When the Hattendorfs purchased their older house in Manhattan Beach last summer, they knew it needed renovations.

After futilely spending thousands of dollars to make the home livable, couple Brandy and Steve were left feeling hopeless with the state of it. 

That was until the family was chosen to be on TLC Network’s hit series “Nate & Jeremiah by Design,” which features designers and partners Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent helping distressed homeowners rework problem properties.

Although their episode—part of the third season of the home renovation show—is not set to air until this Saturday, June 1, the Hattendorfs gave The Beach Reporter a sneak peek into the new digs and their experience with the famous designers.

To the rescue

The Hattendorfs, who have three young children attending Manhattan Beach schools, paid roughly $1.8 million for the 1,300 square foot house in the tree section.

The modest one-story, originally built in 1949, had a boxy interior, broken appliances and splintered wood flooring among other issues.

“We had done some remodeling on a small scale and it didn’t really pan out that well. It was just messy and dirty,” explained Steve, a marketing director for a produce company. He added the family had spent $10,000 to fix up the house prior to moving in but were still left with an undesirable space.

“We didn’t like to have people over because it looked so bad,” said Brandy, a pediatric cardiologist, noting she and Steve were unsure of what to do with the renovations. “Then ... Nate and Jeremiah to the rescue.”

Trusting the experts

After applying to be on the show last September, the Hattendorfs didn’t even know they had officially been chosen until mid-February when Berkus and Brent showed up on their doorstep during what had been framed as a "final audition."

“They had us open the door and there were Nate and Jeremiah standing there in our falling-a-part house. It was so incredible,” Brandy said.

The family was given three days to move out.

The full remodel of their living room, kitchen and dining room—which was spearheaded by Redondo Beach contractor Hart Hempelmann of Paragon Kitchens—took nearly five weeks and had a price tag of roughly $100,000 for the Hattendorfs.

“We liquidated some retirement and things because we thought it was such an amazing opportunity,” Brandy said of funding the renovations.

She added that she and Steve’s ideas were taken into account during the design process, but ultimately, she gave the final say to Berkus and Brent.

“You’re not going to be on a show like this if you don’t have faith in the people that are doing it,” she continued.  

A life-changing experience

When the Hattendorfs returned home, Brandy admits she didn’t even recognize the renovated space, which included new furnishings and several thoughtful, personal touches from the designers.

“They put their heart and soul into making something nice for our family,” she said, continuing it is now the house of her dreams. “They nailed it so well, for how we like things aesthetically and functionally.”  

“They had special attention to details,” Steve added.

The Hattendorfs said the remodel has made a huge difference in the family’s home life.

“It’s not just about the design, which is amazing, but it’s also about what it does. It changes the family dynamics and now we can spend together,” Brandy said.

The renovation also paved the way to a milestone: the first official party in the home, which the couple will be hosting to watch their show with friends and family Saturday night.

It will also be the first time the family sees their on-camera reactions and behind-the-scenes of their home renovation, which Brandy ranked a monumental life experience just shy of her wedding day and the births of her children.

“There's lots of hugs and lots of tears. It’s really been life-changing.” 

Catch the Hattendorf family's episode of "Nate & Jeremiah By Design" on the TLC Network Saturday night at 9 p.m. E.T. 

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