Young Mom Gets Surprise of a Lifetime on HGTV's Cousins Undercover

Cousins Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri teamed up with The Ellen DeGeneres Show to surprise one deserving young mom with a complete home overhaul. Check out Elizabeth Brehm's full story here.

Chris Amaral

Dilapidated Residence

Elizabeth Brehm, a single mom and teacher, bought this older house so her daughter could be the fourth generation of Brehms to grow up in this community, but the yard was littered with stumps, the roof leaked and the upstairs was unfinished. After being laid off, she couldn't afford to make the necessary repairs.

Chris Amaral

The Cover Story

During an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Elizabeth was surprised with footage of Anthony Carrino tearing out the retro blue tile and ripping up the hideous yellow tub in her bathroom. She was told the cousins would only be renovating this one room, but it was really just the beginning.

Chris Amaral

Starting From Scratch

The second floor was nothing more than a shell with exposed studs and insulation. The cousins decided to knock out some of the existing studs and rework the floor plan to include a master suite and nursery for Elizabeth's baby daughter, Juliette.

Chris Amaral

All Hands on Deck

A renovation this big requires a lot of manpower. Friends, family members, Boy Scout troops and local volunteer groups showed up to get Elizabeth's home makeover finished in just seven days while she and Juliette were occupied in Disneyland.

Chris Amaral

Divide and Conquer

Moments after Elizabeth pulled away, the cousins divided the volunteers into groups and got to work. John and his team packed up Elizabeth's belongings and noted several leaks and cracks in the ceiling that had to be repaired before demolition could start.

Chris Amaral

No Time to Waste

Anthony and his team took to the roof, which had to be completely re-sheathed because it was caked in moss and threatening to cave in. The flimsy 3/8-inch plywood was replaced with more sturdy 3/4-inch plywood to protect all the work the cousins would do inside the home.

Tricia Messeroux

A First Glimpse

Elizabeth noticed the cousins had renovated a little more than just the bathroom when she first pulled up to her new home. She held back tears as she excitedly said hi to Ellen before making her way inside.

Tricia Messeroux

Big Reveal

Elizabeth's parents were kept out of the finished home until after Elizabeth made her first walk-through. They were just as shocked by the end result as she was and couldn't wait to have their first family meal in the renovated home.

Tricia Messeroux

Entertaining Space

There would be no more invading her family's homes to prepare and serve meals. The new open-concept dining/living room offers plenty of space for Elizabeth to make new memories with her family and friends in her own home.

Tricia Messeroux

Wine and Dine

The cousins probed family and friends for Elizabeth's likes and dislikes to add personal details like this custom wine wall that make this house uniquely hers. Other custom additions included a book-exchange mailbox at the end of her driveway and bookcase wallpaper in the living room to reflect her love of teaching.

Tricia Messeroux

New Nursery

A nursery for baby Juliette was essential in this renovation. Elizabeth's cousin painted pictures and Juliette's name on the wall to customize the space. A princess crown light fixture and comfy rocking chair complete the decor.

Tricia Messeroux

Family Touch

Because the Brehms are so close, John and Anthony added a final touch to Elizabeth's home honoring and thanking them for all their hard work during the makeover. A wall near the kitchen displays photos of Elizabeth's family members using sign language to spell \"family.\" To make it even more special, Juliette's tiny hand forms the \"a.\"

Tricia Messeroux

Home Sweet Home

With the stumps and moss removed from the front yard, Elizabeth's home went from dumpy to beautiful. A fresh coat of paint, new upstairs windows and a sprinkler system will help Elizabeth maintain her new home for years to come.

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