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Elise Kaiser, a frontline health-care worker in Seattle, recently won the HGTV Urban Oasis 2020 in Portland, ME (Image: HGTV)

Seattle frontline healthcare worker wins HGTV's Urban Oasis Dream Home

Everyone knows that HGTV is 'the' source for creative and inspiring design ideas for the home and garden. Seattle Refined has been there over the years to see them work their magic. From the 2018 HGTV Dream Home in Gig Harbor to the Ballard family whose mid-century kitchen remodel was featured in HGTV Magazine. We've even hung out with the local twin sisters-slash-design phenoms from HGTV's 'Unsellable Houses' show.

Now, a frontline healthcare worker from Seattle has scored the ultimate HGTV prize - a house! Elise Kaiser recently won 2020 HGTV Urban Oasis, a prize package that includes a new fully furnished home in Portland, Maine and $50,000 - for a total Grand Prize package that is valued over $650,000. We caught up with Elise to get the deets on this literal dream come true.

Seattle Refined: Elise Kaiser, you are healthcare worker on the front lines here in Seattle, and while you’ve been helping others - something phenomenal happened in your life. I understand it had something to do with the way you spent your time on the bus as you were going to work each day?
Elise Kaiser: It certainly did! I entered the HGTV Home Sweepstakes every morning, and it paid off - I won the HGTV Urban Oasis this year!

That is incredible news, how did you hear that you’d won?
It was actually via Zoom, a very 2020 and 2021 way of learning anything these days! I was supposed to have a Zoom Happy Hour with my sister, and when I got on the call, it was Brian Patrick Flynn - the designer of the HGTV Urban Oasis - there to surprise me.

What was going through your mind?
It was so surreal, and it still feels so surreal to this day.

Who was in on the surprise?
My sister Caroline. My fiancé was looped in but not completely, he thought I was a finalist for a competition.

How many entries were there for this - I mean it’s got to be astronomical!
Yeah there were over 74 million entries for this. I entered every day that I could.

Tell us about new home.
The home that I won is in Portland, Maine and it really is a beautiful home. It pulls in all the coastal color schemes and there are so many local artists.

How large is the home and how many bedrooms and bathrooms does it have?
It’s a three bedroom, two and a half bathroom home with a little over 2,000 square feet, and it’s perfect.

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We got to meet Brian Patrick Flynn ourselves in 2018, when he was here for the HGTV Dream Home in Gig Harbor. We got to see firsthand what a creative and talented - designer he is. How did he decorate your home?
The home has this really neat juxtaposition, it has this kind of open loft feel that they added on to the home that is also coupled with the vintage and classic furniture pieces that really ties it together so nicely.

What are your favorite spaces so far?
My favorite space is the kitchen. There’s this huge dining table that can be used for prep space as well as for entertaining. It really is beautiful. It opens up to the backyard which is also beautifully designed and landscaped to be this kind of indoor outdoor dining and entertaining space that’s just fantastic.

Is this your first home?
It is my first home. I rent an apartment here in Seattle.

Are you one of these lucky people that’s just constantly winning things?
I wouldn’t say I’ve had incredible luck with winning things in the past. I won a $6 jackpot bingo when I was a kid at a church fair!

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2020 has been a tough year for a lot of people and for you and your fiancé, it kind of foiled your plans to get married...
We were supposed to be married back in August of 2020 and then this coming May, we’ve actually postponed as well because of COVID. So winning this has just been a bright spot this past year for me, and I hope that my story is a bright spot for people as well because I know it’s been a really challenging year. People have been struggling and sometimes a little good news can really turn things around.

Will you be moving to Maine anytime soon?
For now Seattle is home, but the home in Maine is quite beautiful and I could see us spending there with vacations and holidays with families in the future.

Elise Kaiser congrats!
Thank you.

For more about HGTV, check out their official website.