• Mariana L.

Everything But the House With Lara Spencer


So this happened. Our episode of HGTV's Everything But the House with Lara Spencer aired over the past two weeks. This was a process that started four years ago. Adam's parents loved this property and had always wanted us to live on and share it with friends and family. When they passed, Adam and I were working and living full-time in NYC, so it was a challenge. Their wishes were also that we travel to Italy to spread their ashes. It took a few years, as you always want to hold on to everything from your loved ones, but eventually, you realize you cherish your memories more than the material items themselves. Everything But the House has an amazing team of experts in all categories, and it was a pleasure learning about the history of some of the items we lacked background on. Both Adam and I contributed many of our own collectibles that we purchased over time, both from pop culture, or my vintage textile and fashion archives. As much as we thought we knew, we always could discover more.

One of the things we truly appreciated was the talents of parents Sam and Tina. Sam was always an accomplished photographer, and we always wondered why most of his work was in the barn and not on the house walls as it should be. Tina, was an accomplished artist as was her mother before her. As we found more and more of her work hidden in the barn, we realized it was more meaningful to us that her work is displayed in the house, not a piece she purchased at an estate sale. We did let a few pieces of hers go into the auction, just out of curiosity on whether or not a stranger would prize it purely on her talent enough to purchase it. I think she would be very happy to know her work did very well :)

The jam endeavor was inspired by a conversation I had with Tina, where we planned to make jam from elderberries she wanted to forage. She loved strong cocktails, so do I. I merged the two to create Wicked Finch Farm jam. While I never found elderberries to forage, I planted a few bushes in her honor.

Anyone who has watched Flea Market Flip or read any of Lara Spencer's books will know she KNOWS her stuff when it comes to hidden treasures. Her energy and ability to get to the story of what could just be "stuff" made the experience special.

EBTH maven Jacquie Denny really has a passion for what she does. Some of my favorite memories during filming, was when we both took a break, and we had a casual chat about what auctions surprise her. You would think with that many experts in the field, there wouldn't be that many surprises. Whenever items do surprise her, she reaches out to every expert she can, or she might call up the bidder personally to chat about what they love about their purchase. What I learned is that you can't put a price on joy.

While we were filming, we never thought about who would be the people who would buy it, or that the items that held our memories would live on to make someone else memories. One of the nicest surprises was watching adorable Southern Belle Kay W. talk about how much she loves the Italian planter she purchased. While Adam and I loved the story of how Tina brought the planter back from a trip, the planter itself didn't fit in with our personal style. It made us so happy to see it appreciated and loved by someone as it deserved.


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