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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bronson Pinchot does DIY - who knew?


So Sunday evening I was flipping channels waiting for "Mad Men" to start when I happened upon a new DIY Channel show starring 1980s comedic wingman Bronson Pinchot (for you Millenials, he was the "humorous foreigner" in nearly everything). It turns out Pinchot collects old houses. He resides in Harford, Pennsylvania and has cobbled together a "a 15-acre dream restoration colony" rehabbed with salvaged materials. Who knew character actors make so much?


In "The Bronson Pinchot Project" (which premiered February 11th), the now 52-year-old famously loose-lipped thespian renovates Greek Revival buildings in his adopted hometown, including "five houses, two stores, a former Oddfellows hall and the local post office." His taste runs to chippy wood and monumental Greek friezes and statuary, a sort of steroid Shabby Chic.


Pinchot haunts local antique stores and architectural salvage yards for crusty painted wood, wavy glass and foxed mirrors. When he gets really excited, Pinchot thrusts his pelvis, barks "Scrummy!!" and does exploding fist bumps with his head contractor. Pinchot's rooms, brought to life in his over 500 sketchbooks, are an idiosyncratic mash-up of Classical design and desiccated American high country, as if Rachel Ashwell had collaborated on a home collection with the British Museum. Old school preservationists will have a heart attack.

 A remodeled parlor my husband likened to a famous "Doctor Who" episode...

"Blink," 2007.

There isn't much DIY-ing going on as Pinchot hires out all of the labor. If vanity resto projects are your thing, you will enjoy this series. Its final first-run episode airs next week, but you can probably catch it in reruns. Dumplings, have any of you been watching this series?


Bronson Pinchot bio [DIY Network]

12 comments:

The Down East Dilettante said...

Luvvie, I just can't keep up with you. I want my own village too. But I make even less than character actors..

Bronson Pinchot is 52? No! That makes me....older...

Mrs. Sutton said...

Your writing is hilarious! Great post - great blog too.

Reggie Darling said...

Bronson Pinchot was a couple of years behind me at Yale, where I vaguely remember him wearing a tonsure haircut at one point for a role he was playing in a play at the time. He has also been a collector of Americana, which he has sold at auction from time to time. I was once the underbidder on a handsome gilt-framed mirror that he sold at Christies a decade or so ago. I look forward to watching this show. Thanks for the recommendation. RD

Margaret said...

Yes, I have watched Bronnie's stories. Interesting..waiting for him to hold a town slumber party a la Rachel A. However, do not make my mistake in "Googling" any personal deets about his encounters with vendors, townspeople..better off watching, muted, and appreciating the fact that the architectural structures were saved from kindling piles.

Raina Cox said...

Dilly - You would make a wonderful mayor of Pleasantville.

Mrs. Sutton - Thanks ever so much and welcome!

Reggie Darling - I can't imagine such a coiffure was flattering to his, um, profile.

Margaret - I noticed the stricken looks on the shopkeepers' faces when Pinchot arrived.

sanctuaryhome said...

I found this show by accident a few weeks ago. I like that he does seem to be a student of the history of architecture and design. However, I don't think he has a great understanding of the application of historical elements. He is a weird little character with weird taste, which makes for watchable tv in my opinion.

My Interior Life said...

Wow, I had not heard of this gem of a show! You're exactly right - who knew Balkie would be into home restoration? Fascinating.

David said...

You know I love old paint and a flawed surface, but I couldn't get interested the one time I tried to watch. Maybe I'll give it another shot.

LB is right on about the Doctor Who thing, that room is screaming Weeping Angels.

The Weeping Angels will be back in the new season btw. Yes, I'm a Whovian.

Raina Cox said...

David - I knew your were Good People.

Michele from Boston said...

I've been watching this show since the beginning and have been waiting for a tour of the mansion. I think he renovated a parlor in it this last week. I've followed him over the years as a collector of very fine Greek and Roman antiquities (beyond his acting, that is.) I assume his cache may have been sold at auction to bankroll these PA projects. I see him as the King of Pastiche, especially after hiding a modern refrigerator behind a piano-hinged bookcase. His crusty paint threshold is clearly meters higher than my own. He does appear to have a talent for composition and a feeling for light in a space. But, as you mentioned, for me - that old time preservationist - it's fanciful and somewhat uninhabitable caprice. I am happy the buildings have been saved, especially the Greek Revival gem of a main house. The rest seem like follies, but he and his local crew seem to be having more fun than I am so more power to him! Raina, your review was marvelous to read. Thanks.

Raina Cox said...

Michele from Boston - Hello, welcome and thanks for adding another level to the conversation.

The Pink Pagoda said...

So random and interesting! He's in one of my favorite ever movies, True Romance. I'll have to check out the show. It sounds like one episode will do it.