The following article appeared in The Scene magazine. It is written by Domino Taylor, freelance journalist and a lead volunteer for the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition project in Kemah.
Many thanks to John and Betsey Ennis, publishers of The Scene for sharing this with Wiredin.cc
“As seen in the SCENE Magazine”
“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” Designer, Tracy Hutson Adds Author to her Bio
By Domino Taylor
I, like many thousands had the opportunity to work on the home for the Beach family in Kemah, through ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”. But I did feel an extra sense of pride to be a part of the lead committee team that started right after Thanksgiving and continued thru December when the secret was still kept, with the Lock & Key Production, aka: EM:HE staff. We worked side by side with the ABC family, undercover with Blu Shield’s staff and beloved family, contractors, trade partners, and sponsors. Barbara Roberts and I worked with Dustin Pullium and his team from ABC’s EM:HE, out of make shift offices at South Shore Resort, side by side daily, with locals Chiquita Taylor, Eddie Harper, Laurie Dotson, Mary Dees and Kim Woodard. It was a long kept secret with long hours, while watching others keep even longer hours day after day. Thru my eyes it was like watching a symphony in motion, while all were achieving the goals to have the overwhelming job of all the many components in place by the time the Braveheart march was implemented. The Braveheart march is the famous blue shirted volunteers’ walk behind Ty and his team to surprise the heroic family that they are picked for the home makeover. You all know the rest.
By January 7, so many of us had bonded by the time we got to the actual home building week. I realized I can keep a big secret, even after 6 weeks when speculation was about and it was near the point of ‘hiding out’ to make sure the secret was kept. We did all enjoy our secret codes, and our correspondence being dubbed 719, (the episode number) additionally we all knew we were on a high spirit of volunteerism while covering our job demands. We made some good friends, not just the typical, ‘look at me with a celebrity photo shoot’ but really got to know them in a ‘un-Hollywood’ setting. When you work daily (in rain or freezing weather it adds another layer of bonding) day after day, conquering obstacles, seeking their wisdom on their past experiences, all while sharing a few tears with a lot of laughter, it makes for an unforgettable experience.
Sure, heartthrob Ty Pennington is the top celebrity of EM:HE and all adore him, but along with Ty are the down-to-earth design team, Michael Maloney, Paul DiMeo and the adorable Tracy Hutson. They make the show sparkle with talent. But the Hollywood workers know it is the multitude of volunteers, sponsors and trade partners that make their designs for the home become a reality. After we moved our temp offices from South Shore to the build site in Kemah, we all experienced the coldest winter weather ever on the coast, (or in several decades) but the wet and the rain never seemed to slow the incredible masses of people.
My personal interest have always been the design team, and designer Tracy Hutson was a real pleasure to meet, but also to visit on her personal life and to talk about her new book during the week. Anyone who watches the Sunday night ABC show knows what Tracy does on the show and how she works with team on the design of each special home. I enjoyed talking to Tracy about, her children and husband and her new book. By the time our wrap party came, we got to do some decompressing at T Bone Tom’s. We knew we had shared an experience that most of us will always remember for the rest of our lives. The spirit of volunteerism was the highest level noted in the Clear Lake –Bay Area and I know it will continue, the bar was set high and it was met. While the end was near during the emotional chants of the ‘Move that Bus!’ on reveal day, all of us in our blue jackets commented on getting on with our ‘after makeover life’ and how we will adjust back to the current and future duties and large scale project, it was echoed repeatedly, that after those intense 7 days…the rest is a piece of cake. I want to thank all the people who worked with me and volunteered graciously, giving not only their time but a true devotion to this project.
I would also like to share a little about Tracy Huston’s book, it is the perfect timing after the ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’ journey; the title is appropriately, called “Feathering The Nest”.
Tracy Hutson, part of the design team on ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”, is an accomplished interior designer, a devoted mother and the author of a charming and informative book on how to decorate the perfect space for your child. Feathering the Nest: Tracy Hutson’s Earth Friendly Guide to Decorating Your Baby’s Room is an accessible, easy to use resource for parents who want to create a nursery, that is both mentally stimulating and emotionally comforting, that maximizes safety and that is built and decorated with a healthy dose of environmental responsibility. In this book, Hutson shares her specialty and her passion for designing children’s spaces, putting her guiding principles into practice for four different styles of nurseries; vintage, contemporary, traditional and international. The book features photos of actual children’s rooms from around the country and descriptions on how the rooms were made; the book also focuses on the essential components of nursery design, including the special touches that make a room your child’s very own. With Feathering the Nest, the warmth and creativity of Tracy Hutson’s approach will inspire every parent to create the ideal nest for their child. The book is beautifully illustrated with photography by Laurie Frankel.
Tracy Hutson began her professional career as stylist and designer in 1999, when she started her own Los Angles –based design business. In 2003 she became part of the “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”. She lives in Los Angles with her husband actor Barry Watson and their two young children, Oliver and Felix. She handles all her many hats with grace and ease, all while being full time mommy to kiddos, bringing them on the road while the filming the television phenomenon dedicated to renovating and rebuilding homes for families in need.
In the 6th season, the ABC show ranks number 1 in its time slot across all demographics and boast 14 million viewers per week, and has won two Emmy awards. Through her involvement with the show Hutson has witnessed first hand the dramatic impact that living spaces can have on the lives of the people who occupy them. Every episode stimulates her naturally philanthropic spirit, and she responds to each family’s needs with compassion and enthusiasm. Utilizing her particular talent for designing children’s spaces, Hutson lovingly customizes rooms for the younger family members adding personal touches that are consistently enchanting.
“I believe we should be earth friendly, not only in products, but in repurposing our furniture, buying from flea markets, using handed down antiques and the results will be an eclectic earth friendly design unique to you.” stated Tracy. When asked her favorite power tool, the petite blond confidently adds, “Sander!” It is the frequent tool used to change the ‘found treasures’ into newly designed decorator pieces. Cost efficient and trendy too, can’t beat that.
For more information on Tracy’s book, Feathering Your Nest, (Stewart, Tabori, & Chang, $29.95 US) go to www.abrams.books.com.