scam is low,” she said. “I was just anticipating it being a waste of my time and I didn't really put much into the first meeting because there's nothing else like this in Kansas City.” Five years later, Day now has filmed 28 episodes of “Bargain Man- sions” that reach a national audi- ence through HGTV’s DIY Network. Covering anything from home im- provement to landscaping, the DIY Network is in more than 53 million homes across the United States. “My youngest son told me that I have the coolest job of anyone

he actually knows, except for (former Kansas City Royals first baseman) Eric Hosmer,” Day said. “It constantly surprises me when somebody says I'm inspiring them and that they are being impacted by what I'm doing. It’s been a huge blessing in my life, in my children's lives, and my husband’s as well because they get to see that there's really no limit to your dreams.”

ral Kansas helped cultivate Day’s design style. “My appreciation for design comes from the lack of design in my own home growing up,” she said. “I remember babysitting for families, and I'd go in and say, 'Someday I'm going to have a house like this.'” While her parents were keen to fix or build most anything on the farm, aesthetics were often an afterthought, Day said. That lack of design has shaped not only her style but also a penchant for thriftiness. “My parents were spending their

money on sheetrock and two-by- fours — they didn't have highly designed spaces,” she said. “There was hand-me-down furniture and that sort of aesthetic in our homes. They were always very cozy and homey when I was little, but that made me really appreciate beauti- ful spaces.” Thanks to such experiences, Day’s style has evolved to become what she calls “laidback luxury.” “It’s affordable, attainable but aspirational,” she said of her style. “We all have something special that we love and want to incorpo- rate into our design. Maybe there's an item that you just really aspire to have be a part of your home, but just because you put that one fancy item in your home doesn't mean that everything else has to be at that same level. Having a mixture of things that are attainable is important and makes it something that a family can live in.” AMISSION BEYOND DESIGN An unexpected joy from her tele- vision show is the positive impact it’s having on young women, Day said. Too often, girls are pigeon- holed into societally imposed inter- ests and careers, she said. Through “Bargain Mansions,” Day hopes to empower women to work toward their dreams whatever they are. I get messages from moms and little girls all the time just saying ‘Wow, I want to be like you,’” Day said. “It's been eye-opening to me what a difference it makes to them.” Just as she initially steered away from a male-dominated industry of construction, Day hopes to now serve as an example to girls and women that they can thrive in the industry. “When I grew up, I didn't know that I could swing a sledgehammer. I didn't know that girls could be in construction. It just was not on my radar growing up,” she said. “So to hear from little girls that this show

CRAFTING HER OWN STYLE In addition to a can-do attitude and solid work-ethic, life in ru-

Photo courtesy of DIY Network

is giving them the confidence is really awesome. Having a mind- set of anything's possible and not being afraid of messing up is really important.” •

Bobby Burch is the Founder of Bobby Burch Creative, a small business storytelling studio. Learn more at bobbyburchphotography. com and contact him at

The "Belinder House" renovation in Leawood, Kan. | Photo courtesy of Nate Sheets

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