How COVID Changed The Behind-The-Scenes Atmosphere On Dream Home Makeover

Watching season 3 of Netflix's "Dream Home Makeover," a few things are different from the previous two seasons. First, designer Shea McGee and her husband Syd have three kids — Wren, Ivy and Margot (via People). Secondly, the busy mama is flying all over the place to help families redesign spaces, traveling from her home in Utah to Southern California and San Francisco. Remember, in the early episodes of "Dream Home Makeover," the McGees stayed local near Salt Lake City.

Finally, viewers may notice that season 3 of the show was clearly filmed during the pandemic. But the previous seasons also had to take lockdowns into consideration, with People reporting that a sparse crew was employed in the production even back in season 1. "It was definitely quieter, but thanks to technology, we made it work!" Shea said. Not that viewers would have necessarily have noticed that COVID was going on during filming at first, with the pandemic hitting mid-season.

In fact, watching the show, you're likely not to be distracted at all from the wow-worthy designs of everything from a room to an entire home. But that doesn't mean that COVID wasn't impacting "Dream Home Makeover" from behind the scenes.

Shea McGee had no idea her show would launch during COVID

Indeed, as Instagram celebrity Shea McGee noted about having to adjust while making a show that was filming as the pandemic set in in 2020, producers started calling in using Zoom and crew members would carry a portable speaker around the design site to help everyone stay on task.

Watching later episodes of the show, viewers will notice at times the cast and crew are wearing face masks. But behind the scenes, COVID changed even more about the binge-worthy Netflix reality show.

In addition to operating with only vital crew members in light of COVID restrictions, "Dream Home Makeover," which launched in 2020 — a slightly inopportune time to start a new series — had to work around a new reality in other ways.

As the tour de force behind the design aesthetic made famous by the show told People at the beginning of the second season of the show, "there have been no public events and all of our interviews have been conducted remotely from our home."

Even their launch party had to be reimagined.

Studio McGee has skyrocketed to fame despite pandemic challenges

Shea and Syd McGee started talking with Netflix all the way back in 2018, when they had only their two girls, and with their show not going on air for another two years. Like the rest of the world, they could not have dreamed that we'd be dealing with a worldwide pandemic.

But, as Shea shared on the Studio McGee website, technology saved the day in many ways for the people who put their hearts and souls in "Dream Home Makeover." Indeed, instead of gathering the crew together for an official launch party after season 1, the celebration was planned virtually. 

For the watch party, "Dream Home Makeover" cast and crew received official tee shirts, popcorn bowls and blankets from their fearless leaders Shea and Syd. They chatted via Slack to share their thoughts about the episode.

Meanwhile, Shea also confirmed on her site that the show had to pivot to a virtual producer on a laptop toward the end of filming the first season to keep everything in line with social distancing. 

Still, despite being produced virtually and other pandemic considerations, they managed to pull off designs that are so popular with viewers, the reality stars even have a line of offerings at Target!