Brady “kids” slinging sledgehammers on “A Very Brady Renovation” a blast on HGTV

 “The Brady Bunch” stars helped bring the Studio City sitcom home to life with “A Very Brady Renovation” now airing on HGTV. The “kids”– Barry Williams (Greg), age 64, Maureen McCormick (Marcia), 63, Christopher Knight (Peter), 61, Eve Plumb (Jan), 61, Mike Lookinland (Bobby), 58, and Susan Olsen (Cindy), 58,– strapped on tool belts and had a blast slinging sledgehammers for the groovy reno project. 

HGTV’s “A Very Brady Renovation,” reunited the Brady kids—(l. To r.) Susan Olsen, Mike Lookinland, Eve Plumb, Christopher Knight, Maureen McCormick, and Barry Williams. (Photo courtesy HGTV)

 The exterior view of The Brady Bunch home used in the classic sitcom was just a shot of a Studio City house where a different family lived. The interior of the Brady home was created on Stage 5 at Paramount Studios where the show was filmed. The stars never stepped inside the home in Studio City until HGTV bought the house last year and invited the Brady “kids” to help recreate every beloved detail from their childhood on TV. They also added surprising personal creativity to the special home renovation show A Very Brady Renovation on HGTV. 

 A groovy premiere party for the launch of the four-episode miniseries (which premiered September 9) was held with the stars, production team, HGTV home improvement experts, VIPs, and this reporter joining the media on hand. The celebration took place September 5 in North Hollywood at The Garland Hotel (the boutique hotel created by actress Beverly Garland), just a few blocks from the Brady home on Dilling Street.

Lloyd Schwartz,Maureen McCormick (photo by MargieBarron)

 The Brady Bunch ran for five seasons starting in 1969 and was created by Sherwood Schwartz. Along with the kids, the sitcom starred Florence Henderson and Robert Reed as the parents of the blended family, plus Ann B. Davis as the housekeeper Alice. Sherwood, who also wrote the Brady theme song (and created Gilligan’s Island!), did the Brady Bunch with his son writer-producer Lloyd Schwartz. Lloyd was at the party as the producer of A Very Brady Renovation and noted his dad would have loved to see his show still being appreciated 50 years after its debut.

 The retro show gives a look at how the “Brady” house was overhauled to look like the home fans saw on television. Even with help from HGTV’s master renovators—Jonathan and Drew Scott (Property Brothers), Mina Starsiak and Karen E. Laine (Good Bones), Leanne and Steve Ford (Restored by the Fords), Jasmine Roth (Hidden Potential), and Lara Spencer (Flea Market Flip), it wasn’t an easy fix. But the massive, six-month remodeling process of the ’70s-themed house is fascinating and very nostalgic.

HGTV reno stars with Brady kids

 In the first episode “Honey, We’re Home,” Maureen McCormick walked into the house for the first time and said, “This looks like nothing we know. This is the house we’ve never been to, the home we never had. We spent all our time on the Paramount soundstage.” Then by the end of the renovation she gushed, “This was the place where we spent five years. The house now feels exactly like that place.” 

 The transformation took a two bedroom, two bath house and gave it a 2000 sq.ft. addition to feature 15 individual recreated “Brady” spaces. Each episode of the series has incredible “reveals.” Special details that die-hard fans will remember were recreated with the help of the cast. Eve Plumb re-imagined two paintings for the den. And Susan Olsen helped redesign the wallpaper in the girls’ room and the boys’ bedroom. Other details, furniture, and nicknacks came from superfans who wanted to help furnish the beloved home. 

 Christopher Knight said, “The house was a one-story, split-level that we had to somehow shoehorn a two-story into it and make sure we had that iconic staircase everyone remembers.” Maureen added, “My favorite memory was the entire Brady family standing on those stairs.”

Margie Barron at “A Very Brady Renovation” premiere party at the orignal Brady Bunch house in Studio City, California

 HGTV/Discovery Channels bought the property last year when the house hit the market. Kathleen Finch, Discovery Chief Lifestyle Brands Officer, and Jane Latman, HGTV President, are happy that it all worked out to create such a special series. The Property Brothers, Jonathan and Drew Scott said, “It took a whole heck of a lot of work to make it look like the Brady house hasn’t changed at all.”

 Tune in A Very Brady Renovation on HGTV. (Photos courtesy HGTV)

Margie Barron has written for a wide variety of outlets including Gannett newspapers, Nickelodeon, Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine, Fresh!, Senior Life, Production Update, airline magazines, etc. Margie is also proud to have been half of the husband & wife writing team Frank & Margie Barron, who had written together for various entertainment and travel publications for more than 38 years.