Building a house from the ground up can be a very complicated process — just ask HGTV’s Alison Victoria after her most recent project. The design star faced several challenges and stressful moments while renovating her new home in the series Windy City Rehab: Alison’s Dream Home.

Alison took a huge leap of faith when she decided to convert her 6,700-square-foot warehouse into a living space. It formally served as her office. She purchased the 1930s property six years ago, not knowing that it would one day be more than just her place of work. 

“It was like, ‘What could I do with almost 7,000 square feet and 30-foot ceilings?’” she said ahead of the show’s premiere. “’How can I make this come to life in a way that’s the dreamiest, sexiest way possible?’ And that was it. I started putting the plans together and started dreaming it up. And it still doesn’t feel real.”

At first, she had to get special approval to turn the office into a residential space. In a clip from the show posted on HGTV’s Instagram account on Tuesday, August 1, Alison described the renovation as the “toughest project” she has ever done. 

“I’m going to put it all on the line, everything I’ve ever wanted, every penny I could ever spend. Every hurdle I could overcome,” she added. “I’m going to design the biggest, the baddest, the sexiest live-work dream home I could ever imagine. When I’m done with this space, there will be nothing like it in Chicago.” 

Throughout the home transformation, there were multiple times when Alison broke down in tears and was overwhelmed by small mishaps. Still, drawing up a plan to build her own personal oasis in Chicago was well worth all of the headaches and blips along the way. 

“I was ready to leave Chicago,” she confessed. “I was like, ‘I’ve been through a lot here and it’s just time for me to go.’” 

The Battle on the Beach host drew inspiration from her travels to Europe when it came to designing each room of the home. French doors lead out to a huge courtyard that transports guests from Chicago to the Italian coast. Now, Alison has never been happier and is thrilled to have her own place in Chicago to call home. 

“Last night, I was sitting there just sitting by the pool and I’m looking up at the stars through the skylights, just thinking, ‘I deserve this. All the stuff I’ve been through, this is my time. It’s my turn,’” she reflected.