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Blog Cabin

Apr 30

A Conversation with Victoria Lesser

Blog Cabin 2012 Interior Decorator Victoria LesserVictoria Lesser chats with Knickerbocker Group construction manager Marcus Golding.

Designer Victoria Lesser isn’t one to dive into projects without a plan. And Blog Cabin 2012 is no different. The process of furnishing this historic home has unfolded in a thoughtful manner and in logical steps.

Victoria’s first visit to Waldoboro came days after Blog Cabin 2012 was secured. A drive from her home in upstate New York to Waldoboro took her on a journey up the East Coast and through quaint New England towns. Her task before a single furnishing could be purchased or placed? To decipher the “inherent nature of the area,” she says. “There’s obviously a tradition up here,” says Victoria of the town, which is dotted with quaint cottages and rustic barns. Once she had a handle on the community, she stepped inside the as-is home for a closer look. “I had to examine the bones of the house and approach the interior design in a way that would respect the area and the feel of the space,” she adds.

Hammering down a specific vision was the next step in Victoria’s process. And for inspiration she looked no further than the property’s own barn. “I have always dreamed of converting a barn to a home,” she says. Understanding that conversion was not an option, she wanted to do the next best thing: bring the barn look to the home across the street. Thus evolved an “elegant barn” theme that will be carried out from first floor and bedrooms to the Mega Dens family room.

Bringing this unique look to life will require a collection of furnishings sourced in Victoria’s hometown, Matthews, Virginia (site of Blog Cabin 2011), and in and around the town of Waldoboro. The designer’s favorite haunts during her current stay in town include Nobleboro Antique Exchange (store owner Lisa has proved invaluable to Victoria and the Good Housekeeping team), Elmer’s Barn (“That place is extraordinary,” says Victoria), The Shady Lady and Scuttlebutt Antiques. Victoria has scooped up architectural salvage that will be used in how-to projects, furnishings fashioned from repurposed materials, and odds and ends that capture her eye.

Victoria is pretty tight-lipped when it comes to providing specific interior design details. That information must remain a mystery until the launch of the virtual home tour in August. But she gushes when asked about the town of Waldoboro and the experience of working at Blog Cabin. “I have never heard such amazing sounds as I’ve heard here,” she says of the symphony created each morning and evening by crickets, songbirds and woodpeckers. And she casts aside any worries fans might have about dark interior spaces: “The light in the house is gorgeous. And it’s the light of Maine,” she says. “It’s so pleasant to be inside. When the sun is shining and I’m in the house, I’m thinking, ‘Gosh, it feels so nice in here.’”

  • Posted at 9:10 am on April 4, 2012
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76 Comments

  1. Like Victoria, I love the sounds of the crickets and songbirds- but not woodpeckers! Let's hope that those two big dogs will scare them away! We don't need woodpeckers damaging this newly remodeled Blog Cabin! I can't wait to see the design magic that Victoria has created!

    Downonthefarm on April 30, 2012 at 5:02 pm
    • Woodpeckers are cool! They peck at wood that have bugs and grubs in them, so I don't think that they will be pecking at the newly remodeled house. I hope not!! If they do, that would mean that the wood have bugs in them!!!!

      paperdragon on May 3, 2012 at 3:58 pm
    • I don't think woodpeckers will be much interested in Hardie board (cement compound) siding either. And they're useful. Just so long as they're not by the bedroom windows. LOL

      minitoni on May 3, 2012 at 4:02 pm
  2. Victoria, I'm lovin' the elegant barn deco idea! I know you will be working hard on the project for us, but take some time to find a little fun. Thank you for all you are doing and all you will do. May strength, wisdom, knowledge, and creativity come to you in abundance. Blessings, Carla

    CarlaB on April 30, 2012 at 5:37 pm
    • From 1 Karla ( with a K ) to another Carla, you said it all. I think we all need to have a little fun these days and see if one of us Karlas/Carlas wins this beautiful house. Good luck to you!!!!.

      Karla Elliott on June 9, 2012 at 7:32 pm
  3. Hello, Victoria! So nice to finally meet you. Ever since I joined this blog (halfway thru the project) I've heard your name over and over again. Everyone here has been anxiously waiting for you. Your talents seem to bring the 'life' into the BC's, and that's what everyone has been waiting for. Even the tone of this blog is lively, hopeful, and full of sunshine! Now that the physical 'healing' of the structure is done, the 'nourishment' and a little bit of 'lipstick' that you provide will make this BC a healthy, happy, wholesome Maine Great Lady! May I call you Dr. Victoria? LOL!

    MNLass on April 30, 2012 at 5:39 pm
  4. Wow, it was last night that I mentioned in the blog how I was looking forward to having Victoria Lesser sharing about the interior design. What a great surprise as I come to the computer to vote for the Green home and take a look on the blog cabin's blog after working in our backyard garden since morning and WOW…the interview with Victoria is released!!!! Thank you so much Mary for bringing on the conversation with Victoria as a special gift to me! It is fabulous that she is going to use the property's own barn as the inspiration for the interior design to bring the outside in.

    FLH on April 30, 2012 at 9:18 pm
  5. I was just picking our strawberries from our raised bed garden and was thinking of the Blog Cabin's raised beds and how wonderful it will be for the winner to enjoy the outside of the BlogCabin and all its immediate surroundings and be able to bring all that view and scenery in, and breath it inside as a sweet aroma of nature all around. So, as part of the beautiful scenery and farmlike environment, using the property barn as the inspiration for the interior design does the trick and brings into the home all the essence of living in touch with nature, of taking in the scent of delicious strawberries and taking in even the symphony of crickets, songbirds and woodpeckers…WOW. Outstanding vision you had, Victoria, for this year's Blog Cabin.

    FLH on April 30, 2012 at 9:19 pm
    • I agree! Gardening is one of the most rewarding thing to do, especially in a glorious environment like Blog Cabin's location. Checking on the progress of all of the growing things in the spring is so exciting. Harvesting home grown vegetables is a reward.

      paperdragon on May 3, 2012 at 4:50 pm
  6. So, thank you so much Victoria for sharing your vision with us and for letting us be part of your cheering team. The interior design will just be perfect and it will surely make the winner feel right at home and completely embraced by nature.

    FLH on April 30, 2012 at 9:30 pm
  7. A really big thank you for all these heart warming comments, a really big thank you for welcoming me back to Blog Cabin…I am so excited to be sharing with you bits and pieces of how Blog Cabin Maine is evolving.. The pooches are loving their early morning romps in the amazing field behind Blog and I am busy from morning till night preparing for each show…Mega is done and it is "Magnificent"…bathcrashers begins tomorrow…so stay tuned, more to be revealed..I promise. Sleep well my friends…

    Victoria Lesser on April 30, 2012 at 10:50 pm
    • Victoria, it is wonderful to have you back blogging with us again ! I know you have been working diligently for months on this project. Seeing that you have some "barn fever", I understand where the inspiration for a loft and ladder would come in to this project. I have such complete confidence in the magic you will work in this house. It is reassuring that you like the light and ambiance inside. Love the photo of you and the dogs–they must looove running in that huge field ! <3

      LLColeman on May 1, 2012 at 4:51 am
    • I have become a real big fan of your amazing design and all your expertees. I loved all you did in Matthews last year with the 2011 Blog Cabin. Extremely elegant and perfect to me is your design and beautiful your work, inspirations and visions. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and really your life with us, as your work is so part of who you are: SO exquisitely unique and extravagantly elegant. Can't wait to see this year's cabin and your touch to all of it. Thanks again and know that you are making a difference in many lives!

      FLH on May 1, 2012 at 11:57 pm
    • Victoria, Nice to know there is a loft with a doggie ladder going in! Just kidding, loved Matthews house, can't wait to "see" this one. We are on tenterhooks waiting to see the interior. Your imagination and preparation can't be beat in decor and design. Thanks for coming to the blog!

      minitoni on May 3, 2012 at 4:07 pm
  8. Hey Victoria, I had to check into the blog after I saw you at the tavern tonight. Thanks for telling me about your interview here.Spring has come so early here in Maine and the fields are growing,azaleas blooming two weeks or more ahead of time.Of course we had July in March and biting March winds in April.As much as we need rain I'm really hoping May doesn't break any rainfall records like it's been prone to do in years past.I've been doing so many outdoor chores,mowing took up the day today.We have the vet coming to check up on the alpaca herd tomorrow. No time to spend on the computer. I'm glad you got over to Elmer's Barn,one of my favorite places to visit when I have time to browse around.Glad to see you getting a bite to eat,even though on the run…go girl go!Nighty;)

    Lisa D. Lane on April 30, 2012 at 11:42 pm
    • Lisa, it is good hearing from you,too ! Clearly an extremely busy time at your place right now. Love to you, family, doggies & alpacas ! <3

      LLColeman on May 1, 2012 at 4:45 am
    • Hi Lisa! So good to have you back, even if its for a sneak and a peep!. Know you've kept yourself very busy,between your doggies, alpaca herd (may they all pass their medical exam muster!) and helping out with Victoria's local search for inspiration! I'm elated that you two connected! You go girl!!! :) I'm practically counting the days till I get there in July–the 20th–for sure! The 2 weeks in my Earthly Heaven–can't wait! Looking forward to meeting you then, in person! xDB)<3 Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on May 1, 2012 at 12:27 pm
    • Love the idea of alpaca. We want some so if we win this property we'll be coming by to get info from you. Sounds like Tavern is place to find people so that's good info. We'd love to retire somewhere with 4 seasons and not just hot like here. I hope the alpaca herd got a great vet exam all clear. Do you knit, weave or sew or sell the hair? We are somewhat familiar with alpaca and llamas from the big stock show in Denver and our old parrot rescuer/breeder/llama breeder. The llamas at her place glommed onto our bouvier and herded him up the stairs and into the house! LOL.

      minitoni on May 3, 2012 at 4:12 pm
  9. PS: The chirping sounds at night aren't crickets,it's the little pink peepers and other frogs in ponds and vernal pools looking for a mate.I think it's too cold for crickets.

    Lisa on April 30, 2012 at 11:50 pm
    • I remember peepers! I love them. Miss upstate NY

      minitoni on May 3, 2012 at 4:13 pm
  10. That view of the barn interior is totally awesome!! What a great place for a party! Dancing all nite, live band, and no neighbors to disturb. Throw up a few banquet tables, some folding chairs, grill outside, and a raised platform for the band. Do people do that kind of stuff up in Maine? Is the floor solid enough for a little clogging? Contra Dance?Won't need any heat after the party gets started.

    Ashtabulannie on May 1, 2012 at 12:02 am

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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 from DIY Network series will be on hand to rebuild the 1920s lakeside house 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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