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Welcome Home, Monica Potter!
Monica Potter isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty. The Parenthood actress recently returned to her hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, with the goal of completely overhauling her childhood home alongside her mother, Nancy, and her sisters, Brigette, Jessica and Kerry, for the new HGTV series, Welcome Back Potter. While the “Before” shots showcase the disrepair the house was found in after years of neglect, the “After” photos highlight a modern home that still rings true to the family’s favorite memories, including those of their late father. “It’s actually a really spiritual place,” Potter tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue, on newsstands Friday.
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Although Potter’s parents sold the house in 1987, little had changed on the property near Lake Erie since the family left. A replica of the bench where “everyone and their date sat,” according to an exclusive sneak peek of the series, now hangs on the redesigned porch. “We used the [wood from the] old swing throughout the house for tables and accents,” Potter says.
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“We saved every little thing,” Potter says, joking that she was an “annoyance” to the entire crew. But the 45-year-old mom of three was dedicated to repurposing as much as possible. The redesigned entryway shed its 70s-style colors and carpeting, and now has the style and function that a modern family needs. The DIY coatrack was fashioned from a door that once existed in the connecting living room. “It never opened,” Potter says. “So we cut off part of the top and put hooks on it for people to hang their coats.”
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The living room felt dark and dreary before Potter and her family gave it a much-needed sprucing up. The actress says “pretty much everything we did,” was to honor the memory of her father, Paul, who passed away from a heart attack in 2004. Now this corner of the living space is full of life, with multiple shelves showcasing personal photos. “It’s a family affair,” Potter explains of the whole-house reno. “This is something that came from the heart.”
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Light and Bright
Opening up the living room wall to the outside was something Potter’s parents “always wanted to do,” but didn’t have the extra money for. Now, “You can see everything,” she says. “And I think my dad would have really liked that.”
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A Place to Call Home
If not for the grim "before" photo, it would be hard to imagine that this now-stunning kitchen was ever anything less than light and bright. Even better, it’s chock-full of DIY projects. “The lighting fixture is one of the easiest things to construct. We made it from recycled wood from our back porch,” Potter says. Although the renovations were extremely stressful — “We would fight every day . . . every day. I’m not gonna lie,” she says — she would definitely do it all again. “Now I know why we had to go back, in order to move forward.”
Welcome Back Potter airs Tuesdays on HGTV with back-to-back episodes at 11:00 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. from 10/11-10/24.
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