Tamara Day's Journey To HGTV Bargain Mansions Fame

Tamara Day may be a successful TV star now, but she hasn't always been accustomed to the spotlight. Her show "Bargain Mansions" first appeared on DIY Network and then HGTV for three seasons before coming back to DIY, now rebranded as Chip and Joanna Gaines' Magnolia Network. As of this writing, "Bargain Mansions" is in its sixth season, where Day continues to take large, run-down homes and turn them into estates one can only dream of.

Day works alongside her father, Ward Schraeder, in the series. Together, they reinvigorate foreclosed properties, which is a nod to Day's origin story in renovation. According to People, Day first got a taste of the fixer-upper life when she would help her father fix things around their family farm as a child. But it wasn't until adulthood that Day would truly understand what it takes to turn something drab into something amazing, and thus the beginning of a brand new career would begin.

Tamara Day's first bargain mansion almost didn't happen

Tamara Day married her husband, Bill, back in 2000. The couple had shared experiences in flipping, so when they set out to purchase their first home, they decided to go all in on a fixer-upper. The home, which was big enough to be called a mansion, was meant to be their forever home and the place they would raise their children. With no intentions of doing all the work themselves, the Days planned to outsource the majority of the contracting work — until the recession happened.

With the economy in the gutter, Day initially told her husband they should sell the home as it was and move on, but Bill was adamant about keeping it. Instead of outsourcing the work, they began to tackle the renovations themselves. Day managed to do everything from the floors to the walls herself, but when it came to designing and furnishing, she had to get creative.

Tamara Day's career in design began with furniture

With no budget to furnish or design the home she put so much work into, Tamara Day decided to head to estate sales. With her three sons in tow, she would scour the sales, finding pieces that could make their home beautiful. "Our weekly routine was to spend Thursday-Saturday walking through estate sales and garage sales, buying a mixture of old and new pieces and then I would spend the weekdays painting/sanding in the driveway," Day said on her website. "This is where my passion for restoring furniture began."

After her own home was complete, the urge to create gorgeous furniture remained. Day started hosting furniture sales in her home, garnering over a thousand visitors each time. She created her business, "Growing Days," which eventually turned into a full-fledged design and renovation firm. Her business was picked up by DIY Network, and the rest is TV history. Today, Day and her family, which now includes another child, a girl named Nora, have found success in the home space while still remaining a close-knit family unit.