Actress Eva Longoria has been on the Hollywood fast-track since landing her role as the feisty Gabrielle Solis on the hit TV series Desperate Housewives
. She's also one of the latest faces of L'Oreal Cosmetics. It looks like Eva is anything but
desperate, with a successful career and star basketball player boyfriend Tony Parker at her side.
Since 2005, Eva's been seen arm-in-arm with San Antonio Spur point guard Tony Parker. Tony, 23, was raised in Paris with his father, a pro basketball player, and his mother, a Dutch model. Fresh out of high school, Tony signed on to play with the San Antonio Spurs at the age of 19. He's since helped the team win two NBA championships. Between games, Tony spends time with Eva, his sweetheart and biggest fan.
Eva and Tony first met after a Spurs game, when she and her dad were invited back to the team's pressroom to meet the players. Eva had spent a summer in Paris, and says she was instantly attracted to Tony's French accent. The two hit it off, and Tony asked Eva and her father to join him for dinner.
The whole time, Eva says Tony didn't realize "who" he was chatting with until the next day at brunch: "He was the last person on earth who hadn't seen Desperate Housewives!" Eva has since brought Tony up to speed on her TV show, as well as schooling him on all things Oprah. "We have the 20th Anniversary DVD," Eva explains. "We watched all six in a row!"
Tony also comments on their mutual love for their families. "I really thought she was very beautiful inside and had a good heart," Tony says. "She's very family oriented, and me...I love my family and my friends. ... She's the same way."
Eva grew up with her three sisters on their family's ranch deep in the heart of Texas. Her mother is a special education teacher and cares for Eva's oldest sister, Elizabeth, who is mentally challenged. Eva says her parents (pictured above) made a lot of sacrifices for all their daughters. They would go without air conditioning and heat in order to make sure they had money for cheerleading or music lessons. Even though they didn't have a lot of money, Eva says, "I never knew we were that poor ... because [we] grew up with a lot of love and my family's really close."
Since her newfound success, Eva fulfilled a lifelong dream when she bought her parents a big new house. "Every day [my mom] wakes up and says, 'I feel like I won the lottery!'" Eva says. There's only one problem: Eva doesn't want her parents to furnish their new house the same way they decorated their ranch. "My mom only buys furniture that requires an instruction kit and an Allen wrench," Eva says. And because her dad enjoys hunting, his idea of decorating involves deer head trophies.
To transform the empty space into a dream home, Eva's enlisted the help of decorator Nate Berkus for the surprise of a lifetime.
The Longorias are caught completely off-guard, as Nate and Eva surprise them with the big makeover news. "Your lovely daughter calls The Oprah Show and says, 'I want my parents to have beautiful, beautiful things,'" Nate announces. "So that's what the surprise is, and that's why we're here!"
Before the makeover magic can begin, Nate takes a tour of the space. It's clear from their conversation that family matters most when it comes to decorating. "I think the room has to be comfortable," says Eva. "You have to be able to put your feet on the couch."
The Longorias' Mexican heritage is also something they'd like to integrate into their home. "We do love color," Eva's dad says. "Color goes with our culture," Eva adds.
Nate creates an interior reflective of the Longorias' Mexican heritage, filled with bright colors, terra cotta tile, iron accents, pottery, and leather furniture. Eva's parents love it! "I feel like I'm in Mexico," Eva's mom says. "It's great...it's wonderful!"
To give the kitchen a fresh new look, Nate had the original cabinets painted and distressed. The countertops are made from the aptly named Wild West green granite from Lowe's. Eva's parents have never had a dishwasher. Now, their kitchen is loaded with state-of-the-art GE appliances.Watch the complete kitchen and dining area makeover.
The best part about the makeover, Eva say, is giving something back to her parents. "My parents never get to experience everyday life with me so they don't really know," she says. "So this was the closest thing I could give to them to be touched by you, to be touched by Nate, to be touched by things I'm touched by every day."
To express their gratitude, Eva and Tony present Oprah's Angel Network with a $50,000 donation to sponsor a Katrina Home from Oprah's Katrina Homes Registry.
After 9/11, Colette and Lee bought a new home in Birmingham, Alabama, to be closer to family. When their budget dried up, the couple lived for over a year in a half-done home with no kitchen. This desperate housewife was doing dishes in her bathtub—but not anymore, thanks to Nate! He created a comfortable and classic space with plenty of room to entertain. "This is modern living now
and gracefully in the South," Nate says.See Nate's Sweet Home Alabama makeover.