Blog Cabin

Jun 29

Meet Victoria Lesser

Matt Blashaw and Victoria Lesser discuss a special Blog Cabin 2011 how-to project.

Can I share a little secret? There’s a very talented woman who, until today, we have not mentioned in the blog. Her name is Victoria Lesser and she is the person responsible for this year’s Blog Cabin interior design.

Victoria is a self-taught designer (how appropriate for this DIY Network project) who formerly served as a handbag and clothing designer. “Design talents just come naturally,” she says. “Having such notable clients as Bill Cosby, the Bee Gees and Aerosmith made it possible for me to practice my art at the highest level.” A master’s degree in psychology has also come in handy for this talented professional – how else could someone dress both someone’s body and bed, she says.

Victoria has been involved in the renovation, restoration and decoration of homes for more than 30 years now, and describes her interior design style as “eclectic,” yet in keeping with the style and period of the home. “When it comes to the individual rooms, I take into account the purpose the room must serve, thus ensuring the pieces selected to dress the space will perform well and provide comfort as well as please the eye,” she says.

How did DIY Network discover this gem? Victoria owns and operates Old North Branch Inn, a country bed and breakfast just a stone’s throw from Blog Cabin 2010 in upstate New York. DIY Network programming director Steven Lerner, an inn guest, was so impressed by the interiors that he invited Victoria to stage the 2010 home for a special open house. A working relationship was established.

When approaching this year’s project, Victoria took into account both the home’s historic signifigance and its location along the Chesapeake. Found and repurposed items play a major role in her overall design scheme. Her favorite decorative accent? A vintage sculling oar purchased at a Mathews thrift store. “This oar must have traveled many miles through the local waters and now serves as the handrail of the main staircase,” she says.

Editor’s Note: Our virtual home tour launches on August 15 at 9 a.m. ET. Look for more insider details from Victoria and Blog Cabin 2011 show host Matt Blashaw at that time.

  • Posted at 1:20 pm on June 6, 2011
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114 Comments

  1. Was the 2011 blog cabin furnished all the way?

    ladybyrd on June 29, 2011 at 1:59 pm
    • Doubtful. Mary said Victoria will "stage" the home! When model homes are staged the furniture is just for show, not part of the sale.

      EdinOregon on June 29, 2011 at 5:27 pm
    • Just hoping. So, they are furnishing the game room and the master bedroom? Anything else?

      ladybyrd on June 29, 2011 at 8:54 pm
    • The June 29th post just says that she is "responsible for…the interior design" of the Blog Cabin. Think I'll pop over to the rules to see if that tells us…

      redbarnartist on June 29, 2011 at 9:02 pm
    • Yes–I think some design elements have to stay– such as the oar "handrail" and the tin ceilings, fixtures like that. Furniture would likely be on loan for staging the house.

      LLColeman on June 30, 2011 at 2:09 am
    • My understanding is that she staged the 2010 Blog Cabin in Upstate New York.
      This year she is the interior designer of the 2011 Blog Cabin, so it could mean not all items are kept, or it could mean that DIY is investing more into this years Blog Cabin and it will be furnished much like the Dream Home is. One can hope anyways. However that raises the ARV, which raises taxes for the winner.
      One thing is true, this giveaway Blog Cabin will be like no other. I love it!! Keep me guessing.

      Cami on June 30, 2011 at 3:12 pm
  2. August 18 is still 7 weeks from now- PLEASE how about a preview like we get for the DH 2-3 weeks in advance!

    Nebraska on June 29, 2011 at 2:19 pm
    • Ditto, Nebraska. Why no interior cabin cams ? Are they afraid not enough people would tune in to the reveal program ? I loved it when Mark Bartolomeo walked thru BC 2010 on a quick tour before the furniture came last year.

      LLColeman on June 30, 2011 at 2:13 am
  3. Mary, your intro of designer, Victoria Lesser, has whetted my curiosity and leaves me hoping for a quick peak inside this lovely home! Any chance you'll soon share some photos of her work here?

    Downonthefarm on June 29, 2011 at 2:43 pm
  4. Nice to know they used fresh talent on this project. But why a secret ?

    BluSky on June 29, 2011 at 2:52 pm
  5. Hi Victoria I know the home is going to look FAB!!! I love your doggies pictures on your designer web page. I know the Great Dane and the bull terrier, but is the other a pug or a English bull? So cute, I have 2 boxers, who are waiting patiently for thier Virginny home…xD

    maria_w_in_nj on June 29, 2011 at 3:24 pm
    • It's a pug named Baxrer, my Frenchie is named Ruby and my Dane is Roxie…they were all with me for the 6 weeks I spent in Susan Va. getting the house ready for one lucky winner. Best of luck…Victoria

      Victoria Lesser on July 1, 2011 at 6:19 pm
    • thanx Victoria, this would certainly be a dream come true for our family…The DH and I have both worked in the casinos in Atlantic City for over 32 years and retirement is looking good right about now… Even if we aren't blessed with the Twin Coves home we know that is were we are going to end up eventually. Did you like the area?

      So I guess your dane Roxie was the dane in the pictures from earlier…
      don't our furbabies give us so much joy…
      can't wait to see the house and what you did…

      maria_w_in_nj on July 1, 2011 at 8:33 pm
    • Thank You Victoria…Did you like the area?

      maria_w_in_nj on July 1, 2011 at 8:43 pm
    • I love your canine family, Victoria. I am thrilled by the story of the Inn's restoration. I would love to stay there some day..your decor is so perfect for the soul of the place……&. that is exquisite countryside.

      LLColeman on July 2, 2011 at 12:31 am
  6. Hi bloggers! What a surprise. I love it. A self-made woman!! I can't wait to see the results. She seems to be keeping with the period of things, It's going to be wonderful.

    Besides the sprinkler system needed, I wonder about the boat ramp in the back. It got Matt's socks and shoes all wet, so it needs to be taken care of too, not to mention a car garage. Any thoughts you guys?

    TexasGal on June 29, 2011 at 3:25 pm
  7. The Great Dane on Victoria's website looks like the Great Dane that visited the Girl Scout troop a couple of month's ago, is he one and the same?

    Windsmurf on June 29, 2011 at 4:38 pm
  8. Nice to hear there's an interior designer on board. You don't need to psychoanalyze me– the future winner of the Blog Cabin ;) Eclectic describes me perfectly. I love everything, and can never just choose one thing, or one style. And if I don't actually win this wonderful Blog Cabin, as planned ;) I'll be happy to use Victoria's ideas in my own home.<3B) <3Love it!!

    Cami on June 29, 2011 at 4:42 pm
    • Me, too, Cami (in loving every style). Just wish we didn't have to wait a month and a half! Well, I guess I'd better fill my time with worthwhile stuff and get back to my easel. Can't help but check into our blogs on occasion. Hmm, wonder how the art for all these great homes is chosen…will look into that :D

      redbarnartist on June 29, 2011 at 8:48 pm
    • Hahaha! This is hilarious on so many levels! Where have you been, woman?!?

      Debra G. on June 30, 2011 at 1:01 pm
    • I knew I could find you here Debra. This is how I seek people out. I go to their most favorite giveaway home and claim to be the future winner. Yay it worked, and here you are. lol :D

      Cami on June 30, 2011 at 2:49 pm
    • Joking aside. We're both in for stiff competition with this home.=/ I guess I would expect nothing less than a large fan base for the perfect home in the perfect place.;):)

      Cami on June 30, 2011 at 2:53 pm
    • My <3 is in Virginia!! :D

      Debra G. on June 30, 2011 at 3:05 pm
    • How many more months/years before you reunite with your heart? Would you choose Virginia or Pennsylvania?

      Cami on June 30, 2011 at 3:22 pm
    • That is a tough question. But, in my heart of hearts, VA wins out over PA. I love them both, but there is something extra special about VA that just makes my heart happy:D

      Debra G. on June 30, 2011 at 6:00 pm
    • I think I like southern Virginia Coast best.

      Cami on June 30, 2011 at 6:30 pm
    • ANYWHERE in VA suits me! I have my favorites all over the state. Shenandoah Mountains, Charlottesville, Waterford, Hot Springs, Williamsburg… I will stop now before I list the entire map…. LOL!!

      Debra G. on June 30, 2011 at 6:37 pm
  9. So is she just staging the BC or can the winner keep what she did?

    vicki_in_Utah on June 29, 2011 at 5:23 pm
    • The permanent items I would say yes- and some of the rooms have been furnished before in BC"s.

      Nebraska on June 30, 2011 at 4:19 pm
    • WHOO HOO!!!

      that is great news…bring it on….

      maria_w_in_nj on July 1, 2011 at 8:36 pm
    • you get to keep it all…good luck, Victoria Lesser

      Victoria Lesser on July 1, 2011 at 6:17 pm
    • OOOO that is fantastic news, Victoria !! ( If the winner is not a blogger and "needs" other furniture, contact me & I will happily take it of your hands—I love it…

      LLColeman on July 2, 2011 at 12:35 am
    • Thank you Victoria, for your personal answer. I always get confused, as to what goes and what stays.

      vicki_in_Utah on July 4, 2011 at 9:56 pm
  10. Can't wait for the tour to begin, and of course, the entering to win !!! As I have said before, and will probably say over & over, this home would be so very perfect for my Family !!

    gremol on June 29, 2011 at 5:40 pm

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Blog Cabin is the groundbreaking multimedia experience based on a very simple idea: You Design It, We Build It, You Could Win It! This truly interactive series asks Internet users to vote on the design features for a real vacation getaway. Expert hosts will transform a 1990s waterfront home in Panacea, Florida that will become a luxurious home for a lucky sweepstakes winner. Plus, a one-hour Blog Cabin special, hosted by tool expert Chris Grundy, will highlight the incredible transformation.
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