The actress’s older sibling and her family, which includes husband, Tom, and the couple’s four children, were basically “busting out the windows” of their three-bedroom, one-bathroom house, according to Bell, 36. So she took it upon herself to team up with online home design and renovation resource Houzz to surprise Sara with a spectacular makeover of her underutilized basement.
“She’s honestly superwoman,” Bell says in a clip (above) from the website’s video series, My Houzz, which is produced by Ashton Kutcher, who designed a space for his mom in the first My Houzz makeover. “I have been wanting to do something like this for my sister for a very long time.”
Because Bell lives in Los Angeles and her sister in Detroit, the Frozen star relied on designer Melissa Kennedy from Meadowlark Design + Build and her brother-in-law to help incorporate Bell’s vision— which included a convertible games table for her nephews, space for Tom and Sara to kick back and watch TV, and a bedroom for her 11-year-old niece, Lucy, to call her own.
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“I specifically chose the basement because it’s a lot of wasted space and for some reason the kids don’t want to go down there,” she says.
But with a little design savvy and a few sledgehammers, Bell’s crew was able to transform Sara’s outdated and unfinished basement into a multipurpose zone that makes smart use of every square inch of space — and the final reaction from Bell’s sister made all the weeks of effort worthwhile.
“There isn’t one thing I said I would change,” Sara says. “Nothing.”
For the full details of Bell’s sweet surprise, watch the full episode of My Houzz here.