I grew up watching The Brady Bunch and always wanted to drive by the house featured in the show, even though the real house was only used for the exterior shots. In fact, the cast members never went inside the house until recently, as the show was shot at Paramount Studios. That all changed, though, when HGTV bought the house and teamed up with the Property Brothers and some other HGTV stars for A Very Brady Renovation, a special project (airing on TV in four parts) in which the actors recreated the Brady Bunch set in the actual house.
I was recently invited to check out the Brady Bunch house that came out of the project. Here’s what I saw:
First of all, the attention to detail was incredible. They had to add an extra 2,000 square feet to the house to recreate everything. With help from the internet and fans around the world, they were able to find furniture and artwork to make it as true-to-the-show as possible.
When I walked through the door I felt like I was reliving a childhood dream. Sadly, media members weren’t allowed to take photos inside the house, but there was a professional photographer who took pictures of our tour. Unfortunately, most of these photos won’t be released until Monday when the first of the four shows airs at 9pm ET/PT. I’ll add them to this post as soon as I get them.
After the tour, I was shuttled back to the Garland Hotel a few blocks away for the after-party. And I have to say that it was the perfect venue for the party. Not only does the Garland have a retro-chic vibe, but it also has a beautiful outdoor space to throw a “groovy” party.
All of the Brady siblings from the original Brady Bunch were there, including: Barry Williams (Greg), Maureen McCormick (Marcia), Christopher Knight (Peter), Eve Plumb (Jan), Mike Lookinland (Bobby), and Susan Olsen (Cindy). The renovation and after-party celebration marked the first time in almost 15 years that the siblings reunited.
However, you could feel the void of not having Mr. and Mrs. Brady (Robert Reed and Florence Henderson) and Alice (Ann B. Davis) there (RIP).
BTW: I was fortunate to meet Florence Henderson multiple times, and each time she was remarkably friendly.
The red carpet at the after-party was long. A lot of the big media outlets were represented, including all of the networks, ET, People, and even smaller publications. I should’ve asked to have a spot on the carpet to interview the cast since they spent over an hour doing interviews. They didn’t leave anyone hanging, which was nice.
There were also other HGTV stars there, like Tarek El Moussa. Surprisingly, though, the Property Brothers weren’t in town.
The party felt like an upscale backyard BBQ. There were swings, a replica of the Brady stairs to take a photo on, and all kinds of food. My favorite was pork chops and apple sauce, since that comes from one of the memorable lines from the show.
I didn’t bug any of the cast members for photos as I’ve met most of them in the past (Barry Williams, Maureen McCormick, Christopher Knight, Susan Olsen).
More celebs: Here’s my celeb photo page.
I left before they previewed the show on an outdoor screen (I didn’t want to leave my wife and kids alone for that long). On the way out, the gift bag I was handed included a retro lunch box, which I thought was a brilliant.
Overall, both the tour of the Brady Bunch house and the after-party were incredible. I just wish I’d known more people there, and I hope that eventually they turn the house into a museum or a tour. Sadly, because the neighbors aren’t too happy with all the visitors, it looks like that’s not going to happen. I’m guessing that HGTV will sell it.
Win a stay!
HGTV is offering a chance to win a six-day stay, with up to six friends, at the Brady Bunch house. Enter to win here.
Related: Some of the red carpet interviews.
–Time to change: The ‘Brady Bunch’ bathroom finally gets a toilet after 50 years
–‘A Very Brady Renovation’ brings iconic sitcom home to life with help from ‘Brady Bunch’ stars
–Maureen McCormick Opens Up About Wanting to Buy the Brady House Before HGTV