Get the latest from TODAY

Sign up for our newsletter
SUBSCRIBE
/ Source: TODAY
By Julie Pennell

“My dad always said, ‘If you have been blessed, then it is your duty to go out into the world and be a blessing,’ so I feel like I’m doing what my dad told me I should do,” explained Taraji P. Henson in the latest episode of “My Houzz.”

In video, the “Empire” star surprised her stepmom Angie with a gorgeous home makeover.

Henson met her stepmom when she was 16 and said she made her dad a better man. “My Daddy was homeless at one time, when I was really young, and (Angie) stepped into his life and she was everything he needed. I was so happy. I just loved her right away.”

In 2006, Henson’s dad got sick and passed away, leaving Angie alone with the house. “It’s an old house and a lot of the things in it, it just needs to be updated,” Henson explained.

“The living room is just too boxy, too small,” she continued.

Before: the living room felt boxy and closed-off from the kitchen.Houzz

“The dining room and kitchen seems a bit cramped. And the appliances are old. The cabinets are falling apart. It’s a bit dark in there, too, so I just wanna bring more life and light into that house. We just kind of want to make the house hers now, and still keep my Dad in it.”

Before: one of the drawers in the kitchen fell apart in Henson's hands the last time she was there.Houzz

Working with interior designer Stephanie Gamble, Henson shared her vision for the update: a big, open gathering space with a nice kitchen — since Angie loves to cook — and a classic style with modern touches.

The final result is breathtaking.

To open up the living room and kitchen area, they knocked out the dividing wall, creating a light and airy space.

In the kitchen, they installed two-toned cabinets and new appliances, including a six-burner stove.

After: now, this is a kitchen for someone who loves to cook!Houzz

The dining room now feels brighter, thanks to a large sliding glass door that took the place of an awkward window.

And in the living room, new furniture sits around a refaced fireplace and driftwood coffee table made by Henson’s dad.

After: the living room is open, airy and a great place for gathering with family.Houzz

“Although everything is new, it still feels familiar,” Henson said. “The essence is here, but we just dressed it up.”

Angie added, “The way the house is, is very comfortable to me because the artwork my husband did is still in the home. Deep down in my heart, I really, really appreciate it. I’m sure he’d appreciate it, too, what she had done for us.”

Love the style? You can shop the look here. And check out more celebrities giving their family a home makeover, including Olivia Munn, Ashton Kutcher and Ludacris.