Alison Victoria primed for Season 4 of ‘Windy City Rehab’ — and her new dream home come true

The Chicago designer says her passion is back, and she’s ready to tackle everything that comes her way.

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Host Alison Victoria is back with a new season of “Windy City Rehab” on HGTV.

Host Alison Victoria is back with Season 4 of “Windy City Rehab” on HGTV.

Discovery Inc.

There’s nothing like a visit to a flea market to figure out what you want to do with your life.

Of course, if the flea market is located in Paris and brimming with dazzling antiques and vintage knickknacks, and you’re celebrity designer Alison Victoria, it makes perfect sense. The host of HGTV’s “Windy City Rehab” says a month in Paris last year was exactly what she needed to recharge her passion for designing and reconnect with herself.

The trip came on the heels of the pandemic lockdowns, an extended show hiatus, and some high-profile series drama and legal battles revealed over the course of her hit series. Victoria famously cut all ties with her former contractor Donovan Eckhardt, in 2020, over alleged mishandling of finances. The duo at the time also faced a series of stop-work orders from the city of Chicago (the permit privileges were later reinstated) — as well as lawsuits brought by two former clients.

“I just needed to go and find out what I wanted to do next. Obviously, dealing with everything, and the pandemic, I wanted to see if I truly wanted to continue doing what I was doing professionally. I call it my mini sabbatical,” Victoria says of her journey to France. “I wanted to recharge my soul. I was totally off the grid. I had no intention of filming anything. And the second day in Paris I went to the flea market because it’s a place where I constantly feel inspired and happy. And it [just clicked]. I called my production team and said, ’It’s back on.’

“[Being there] made me realize I needed a fresh perspective. I needed a moment. Going to Paris made me feel happy and inspired again. Paris is my favorite place on this planet.”

Back in the U.S., Victoria got to work on Season 4 of “Windy City Rehab,” which debuts at 8 p.m. May 23 on HGTV and HGTV GO. The season finds her plying her trade in Chicago and Las Vegas — and shopping in Paris.

Her return to television also finds her competing on “Barbie Dreamhouse Challenge” debuting this summer on the cable network, along with the three-episode series “Windy City Rehab: Alison’s Dream House,” during which viewers will follow her as she converts her Chicago warehouse office space into her new home.

Alison Victoria works on a project in Ari’s workshop on “Windy City Rehab.”

Alison Victoria has plenty to smile about these days, as she’s back with a new season of “Windy City Rehab” and is in the midst of designing her own Chicago dream home.

Discovery, Inc.

Her new dreamhouse, a 5,000-square-foot space, will have a European vibe, Victoria says, but also a modern aesthetic, and it marks the biggest project of her career so far. Expect a major wow factor, she says, considering the home will come complete with a professional chef’s kitchen, great room, gym, theater and all-season courtyard and spa/pool — an indoor pool being “an absolute must.”

Victoria is also a familiar face on several other HGTV series, including “Rock the Block,” where she’s among the ranks of competitors and which she calls “the most challenging.”

“I will have done almost nine different shows in one year. ... I never like the process of being judged but [‘Rock the Block’] is so much fun because I’m really good at competing; [Laughs] I’m in it to win it. These people are all my friends anyway, so it’s not like it’s cutthroat. It’s all about design and you’re just in awe of everybody’s statements.”

The “most fun” as a competitor comes via “Barbie” later this summer, she says, in which eight teams of HGTV stars transform a Southern California home into a real-life Barbie dreamhouse. As for how pink the house will be, Victoria answers, “Oh there will be pink.”

For viewers who are thinking of redesigning homes, Victoria offers a bit of key advice.

“People get stuck. They have an idea of what they want [a redesign] to look like by flipping through magazines or going to Pinterest, and that all tends to be a little cookie-cutter. So they’re [not thinking] outside the box,” she says. “I see that over and over, especially in kitchens. ... You can be inspired by something, but then it’s how do you make it your own? All of us can point in a catalog and say, ‘Oh I want that.’ But then there’s nothing special about that. That’s why you hire a designer.”

As for the “new” Alison Victoria, the designer says it’s more about her just “being back.”

“I’m again the person I’ve always been — happy, passionate, with a living-life-to-the-fullest approach. It was gone for a few years. But it’s all back. ... And it feels really good.”

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