Watch these celebs surprise their families with home makeovers
New web series starring Kristen Bell, Ludacris and more will bring a smile to your day.
Shows like "Fixer Upper" and "Flip or Flop" have led to a ratings bonanza at HGTV. Indeed, the home improvement channel was the third most popular network on cable television last year.
Millions of people are drawn to the shows' predictable narrative arc, where each episode ends with tears of joy and new hardwood floors. The trend goes beyond television. Actor Ashton Kutcher surprised his mom with a home makeover for a YouTube video that ended up going viral. He made the video with the help of home improvement site Houzz, a company he has since invested in.
Houzz was launched in 2009 by a husband and wife as they were redecorating their own house, a 1950s ranch in Silicon Valley. The experience led Alon Cohen and Adi Tatarko, both Israeli entrepreneurs, to start Houzz – an online community centered around design remodeling that has 1,000 employees and 40 million monthly visitors. “People ask us if it’s hard to work together,” said Cohen, a graduate of Tel Aviv University. “We tell them it’s nothing compared to remodeling.”
After the success of the Kutcher video, the site decided to launch a web series called "My Houzz." Each episode documents a celebrity as they surprise a close family member that made a difference in their life with the gift of a renovation, using Houzz throughout their journey. So sit back, grab a hammer and a cup of coffee, and enjoy each of the episodes below...
Actress Kristen Bell shocks sister with basement remodel
The series kicked off earlier this year with "The Good Place" actress Kristen Bell surprising her sister Sara with a secret basement renovation to her home outside Detroit. "A little sister always looks up to her big sister, no matter what age you are," the younger Bell said. "And I want her to be happy. I want to please her. I want her to think I did a good job."
Actress Mila Kunis' surprise renovation for her parents
Kunis, who watched her husband Kutcher film an episode, was more than happy to sign up for the series. “I wanted to give my parents something special because of all they’ve done for my brother and me, but I knew I couldn’t do it by myself,” Kunis explained. “By using Houzz’s technology, I was able to pull off an incredible surprise remodel for them while nine months pregnant. I did everything from behind my computer: found an amazing designer, shared ideas and bought everything from the Houzz Shop. It feels really good to see my parents so happy in their beautiful, new space.”
NBA star Kyrie Irving secretly remodels his dad's New Jersey home
Kyrie Irving, who was on the 2016 NBA championship-winning Cleveland Cavaliers, wanted to give back to his dad, who taught Irving how to play basketball. The renovation was even more emotional for the point guard because it was where he himself had grown up. "This is an exciting moment," Irving said, wiping away tears. "This surprise was a way for me to thank my dad for everything he has done for our family.”
Actress Jenna Fischer renovates historic family home for her sister
Fans of "The Office" know and love Jenna Fischer for her role as America's favorite secretary, Pam Beesly. What they may not know is the actress behind that iconic performance grew up in the suburbs of St. Louis and was originally considering becoming a lawyer. The home makeover in this episode took on increased import as it was a house that her grandfather had originally designed, and where her dad grew up. Her sister and brother-in-law have since purchased the house and now live there with their children. “Four generations of Fischers have lived in this house," the actress said, "so this renovation was incredibly special to all of us."
Rapper Ludacris secretly updates his mother's home in Atlanta
"My parents introduced me to hard work and dedication and that is why I am the man I am today. This surprise is my way of thanking my mom for all that she has done for me," said Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, whose episode coincided with Mother's Day. “The process was so easy – using Houzz, I found an amazing designer in Atlanta, my wife and I shared photos and products I knew my mom would love, and the designer pulled everything together perfectly. Every child wants to do everything they can possibly do for their mom to give back an ounce of what their mother has given them, and for me this is one step closer."
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