We had the chance to speak with Raluca Urlea, from Whitby ON after she won the beautiful lakeside home for her and her family. She shares her favourite room of the house, her feelings during and after the challenges and what it took to win it all!
Were you surprised when you were contacted to be a competitor on Home to Wim?
The moment was surreal for me to say the least. We were surprised and humbled to be chosen out of so many.
How did you feel seeing the home for the first time? How did your family feel?
The home is incredibly beautiful. Our excitement level was through the roof just driving up. Once you lay your eyes on it you’re just in awe. It was an overwhelming experience for us all to see the home. The beautiful workmanship, design and attention to detail left us speechless. In that moment, you start to realize that winning this home is an actual possiblity!
How were you feeling after the 1st day of challenges? Were you nervous going into the next day, with the final challenge?
After the first day of challenges, I was feeling on top of the world. It was such an exciting fast-paced day. I was slightly nervous going into the next day of challenges, but mostly confident. The first two challenges were so creative and fun, I was also a little excited to see what they would come up with.
How were you feeling when you heard that you had 3 hours to complete the Bunkie challenge?
If I was watching the show from home, I know I would think that three house is more than enough time. But hearing the list of all of that had to be accomplished and then hearing we only had limited time was scary. I was feeling very anxious at this point.
What was going through your mind during the three-hour challenge? You finished with a good amount of time left remaining, where you spent decorating your Bunkie and adding the finishing touches. What was going through your mind when the last half hour was called?
During the challenge, I experienced a full range of emotions. I started off on a really bad note and I just kept making mistakes after that. I was in a bit of an overdrive and even had a moment when I thought I would quit. Having my five minutes with Mike Holmes really went a long way for me, his calm, positive energy and suggestions really helped me take a step back and focus. It was exactly what I needed. From that moment on, I approached the challenge as a different person. I let my creativity out and really enjoyed the challenge and was happy that I had the last bit of time to make all the details perfect.
when they called the last half hour, I took a look at how far I had managed to come in that short period of time and felt really proud.
What do you love most about the home? What do your kids love most about the home?
The house and the property are so incredibly beautiful that it’s hard to pick just one favourite. I would say for myself and the kids, the waterfront and the play room are our favourites. I loved the look on their faces when they got to experience all the nature around them – they didn’t want to leave either area, so that’s a pretty good way to know they love it.
What are your favourite HGTV Canada shows?
What’s the first thing you plan to do, now that you have won?
I think it will take a little time for it to truly sink in that we have won. We will definitely celebrate with our loved ones. I would also like to squeeze in some sleep if possible. I’ve been in go-mode for a couple days now, so a little rest definitely won’t hurt. After that, we will start taking a serious look at making the move to our new place.
What was your favourite room makeover from the show?
The kitchen was my favourite room makeover. They took a plain kitchen and turned it into a spectacular room to be filled with memories. I can just picture meals there with my kids, teaching them to cook and love and laughter coming from our family and friends as we share meals and prep in there. The whole room is just incredibly warm and welcoming.
What does this home represent to you?
This home represents hope. It represents a future for us and our children where we can spend time together as a family and build incredible memories. It gives us the opportunity for things we could have never imagined we’d be able to offer them. It really is a dream come true!