The home renovation show that produced more tears than teardowns just got a reboot. HGTV’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” premiered Feb. 16, mimicking the original 2003-12 run that was a colossal hit on ABC.
The show’s surefire story arc remains: Struggling families living in substandard housing clobbered by yet more bad luck are plucked from obscurity. The heartwarming clincher — they selflessly give back to their community despite their plight.
Toss in three high-profile designers, a winsome host — in this version, “Modern Family” star Jesse Tyler Ferguson — a thousand volunteers, ubiquitous sponsors to foot costs and, voila!, the family has a whole-house renovation or a newly built property after the old one’s been demolished.
Oh, and all that’s accomplished
Throughout the Brooklyn neighborhood of Clinton Hill, there are pockets of wonderful 19th-century American architecture. Artist Ethan Cook and designer Wray Serna live on one such block in an 1892 building recently renovated by D+DS Architects. “They did a really good job with the renovations,” says Ethan. “We liked the high ceilings, the moldings, and all of the original touches.” D+DS used passive house techniques throughout the building in order to reduce each apartment’s carbon footprint.
Moving into this blank-slate apartment provided Ethan and Wray the opportunity to fill it with their collection of art, design, and family heirlooms. Ethan started collecting art a few years ago and now has many pieces from friends or from trades with other artists. “I love having art and I love living with art,” he says. Other people’s art, that is. There are only two of his pieces in the front room—a
On any project she takes on, designer Julie Kantrowitz of JK Interior Living likes to make the home feel like a sanctuary. But in a recent renovation, that goal had added meaning. For an episode of the NBC show George to the Rescue, where host George Oliphant leads renovations for deserving families, Kantrowitz was tasked with creating a living space for a family battling two medical conditions.
The Hymans, a family of five in New Jersey, have a five-year-old daughter, Cameron, who was diagnosed with Sanfilippo syndrome, a rare genetic disorder without a cure. Just days after Cameron received her diagnosis, her mom, Christina, was diagnosed with breast cancer. The past year has seen Christina undergoing cancer treatment while the family helps Cameron navigate the regressions in speech and movement resulting from Sanfilippo syndrome. Needless to say, any home renovations were not top of mind—but having a functional, comfortable place
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