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Rejected…and Dejected…

As everyone who reads this blog knows, I am an HGTV junkie. I read the website and blog, watch all the shows and drink the HGTV Koolaid. I wouldn’t be studying interior design or writing Country Design Home if it weren’t for the inspiration of HGTV! I have learned so much about design and honed my own personal style while watching some of my favorite shows like The High Low Project 

and Color SplashI have often wondered, along with millions of other TV viewers, “how does someone get chosen to be on a design makeover show?” Knowing that the HGTV website has a continuous “casting call” searching for homes to renovate, I checked the listings often. Only to discover, much to my dismay, that the majority of the shows are filmed on the west coast or in the NY Tri-State area. Imagine my delight, when one day, while perusing Craigslist (searching for a whale coffee table?), I happened upon a local casting call from Powderhouse Productions, based in Somerville, MA! They were searching for large-scale renovation projects in the Metropolitan Boston area where the homeowners would contribute a certain dollar amount, and then HGTV would quadruple that amount, while providing the overhaul of your space. AMAZING. Can you say BARN WORKSHOP?!?!?

So I completed the form, attached some pics of the barn and hoped for the best.  Months went by, with little communication from the film company. Fast foward to a couple of weeks ago, when I got a call from the lovely production assistant, Jenna, who wanted to know if we were still interested in moving forward with the project we had proposed. Seriously!?

From that point on, things got a little crazy, as Coach and I had to film, and then re-film (apparently when you use an Ipad to shoot video, you have to hold it horizontally) a video of us discussing our renovation proposal. I have to be honest and say that although writing seems to come pretty easily to me, being on camera brought me back to 5th grade speech class. Painful. That was submitted last week, and then the executive producer and her assistant, along with the contractor met at our home last Monday to view the barn in person and discuss our options. We left for vacation not knowing the verdict. Today we got our answer: “Unfortunately we cannot feature your space in an episode. You guys are great, and I appreciate you sending everything along; however, just due to time and location restraints we can’t move forward with you.” Ouch. Now I have an inkling what those contestants on Design Star feel like when they shut the lights out behind their photograph and say “sorry, we won’t be producing your show”. Oh, well, it was worth a try. At least we gave it our best shot. Not sure I really wanted to be on television anyway. After all, they say the TV camera does add ten pounds…

So, back to the cleaning and sorting and stacking and re-stacking. Coach and I will keep working on it, and hopefully we will be able to produce a room that will make HGTV proud! Unless there is another home network out there looking for an old barn to renovate. Hmmm. Wonder what Norm Abram is doing these days?  Susan

A Big Thank You!

Zazzle Thank You

So, I didn’t realize until Word Press (my host server) sent me a little congrats card that this week marked my one year anniversary of this blog-unbelievable!! What started as a simple marketing assignment has blossomed into a full-fledged, time-consuming, educational, inspirational, often-times ridiculous look into the daily lives of myself and Coach and my family and friends. At 150 posts and counting, some of my personal favorites have included guests spots for New England Home Magazine featuring the works of Interior Designer Rachel Hazelton

 Rachel Hazelton

and photographer Paul Granese,

 Paul Granese Photography

my work on the Glidden Project,

The Glidden Project

my posts from some of the amazing weddings we attended this past yearWedding With A View

The Whale’s Tale, a refurbishing D.I.M. story

Ann Whale's Tale

the special tribute birthday cake I created for my sister in Faded Photographs

Ann Faded Photographs

and of course, my most recent post about our mission trip to the Dominican Republic.

Laundry on Barbed Wire

Over the years, I have always looked for new challenges and adventures-whether its traveling, cooking or creating art or design- and my motto is “I can do that”. Or, at the very least, I can try that (see Kayaking…The Launch)

Kayaking- The Launch

This blog has given me a voice, otherwise unheard, to share my successes and my abysmal failures (of which there are soooo many). Looking back over this past year, it is clear by your responses that you have enjoyed many of my posts about interior design, whether country pretty- yay Buffalo Plaid!

Buffalo Plaid

or chic and glamorous.

Green With Envy

Also big on the hit lists were my ventures to the SOWA Vintage Market

SOWA Market

and the Vintage Bazaar @ Pettengill Farm (can’t wait for that one again!)

Vintage Bazaar

and the Brimfield Antiques Show.

My Sister's Garage @ Brimfield

And, then, of course, there is that whole are you freaking kidding me, I dropped the whole can of paint?!?!” posts,

Hall of Shame Color Splash

where I have been sharing our crazy lives, living in, decorating and preserving our 1850’s farmhouse and barn- featured in Rejected and Dejected

Rejected and Dejected

and so many other posts. Those of you who know us personally have been hearing and witnessing those stories first hand for many years. For those of you in “blog land”, it has been great fun sharing those follies and receiving responses letting me know that you have been there too! For the coming year, I am hoping to expand my horizons and find new places, new spaces and new ideas to share both here and on my Pinterest pages. Endless adventures await, and I never go anywhere now without my camera and iPhone in my pocket. I love comments- so please feel free to weigh in on any subject and “like” a post (the button is at the bottom of the page) so I know you are reading! And if there is something you would like me to feature, check out or write about, drop me an email @ countrydesignhome@gmail.com. Thanks for following my blog everyone! Susan

So Very Thankful…

…that my holiday prep is over!! Sorry I haven’t been blogging much, it has been such a busy time around here and something had to give. Thanksgiving is absolutely my favorite holiday, and we love to entertain family and friends with a traditional turkey dinner with all the fixins! This year we had special guests from Ireland, New York and Oregon, so we tried to make it especially festive.

Since last year, my plan had been to host a primitive dinner in our re-furbished barn, but those hopes were dashed when we were rejected by HGTV. Sooo, necessity being the mother of invention, I decided to hold our annual feast on our newly vinyl-clad porch. After three long hard weekends of cutting and taping and grommeting, we had this:

So I hung thermal-lined drapes, added three tables and chairs for 22, twinkle lights and candles and then it looked like this:

Each table had its own centerpieces and decorations, using autumn leaves, burlap runners, rustic vases and candles to add a warm glow:

Once the candles were lit and the twinkle lights were glowing, it made for a pretty special (if not a bit chilly-could only use one portable heater as the others kept blowing a fuse!) outdoor dining room.

One of my young nieces walked in and said “Wow, awesome, it looks like a wedding!”

Mission accomplished. I would like to thank everyone who joined in to celebrate this special day, bringing wine and sides and pies and last-minute, hand-made place cards

and delicious hors d’oeuvres to make this dinner the best ever! Funny story about the hors d’oeuvres. My brother texted me to ask what time the party started. This was my unintended response (thank you, auto correct!)

Look for it on Ellen’s Clumsy Thumbsy : ) Hope you all had a lovely holiday as well.

On to wedding #6! Susan

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