The transformation of the “Brady Bunch” house to its original look is well underway! And, in the third episode of “A Very Brady Renovation,” the crew focuses on the heart of the home: the kitchen.
Re-creating the Brady kitchen proves to be a tough task, requiring the efforts of many of the now middle-aged Brady “kids” as well as various HGTV designers pitching in. Here’s how they pull it off in the episode titled “Orange You Glad It’s Avocado?”—and some lessons they impart that could apply to our own abodes (even if we don’t happen to crave that ’70s look in our own home).
Colors set the mood
This episode is all about the colors that give the house (and kitchen in particular) its signature Brady look. That’s right, we’re talking about bright orange and avocado green!
The pressure is on because it’s important to get these colors right.
“Without green and orange, you don’t have Bradys,” says Susan Olsen (who played Cindy Brady).
So, it’s all hands on deck with Eve Plumb (who played Jan Brady) and Leanne Ford (of “Restored by the Fords”) working to find just the right shade of green for the kitchen chairs.
Meanwhile, Steve Ford (also from “Restored by the Fords”) works to re-create the orange countertops, and “Good Bones” stars Mina Starsiak and Karen Laine hunt for the perfect green fridge.
These colors definitely provide a bold look, turning an otherwise simple kitchen into a serious statement. And while people these days might not use orange and green in quite the same way they did in the ’70s, it goes to show that colors really have power when creating the mood of a house.
While white tiles and stainless-steel appliances may prove a safe choice these days, a little exploration with color might be just the ticket to brighten things up.
Add the counter color to the backsplash, too
When the “Brady Bunch” actors see the kitchen, they’re amazed at how well the team matched the room to the original set. This included the signature orange laminate, which was used for the countertops and, yes, the backsplash.
“I didn’t even realize the orange went all the way up the backsplash,” Plumb says as she walks into the finished kitchen.
While backsplashes are often designed to look different from the counters below to add personality to a kitchen, the bold colors here are personality enough—so it makes sense to streamline the look with a matching counter/backsplash combo instead.
Expand windows for more light
With the kitchen complete, the crew moves onto housekeeper Alice’s room. When Lara Spencer (of “Flea Market Flip”) and Plumb explore the space, they know that the layout isn’t quite the same. They have to move the entrance, get rid of some sliding doors, and take out the last owner’s decor to make it look like Alice’s special sanctuary.
“The people who sold this house to HGTV had lived here since 1973, hence this fabric headboard,” Spencer says, pulling back material and revealing a hidden window.
Why would the previous owners cover up this window? Probably because it’s so awkwardly small; the tiny, rectangular window is barely big enough to let in light.
Spencer decides to improve the window by making it bigger. And it proves to be well worth the renovation effort: This larger window complements the original layout of Alice’s room, but also allows the space a brighter, more open feel.
In the end, the room looks just like it should.
“This looks just like the set,” Plumb says.
Shop for the right lawn
Next, Starsiak and Laine meet up with Olsen to pick out the right artificial turf for the backyard.
“We want it to kind of look like it did on the show,” Starsiak says, “but actually be functional and good-looking for today.”
As Olsen admires how soft and realistic the turf samples are, she demonstrates how well-made artificial turf can, in fact, look and feel real these days. And it’s so much easier to maintain!
Add stonework in the backyard
While there are lots of great features in the backyard (like that iconic Brady seesaw), perhaps one of the best is the stonework on the back of the house.
“There’s lots of stonework going up on the outside walls,” Starsiak says, “which will make the backyard look amazing.”
When the yard is finished, the stonework adds extra texture to the backyard and looks just like what the Brady kids remember.
So, is this ‘Very Brady Renovation’ up to snuff?
By the end of this episode, the kitchen, Alice’s room, and the backyard are looking pretty groovy. Stay tuned next week for our recap of the season finale—and to hear what the Brady kids really think of the house now that it’s complete.
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