Chelsea and Cole DeBoer, who previously starred on Teen Mom 2 together, are making their return to television with their newest home improvement show on HGTV Down Home Fab. Nerds & Beyond had the chance to catch up with the DeBoers to chat about their favorite HGTV shows, why now was a perfect time to return to TV, and drawing influences from their home state, South Dakota.
Lots of people grew up with the both of you on Teen Mom, now you guys are married with four kids, and you’ve just renovated your own home. Why was now the time for the both of you to return to reality television?
Chelsea: I was never against ever going back to any kind of reality TV after Teen Mom and that whole experience. I feel like it just made us realize we needed to have certain boundaries. And I just feel like HGTV is such a positive environment; it’s such a positive channel. It’s like an easy watch, and that’s what felt right to us.
Cole: Right. I feel like when we left Teen Mom, we didn’t really know we were gonna be on TV again. We didn’t know that the opportunity was going to be there, so there was really no plan.
You guys have discussed how the show came to be. You sent a DM to HGTV, not thinking they’d read it. At Nerds, we are big believers in the phrase “shoot your shot.” Has there been a moment filming the show you didn’t know if something would work out, but it exceeded your expectations?
Cole: I feel like there were a couple of selections. I’m not going to share too many details because it could be in other episodes coming up. But yeah, there were some selections. You know, when you’re making selections for another person’s home, you’re sometimes —
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[Chelsea cuts in] You’re literally shooting your shot!
Cole: You’re shooting your shot and just hoping that they like it! So there’s always that moment before reveals that you’re a little bit panicked. So yeah, I think the entire process is kind of like shooting your shot.
The pandemic influenced a lot of people to take on their own DIY projects! You both were in the midst of building your dream home when that happened, did you feel like it allowed you to be more creative with your home improvement projects?
Cole: Yes and no. I mean, it was a crazy time, and we got in just in time, so we could get a lot of materials, and we could do the things we wanted to. There were a few things that were kind of a no, but I feel like we had more of an opportunity to kind of step outside the box with a lot of things.
Chelsea: Well, also, in the world, it was at a standstill. So all you’re doing is sitting at home looking at inspiration and kind of diving into that whole thing. And so I guess I’ve never really thought about it, but that is one of the reasons we could really jump in and immerse ourselves in everything home design. Really, that’s the only thing we had going on. We had our house that we were living in, and then we had our house that we were building, and that’s what we would do.
You guys live in South Dakota, a beautiful state, visually and culturally. In your design processes, how much does that factor into your projects for clients? Obviously, a lot of it is listening to them and their wants/needs, but how much do you kind of pick from the local scene?
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Chelsea: I think it’s definitely a mix and match and also just feeling the person. I like kind of South Dakota roots. I love a good Buffalo art piece or something hunter-related or cowhide that’s, I feel, very South Dakota of me. But a lot of people do like similar stuff around here, but I mean, there are other people who are totally not into that, so you have to be a little bit careful of where you sprinkle the South Dakota.
This is a new environment for both of you, which means that you’re relying on teams of sub-contractors and builders to help the two of you bring your visuals to reality. But, correct me if I’m wrong, you guys are using the same team that helped you build your own home, right? How is it getting to collaborate with them on these projects?
Chelsea: I mean, so fun. Honestly, they made the experience of building our house so easy and enjoyable. So when we could continue working on projects with HGTV, we immediately were like, “We have the team that we trust, that we work well with, and we also have fun with them.” So it was just like the perfect combination!
Cole: Yeah, for sure. We knew we could trust them, and they do great work, so it’s kind of a no-brainer. We just went to them, and you know, we were like, “Hey, we got this opportunity, what do you guys think?” And they were all in.
Are you guys avid HGTV watchers? Do you have any favorite shows you guys take inspiration from or enjoy watching?
Chelsea: We’re always watching and gathering inspiration from whatever show is on, but I love Fixer to Fabulous, Rock the Block, and Married to Real Estate. I mean, we’re avid HGTV watchers!
Cole: We always watch Fixer Upper, like, always.
Chelsea: We’re superfans of HGTV [laughs].
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If you guys were called in to help renovate a celebrity’s home, who would your dream client be?
Chelsea: We’ve been asked this so many times that I need to think about this outside of an interview because I never know what to say!
Cole: And honestly, I’d be pretty nervous.
Chelsea: Not even to be cheesy, I prefer small-town families over celebrities. I think that’s why I have a hard time thinking of like a celebrity that I would love to do because like the heart and soul are these smaller-town families, and their stories have been so amazing, but I guarantee I’m going to think of someone good as soon as we get off.
Cole: With these small-town families and people, it’s like their home is their everything. You know, some celebrities have multiple homes, so maybe they’re like, “Oh, that looks cool, I’m going to go to my other house.” But with these families, it’s their home. It’s their sacred place, and it means everything to them. So that means a lot to us.
Catch the first two episodes of Down Home Fab on HGTV.