WRITTEN BY JULIE MALESKI-PUTZEL, JMP INTERIORS | PHOTO PROVIDED
If I had to sum up my experience working with This Old House into one word, it would be Relationships.
This project happened because of our relationships with the crew of This Old House, our vendors, our trades people, and our clients.
I came into this project sideways; having spent some time observing from the sidelines. In December, I was officially added to the roster of professional team members and boy did I have ground to make up. We were behind on materials needed on the site, production schedule, and on planned orders moving forward. With the cards stacked against us to get this project completed for the filming schedule, I had my job cut out for me. Pandemic or not, the show must go on. We had weekly zoom meetings with the producers and production staff, daily phone calls with the clients, and multiple daily phone calls with the vendors. Between Matt Whitbeck and myself calling in almost every favor we could, this project appeared to have gone off like clockwork.
Respect. That is the word for all the staff of This Old House. How often does a Designer get a chance to work with a national television show? It was one of the most incredible experiences of my professional life. The production staff is incredible at their jobs. It was like watching an orchestra, all moving parts in impeccable synchronization. Not only are they the most talented story tellers I have ever met, but they are constantly altering what they are filming, setting up, and editing based on how the project unfolds. They shoot it all in brilliant harmony. I’m sitting over here losing sleep thinking about the quantity of flooring ordered….did I forget the stair nosing? Did they correctly enter the order for the change of color for the floors? It’s the swan theory to the fullest extent. On the surface swans glide along in majestic patience and grace, and underneath the water they paddle franticly keeping their huge body mass afloat.
The team behind the scenes of This Old House, the work horses for this television legacy, have my utmost respect and gratitude. Man, do they run like clockwork. That’s how our team at Whitbeck Construction runs, like clockwork. We tackle the hard stuff, that no one else wants to and we do it with grace and poise. One of the coolest things this experience has brought me is a phone call from an acquaintance of mine. He works in IT and is currently working with the government of Victoria, BC when they asked him if he knew any of us because they are huge fans of the show. Folks from all over the world could have been watching our faces, and that is a very humbling thought. I mean, J Lo could have been watching for all I know!! I’m sure her people will be calling me any day now, but in the meantime, I will keep my normal pace and crush the projects that do come my way.
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