Netflix’s 2022 show Instant Dream Home was an instant success after its release on August 10. The show is a fast-paced home renovation reality program where four designers (Paige Mobley, Nick Cutsumpas, Adair Curtis, and Erik Curtis) and a project manager (Danielle Brooks) team up to completely renovate a family’s home while they’re out for twelve hours. The family has no clue that their entire home is being re-done, so they’re surprised and delighted to see the results when they return at the end of the day.
At Wealth of Geeks, we were lucky enough to chat with Paige Mobley, the Special Project Expert on the Instant Dream Home renovation team. Paige is a true jack (jill?) of all trades in the entertainment business. She told us about her experiences as a dancer, actor, model, producer, designer, and home renovator and how she built a career made up of an array of her diverse passions.
Paige’s Path to Success
Paige Mobley’s interest in performing began at an early age. “I started as a competitive dancer when I was a little kid,” she said. “I was like three or four when I started. It was very Dance Moms-esque. I resonated with that show a lot.” As she got older, she realized she loved performing but preferred acting over dancing, which became a love for musical theater.
After she went to New York City to pursue a degree in musical theater, Paige began to make her mark in the entertainment industry with more minor roles on the big screen. In 2016, she was a contestant on America’s Next Top Model during cycle 23. “It was my first time being a series regular on any kind of show,” Paige said.
“I tell people all the time that it’s very much like putting real people into these crazy imaginary circumstances that would only happen in the context of a produced television show. But the show is real. It’s not scripted.”
The ‘America’s Next Top Model’ Experience, Explained
Paige said that she enjoyed her time on America’s Next Top Model. “It’s exactly what you’d think; it was like living in a big sorority house with a bunch of girls. Every day there’s a new challenge and a new photo shoot,” she shared. “I really enjoyed myself. I had a great time, and it opened a lot of doors for me.”
But not every moment was rainbows and sunshine. “Let’s not get it twisted; it’s intimidating,” Paige said, laughing. “Living in that kind of sorority house kind of vibe, where everyone is competing with each other; I struggled with that hardcore. I was just a kid from Michigan, and I was excited to be there, but people could be catty at times.”
Finding Her Place Behind the Camera
After Paige was eliminated, she continued her work on the screen. But by 2019, Paige began to imagine herself in a new role: as a producer. “Carol Middleton and I founded Eastend Entertainment in 2019. It was just two girls that saw this upward trend in the market of women wanting to have more of a presence in the entertainment industry,” Paige said. “We wanted to be a part of that conversation and part of that movement.”
Paige told us she handles creative directing and creative concepts for Eastend Entertainment, while Carol focuses on the business and production side. “Together, we’re deeply passionate about telling female-driven stories and creating characters that women can be proud of,” she said.
“We want to create women in which other women can see themselves, regardless of genre. And it’s been widely fulfilling and one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. I don’t think I would have ever pictured myself being a producer when I was a kid and wanted to perform, but the more I’m in this industry, the more I realize how impactful being a producer can be. If I can be a part of that, I’m stoked.”
Paige told us why she believes female producers and storytellers in Hollywood are so important. “I think there’s something to be said about how important it is that decision-makers are women,” she shared. Paige believes it’s essential for women to produce, write scripts, and step behind the camera.
“That is true representation in all forms. It’s exciting, and it’s a really cool thing to be a part of. When I peeled back those layers and discovered that was where the real stuff was happening, I was like, ‘I want to be in on that, and I want to be a part of that.’ It’s been very fulfilling.”
Behind the Scenes of ‘Instant Dream Home’
By 2020, Paige had an exciting opportunity knocking at her door. That’s when production began for Netflix’s Instant Dream Home. However, when the pandemic shut down the country in March 2020, the team had to postpone their plans.
“Production was shut down because of COVID, but we all stayed in really close contact. We were always texting and Facetiming each other,” Paige said. “By the time we got to come back and film the show, it was like instant family and instant connection amongst all of us. We still talk every single day.”
When the team headed back to set to start filming in the summer of 2021, they didn’t immediately hop into the grueling 12-hour home renovation days. “When people initially ask me, ‘how in the world is this done in a day?’ I try to remind everyone that we were shooting this show for 3.5-4 months over last summer and then tons of pre-production before we were even on set,” Paige said. Whether we were trying out putting the kitchen on the forklifts or working with our head of contracting named Dustin on all our different designs, we prepared for the actual renovation very granularly.”
That meant that the team had a plan for when the actual time to renovate arrived. But the day of the renovations also included a ton of behind-the-scenes prep. “You’ve got to go to bed really early the night before. I was waking up at three in the morning,” Paige said. “A lot of people don’t know this, but I actually did my own hair and makeup the entire season. So the boys got to sleep in an extra hour, but I got up at three am.”
Getting It All Done in Twelve Hours
After Paige finished getting ready for the day, she and the rest of the design team pumped each other up. “The boys and I would be in each others’ trailers, blasting music, dancing, trying to get our body energy up,” she shared.
“Because the second that clock strikes and we pull up, it’s pedal to the metal until that day is over. I kid you not: when the family arrives, we all run out of the house and go into this little tent that’s off-screen. We’re covered in sweat. We’re covered in dirt. We’re panting, trying to get our bodies to calm down from all the adrenaline.”
Completing a home renovation in one single day is a considerable challenge. “It was mayhem. Pandemonium,” Paige said. “We have a crew of 200+ people behind us. It’s crazy to be a part of, but when you have that much help and that big of a crew behind it, it’s amazing what we can accomplish in a day. I still pinch myself that we were able to pull off a lot of these things. I don’t think it would have been able to have gone as well as it did had not everybody in the crew been on top of their game.”
Blending Two Passions Into Purpose
Paige became interested in home renovation as a young child because of her environment growing up. “My family was always creative and artistic, so my parents told us, ‘When you choose the field of art as an endeavor for your career, you’re going to need to have something else that brings in more income.’ So my parents started flipping homes,” Paige explained. They flipped homes from the time I was a baby to even still today. Growing up, by the time I graduated high school, I lived in 20-plus homes. My parents would buy a house, we’d move in, they’d renovate, and we’d move on to the next one. I grew up around tradespeople and construction, and I speak the language well.”
Paige was ecstatic when the opportunity arose to blend her love for entertainment with her interest in home improvement. “This show was the perfect blend between my background in my childhood and what I’ve chosen to do as a performer and entertainer,” Paige said. “I pinch myself every single day that I was able to end up on a show where everything comes full circle for me. I look forward to following in my family’s footsteps by going down the path into home renovation and design while also striving for an artistic career.”
The Instant Bond of the ‘Instant Dream Home’ Team
Paige absolutely loved her time working on the first season of Instant Dream Home and gave us insight into the team’s experience after-hours. “It felt like going to summer camp again as an adult. The boys and I all lived in the same house,” she said. “At work, we’d be running around, having fun, working hard, getting all sweaty, and then afterward, when the day was finally done, and we’d get to go home, we’d hang out in our little hot tub that we had outside of our Airbnb. It really felt like summer camp for all of us. It was special.”
Female Representation in the Home Renovation Space
As a feminine woman in the home renovation space, Paige is breaking boundaries for women’s representation in the media. “The world of home reno, construction, contracting, plumbing, electrical, all of this— it is not typical to see a feminine woman with lip gloss on and her hair done in that space,” she explained. “When you watch shows on HGTV and in this genre, it’s typical to see the female, especially the female that looks like me, in the design space. Not getting their hands dirty.”
But Paige refused to take on a role that didn’t feel like herself. “When I started this project, I made it very clear. I said I’m not going to sacrifice my authenticity, and I’m not going to be afraid of anything,” she said. “If I’m in the dirt with Nick, or I’m building and demoing with Erik, or I’m designing with Adair, there will always be a throughline of who I am as a person.”
Paige’s impact isn’t going unnoticed. “I posted on my Instagram the other day, saying thank you to all the women who have shown support for my femininity. One little girl said that I looked like Princess Elsa when I was on the rooftop lifting up all the gear,” she said. “I think it’s important, you know? It’s always little things like that. You never know what’s going to have a ripple effect for change, and I think seeing a very feminine woman represented in a very male-dominated space can have a ripple effect that many people don’t realize. I’m very happy to be a part of that.”
The Importance of a Purpose-driven Mindset
Paige’s success is linked to her mindset and dedication to pursuing her passions. “I don’t know if it’s anxiety or what, but I’ve always felt really connected to purpose,” she shared. “I found that if you live a purposeful life, you will live a fulfilled life. I feel like I discovered my purpose in the performing arts and entertainment very early on, and I’ve never strayed from that.”
Her career in the entertainment industry doesn’t tie her down to one sector. “I’m a multi-hyphenate. It’s difficult for me to get laser focused on one of my endeavors when so many are so all-encompassing under this umbrella of entertainment. It becomes challenging to pick and choose what’s most important.”
But Paige doesn’t let her confusion or anxieties hold her back. “I think that’s how my career has sort of taken me in all of these different areas. If it’s under the umbrella of entertainment, I truly believe it’s my purpose,” she said. Paige also shared advice for women who want to build a successful, fulfilling career.
“Find your purpose. Find where you belong. Find your people. And allow that to completely consume you,” she proposed. “Don’t be afraid! I’ve failed a million and one times in the course of the last 10 years and the amount of wins that I’ve had are probably on one of two hands. But I can’t imagine myself doing anything else.”
As Paige, the team, and fans of Instant Dream Home wait to find out if Amazon will pick the show up for a second season, Paige continues her work with Eastend Entertainment. “A few exciting things are brewing that I can’t talk about yet,” Paige shared. “Keep an eye on Eastend Entertainment. It’s going to be a really exciting year for us.”
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Maya (she/they) is a professional freelance writer and editor. Her writing is featured in TransLash News & Narrative, Healthline’s Bezzy Depression, HorrorPress, the Episodes Newsletter, and more. They’re passionate about social justice, history, and entertainment journalism. In her free time, she loves binging horror movies, spending time with her girlfriend, and needle-felting monster sculptures.