Before and After: Michael Bublé Modernized His Late Grandpa’s House to Give to His Former Caretaker
Michael Bublé usually melts hearts with his music, but now he’s expanding his emotional pull with home renovations. On the latest episode of HGTV’s “Celebrity IOU,” Bublé honored his grandfather’s last wish by modernizing his dated home in Vancouver, Canada, to give to his former caretaker, Minette. (Get the tissues ready, folks.)
The singer met up with the Property Brothers to embark on the three and a half-week renovation project to give a fresh face on the dated space. Not only did Bublé want to fulfill his grandfather’s request, but he wanted to give Minette—who was just as much a family member as anyone—a lively, contemporary space to live in.
“Here was this passionate, kind, empathetic human being with a great sense of humor, a great zest for life, who never did anything for herself,” Bublé said during the episode. “Every cent she made she sent back home to her family. I think my grandpa would be thrilled knowing we could lessen the burden a little bit and allowing Minette to continue helping her family without it being so hard on her.”
Bublé grew up in his grandparent’s house, reminiscing on the days of family dinners in the kitchen and quality time with grandpa in the family room, where he listened to music and discovered his love for it. “The greatest moments of my life happened here and in that room in the most formative years and the songs I learned and the style of music I fell in love with happened right here.”
Bublé wanted to modernize the space for Minette while honoring his grandfather’s life and their close relationship—and Jonathan and Drew Scott had a vision on how to execute it to meet the needs of both.
For the kitchen, they wanted to expand the space so Minette could comfortably entertain her large family. They knocked down the wall between the kitchen and the parlor (which was ultimately renovated into a dining room) to create an open flow between the two spaces. With the guidance of Bublé, memorabilia was added throughout the common areas, from framed photos of Minette and Bublé’s grandpa to large wall art of Dean Martin, who was one of Grandpa’s favorite actors.
The Property Brothers also installed a large white oak island and three-tone cabinetry into the kitchen to brighten it up. They installed sintered stone countertops to mimic the look of marble, plus a black cabinet wall to contrast the creamy white cabinetry.
The dark hue also appears in the renovated family room, an important space where both Bublé and Minette spent quality time with his grandfather. Jonathan and Drew Scott added black-framed windows to create a pop against the white walls, dramatizing the sweeping city views seen from the backyard. They also added a sleek black gas fireplace to add a cozy, warmth element to the modern room.
In addition to the “pops” of black, a large green fern and contemporary wall art contributed to creating interest in the formerly all-white room. With new leather furniture and metallic touches, the space was ready for new memories, with Minette as the new resident.
Emotions were high when Bublé surprised Minette with the renovation and told her that it was her new home. But it was when they reached the family room area when the nostalgia truly struck.
“[Grandpa and I] would hold hands and he would sing,” Minette recalled as they stood in the family room. “He started singing ‘When I Fall In Love,’ that’s the last song we were singing in here. I had a dream that grandpa and I were just sitting, holding hands. He has that smile, I think he’s just saying that he’s okay.”
“The legacy of family and kindness and goodness continues, and I think that’s what my grandpa was about,” Bublé said at the end of the episode. “That will be his legacy and I love that she gets to be part of continuing of that emotion going forward.”
Celebrity IOU airs Mondays at 9/8 central on HGTV.