Brian And Mika Kleinschmidt From 100 Day Dream Home Talk Creating An Oasis - Exclusive Interview

Most homeowners undergo a renovation expecting it to take several months to complete. For Brian and Mika Kleinschmidt, 100 days is all they need. As the hosts of HGTV's "100 Day Dream Home," the couple builds, from the ground up, a home that perfectly fits their clients. And while a deadline of just over three months seems like a quick turnaround for construction, it's a process the Kleinschmidts are well versed in.

The two got their start building spec homes in St. Petersburg, Florida. "We had partnered with a contractor in the St. Pete area, and we did a couple [of] investment properties," Mika says in an exclusive interview with House Digest. "We did do a renovation, but the new construction sites made sense as far as being able to control and manage the projects and picking out all the finishes and getting it done quick[ly]."

Now, at the start of the 4th season, Brian and Mika have set out on a new adventure. Season 4 of "100 Day Dream Home" starts out with a two-episode special in which the couple renovates a 12-room hotel, a challenge they excitedly welcomed after focusing on new construction for the majority of their careers. Brian and Mika talk about their show and creating a dream home, even if it's not in 100 days.

100 days is still a challenge

For most people, 100 days seems like a pretty short turnaround to build a house, but your viewers know that you get it done routinely. How do you prioritize the projects to meet those deadlines every time?

Mika: For sure. There's a couple [of] factors, and we're counting construction timeframe, not any permitting or anything on the front end. We do have a formula of when we need to order certain supplies because of lead time. Then we also prepare our clients. Not everyone will be a good fit for the show if they're indecisive. A lot of times we're upfront with them and let them know, "We might need two design sessions. They might be three or four hours apiece, but we need to collect all your finishes on the front end so we can get things ordered."

Brian: Like Mika said, we start the 100-day clock once we break ground. Nobody wants to watch the permitting process on television. We also have private inspectors that we bring in. That does help expedite the entire timeline. Also, we have a great production and construction crew that has produced what we've been doing for four seasons now. The biggest thing is all the sub[contractor]s work on the same page, and electricians don't mind being in the same house as plumbers and HVAC guys. A lot of times in the normal world, they want the entire house to themselves, so [teamwork definitely] gets it done. ... A lot of teamwork and a lot of prayers. A lot of praying.

Are there any challenges you still face trying to complete a project in 100 days, despite being so experienced and having four seasons of the show?

Brian: Yeah, and we try to highlight the realness of it, so you're actually going to see on Season 4 where we go over 100 days. We, unfortunately, have hurricanes and challenging weather in Florida, and even though one didn't hit us directly during Season 4, it hit south of us; it did directly impact us with subs and materials being rerouted down south, so you'll see that entire ordeal unfold in Season 4.

Every home needs an oasis

The two of you won "Rock the Block." What are some things you learned in that process?

Mika: Ooh, so "Rock the Block" is different for us. Competition makes the stakes and the tension a little bit more intense. We were okay with the timeline, but it was challenging trying to stay focused and not worry and be intimidated by the other teams, because we had some really tough competition on our season. You don't really have time to peek and see what they're doing, but at the same time, you're definitely wondering about it and worried about it while you're doing your thing.

Brian: The biggest thing is we were still filming Season 2 of our show, so we were working on all those houses, plus we were building our personal house, all during the renovation process of "Rock the Block." If you watch our show on Season 2 and "Rock the Block," you'll notice some of the design decisions were very similar, because we were designing at the exact same time.

That seems like a lot to have on your plate at one time.

Mika: It was. We survived it, but it was definitely challenging.

Speaking of the home that you built for yourself, you built this dream home. In an interview, you said that all homes should have an area that feels like an oasis. Do you have any advice for homeowners trying to add an oasis to their home?

Mika: What "oasis" means is, especially doing the construction, you have the opportunity to create the energy that you want to feel in a space, starting from scratch. It's important to throw [in] a little bit of your personality or color palettes that make you happy or relaxed, whether it's an indoor oasis, or in Florida, a lot of times, it's the outdoor areas that we like to hang out in. There's always a way to create that haven where you feel comfortable and at home.

Brian: The goal of our house is we wanted to make it feel like we were on vacation even when we are home, and I think people can do that no matter where they live. It's so funny because sometimes we'll go on vacation and we're like, "Man, you know what? I wish I was home right now," because it really does feel like vacation when we're at home. That was the goal.

While many homeowners might not have the same quick turnaround [as] on "100 Day Dream Home," no one wants a project to go on forever. Are there any home projects you would suggest homeowners tackle first?

Brian: It depends on the scale of the renovation. If they're doing a massive kitchen remodel along with other stuff, I would prioritize what you're going to be using most on a daily basis. You probably should not live without a kitchen for too long, so probably that one first. You got to figure out if you want to shower more or eat more, with the bathroom versus the kitchen. Exterior stuff and bedrooms — [you] should probably put those a little bit after the necessities of the house.

They find inspiration on social media

You commissioned theme songs from songwriters on TikTok for each episode this season, and TikTok has been a great platform for sharing DIY and décor trends. Have you seen anything you absolutely loved from other designers and decorators on the platform?

Mika: Yeah. We've gotten so many ideas, and I'm not too proud to say I steal ideas. I'll see something that's awesome—

Brian: We share, not steal.

Mika: We share; we're inspired. Sometimes, on our show, I take homeowners to houses to get inspiration. I need inspiration as well, to stay up with the trends. There's a lot of multifunctional areas that we're going to highlight in these new homes, where something will have [a] double use that's a surprise — things that are functional. Brian and I have always focused on, yes, we want it to look pretty, but we also want this to work for the family, and it's something that is going to add value to the home.

Brian: The beauty of social media these days is how creative the world is and how quickly ideas can go around the world. We're not too proud to look at ideas, just like people look at our ideas. We're flattered, and I know the people we borrow ideas from are too.

A hotel was an exciting new project

This season of "100 Day Dream Home" has a special episode at the premiere, a 12-room property. What was the most challenging aspect of trying to tackle that in 100 days?

Brian: We were so excited to branch out from residential and knock out a commercial project. It's actually the first two episodes of Season 4, called "100 Day Dream Home: Beachfront Hotel." [A big] challenge with that was the potential hurricane that was on its way, but a bigger storm that we had was the hotel owners were already taking reservations, so we literally did the reveal, and the next day, guests were checking in. That was massive pressure that we had for the hotel.

How has renovating a commercial property differed from renovating residential ones?

Mika: We focus primarily [on] new construction. We love new construction. It's kind of our niche, and you can calculate certain things. Renovation of this hotel that was 75 years old was a lot of unpredictable factors that we didn't find out until we started doing [the] demo. I won't say that one's better than the other, renovating versus building from the ground up, but I still think building from the ground up is easier.

Brian: Most [of the] time you see us on "100 Day Dream Home," we're just building one kitchen. The hotel had 12 kitchens, 12 bathrooms — it's everything times 12, including the stress.

Are there any other projects from the upcoming season that you're excited for fans to see?

Mika: I would say all of them, because they are evolving with the show, and [we're] taking the field trips with our clients, so we're highlighting a lot more local businesses in the community, which is very exciting. I love supporting locals. [We're] also sharing the stories, taking the focus off being the hosts of the show. We want the viewers to see the story of the homeowners and why they need to build quickly and what homes they're living in now. The behind-the-scenes is going to be a little bit more relevant this season.

This interview has been edited for clarity.

Season 4 of "100 Day Dream Home" premieres tonight, May 12, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV.