Matt Blashaw and Taniya Nayak Open Up About Filming HGTV's Emotional New Show 'Build It Forward'

Expert home renovator Matt Blashaw and savvy designer Taniya Nayak team up in HGTV's new home renovation show in partnership with Lowe's, Build It Forward. We sat down with the duo to get all the details.

March 03, 2022
Hosts Taniya Nayak and Matt Blashaw, as seen on HGTV's Pay it Forward, season 1.

Hosts Taniya Nayak and Matt Blashaw, as seen on HGTV's Pay it Forward, season 1.

Photo by: Kimberly Davis

Kimberly Davis

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Whether you’re a longtime HGTV viewer who loves tuning into any and every home improvement show, or you fondly remember all the emotional surprises of shows like Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, you’re in for the ultimate treat.

On Saturday, March 12 at 6/5c, HGTV’s new home renovation show Build It Forward premieres in partnership with Lowe’s. To learn more about what makes this limited series so special, we sat down with the hosts: renovator Matt Blashaw and designer Taniya Nayak. Here's what they want you to know.

Build It Forward Isn't Like Every Other Show

“As part of their 100 Hometowns Initiative to celebrate their centennial anniversary, Lowe’s Home Improvement offered 100 grants to charitable organizations across the country,” Taniya explains. Out of the 100 grant recipients, five exceptional real-life community heroes were chosen to be featured on Build It Forward.

And so, the five-part series was born. Each episode follows Taniya and Matt as they travel through the US to surprise one hero with a personal home renovation and (even better!) a renovation for their community project.

Helping Community Heroes Was the Best Part

Build It Forward was the surprise of a lifetime for each of the five recipients, but Matt and Taniya say the filming process was life-changing for them, too.

“It’s the best feeling to be able to give back to these angels on earth that do so much for others,” Taniya says. “It’s often hard for these people to ‘receive,’ and many didn’t even know how to describe what they would like in their new living spaces when we asked them. Matt and I would have to take initiative to learn about them from their stories, their journey and pull ideas from items they had that were sentimental to them.”

For Matt, who has his own charity and sits on a board for veteran housing, the opportunity to help such astounding community leaders was the ultimate treat. The most rewarding aspect, he says, was being able to use the renovation skills he’s cultivated over the years to give back in a hands-on way.

Get Ready for Fun Designs and Emotional Moments

“I’m excited for the viewers to hear the [community leaders'] stories,” Taniya says. “My hope is that people will be more motivated to give back to their communities. And of course, Matt and I hope that everyone will be wowed by the transformations.”

But besides heartwarming spotlights and emotional moments, we'll also get to check out all the beautiful builds and cool designs that Matt and Taniya created with Lowe's products exclusively.

“Working with Lowe’s was a dream,” Taniya says. “They carry everything under the sun to transform these homes completely. Many people are not aware of their home decor page online. In addition to all building materials, you can find decorative finishes like mirrors, drapes, furniture, rugs, art and so much more. It made [each renovation and transformation] super easy and fun!”

Working Together Can Change the World

Both Matt and Taniya agree teamwork makes all the difference, and they hope Build It Forward teaches us all the importance of charity and giving without expectations.

Build It Forward has been a full collaboration,” Taniya says. “Matt is an expert in building, and I’m an expert in design, but we ran all design decisions past one another and some talented locals. Because of every single person involved, these renovations are nothing short of jaw-dropping.”

Hosts Taniya Nayak and Matt Blashaw discuss the wood that will become vertical shiplap in the kitchen of Seanna Crosbie’s renovation, as seen on HGTV's Pay it Forward, season 1.

Hosts Taniya Nayak and Matt Blashaw discuss the wood that will become vertical shiplap in the kitchen of Seanna Crosbie’s renovation, as seen on HGTV's Pay it Forward, season 1.

Photo by: Kimberly Davis

Kimberly Davis

However, working on the projects didn't come without challenges.

"These homeowners are so selfless — they’ve done so much good in their communities, never expecting anything in return," Matt says. So, both Matt and Taniya agree, pinpointing exactly what would make the most difference in each of these heroes' lives was by far the hardest part.

Build It Forward Makes an Impact

Build It Forward conveys how important it is to give back — to the community, as well as to those who make it their mission to help others.

“The most rewarding part of filming Build It Forward was hearing the amazing stories and seeing the passion that each of our recipients had,” Taniya shares. “I found it motivating, and it absolutely pushed me harder to give it everything I had. Matt and I wanted these homes to represent each hero to the fullest. We wanted them to have a sanctuary to take a moment to themselves. I’m a firm believer that everything starts at home — it's where you start and end each day, and the way these guys fill in the ‘everything in-between’ is nothing short of remarkable.”

To witness the extraordinary stories and stunning transformations for yourself, tune in to HGTV on Saturday, March 12 at 6/5c or stream same day on discovery+. Follow Matt and Taniya on Instagram at @taniyanayak and @mattblashaw.

Learn more about how your organization can be part of future Lowe's impact projects by clicking here.

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