Behind the design of Marriage Under Construction
But, really, season three follows the super cute couple Rodney and Natalie (shown right) as they buy a home, design and renovate it - all while living in the space and getting ready for a baby!
While the work on the show is just getting started, I've got the inside scoop on the style from designer Melissa Davis!
"Rod and Nat asked for a home where all their family and friends could come together and if all at once, even better!" she explains.
"This is to be the meeting place, a place to share huge family meals, back yard BBQ's and to kick back and relax. The number one request was comfort. They wanted a beautiful home with all the details thought through, but also to have the kind of place guests feel comfortable putting their feet up on the coffee table."
And, of course, for restaurateur Rod, the kitchen had to have all the conveniences of a restaurant with the warmth of a family home. Davis says she looked at this area much like she would when designing a restaurant or lounge.
"Guest should feel like they want to spend hours chatting, drinking wine and enjoying Rodney's food," she says.
To transform the home accordingly, Davis says the team had to completely gut the place.
"With a project of this scale, it's often more efficient to pull the services back and start fresh," she explains. "The open concept plan, which effected all three floors required fairly extensive interior structural work throughout. Even the landscaping and exterior was addressed, continuing the design concept from front curb through to the garage. It was a big job!"
And, because the couple had been living with friends in "the Frat House", they didn't have much furniture, so there was a lot of shopping to be done!
"I had a bit of a role reversal on this project with Rod and Nat," says Davis. "Nat knows what she likes and was able to articulate that to me quickly. Her style is very classic and sophisticated and when she sees something she likes, there is no need to look further. Rod is the partner that loves to shop, talk design and consider all the possibilities.
He and I have spent hour upon hour visiting furniture shops, fabric stores, traipsing to barns hours outside the city to see the perfect reclaimed wood samples. I'm a small town farm girl and Rod's a Newfoundlander, which somehow has us speaking the same language. We'll chit chat and eat pie for an hour, and then without having mentioned design once, will stand up and say, 'Yep definitely the leather chair' as if we'd had some great debate to decide, then off we go to buy it. I still never know how the heck we do it."
As for the home's design, Davis says it's fairly contemporary balanced with what she and Rod called "oldie-time" elements -- "the details that add history and soul to this otherwise spanky new house."
She says a number of Rod's Craigslist finds make their way into the space, some of which were happily welcomed while others took a bit of tweaking to accommodate.
And, of course, perhaps the largest change to the design was news that baby Bowers was on the way.
"When news of the baby arrived, so too did the importance of the third floor truly being a sanctuary for them. As a mom I know that the first few months are for cocooning as a family. We wanted to create an almost self-sufficient space. As long as Rodney keeps Natalie fed, she need never leave the third floor," says Davis.
Because the couple and the designer were all dedicated to using natural materials, like low to no VOC paints and flooring, from the beginning, "planning for the baby didn't require any grand changes to the overall approach."
Tune in Mondays at 9 p.m. on HGTV to see how it all pans out - and to watch how the couple deals with all that stress!