Ever wonder what members of New Kids on the Block have been up to lately? Turns out, former boy band heartthrob Jonathan Knight has been cavorting with horses and renovating farmhouses!
Knight’s home improvement skills are now on full display in a new HGTV show, “Farmhouse Fixer,” which premiered in March. And on the latest episode, “The Horse Farmhouse,” Knight and interior designer Kristina Crestin team up to help Corine and Michael, who own a Massachusetts home and horse stable that’s definitely seen better days.
“This house has just been not loved for so long, and now you have trees growing in your gutters,” Knight points out.
Knight and Crestin want to make the house feel new again, but don’t want to renovate the history out of the home. They’re given a $200,000 budget to update this old farmhouse without making it feel too modern.
Here’s how this not-so-New Kid on the Block and his design partner rock their latest renovation, which might inspire some upgrades around your own abode, too (plus some nostalgic NKOTB replays of “Hangin’ Tough” and other hits. Enjoy!).
Add a worktable instead of an island
Corine tells Knight and Crestin that she wants her kitchen to have an English farmhouse vibe, and right away, Crestin knows how to do it.
She explains that there’s one big difference between American farmhouse kitchens and European ones: the storage.
“I find, in design, here in America we’re fixated on more storage, more storage, more storage,” Crestin says. “But Corine told us she wants a European or an old English farmhouse kitchen. So in almost every English kitchen, you see worktables, and this will visually tell your brain, ‘Oh this is a little bit different.’”
So Knight and Crestin build a huge, 14-foot-long surface that feels more like a worktable than a typical island. It gives the kitchen a hint of that signature European style. Plus, it gives Corine and Michael lots and lots of place to prepare meals.
Fill an empty kitchen wall with a functional pot rack
While the worktable makes a big difference in this kitchen, Knight and Crestin don’t stop there. They add a rack that will hold a collection of copper pans.
When finished, the rack looks great. It makes for a convenient way to store cookware, plus it fills an otherwise empty wall, making the kitchen feel extra homey.
Brick flooring looks great in a sunroom
When Knight and Crestin first tour the house, they’re unimpressed with the sunroom. The space has lots of beautiful natural light, but strangely it still feels unwelcoming. The room is simply too big and too plain.
Knight and Crestin decide that one of the biggest problems is the painted floor, so they add brick flooring to warm up the space and give it some texture.
“The brick on the floor in the sunroom is going to really warm up what would otherwise be a very airy and wide-open room,” Knight says.
The brick highlights the sunroom’s outdoor feel while also playing into Corine and Michael’s rustic farmhouse style. Maybe brick isn’t the right flooring for all throughout the house, but it’s perfect for a sunroom.
Dark wall colors work in a farmhouse
Corine and Michael’s farmhouse is attached to a den. The couple want this den to function as a gathering space for guests. So they want it to feel a little more updated. While a coat of white paint could brighten up this space, Knight and Crestin want to make this room feel cozy and moody. Still, they have a hard time choosing a color.
“I really want this color to nod to the equestrian history of this property, and there are two colors that are very common in the equestrian world: dark, rich green and red,” Crestin says.
She ends up going with dark green, which fits well with the historic farmhouse feel and gives this room a classic vibe.
Brass hardware can elevate a space
After choosing a great green color for the den, Knight and Crestin know they’ll need to top the space off with some great new hardware. Unfortunately, they can’t decide on a style. While Knight wants to use iron in the room, Crestin thinks iron will make the space feel too rustic.
Meanwhile, Crestin is determined to use copper hardware.
“She wants that, like, European farmhouse,” Crestin says. “That’s a little bit on the classier side than too rustic.”
They end up choosing brass, which looks great next to the dark green color, bringing some extra elegance to this moody room.