Becca Tobin has a famous friend and a very smelly surprise to thank for her Southern California dream home.
The actress, 32, and her husband, Zach Martin, bought their Los Angeles house two-and-a-half years ago, thanks in part to a certain Glee co-star.
“Jane Lynch actually lives up the street from me,” Tobin tells PEOPLE exclusively. “She would have really fun things at her house. I always felt like it was this sweet escape. I kept an eye on the specific street we live on, and we saw that there was a house that came up for sale.”
She adds, “We weren’t even really looking, but I just knew that it was pretty rare for houses in our price range to come up for sale on this street, so we jumped at the opportunity.” (Lynch also officiated their 2016 wedding.)
While they loved the space, a nightmare-come-true would cause them to undertake a full-scale renovation. Tobin had just finished filming the pilot of LadyGang — the E! show based on her popular podcast of the same name — with co-hosts Keltie Knight and Jac Vanek, when something truly terrible happened.
“There was a crew of fifty people here for the day and my house was built in 1936, so it has old pipes,” Tobin tells PEOPLE of filming her show, which airs Sunday nights at 10:30/9:30c. But it wasn’t until days later, she was faced with the consequence of hosting a full-fledged production in a 100-year-old house.
“A couple days after we wrapped the pilot, I walked down into the guest bedroom, and I just noticed a really, really terrible stench,” she says. “The toilet exploded.”
The nightmarish scene isn’t for the weak stomached. “Things came out of the toilet, out of the shower drain, and essentially destroyed the lower level of my house. Thank goodness for production companies having insurance.”
After a serious clean up, Tobin, along with her husband, decided to look on the bright side. Collaborating with interior design app Hutch and creative online marketplace Society6, the couple decided to renovate their Laurel Canyon house into the California bohemian home of their dreams.
“First, the men in the hazmat suits had to come and remove every piece of furniture, Tobin says. “We gutted the whole thing.”
Other choices proved much harder. “I have a really terrible imagination when it comes to decorating a space,” Tobin says. “I can look at something and say, ‘I love the way that looks,’ but it has to be physically in front of me.’”
The virtual staging service that Hutch provides allowed them to choose between various options. Next, the couple started looking for new art. Society6’s vast collection — with art from over 300,000 artists — let them find new pieces that fit the space.
“We had a lot of artwork in my husband’s old house in Atlanta, which was this big warehouse space with really modern cement floors,” Tobin says. “So we have these really loud, big pieces, which are beautiful. But for the space we’re in now, it was a little bit overwhelming. We wanted something more calming.”
Tobin says the couple surprised themselves with the art they chose from Society6.
“I feel like it completely transforms the space. I never in a million years would have put that up myself, but I just love it. It’s simple, it’s neutral, it’s calming,” she explains.
Other highlights of the renovation include redecorating the built-in shelves, reorganizing the laundry room with some help from California Closets and infusing their own style while remaining true to the house’s architecture.
“There’s so much history here,” Tobin says. “We have all the original windows in the house. Original floors upstairs. We just have so many things that have charm, and so whatever we chose had to enhance what we had in the space.”
While Tobin passed hosting duties over to co-star Keltie Knight, she still uses her home to host the LadyGang.
“We actually have the LadyGang screenings at my house with the girls,” Tobin says. “They come over every Sunday night and we watch LadyGang together. It’s just become a really awesome space.”
LadyGang airs Sundays at 10:30p.m. on E!