Starstruck at Our Little House

Late last week, while sitting in the Belle Writer’s Studio toiling away, I received an email with the subject: “Nate Berkus Show.”

Thinking it was probably one of the many press releases I get on a daily basis, I almost deleted it, but decided to open it up. I was surprised to learn that someone at the home design show had taken a look at Living Large after speaking with Kent over at The Tiny House Blog. They wanted to speak with me about possibly featuring Our Little House on the show for Earth Day.

I dropped everything, of course, and called the assistant, because this is usually what one does when Hollywood, or in this case, New York comes calling.

We had a nice chat about our house and sustainability although I can only imagine what she must have envisioned here in the wilds of the Arkansas Ozark Mountains, as she asked me if we have running water.

I must have passed the first smell test as she tried to connect me with someone on the scheduling team who actually makes decisions. This woman was busy and told me she would call me back “right away,” which ended up being an hour later.

This assistant finally gave me the conditions for appearing on the show:

First, they wanted me to fly in this week for taping. Ok. Well, not Ok, due to my schedule this week, but I could make it work.

Second, they wanted us to do some sort of reality show-like house swap with someone with a “normal” sized home. Did I know anyone who would do that with us?

This presented a problem. First, most of my good friends that I wouldn’t mind having stay in our home live 300 miles away and then there’s work and the dogs. My enthusiasm waned. Still, I directed the producer to the article on Our Little House at the Mother Earth News website when they asked for recent photos of Dale and I.

I’ve been in the media biz long enough to know that when a publication or producer asks for a photo, they’re judging the photo according to their demographic. Based on trailers I’ve seen of the show, I think it’s a lot younger than we are here at Our Little House.

I was told I would know by the end of the day on Friday if we were selected.

The thought of showing off Our Little House and talking about sustainability to a national television audience did get me a little star struck.

But the more I thought about it and what I would have to do to make the house “taping” ready, I’m not sure I was up to it. I’m also pretty sure Dale at least, is happy he won’t be participating in any type of house trading, even if it was only for 24 hours.

Would you participate in a television show that required you to house swap?

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22 Responses

  1. Judy says:

    I know the train has left the station. However, I think it would have been fun to swap houses with YOU. As you already know, I live in a tiny house of 150 sq ft. Now wouldn’t that have been a fun surprise to have to have presented the production team at the door?

    Realistically, you would have more concern about the final, edited footage, both what was cut as well as what was left. You have no say in the overall context, comparisons made, and their editorial comments. Crumbs on the counter from the toaster and a spider web in the ceiling corner don’t count against that risk.

    • Kerri says:

      Oh, yes, Judy that WOULD have been a fun surprise for them! 🙂 As for the crumbs on the counter. I’m sure there’s plenty of them. I was already looking around for someone to come and clean Our Little House professionally. The photo shoot for Mother Earth News was one thing, but you’re right about actually filming.

  2. Carrie says:

    No way would I swap houses. It would take months for me to make my house TV ready. I just don’t like the thought of a stranger having access to my house when I’m not there.

  3. Kerri, It appears you had a few exciting days just to know out there in the big world you were
    noticed.

  4. Vida says:

    You said it Kerri, not unless the people I swap with are dog lovers! Also, I’m not sure I’d like other people sleeping in my bed and vice versa. Congratulations though, your blog is starting to garner attention! I guess I’d weigh the pros (from a commercial sense) and the cons and decide if it would be worthwhile. Good luck and if you do decide to do it, please post a video.

  5. mat says:

    Alright, Kerri–time to lose 20 years and 20 pounds, then grow 6″ and 2 cup sizes.
    Otherwise, the mainstream TV audience won’t know how to receive you.
    Dale…you’re fine the way you are. Because we’re recasting you.

    • Kerri says:

      OMG, Mat, you made me LOL this afternoon and that’s pretty hard in the afternoon! 🙂 I do think I’m good on the cup sizes, but the rest of it, well, I’m afraid you’re right!

      • mat says:

        My pleasure.
        Frankly, I was struck at the idea of such a non-mainstream article being influenced at all by any demographic. Or for that matter, what you and Dale look like. The thought of trying to put you into some kind of “media package” or category or…box…makes no sense to me.
        People like reality TV as long as someone’s willing to act like an idiot or take their clothes off (and in all honesty, I’d rather see more sex than violence on TV, but I digress…). But to show an audience something genuine must be terrifying to a producer.

        • Kerri says:

          I agree with the idiot criteria on reality television, that is why I do not watch any of it. Dale and I were very disappointed to see Meatloaf acting like such a moron in the trailers for “Celebrity Apprentice,” as we always viewed the “stars” on those shows as has-beens that had little talent to begin with and we felt it so below his. Anyway, I’ve seen women’s magazines do the same with photo requests. If a story subject doesn’t fit their vision of the perfect model for their magazine, they are deleted.

  6. The thought of how much I would have to clean to make my house TV-worthy terrifies me. Actually it would take a full remodel. So, I probably wouldn’t do it and I know my husband wouldn’t. Now you’re on their radar. Who knows where that might lead.

    • Kerri says:

      The cleaning had me a little worried too, Heather. Well, more than a little worried. Actually, I wouldn’t mind a little design help in the area of built ins, which we could really use more of here. (Hint to any producers who may be reading). Maybe you’re right, they may call again!

  7. Oh dang! That would have been cool! Stupid demographics! I think they made a mistake. I’m a big Nate Birkus fan and I’m older than you. That would have made a great show. Also, if they’re thinking in terms of their “younger” demographic, they should have considered that lots of younger people have to deal with living in small spaces, and probably could have related to a lot of the issues you deal with at the Little House. Oh well, your almost-brush with fame! But, if they come calling again with the house swap idea, I think I could probably talk David into doing it, just FYI. However, we might not be the best candidates because we live in the country like you. They might be thinking in terms of a swap with people who live in a suburban setting in a McMansion, just to make it more interesting. Oh well! Back to reality! 😉

    • Kerri says:

      Oh, that would have been fun, trading houses (and dogs) with you and David! Well, now I know who I can turn to that isn’t too far away! 🙂

  8. Alexandra says:

    This sounds like such an amazing opportunity! If Arkansas wasn’t so far away, I would offer up our house in a minute. But, I bet Sven and I are even further from the show’s demographic than you and Dale. I can’t wait to hear what happens next. Please keep us all informed.

    • Kerri says:

      Ah, I meant they would call me if we were selected by last Friday. So, that train has already left the station. Still, the thought was fun while it lasted. 🙂 And I would have loved to trade houses with you and Sven!

  9. Pam Spruk says:

    I wouldn’t want to house swap but I’d kill to meet Nate Berkus!! He’s such a wonderful person!