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"The rooms that are finished so far look amazing!" screams Jo Dee Messina as she describes the design progress on CMT's Ultimate Country Home. "I mean, the person who gets this house, whoever you are Ã¢ÂÂ you're gonna die!
"I'm sure it looks great on TV, but you know how things always look better in person? A lot of the rooms aren't done, but the ones that are -- oh my goodness gracious!"
And Jo Dee ought to know.
She's one of more than a dozen country artists lending their design skills Ã¢ÂÂ and a lot of time and effort Ã¢ÂÂ to help transform a Nashville-area home that will be given away to a lucky viewer in the last of the show's 13 episodes. Each celebrity helps transform a room or area of the grounds as viewers check their progress each week.
The show airs on CMT at 10 p.m. ET on Mondays. (Visit CMT.com for details on how to enter the giveaway for the home.)
Lynnette Cole, Miss USA 2000, hosts the show and is joined on the design team by lead designer Jonathan Pierce, carpenter Kenn Cross and designer Kim Nunn. And the pros on the show are quick to say they've been impressed with the stars and the ideas they've brought to the project. They give Jo Dee high marks on her ghoughts for the study she's designing.
"The artists have had great descriptions of what they'd like," explains Kim. "For instance, Jo Dee [wanted] a desk in her room, and she had really specific qualities, but not a specific item. She wanted it to have a big usable desktop. And it needed a certain kind of drawers.
"So the stars are bringing in those kinds of specifics," she adds. "But everyone's been really open-minded and wanted to know what we were thinking. It's been a really nice collaboration."
Jo Dee couldn't agree more. And she loves the way her room is turning out!
"The design team totally listened to all of my ideas on the colors and the patterns," she confides. "And they enhanced them!
"In my office at home, I have little knick-knacks I've bought at antique shops. I thought it'd be cool to get stuff like that for the CMT house. And they went out to antique shops and found the actual items I was talking about. I can't believe it! So they really care a lot about what the artists think."
While the CMT home is near Nashville, Jo Dee made sure to incorporate a taste of her native Massachusetts into the project. "My room's more of a classic feel," she declares, " 'cause I was born in New England with all the historic homes and things like that. And the designers have just nailed it in terms of style."
Jo Dee also loves the backyard. "We were sitting in the kitchen during a lunch break and I was looking out the back to the gardens. I was just like, oh my God, look at this view! Can you imagine sitting here every morning and having that view?"
Jo Dee admits she wouldn't mind at all living in the house herself. And she knows exactly what she'd say to the eventual winner of the home if she gets the chance.
"Can I move in? You need a roommate?" she laughs. "That would be the first thing I'd say!"