, Kansas. Expanding into retail allowed fans and shoppers to visit from all of the country or order online to take home a piece of my style. Today, in addition to selling furniture, accessories, home furnishings, original art and much more, Growing Days Home offers an e-design service, which allows clients to virtually work with me and my team to custom create a design at a fraction of the time and cost of a traditional in-home consultation. We work with just about any room, style, and budget to help clients select furniture, accessories and artwork, and decide the perfect placement.

My career as a designer was kind of a ‘take me by surprise, little by little’ path. I always loved design and building things, but I didn’t know it was a career path that I could follow. As I got older and a little wiser, I started turning my passion into a business and before I knew it, I was living my dream. You never know where life will take you.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

Without a doubt one of the most interesting and exciting things that’s ever happened to me was being contacted by an HGTV producer who wanted to make a TV show about what I was doing. I’m still blown away.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Oh goodness, just one? There were so many mistakes along the way, but I like to think of them as learning opportunities. Some of the most difficult situations have led to the most growth in my business. One of the funniest things that’s happened in a while was when my dad and I were cleaning up a fireplace and he got a bit too aggressive with it and the entire thing came tumbling down! It was the only time I have ever been bleeped on TV! It was truly an oh s%&^ kind of moment that scared us both.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

I have so many fun projects happening right now. From the six houses that I’m renovating around Kansas City for the next installment of my TV show “Bargain Mansions” to client projects through my design company, Growing Days there are so many exciting projects and even a few top-secret projects as well. I hope that through my design, people are inspired and realize that great design doesn’t have to be out of reach — it can be attainable but aspirational all at the same time. Never be afraid to try something a little bit outside the box. That’s when really good design becomes great. So just go for it!

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

My favorite life lesson quote is “perfection is the enemy of done.” Just like with great art, sometimes you can overthink design. Sometimes walking away and letting something be a little imperfect is actually exactly what the design needed.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

There have been so many people along the way that have helped in my career, from great designers that have inspired me, to friends that have supported me, but at the end of the day without my mom and dad teaching me everything I know, I wouldn’t of made it anywhere. My dad taught me everything I know about construction and my mom taught me everything I know about being a mom and between the two of them, I learned how to do both very

Thank you for that. Here is the main question of our discussion. What are your “5 Things You Can Do To Help Your Living Space Spark More Joy” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

Five things to help your living space spark more joy… what a fun question. I like to say there’s a fine line between a collector and a hoarder, and I like to walk that line very carefully.

-Every room should have a little bit of sentimental value. Whether it’s an heirloom handed down from family, a plant that you’ve been nursing and caring for years, or that special something that you saved your pennies to purchase, it’s important to have something that you consider valuable.

-To me, being comfortable in a space equals joy. I am known for creating a “laid back luxe” style, which is synonymous with blending glamour, comfort and family into the look and function of the spaces I design. A couch you can curl up on or a blanket to wrap up in definitely makes me happy.

-Books, books, and more books! Every single room should have books. They tell the story of your interests, they add color and personality to the space and they’re a really great way to display a fun accessory that you love.

-Sunlight through a window.

-A little bit of a mess in every room means that the people I love live here. Even though it may not be perfect, that room means home which to me equals joy.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I believe that kindness and acceptance can change everything. Choosing to love even what you might not understand is the start to making a difference in the world. You never know what struggle someone might be going through and choosing kindness and love and acceptance makes all the difference.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this, especially if we tag them 🙂

I’ve always said that when I grew up I either wanted to be a mom or Martha Stewart. So if I could spend a morning walking through Martha’s gardens or making breakfast in her kitchen that would be a dream come true.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tamaraday/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TamaraDayHGTV/

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational!

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Community//

“Select the right materials” With Candice Georgiadis & Diana Viera

by Candice Georgiadis
Community//

Lesley Hughes-Wyman: “Daily acts of kindness.”

by Ben Ari
Community//

“Bring joy.” With Candice Georgiadis & Lisa Queen

by Candice Georgiadis

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.