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...
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]