So when the born and raised Everett native won the grand prize of a $4,350 living room makeover, she didn't really believe it.
"I thought it was a scam at first," said Lucken, 28. "I said, 'What's the catch?' And they said there is no catch but I was a little leery for awhile."
But now that the living room of her 1910 Wetmore Avenue home has been transformed with help from television design star Tracy Hutson, Lucken is a believer.
Lucken was selected from hundreds of contestants as the winner of the "Stop Cleaning, Start Caring" contest sponsored by the Guardsman line of furniture care products.
She was selected in part based on a 200-word "love story" she wrote about her most prized piece of furniture -- a buffet hutch that she bought on Craigslist.
Lucken said she bought the modern-style dark maple wood hutch to hold her wedding gifts. Her recent marriage to husband, Ryan, 31, added to her appeal as a winning contestant.
Kristen Lucken also wrote in her essay about the sad fact that the hutch got a big scratch during its move. But that mishap turned into a windfall for the couple.
Part of the $4,350 grand prize included a full suite of furniture care products. The prize also included a $1,500 shopping spree and a six-hour design consult with Hutson.
Hutson is an interior designer, stylist and author and has been part of the design team for ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" since 2003, which has won two Emmy awards, according to her biography.
Hutson called Lucken a great pick as prize winner.
"Part of the reason for choosing Kristen was how she found her piece on Craigslist and how she had just got married" Hutson said. "It was a great story and I appreciate someone who is thrifty."
Hutson also said Lucken's living room had nice neutral colors and lots of big stable pieces to work with.
What the living lacked was color.
"I'm really passionate about interior design," Hutson said. "To me, it's important to feel good in the space that you live in."
On Monday, Hutson, Lucken and Carey Morgan, a public relations specialist with Guardsman, spent several hours shopping for just the right pieces to add pop to the Lucken's living room.
The shopping spree started at Greenbaum Home Furnishing in Bellevue where two throw pillows, embroidered with blue-and-green birds, became the inspiration pieces and foundation for the rest of the redesign.
Blues and greens became the theme and what sprung from there included candles, lamps, blue drapes and a large blue lighting fixture from stores such as Crate & Barrel and Target.
The living room's beige pallette turned into a tapestry of color as Hutson transformed the room of this two-bedroom home into a festival of floral prints and faux art pieces.
During the makeover, Kristen Lucken began to feel like a contest winner.
"This is pretty fun," said the Washington State University grad. "Pretty exciting."
Theresa Goffredo: 425-339-3424; email@example.com.
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