Motel Rescue's Lindsey Kurowski On The Crucial Renovation Lesson She Learned On The Job - Exclusive

No matter what you find yourself doing in life, nobody starts off as an expert when trying their hand at something new. So even renovation experts like Lindsey Kurowski, host of Magnolia Network's "Motel Rescue," have made shortsighted design decisions that forced them to learn a valuable lesson while on the job. In an exclusive interview with House Digest, the roadside motel owner provided details on how a seemingly sound ceiling reno resulted in unexpected upgrades and expenses.

"When I purchased the Oak Knoll Lodge, the first thing I did was realize how low all the ceilings were. With all the magazines I was reading, I wanted open-concept, high ceilings," Kurowski explained. "I stuck my head up in the attic and saw I could extend the lobby another six feet or so in the rooms; I could open this up and have another six or eight feet on the ceiling. I did that right away — took down every ceiling, vaulted it, made it look gorgeous."

Stunning newly raised ceilings, a rustic-yet-chic mountain getaway in the San Bernardino Mountains, and a revitalized business opening its doors to the public — what could possibly go wrong?

'Then winter rolled around'

Unsurprisingly, Lindsey Kurowski's sleek upgrades to the Oak Knoll Lodge — including the raised ceilings — were an instant hit. However, by the time the first snowflakes fell on the region, the brash young designer learned an important lesson. "Then winter rolled around, and I realized that it was cold in the rooms. My biggest learning curve was [that] they did these drop ceilings to help keep the heat in," Kurowski said.

Thankfully, the updated ceilings ended up working out for the designer's first major commercial acquisition. However, some serious upgrades were required to keep her guests toasty in their rooms. "You should still vault your ceiling, but I did learn you need to check the capacity of your heating system before you vault the ceiling, because you may also have to up whatever kind of heater you have," Kurowski explained. "... That was a major learning curve, but I'd still do it. It's worth it. It's a little more expensive in the winter."

"Motel Rescue" premieres on Magnolia Network on May 29 at 8:00 p.m. ET (with new episodes every Monday) and streams on discovery+ the same day.