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Mike, Jenn, and Gary

Featured Article

At Home with Jenn Todryk

Happiness is Home

What makes a house a home? Is it a kitchen island with room for the whole family? A sun-dappled living room with treehouse views?  An affable dog named Gary who’s eager to greet every guest?

For Jenn Todryk, star of HGTV’s “No Demo Reno,” the answer is simple: “Happiness. Happy memories – that’s what makes you want to go home at the end of the day.”

Jenn, better known as @theramblingredhead on Instagram, and her husband, Mike, have built a life and home where such memories flourish. The couple and their home exude warmth and welcome. 

Gary does too. And he’s ready for his close up, thank you. 

When she’s not transforming homes on HGTV, she and Mike are busy with their kids and the day-to-day of running one of Allen’s most treasured local hangs, Armor Coffee. They’re poised to open more locations and will add Armor Brewery to the mix later this year. 

They also host a popular podcast. 

At the insistence of a friend, “You, Me & Mike” was created. The podcast, which explores topics including relationships and parenting, was something for the couple to do together.

“Because we need more to do together!” jokes Jenn. 

When it comes to design, Jenn’s is transcendent. Her hope when guests visit is they find her home clean and put together, but “still cozy and very comfortable.” Without a doubt, Jenn has accomplished just that. Each room is beautifully appointed and artfully curated, but, rather than shrinking from the threat of fingerprints, invites visitors to peruse, explore, and make themselves at home. 

She aptly describes her personal design style as falling into “the organic modern realm – woods, stone, concrete – but with a softness to it.” The Todryk home is the embodiment of this aesthetic. 

Each room beckons you. 

From the foyer, you may choose your own adventure: explore the dining room? Ascend the swooping stairs? Pop into the kitchen? Or settle into the sunken living room?

Gary leads the way to this last room, whose floor to ceiling windows blur the line between indoors and out. The cozy, light-filled space is reminiscent of a treehouse, and seems somehow built into the woods surrounding it.

Elegant and earthy, the Austin limestone-clad fireplace is adorned with the soft glow of gold candlesticks glinting in the warm sunlight. Beside the hearth, a basket overflows with sumptuous blankets, ready for movie night. 

When designing a room, Jenn says, “You have to find the focal point. I start from there and build out.” The results, as her family, friends, and followers know, are breathtaking. 

While you could easily spend hours in the comfort of this sun-kissed retreat, the kitchen insists you visit, inviting you to sit a spell and take it all in. 

Here, golden, honey-dipped woods lovingly embrace white cabinetry. Black and gold appliances stand proudly, enticing you to sauté, bake, char. A pair of antique doors purported to hail from Egypt — though the couple admits they’re dubious — is flanked by glass front cabinetry showcasing collected treasures lovingly displayed and—

“Is that a chair?”

For, perched impossibly on the ledge above the home’s front door, sit two slipper chairs. There’s nary a stair or ladder in sight. 

Mike explains this amusing tableau with a grin: “Everyone’s always asking, ‘How do you get up there?’” His consistent, wry reply is this: “That’s where we eat breakfast.”

The real answer? The fun-loving couple placed the chairs there as a joke.

“Two years ago!” Jenn laughs.

Happiness is woven into the fabric of the Todryk home. Jenn has created and curated a haven for her family and friends – and herself. When asked to pick a favorite room, the admitted homebody waffles, then says, “It’s probably my living room. Or dining room. I like the windows and I like the view and I like the woods. I like every room in my house.”

  • Mike, Jenn, and Gary