Coming to HGTV: 'Windy City Rehab' Starring Alison Victoria

Fans of DIY Network's Kitchen Crashers, and its ever-effervescent host Alison Victoria, have reason to celebrate. It's official. Alison will be hosting an all-new series on HGTV starting in 2018.

Alison Victoria with contractor Donovan Eckhardt 

Alison Victoria with contractor Donovan Eckhardt 

In the new series Windy City Rehab, viewers will follow designer Alison as she buys vintage homes in her native Chicago then transforms them into buyer-friendly dream properties. In so doing, she not only turns a tidy profit, but helps to preserve historic homes and structures, and contributes to the enhancement and revitalization of whole neighborhoods.

Chicago is my city. I was born and raised here. Now I'm flipping houses here.
Alison Victoria

“Flipping houses in my hometown of Chicago is my dream,” says Alison. “And it's my dream because the architecture is there, and it has been there for more than a hundred years. To be able to go in and save some of that history — that's the goal."

In the pilot episode, Alison and her lead contractor Donovan Eckhardt update a dilapidated brick two-flat built in 1903. It's in Alison's own neighborhood of Bucktown, an eclectic and popular area near Lincoln Park characterized by quaint streets, great outdoor spaces, a thriving nightlife and lots of restaurants. Architecturally there's a mix ranging from elegant brownstones to modest townhouses to converted industrial lofts.

The cool thing about Chicago is all of these little city neighborhoods that are tucked away and have their own charm and appeal. That's what I love.
Alison Victoria

But over the course of the nine-month project, Alison and crew deal with powerful setbacks including crumbling walls, a stop-work order from the city and construction in sub-zero temperatures. Essentially a reworking of the entire structure in its original footprint, the renovation ultimately creates an open and friendly home with a modern kitchen and striking curb appeal that's certain to appeal to buyers who are eager to move into the historic area. Though many of the homes original features were beyond saving, Alison paid tribute to the home's historic roots, integrating features such as antique doors, vintage brick exterior, antique wood doors, dark stained hardwood floors and a showpiece antique mantle.

Before

After

Viewers are familiar with Alison from her popular series, Kitchen Crashers, which ran for nine seasons on DIY Network and featured Alison surprising customers at home-improvement centers and presenting them with the opportunity for a radical, rapid and spectacular kitchen makeover. What they may not know is that her career in home improvement began at the age of 10 when her mother agreed to let her make over the family basement. It's an interest that must have been genuine because some years later she could be found running her own interior design firm with offices in Chicago and Las Vegas, and eventually creating her own line of furniture and home furnishings.

Watch here for updates on Alison and Windy City Rehab.

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