So why do you DIY?
Is it about saving money, getting exactly what you need for your home and family, or are you just a sawdust addict? Is it about building greener, re-using materials, and limiting shipping waste - are you all about locally grown furniture?
image credit Kristen Duke Photography
The more I build, the more I understand that DIY is about so much more than just home improvement. But when I first started building my own furniture, it was simply about being able to get what I wanted for our home on a limited budget.
When we moved into our home, I would longingly flip through magazines and catalogs, dreaming of transforming our bare rooms into spaces inspired by the photographs.
But we live up here in Alaska, where ideas and inspiration are readily available, but the actual products and supplies are too expensive to ship. You have to cross Canada for the nearest IKEA or Pottery Barn, and even a Target is hundreds of miles away. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve typed in my Alaska zip code, just to be told, “Sorry, we don’t ship to Alaska.”
With limited shopping options available, I tried secondhand stores and Craigslist. But even our used furniture market is limited to what someone else could ship to Alaska.
My DIY furniture story starts with our Farmhouse Bed. After sleeping on a mattress on a floor for years, I finally gave up, and accepted that my dream bed would never be bought and make it to Alaska.
Instead, I would have to make my dream bed right here in Alaska.
And I did.
My Farmhouse Bed was the first piece of furniture I made, and we still sleep on it today. Of course, we went on to furnish our entire home with DIY furniture, most of it made from lumber grown locally.
DIY truly saved us.
Recently, I was approached with the idea of working with other Alaskan families, who have similar frustrations as I did, on a new HGTV project. I have wanted to take what I do - what we all do - into television for so long. To show people, instead of just tell them, that yes, you can make your own table, bed, bookshelf, kitchen - even your own house. You can do it. Even if you are someone like me, without years of experience and a shop full of expensive tools.
This just is the perfect fit. I can’t tell you how excited I am that it’s finally happening, that we will begin shooting a pilot TV show this fall.
But I am going to need some help from you. I don’t want to be in a show that’s just about me and my family - I want to be part of a show that is about other families - maybe yours - making their own home dreams a reality through DIY.
We need you to be part of the show!
So please - if you live in Alaska, and want me to come help you with a project, let me know! Here’s all the details and how you can be considered. I’d love to come visit and work with you and your family!
PS - Get your submission in right away - the lucky family will be selected and the renovations will take place before the Thanksgiving holiday!!!
SEEKING ALASKAN FAMILIES WITH REMODELING NEEDS FOR EXCITING NEW TV PROJECT
Are you a resident of Alaska with a home in need of a facelift? Is it difficult for you to import the goods you need to rejuvenate your residence? If your family home has real renovation needs, but your location makes them impractical, then we want to hear from you!
An acclaimed television production company is searching for families with home renovation needs in the Anchorage & Fairbanks areas of Alaska for a new HGTV project.
We are especially seeking families with children under the age of 18 who are struggling with making major repairs & renovations due to their location, budget, and lack of resources. Whether you need minor repairs or major maintenance—if you are looking to take your home to a new frontier, we want to hear from you.
To be considered, or to nominate someone, please write to us at email@example.com with the following information [**if you are nominating someone else, please be sure to include their contact info, as well**]:
• Your full name & the names of your family members (including ages)
• Your city & state of residence
• Brief cover note discussing your interest & your home renovation needs
• A few current photographs of your family & home
• The best phone number(s) at which to reach you
Thank you for your time, and we look forward to hearing from you!
Hi everyone, Alaskans especially! If you put in for the room makeover there was a typo in the email address (you know me!) that has been corrected. Submissions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Sorry for the trouble!
This is so exciting Ana! I hope this is amazingly popular and I hope that you get to go further if you want. There are so many small towns that have the same story. CONGRATS!
Ana, I am so happy that you will be on HGTV! You are going to be a smash-hit!!! I will definitely tune in!! Congratulations!
Congratulations Ana! This is such great news! I don't have cable but I'll have to find a way to watch! I've already sent this post to my Alaskan friends! So exciting!!!!
If none of your Alaska neighbors respond I have plenty of projects in New Jersey you could help out with. Just a hop skip and a hike from Alaska. HAAAAAAA - congratulations hope it is successful.
Thank you everyone for all the well wishes!!! We are pretty excited and will update you on how things go! Love Ana and Family
I have been contacted by a rep regarding casting and I'm giggling with tears in my eyes I'm so excited! I really hope this is for real because it seems too good to be true! Really, no, REALLY hope we get selected and get to work with you!!!!
I am a huge fan your site and HGTV!!! So much so that my family nicknamed me HGTV!!! I hope your pilot makes it. I would love to be able to actually see you creating your projects on television!!! YAY!!!
SO excited to hear you might be doing a show! I love HGTV and cannot wait to see it! If you can inspire your viewers half as much as you have me, it'll be incredibly successful :)
Congratulations on the show and the baby! Exciting times for you and your family! I grew up in Eagle River and was so excited when my friend Hillary (TheFriendlyHome) gave me your book last spring! My mom used to tell me I was the only 6th grade girl out there building forts in the woods but she was wrong! I love all the inspirations from your site - I am working on my bathroom vanity (81") now and have used your kitchen cabinets for a guide. Can't wait for the show - I will let my AK buddies know!
I wish I lived in Alaska so you could come teach me how to do all the amazing projects you do! Good luck with your show! I can't wait to tune in =]
or Pottery Barn. There are Ikea's south of you in Richmond and Coquitlam, British Columbia. Pottery Barns are located in Vancouver , too. A little closer to Alaska, and you will benefit from the lower Canadian dollar.
It's finally here! Get all the details on my first book!
What's going on up here in Alaska.
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Check out how we DIYed a full kitchen here!