Home makeover shows have flourished since Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in 2003 became a primetime TV hit by showcasing renovations done for families in need.
Welcome Home taps into the design-makeover vein but with a slightly different twist. Hosts Rob and Treger Strasberg run a non-profit organization called Humble Design in Pontiac, Michigan, dedicated to helping families who are overcoming a difficult situation and finally moving into a place of their own. Each episode features a home makeover using Humble Design’s decorators and donated household goods.
In one episode, for example, we meet Marinna and her five kids who had moved from South Carolina to Detroit. Marinna lost her job, bills piled up, she got evicted and they were all sleeping in her car. But now she has turned her life around (we don’t hear the details of that) and the Welcome Home team is swooping in to “design with dignity.” A big white bow on the door greets Marinna for the big reveal moment. She and the kids cry, laugh and get excited. There’s a sweet moment where hosts Rob and Treger point out the family photos hanging on the wall, saying that a home is not just about new furniture or new paint, but the people who live there and the bond they have.
Kudos to the Strasbergs’ Humble Design organization. Since 2009, they’ve fully furnished more than 1,000 homes in Detroit and Chicago and are now headed to San Diego and Seattle.
Ann Oldenburg ©2018 Parents’ Choice
Ann Oldenburg, lecturer and interim director of the journalism program at Georgetown University, writes about television, food, workplace issues and other pop culture topics. A University of Florida Gator with a degree in journalism, she began her career at The Washington Post and spent more than two decades with USA TODAY. She and her husband have three sons and live in McLean, Virginia.