There are a few Southern cities that aren’t just well known for their distinct architecture—they’re world-famous for it. Charleston and Savannah are certainly on that list, but most notably might be the Big Easy itself. Picture a traditional New Orleans house, and you conjure up something like this, right?
If the color, details, and overall aesthetic of New Orleans-style architecture gets you as excited as it does us, then you will probably be equally thrilled about a home renovation show that is solely focused on the Crescent City. One of HGTV’s newest shows is bringing you just that: New Orleans Reno follows host Baker, along with her husband Sean, as she renovates old New Orleans homes while maintaining their historic features and charm.
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Unique from most of HGTV’s renovation shows, Baker is hands-on with her projects from start to finish: She serves as contractor and designer, taking the homes from demolition to decorating. Below are three more interesting facts about the host we’re sure will make you want to add this new show to your queue.
Baker Isn’t a NOLA Native—She’s Actually Canadian
It’s true, you won’t hear a Southern twang coming from Baker’s mouth. But not much else about the fun-loving host’s personality would make her stick out in the South. She has been renovating old and neglected homes in Canada for the past 8-plus years (all of which started with the home she and Sean started ripping apart while Holly was 6-months-pregnant with their daughter Wren), but when she caught the eye of an HGTV producer, they told her the construction delays that come from Canada’s fierce winter weather would not be ideal for shooting a TV show year-round. Baker was offered New Orleans as her new renovating home and ever since, hasn’t looked back.
"People in New Orleans are so protective of New Orleans, and I totally get that," she said in a recent interview. "I'm an outsider, and I've been shown so much warmth and support. We only use local trades, architects, and it's just been so humbling to work with such talented people."
She Has a Love for All Things Pastel-Colored
Anyone who has a passion for New Orleans homes must have a penchant for color, and that’s one of the reasons Baker says she fell in love with the Crescent City. A quick browse through her Instagram or blog shows her love for all things pastel-hued, from party decorations to plants. However, we have a particular sweet spot for this mint green retro fridge, from Smeg, Baker used in one of the show’s renos.
She’s Serious About Renovating on a Budget
...and she wants to teach others how to do it too. Baker caught the renovating bug while restoring that first house with her husband when they had more ideas than money to make it happen. Along the way, she’s found lots of tricks and shortcuts to save money in the remodeling process that don’t cut back on quality and style. One tip that’s particularly useful in New Orleans homes with tall, floor-to-ceiling windows: Get your curtains from Ikea. They’re sold in a length long enough for those high ceilings, and come with a very manageable price tag at less than $35 per window.
"I learned everything I know about renovating because I did it myself," Baker has said. "Money was tight, and it made us look outside the box for solutions to problems. That's what I want to share."
Two new episodes of New Orleans Reno premiered at the end of January, which you can catch on HGTV.