'Clean House': Mark Brunetz takes on his 'Messiest Home' yet
This past spring, "Clean House" designer and author Mark Brunetz ("Take the U Out of Clutter") talked to Zap2it in the midst of working on the episode.
"I literally pulled in almost a full day of design yesterday," said Brunetz. "I got in at almost two in the morning. We're doing the 'Messiest Home in the Country' here in Lynwood, Ill."
Asked how this year's Hayes family compares to the mother-daughter Baglien clan last year, Brunetz said, "The last one, the Bagliens, was a ton of stuff. If you remember, there was denial, really strong emotion.
"This one is a ton of stuff, a 3,500-square-foot house, I would say, and a great family, an amazing family. It's a family of four -- Mom, Dad, teenage boy, teenage daughter -- that I think, at one point, maybe had a windfall. They owned bookstores, got really distracted with the business.
"The dad's a flight attendant with Delta for the last 20 years, spends two-thirds of the month away from the home, is constantly buying things to express his love for the family and stay connected. Then the mom had a bout with thyroid cancer.
"Cut to eight years later, you can't walk in the front door. It's just an accumulation of life circumstance, nothing really heavy like the last one, not a lot of resistance, not a lot of craziness, as you know.
"It's just a really good family who made a lot of bad choices, if you will, which resulted in a house where the only door you could close in the house, aside from the front door, was the bathroom door. You couldn't even maneuver through any of the other doors.
"It was insane, but we got through it. Yesterday was the big install day, and we reveal it tomorrow and Thursday. It's over a dozen rooms, a big house."
According to a show publicist, the "Clean House" crew found $5,000 in loose change alone buried in the mounds of clutter.
Fans of "Clean House" often see homeowners who, despite having called the show for help, seem to be unwilling to do what's necessary to change their circumstances permanently. Brunetz said that isn't the case here.
"If you're ready for it, that's what matters," Brunetz said. "It's one thing to have a bunch of people or a person impose their views on you but it's an entirely different thing when you put out the welcome mat.
"This family, that's what they did. The son, he's 14, a very bright kid, very intuitive and insightful, and he really wanted to reconnect with his family. He's the one who called the show.
"It's a great story. It's our redeeming story, after our first three 'Messiest Homes,' which were so brutal. Even though this had its level of difficulty, it wasn't as much about the family as it was about the mother and the house and the enormity of the project.
"It's going to play really nice. So far, so good. We're excited to reveal it, because I think they're going to be deeply appreciative."
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Photo credits: Style.