Thursday, March 22, 2012

Get Him To The Greek - I Heart Bronson Pinchot

Bronnie, as he signs off on his blog, was big star in the 1980's and 1990's. All the while he had a secret passion. He was a decorator, a designer, a restoration freak! He started collecting antiques when he was a kid. Except for the TV and movies part, his story reminds me of my dear Michael Pelkey who would build a house around the perfect little round antique window he had stashed away in one of his many warehouses awaiting the perfect moment of use.

Bronson Pinchot loves old things

Bronson Pinchot owns a good part of a small town in Pennsylvania, where he spends most of his free time restoring antique homes, by using pieces of other old homes that have be demolished. He owns the cutest teeny post office, and four other 19th century homes, and one incredible 1840's Greek Revival beauty that is home base.

The town in Pennsylvania that Bronnie is fixing up one house at a time

Greek Revival is a very popular style in the South, from the humble shotgun cottage, to a mansion in any town or city, to the incredible plantation homes that dot the Mississippi River (and other locales in the South), to the style of tombs that prevail in New Orleans.

A wonderful book to own about Greek Revival - get it on Amazon

It is my favorite style of architecture, and my dream house is a Greek Revival center hall house.

So whilst flipping channels one day, I lighted upon The Bronson Pinchot Project on the DIY Network. There was Bronnie and his crew rebuilding, decorating, and restoring these grand white houses, using architectural salvage, vintage lighting and furnishings, and turning things on their ear so to speak.

Don't miss this show on the DIY Network

This is no stale text book restoration. Bronnie reinterprets spaces and makes them fresh and unusual by mixing all the antique elements in just the right way. He has a keen eye for using natural light, and his instincts for proportion are organic and fluid. Plus he's funny and charming and passionate.

Bronson Pinchot knows how to use light

The show was kind of in a pilot rotation on Saturday mornings, but it is taking over a Saturday night prime time slot, so check your local listings.

Bronnie's house - swoon

Terrible screen shot of how Bronson installed a stone cameo of Apollo over an old fireplace - He also added a skylight and a mirror so that the light would hit it just ever so perfectly - Apollo weighs a ton, but Bronson's incredible crew found a way to install it - It is pure genius, and Bronson please post a better picture of this!

A little cupola in the back yard, salvaged and saved and perfect

A view of the cupola from the house

Bronson calls this a library though it doesn't have one bookshelf - He installed old windows all around, restored the  floor, added the stove and brick floor hearth, and simple furnishings - It is a nice room to read in and just think away the hours

This is a kitchen he created in one of the four houses he owns in the town - all the appliances are hidden behind complex cabinetry built from reclaimed old wood

Here's Bronnie all happy in front of a house that needs his TLC on the DIY

In case you were absent on the day this was covered in class, here's a quick primer on Greek Revival

In the meantime, I am dreaming of my Greek Revival house that has white Venetian plaster walls, beautiful old wood floors, fan light windows, in fact lots of windows, handsome columns, quirky lighting fixtures, gauzy curtains, and lots of candlelight. Michael Pelkey and Bronnie are there with Alberto and the crew, and we are having a wonderful time, and laughing until we cry.

The Library - the walls are Venetian plaster

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  1. Oh...this looks like a wonderful show. So glad you told us about it.

  2. Hi Valerie, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

  3. I so relate to Bronson, his design flavor is right up my salvage style. Come for a creative visit to my creative-ness!

    Love your site a wealth of information that inspires.


  4. Passionate over all things salvaged.


  5. That is fantastic. I hope his pockets are as deep as his enthusiasm is big.

  6. Hi! Just found your blog again. I watched the show about the Greek Revival library that he did. It was very entertaining. I had no idea that he was decorating and restoring homes in his spare time. Really cool. He really has his own "style" and he has to get a really good feeling about a look before he can commit to it.

    I hope that DIY keeps his show on for's funny, irreverent and well done!



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