Country Stars Tackle Home Improvements

Country stars are swapping their musical instruments for power tools on the CMT Ultimate Country Home, a new original series premiering Monday (April 7) following the CMT Flameworthy 2003 Video Music Awards.

The 13 weekly episodes will reveal whether the artists’ home-design skills match their creativity on stage and in the recording studio. With help from a top-notch design team, the celebrities will transform a 3,600-square-foot house into a custom-designed home showcasing each star’s unique flair. In a sweepstakes now underway at, one lucky CMT viewer will actually become the new owner of the Nashville-area home.

The four members of Lonestar recently spent a day at the house, transforming the great room while learning more about design and construction techniques.

“This is something that we all enjoy,” lead vocalist Richie McDonald tells CMT News. “Fortunately over the last few years we’ve had the chance to get our own little houses and make changes on them. So I think we’re all good at something — painting or hammering or whatever it is.”

“Since it’s not our house,” adds guitarist Michael Britt, “we can be a little more experimental and not have to worry so much. Plus there are professionals here to help us, so we have learned a lot. We’ve learned a couple of things that we’ll probably take home and use on our own homes.”

Of course, any home improvement project always provides some unexpected surprises. That was the case for keyboardist Dean Sams, who notes, “I did something that I normally don’t do. I made a mess here trying to do things. That’s something new for me because I’m the clean freak in this band.”

McDonald jokes, “Don’t give Dean the color chart to pick out paints and stuff like that … because it will end up bright canary yellow.” Sams acknowledges, “I’m a little colorblind.”

Drummer Keech Rainwater provided one of the most impressive personal touches to the great room. “I’ve been wood carving since I was about 13 or so. I actually got to do some carving on a pretty big scale and got to help decorate the room with a personal touch.”

Viewers will have to wait later in the series to see the results of Lonestar’s efforts. Other celebrities working on CMT Ultimate Country Home include Brad Paisley and wife Kimberly Williams, Jo Dee Messina , Deana Carter , Rascal Flatts , Trace Adkins , Carolyn Dawn Johnson , Terri Clark , Jessica Andrews , Blake Shelton , Chris Cagle and Cledus T. Judd . Each will be joined by the CMT Ultimate Country Home design team consisting of host Lynnette Cole, lead designer Jonathan Pierce, carpenter Kenn Cross and designer Kim Nunn.

Montgomery Gentry go to work on a game room when CMT Ultimate Country Home debuts Monday (April 7) at 10 p.m. ET. The episode will re-air Tuesday, April 8 at 1 a.m.; Wednesday, April 9 at 8 p.m.; Friday, April 11 at 12 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, April 12 at 12 p.m. and 9 p.m.;
Sunday, April 13 at 2 p.m. (All times ET/PT).