New HGTV home renovation show stars SLO interior designers

Since they met and married 17 years ago, Tommy Rouse and Joshua Smith have worked on design projects across the country.

The couple owns Avenue Twelve, a design and furniture rental company in San Luis Obispo, where they live with their two miniature dachshunds Moose and Oliver.

Now they’ve embarked on a new adventure together: remodeling homes on the new HGTV show “Revealed.”

The series, which also stars interior designer Veronica Valencia and David Bohler, director of construction on ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” follows the team as they work on “stunning renovations inspired by the unique stories of homeowners’ family history, researching their clients’ past in order to customize designs specifically tailored to their personal heritage,” HGTV said.

The show premiered June 29 and airs its final episode on Thursday.

Rouse said Valencia first approached network executives with the idea of creating her own show.

“She threw out some ideas we had been talking about for a while and it all came together in a way that was really beautiful,” Rouse said. He and his husband are longtime friends of Valencia.

The entire cast of HGTV’s “Revealed.” From left to right: David Bohler, Veronica Valencia, Joshua Smith and Tommy Rouse.
The entire cast of HGTV’s “Revealed.” From left to right: David Bohler, Veronica Valencia, Joshua Smith and Tommy Rouse. Katherine Valencia

‘Revealed’ cast worked together on ‘Extreme Makeover’ show

Rouse and Smith met through mutual friends after Smith moved to California in 2006, Smith said.

“We just became best friends,” he said, and later, spouses.

Smith is an oil painter who creates a special element of art that is added to each client’s home on “Revealed,” he said.

Rouse works alongside Valencia to bring elements of interior design into each home, Smith said.

The founder of Avenue Twelve, Rouse was nominated for four Emmy Awards for his work as a production designer on the Netflix show “Queer Eye.”

After years of working behind the scenes, Rouse said, “Revealed” gave him the chance to test his skills in front of the camera.

“It’s like exercising a new muscle in the gym,” he said. “The more you do it, the more it feels good.”

He and Smith previously worked together with Valencia and Bohler on “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”

Rouse said the cast members share a close-knit connection that’s “kind of magical.”

“We know each other’s triggers,” Rouse said. “I can tell when someone’s getting stressed or when to jump in and help.”

Married San Luis Obispo designers Tommy Rouse and Joshua Smith, who star in “Revealed” on HGTV.
Married San Luis Obispo designers Tommy Rouse and Joshua Smith, who star in “Revealed” on HGTV. Katherine Valencia

HGTV home renovation show filmed in Los Angeles

According to Rouse, the cast of “Revealed” spent three months filming and working on homes all over Los Angeles.

Rouse said “Revealed” is different from some of the “fast-paced makeover shows” he and his co-stars have worked on before because they were given more time to finish each project.

“We can really pay attention to details and give it more thought,” he said.

Smith said it was especially powerful to connect with clients while learning about their histories.

“It’s been really special to get to know the families on a deeper level,” he said.

Family and friends of the cast gathered at The Penny for a viewing party of HGTV’s “Revealed,” on Thursday Aug. 3, 2023.
Family and friends of the cast gathered at The Penny for a viewing party of HGTV’s “Revealed,” on Thursday Aug. 3, 2023. Tina Loveridge Loveridge Photography

SLO residents gather to celebrate the show’s success

On Aug. 3, Rouse and Smith hosted a “Revealed” viewing party at The Penny in downtown San Luis Obispo, inviting family and friends to watch the sixth episode of the show.

More than 50 people gathered to celebrate the couple’s success.

Rouse described the community support that he and Smith have received as “almost overwhelming.”

“Sometimes you don’t have time to celebrate yourself,” Rouse said, “so having this time to pause and celebrate what we did is really cool.”

He and Smith hope a second season of “Revealed,” might be around the corner.

“We’ve gotten really good feedback,” Rouse said. “They moved our show’s time slot from 10 p.m. to 8 p.m. so that’s a really good sign.”

Whether or not the show is renewed for a second season, Rouse and Smith hope “Revealed” will influence viewers to slow down and be more intentional with design.

“I think people are in a rush to get it done,” Rouse said. “Not everything has to be finished at once. You can really think about your design with more intention and with things that have meaning to you.”

The entire cast of HGTV’s “Revealed.” From left to right: Joshua Smith, Tommy Rouse, David Bohler and Veronica Valencia.
The entire cast of HGTV’s “Revealed.” From left to right: Joshua Smith, Tommy Rouse, David Bohler and Veronica Valencia. Katherine Valencia

Where to watch ‘Revealed’ this week

“Revealed” airs at 8 p.m. Thursday on HGTV. Previous episodes of the show can be watched via streaming service Max.

HGTV will be running a marathon of the show during Hispanic Heritage Month, from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15., in honor of Valencia’s Mexican-American and Native-American heritage.

For more information, go to hgtv.com/shows/revealed.

This story was originally published August 10, 2023, 5:00 AM.

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Lucy Peterson is a reporting intern for The Tribune. She’s originally from Omaha, Nebraska, and graduated from Fordham University in May 2022. She recently earned a Master’s in Journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in May 2023.