The Surprising Origin Story Of "Making Modern" - Exclusive

Some people dream about becoming TV stars from childhood. With their eyes on the prize, they audition for every possible part, study drama or broadcasting in college, then eagerly apply for every entry-level industry position they hear about, angling to get a foot in the door and get noticed by the right people.

Brooke and Brice Gilliam aren't among those people. Already successful professionals, they initially had no interest in home renovation, nor in becoming TV personalities or having a show, But a series of unexpected twists and turns — starting with a botched construction job at the hands of the contractor they'd hired to build their home — led them to discover their hidden talents and passion for the building trades and design, and ultimately led them to the world of television. In an exclusive interview, the Gilliams share the surprising story of their unplanned journey from construction novices to sought-after renovation specialists to the stars of their own Magnolia Network show, "Making Modern."

They taught themselves construction and design by building their own home

When Brooke and Brice Gilliam hired a contractor to build their new home, they thought that all they'd have to do was just monitor the project. But they quickly found that things weren't going to plan — too many things were left unfinished or were built incorrectly or badly. And to get the house they wanted without starting from scratch, they realized they'd have to jump in and get their hands dirty. "We ended up taking it into our own hands, a lot of the build," Brooke Gilliam said. "I was able to be at the site learning from the subcontractors, and they're not used to having a girl around. So they were really eager to say, 'Hey, come learn how to do this.' And so, because of that, I ended up learning trades that I never thought I would," she said.

Meanwhile, Brice Gilliam discovered he had a talent for interior design. An orthodontist by training, he'd always enjoyed drawing and was skilled in visual thinking, and found these gifts transferred easily to creating new and enticing living spaces. And by putting their newfound talents together, the Gilliams were able to create exactly the home they wanted. And it wasn't long before friends and neighbors began to take notice.

Their new neighbors rooted for their success — and got them into television

Taking on their own home construction was a challenge for the Gilliams, both because of their relative inexperience and because they were attempting to build their home while holding down demanding full-time jobs. Luckily, sympathetic neighbors had their back. "The neighbors around here started noticing that we would come at five o'clock after our day jobs and work all night long, trying to get our house together," Brice Gilliam recalled. "And they were all kind of rooting for us, so they would all be outside, cheering for us."

Friends and neighbors also began to notice the remarkable quality of their work, and soon they began to get requests for remodeling and redecorating services. But it was an unexpected introduction from a neighbor that would launch their TV careers. "Once we finished, one of our neighbors was friends with a producer that was moving to Nashville and she's like, 'Hey, you need to meet this lady,'" Brice said. "And when she came, she was like, 'You guys should have your own show.' And Brooke and I were both like, 'Yea, sure.' Because we'd never even thought about it. It never even crossed our mind. And she was like, "Well, would you mind if I brought a production crew with me?' And then we were like, 'Yeah, that's fine.' And next thing we know, we have our own show."

Watch the full first season of Magnolia Network's "Making Modern" with Brooke and Brice exclusively streaming on discovery+ and the Magnolia app.