Taraji P. Henson has been known to surprise loved ones (like her housekeeper!) with home renovations. The Color Purple star recently reflected on a major project she did for her stepmother during a new episode of the Armchair Expert podcast, and it may make you tear up.
“My stepmom is still alive and when I go home to D.C., I still go to my dad’s house that she owns,” Henson said while chatting with actor and host Dax Shepard. “And I actually redid the house for her through [Houzz].”
She continued: “I did that for her because I was like, ‘Mama Angie, it’s time for you to have your house.’ It was still so much of my dad, and I get it. But my dad passed when I was 6. And when I did it for her, I said, ‘Because you give so much—she’s always opening the house and feeding and making sure everybody’s OK—I want to do something for you, and I want to give you a little feminine spin on the house. It’s time. You deserve it.’”
Henson partnered with the home renovation platform Houzz to renovate her stepmother’s Washington, D.C.-area home as part of the platform’s My Houzz series in 2019. “We did her kitchen,” Henson added during the podcast. “She’s such an incredible cook, and I just made it hers. And she deserves it.”
Henson worked with designer Stephanie Gamble to translate Angie’s traditional style with a modern twist into a new design scheme across the kitchen, dining area, and living room. The wall between the kitchen and living room was knocked down to create an open-concept space better suited to entertaining. New kitchen cabinetry and appliances made the outdated space more functional. While they incorporated Angie’s personality throughout (including her love of red!), they also tied in nods to Henson’s father through accents like the dining room chandelier, which reminded Henson of her father’s metalwork. If you’re eager for more details, you can read about the renovation and watch the episode on YouTube.
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Kelly Allen is the current Associate Editor at House Beautiful, where she covers design, pop culture, and travel for digital and the print magazine. She’s been with the team for nearly three years, attending industry events and covering a range of topics. When she’s not watching every new TV show and movie, she’s browsing vintage home stores, admiring hotel interiors, and wandering around New York City. She previously worked for Delish and Cosmopolitan. Follow her on Instagram.