Get to Know Raisa and Austin, Hosts of 'First Home Fix'
The couple's meet-cute is, well, incredibly cute.
Raisa Kuddus and Austin Coleman, hosts of HGTV's new show First Home Fix, complement one another in the best way. Since meeting five years ago, Raisa, an artist and designer, and Austin, a builder and designer, have enjoyed learning everything they can from each other — and not just when it comes to design.
“We really bond over learning [new things],” Raisa says.
Although their personal design preferences don’t always complement one another's — Raisa focuses on form first, while Austin considers function — they’re always open to each other's ideas. In fact, their collaborative spirit is exactly what makes their show so appealing.
“Something we teach all of our clients in First Home Fix is a new skill set," says Raisa. "And teaching is the best way to learn, so it’s kind of a win-win for us. We get to have the clients learn something new, we get to learn whatever we’re teaching in a new way and we all get to have fun doing it.”
In an effort to learn more about this creative duo, we sat down with them and got the full scoop. Here are 8 new things we learned.
1. They Met at an Afterparty
It all started in Salt Lake City. Austin was judging a BMX contest. He stopped by the afterparty, which coincidentally, was held at the design firm Raisa worked at.
“The very first thing I saw when I walked into this party was a huge mural on the wall, which I was completely fascinated by. I thought it was beautiful," says Austin. "And even though I was supposed to be mixing and mingling with all the different athletes and such, I was transfixed by this mural. I walked around this party asking everyone who the artist was and eventually, someone pointed me [in her] direction.”
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First-time homeowners get bold, budget-friendly renovations.
“The first thing he asked me was ‘Did you do that mural?’" recalls Riasa. "I was shocked because I had worked on the mural for so long and not one person asked me about it. I was proud of it but I wasn’t going to brag about it to everyone, so the fact that this stranger — this very cute stranger — was asking me about my mural ... I didn’t have any words for the first five seconds.”
The pair talked and danced the night away. A week later, Austin dialed her up, and the rest, as they say, is history.
2. Nature Inspires Everything Raisa Does
Raisa's father is a microbiologist, so she grew up with a deep appreciation for nature.
“[My dad] taught me to look at things in a really microscopic way or in an expansive way, from atoms to the universe. I find inspiration from all levels of nature, and it’s in everything I do," says Raisa, adding she’s always been drawn to including botanical elements in her designs, because, once upon a time, humans lived in nature. "Having greenery and natural elements inside [a home] can lend to a sense of sanctuary and peace," she says.
3. Austin’s Goal Is to Bring Lifestyle to the Forefront of All His Designs
“What are the things you like to do every single day? What makes you happy? What makes you smile?” Austin asks. In the answers to these questions, he finds his creativity. “Lifestyle really inspires me,” he says. Once he nails down his clients' greatest passions, he’s better able to create a space that speaks to their souls. “I’m always trying to figure out the puzzle; I’m always trying to engineer that feeling,” he says.
4. They Learn About Their Clients
Although they lean modern-boho when it comes to their personal interiors, both designers plan their projects around the clients. “We listen to what they do day-to-day and what they love. We pull from our boho style,” Raisa explains, "but it’s really [about] what they gravitate towards.”
5. They Find the Filming Process Challenging
“It's like a microscope on our day-to-day,” Raisa shares. “Things feel more intense. On top of all [our] projects and talking to clients and doing camera work, we’re kind of at our max stress levels. But it’s a great way to kind of see the ‘shadow self’ of one another and we still like each other, so …”
“You know those tiny little moments in your relationship — especially if you live with your significant other — where you know, it’s almost like you want to [go up in arms] but you’re like, ‘No.’ That’s kind of what filming feels like because we’re constantly having to put trust into the other person,” Austin explains. “And you have to say, ‘I love this person, I’m not going to go to battle … I trust you; I trust your direction and vision with this.”
In that sense, both Raisa and Austin agree that filming together feels like a constant trust fall — but they wouldn’t have it any other way.
6. No Matter What, They Look For the Good
Despite how stressful filming became, Raisa and Austin always knew they could fall back on each other. Raisa shares, “We have this saying: ‘Are we going to have fun regardless?’ And the other person says, ‘A thousand percent.’ It’s just our way of [understanding], maybe this is a terrible day, but let’s just still have fun with it."
7. They’re Excited to Shed Light on the Transformative Power of Renos
“I’m excited to show people how fun it can be to complete a renovation,” Austin says. “When you hear the word 'renovation' or 'remodel,' it can be scary. But I think you can actually ... learn about yourself or family members you’re working with through the process. There’s a lot to uncover. It’s a journey of self-discovery, and it really can be more than just a remodel.”
8. They Always Make Time For Their Hobbies
But, if you ask Austin, it’s less about pursuing hobbies and more about infusing his life with happiness, forever in action, embracing the world around him. “The feeling everyone gets as a kid is they want to run and play and jump, and I just never stopped feeling that way,” he says. “So I like to ride on things, skate on things, surf; I like to shred all the time, whenever I can. And I like to bring that spirit to renovations and craft making.”
As for Raisa, she loves to keep her hands moving. “I’m a big video game nerd," she says. "I love my Switch. I’ve been a Nintendo fan since I was born basically.” Her other interests include puzzling, crocheting and storytelling. (According to Instagram, she dabbles in rollerskating, too!) “My brain works a lot," she says. "So, I have to be doing something fidgety all the time."
Catch this duo on HGTV's First Home Fix Saturdays at 10/9c starting on September 3. Keep up with Raisa and Austin on Instagram at @raisakuddus and @austincoleman.