5 HGTV couples reveal secrets to working together
At HGTV, love is in the air — and it’s in the air too. Since the network struck gold with Chip and Joanna Gaines’ “Fixer Upper,” which first aired in 2013, the network has spawned several design and renovation shows starring married couples that viewers have also fallen in love with. So far, only one of the popular pairings has ended, with former ‘Flip or Flop’ stars Christina Hall and Tarek El Moussa divorcing in 2018, but both have since remarried and have new shows with their new spouses.
Co-working is a stressful endeavor for most couples, according to a 2022 nationwide survey by Roborock and Pollfish, which examined the impact of having so many couples work from home due to the COVID pandemic. Of those who still do, 60% said they regularly fight over each other’s jobs and work habits, with 20% admitting they have considered breaking up because of the stress of working at home together.
It can be a strain on the relationship when a couple increases the pressure to be in the public eye and work on the same renovation projects as HGTV’s hosts are doing. But the network’s most famous couples say they’ve found ways to balance love and work while filming their TV shows. Here are glimpses of five of those couples making it work.
Erin & Ben Napier recommend patience and romance every day
One of HGTV’s most popular couples, “Home Town” stars Erin and Ben Napier have been married since 2008 and are raising two little girls — five-year-old Helen and 19-month-old Mae — in Laurel, Mississippi. In a January 2022 Interview with Access Hollywoodthe college sweethearts said patience and romance were vital to their marriage, especially after becoming parents.
“Boy, it’s busy,” admitted Erin Napier. “It just takes time to settle down and find your rhythm and I feel like we’re going to make it.”
To keep the romance alive, she said, “You should always remember the people you were when you met. What were you so crazy about? We never give that up.”
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that her husband is a tried and true romantic writes love letters for her every morning and per her Instagram post started cooking gourmet meals to enjoy after the girls went to bed on February 12, 2023.
2020, she told People magazine, “Every day he stands in front of me and writes me a letter. It’s short, but it’s a letter. And since I don’t drink coffee, I drink coke, he’s got one waiting.”
Egypt Sherrod and Mike Jackson plan date days to ‘keep the flame there’
Married to Real Estate stars Egypt Sherrod and Mike Jackson have been married since 2010 and have raised three girls in Atlanta – 11-year-old Kendall, four-year-old Harper and Mike’s daughter from a previous relationship. 21-year-old Simone.
Thanks to their perseverance, the often flirty couple have found small ways to keep their romance alive, being authentic on and off the camera, and making time for each other outside of work.
“We have to keep reminding ourselves that it can’t always be about work,” says Jackson said Blavity in a Feb. 13 interview. “It can’t just be that we’re always parents. So we have date days where we continue to hold the flame there because when it’s not there then everything else seems to dissolve and we don’t want that to happen. So for us, it’s more about making sure we’re prioritizing the right things at the right time and making sure things are planned out right, the communication is there, and getting everything up and running and listening.”
Sherrod told Blavity that they are no longer trying to balance many things, but are instead prioritizing the most important ones.
“At this point, everything is basically together as a couple,” she said. “We use the word balance a lot, but there are some things in life that just shouldn’t be balanced. They should be prioritized. So our family always comes first. Our relationship, this marriage is always a priority. So we don’t balance it. Everything else comes around it. And if not, we adapt.”
Dave & Jenny Marrs say they appreciate being able to lean on each other
Fixer to Fabulous stars Jenny and Dave Marrs married in 2005 and are raising their five children on a farm in Bentonville, Arkansas. She said pop culture in 2021 that they value the ability to lean on each other through the ups and downs of producing a TV show.
“I think for us it’s nice to understand each other what our day is like and to have the other person who really understands what we’re doing,” Jenny shared. “So for us it’s nice that we’re working together because it would be really difficult to do this alone without the other person, having long days and really understanding the stress and all of that.”
Dave agreed, adding, “By working with Jenny, we actually understand the requirements that go into making that happen. And that’s how it works for us. I don’t know, it’s weird working with your best friend and then going home and talking about the same projects and with kids and that’s why Jenny and I are together so much, but it’s awesome. I wouldn’t want it any other way.”
Keith Bynum & Evan Thomas say working together is ‘best’ for their relationship
Engaged in 2017, Bargain Block is home to Keith Bynum and Evan Thomas to People magazine in 2022 that they were too busy to get married. After living in Colorado for several years, they quietly relocated to Detroit the same year they got engaged to begin breathing new life into run-down houses, sleeping in each when they were done. In fact, during their first season of Bargain Block, they were still sleeping on the floors of the houses they were renovating.
2022, Keith told Pride Source, “There were times when it was really hard and Evan and I got together and just worked through it. I’ve learned that I’m a lot more resilient than I ever thought I would be.”
The year before, he told the outlet that the close working relationship brought them together as a couple.
He said: “It was one of the best experiences because in that kind of environment you really get to know someone. It‘It’s about finding a respectful balance.”
Brian & Mika Kleinschmidt say their focus is on having fun
100 Day Dream House hosts Brian and Mika Kleinschmidt met in high school but didn’t connect romantically until a dozen years later, in 2011. They were it married in 2015 in Sedona and are raising Mika’s nearly 14-year-old daughter from a previous relationship in Tampa, Florida.
In 2021 the Kleinschmidts said the Sarasota Herald-Tribune that together they design and build about 22 homes a year, most of which HGTV viewers don’t get to see. And while they’re getting requests from across North America to build homes in other areas, they don’t think expanding would be best for their marriage.
“We don’t intend to build 500 houses a year,” Mika said. “It’s about finding a good work-life balance.”
Brian told the newspaper that they remind themselves every day that this should be fun to stay grounded. We enjoy every step of the process, and once we lose sight of that, we need to remind ourselves why we’re doing it. It can get stressful but we love what we do.”
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