Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Rapper-turned-renovator turns dream into reality

1990s star Vanilla Ice and his crew revamp couple's home for TV show

Nesty and Michelle Nunez could not believe it. Vanilla Ice, the 1990s rapperturned-renovator, was outside the Lake Worth couple's house.

The couple had been chosen - from almost 1,000 photo and video submissions - to receive a $30,000 US room renovation as part of DIY Network's VIP: Ice My House special.

"I'm still shaking. I can't breathe," Michelle said, after Ice (real name Rob Van Winkle) ambushed her house Tuesday.

"When we heard the knocks, the dogs started going crazy," she said. "That's when we looked at each other. We couldn't even speak. We just ran [to the door]."

The Nunezes bought their single-family fixer-upper in 2009 after shopping around for "an ugly house in one of the better neighbourhoods in Lake Worth."

Being true DIYers, they redid the entire interior - replacing floors, installing cabinets and painting walls.

But beyond an immaculate inside are a dilapidated screened patio and a backyard that the couple hides behind beige curtains.

"You don't want to see what's out there," Nesty said.

"We had lost steam working so hard on the inside and renovating everything in here.

"The backyard is just a constant reminder that there's something more to do."

That's where Van Winkle and his crew of contractors come in. In less than a month they will transform the leaky patio and weed-ravaged yard into an oasis where the Nunezes can relax and entertain family and guests.

"This is paradise," Van Winkle said of Palm Beach County.

"This is why I live here. I'm really excited to showcase my skills here South Florida-style."

A backyard is an essential part of South Florida living, he said.

In production for its third season, The Vanilla Ice Project features Van Winkle and his team fixing up a run-down Palm Beach-area mansion.

The show inspires people to renovate their homes in a bad housing market, Van Winkle said.

"A lot of people are in a mindframe of thinking, 'My house is upside down right now. It's not worth what I paid for it and I don't feel like putting in a new kitchen or tiles because that's just spending more money,' " he said.

"It gets them back into that American dream, which is to own your own home and decorate it the way you want.

"This couple is a perfect DIY family to come over here and showcase."

The episode featuring the Nunez family is expected to air early next year as a one-hour special.

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks