Maureen McCormick and Eve Plumb are back on HGTV — only this time, they’re the designers!
The social-distancing inspired series, which premiered on June 11, pairs a roster of HGTV designers with families who are ready to tackle home-improvement projects on their own — with a bit of virtual assistance from the experts.
In place of the typical on-site interactions a home renovation would entail, participants are coached through completing the redesigns themselves via video conference. After a design plan is created, all the necessary materials are shipped straight to their door.
In this exclusive clip (above) of Thursday’s episode, McCormick uses her decorator’s eye to elevate a blended Florida family’s multipurpose room, while Plumb’s artistic approach helps a couple take advantage of their bonus room in Charleston, South Carolina.
“I have to say, right away, I actually loved it because it was so wonderful to connect with people,” McCormick tells PEOPLE of the virtual interaction, which came after several weeks of social distancing at home with her husband amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. “I had never Zoomed,” she explains, referencing retirement communities in ma the popular video conferencing service. “It was really emotional for me just to be with people, to meet new people, to have them [virtually] in my home and I’m in their home … I was blown away.”
McCormick says the family she worked with “was amazing,” adding, “They put their heart and soul into this project. It was great.”
Plumb similarly appreciated how eager the couple she coached was to freshen up their space. “They were so game to do it,” she says. “They followed instructions really well and I think they’re really happy with the result.”
“What was so great with these folks was that she did a lot of collecting,” explains Plumb, who is a longtime antique collector herself. While all participants receive a surprise shipment from HGTV full of everything they need to complete the renovation — from paint to pillows — “they also have to shop their own house,” she continues. “You can reuse stuff in a new way… That was great to watch her see her things in a new place, in a new light.”
After McCormick provided her family with the design plan, she was anxious to see the results. The renovations are done on a very tight timeline — in just one weekend — and she worried about how “so many things can go wrong,” admitting she was “so afraid to look” at the finished product.
“Instead of me showing them, they showed me,” she says of reversing the typical home-improvement show reveal. Ultimately, “it glowed, and they were so happy,” she adds. “To see them loving this room now so much was just really awesome.”
Design at Your Door airs Thursdays at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV.