November 10, 2011
When we were signing on to be featured on This Old House TV's next season, we were told by many who had been involved in past seasons that we would need to take a leap of faith when doing this. I think that can mean a lot of things, but for us, it's meant really learning to trust a team of experts, and let them guide us through an incredible process. This applies to all the wonderful folks who have advised us throughout this project, but, as I've discussed before, one of the things I've most enjoyed has been working with the Terrat Elms design team.
Not only do they have creative, cool, and fun ideas, they are also down-to-earth, smart, and really get that Joe and I do not lead a "designer" life. We like comfort, entertaining, and piling up with lots of people, dogs, cats, etc. to watch a movie on a friday night. We allow pizza on the couch, drinks in the living room, and don't have a lot of rules in our home. Whether that is good or bad is for another discussion, but either way, it's how we choose to live. And they have done an incredible job of integrating our personal, comfortable style into the final design.
As we've worked with Dee and Andrew more and more, we've gotten to the point of completely trusting them (we have "leapt", so to speak). Joe and I both arrived at that moment at different points. I got there a bit earlier on when I was asking if we should stick with the all-white kitchen I had always envisioned, or go for a less matchy-match look with the island. I vacillated a lot, but it was Dee Elms who convinced me that trying something different on the island would be a fun, interesting element, and was worth reconsidering. For Joe, it was at a weekly team meeting when they were presenting some of their ideas, and he kept asking about various items "Will it match?" Jen Wells, one of the show's producers, was smart enough to pull Joe aside and remind him that, of course it will match—we are working with designers who know what they are doing!
Since then, we have left a lot of the decisions up to them (paint colors, fabrics, etc.). So deep is our trust that, sometimes, we don't even look a paint color they've recommended before agreeing to it. Now, I realize that most of us never get to work with designers (I certainly never had; it's just a benefit to working with TOH), but it's been a great lesson in taking some chances and having some fun in our living space—something I think we will have achieved here. I know that, in the future, I will tend to err on the side of taking risks when it comes to putting together a room, even though I probably won't have a design team advising me every step of the way!
(19) CommentsComment on this Blog
Where in the project are you? Are you finished? Do we need to bother looking at webcams any more??
Henry and everyone else who wants to know this project is finished the web cams are no longer showing live shots and in all probability have been removed by now.
Rebecca and Joe I don't know you but from the very first I already knew you guys had a sense of style that some families just didn't have and you did things the smart way. You didn't waste money on trivial things that don't amount to a hill of beans you were smart about things. I don't know who's idea it was to have the bottom of the kitchen island a different color but whoever did it and I assume it was you Rebecca from what you said it was a smart idea. It kind of helped to set things apart from the rest of the house and more or less said here is the kitchen and here is the dining area without being overstated. I too and I think the majority of us average Americans like to eat at the couch while watching tv and I don't see any harm in that at all. We have a dining room but in our small house it was converted into a bedroom long ago and now is more a storage room than a bedroom. It is messy and we intend to clean it but haven't had a chance. But all of that is what a house is supposed to be a place to live in and enjoy ourselves. So now both of you and your child enjoy yourselves as the hard work is now over. I wish you a happy Thanksgiving and a merry Christmas and a happy new year! May god bless your family for a long time!
Rebecca and Joe,
I cannot tell you how much I have enjoyed watching your project develop through the webcams and your blog. I am now enjoying watching the TOH episodes as they unfold. This has been very exciting as my wife and I completed a kitchen remodel last April so as I watched some of the items being worked on it brought back memories (both good and bad).
I hope that you truly enjoy your 'new, old house'. Thanks for sharing the experience with us.
In the past years, TOH's webcams were set up so that you could see online what was going on at the time the filming took place when each episode aired.
The pics didn't update as often as it did with the Earth Cam programs TOH uses now. I did like seeing live action when something important was taking place. I enjoyed reading the blog entries here, too.
Rebecca and Joe. I use the TOH series and your project in particular as a teaching tool for my drafting classes at the high school where I teach. The historical aspect of the house adds much to our study of architecture. Congrats on a great remodel!
It's been great following your project. As owners of a mid 18th century house, our favorite dream has the TOH crew showing up on our doorstep! Love what you did...but...why oh why did you not keep the house color charming red? Tho the blue looks fresh, it just doesn't have the character!!!
You are surely loving your new old home. It's beautiful.
With everything in the news regarding table saw safety, I was quite surprised when TOH aired a recent episode with Tom Silva pushing a piece of trim through the table saw freehand without using a fence or miter gauge. I have been watching for years and could not believe what I was seeing. We will all be paying a lot more for our equipment in the near future because one man tried that unsuccessfully. Please be careful in the future.
Working it with a designer makes a big difference. Just make sure that your team and the designer jive well with each other. There should be unity in all aspects. The designer is there to provide brilliant ideas, but the decision is still yours to make. The design you will be applying will reflect your character, so make sure you to think deep and determine what your heart desires.
Just watched this weeks episode. I MUST know what paint color you selected for the exterior! :)
The website lists all your interior selections, but not the exterior. My wife and I are building a house and on the topic of exterior color, we are undecided. That grey blue was on our list, but your house was the first I've seen do it right (blue can go bad real fast).
Thanks for sharing!
Hey, just watched your show and wanted to know who is the manufacturer of the 11" oak flooring in the kitchen? Thanks for showing that. We're looking to install something like that in our home.
I have loved seeing your grow..
TOH is a highlight of my week and the Bedford Project has been such an inspiration to my family. Thanks to Rebecca and Joe for sharing with all of us who live in really old houses and dare to dream. Your dream appealed to many of us as down to earth and doable. It is turning out beautiful!
Rebecca and Joe,
What a great project! The front door was repaired with a flexible epoxy in episode #3114. Please let me know what brand was used. Thank you.
What a season wrap up!!! ANd I like the LED on the fireplace, please post online who makes them, they are neat!!! And was that your dad with the TOH HAT in the background ? FINALLLY!!!!!! He got one for all the work he did.
Great house. I currently live in a 1716 colonial built by the Page family as well. History names our old house as the Jonathan Page house, one of the first settlers of Atkinson, NH. It is interesting to see all the similar features of both houses. we too are renovating, but keeping with the period.
Cover smaller windows with simple curtains or blinds, or for a contemporary look, leave them untreated.
Love your house and the transformation. Awesome! I've scoured the This Old House website looking for the supplier of the 11 inch wide oak flooring you put down in the kitchen. We are currently renovating our 1830s Georgian and would love to speak to the supplier of your floors. Can you tell me who the supplier is? Thanks very much.
Congrats on the project and the ability to let go and let others take charge. When dealing with a professional designer that you trust, it's usually best to let them handle the smaller decisions because it will ultimately play into their overall vision. When looking at one piece of the puzzle, it may not appear as if they've chosen the right color, or lighting, or anything else, but when you see the finished product, it's usually clear that they made the right decision.
However, the importance lies in choosing the designer that you trust. Making sure that your interests and end objectives are aligned is the major priority for any renovation project.