Tonight, March 3, a new HGTV series, Farmhouse Fixer, airs at 9:00 p.m. The series follows host Jonathan Knight and local interior designer Kristina Crestin as they renovate historic farmhouses on the North Shore.
Crestin, of Manchester-by-the-Sea-based Kristina Crestin Design, has been a leading North Shore interior designer for almost twenty years. Raised in Bellingham, she completed her Bachelor of Science in interior design at Endicott in 2002 and began her career at an architecture firm, where she first met Jonathan Knight on a project.
Of New Kids on the Block fame, Knight was also born and raised in the Boston area, and has always had a love for renovating old houses. “Restoring the American farmhouse is not just a hobby for me—it’s my passion, my obsession, and I’ve been doing it for more than 25 years,” Knight, who’s renovated over 200 homes, told HGTV. “It’s so easy to just go knock down an old house. It’s way harder to renovate them so that families can enjoy them for years to come.”
Crestin, who lands on the interior architecture end of the spectrum, has a similar passion for what she does. “I love interior architecture and I love thinking of all planes of a space, and diving into millwork and ceilings,” says Crestin, “and making sure every plane is paid attention to.” She prides herself on getting things done while making the experience fun, especially for her clients. The result of her interior architecture work is a thoughtful, layered design that’s client-centered.
This won’t be Crestin’s first TV appearance—she did a season of This Old House, renovating a North Shore farm home in Essex. So when Knight needed a designer to star alongside him in his new farmhouse show, Crestin, an old friend and a talented designer with TV experience, fit the bill perfectly.
They filmed the pilot episode in late 2018, before HGTV signed them straight to season one. They began filming the rest of the season in early 2020, and when the pandemic hit, had to stall production for a bit. But after some creative filming and six renovated homes later, the team is ready to show the world what they’ve been working on.
“Navigating the timelines, the faster clip, was the biggest challenge,” says Crestin. But the team made sure to prioritize quality over all else, enlisting Shawn Curran of Curran & Sons in Ipswich as the general contractor. “That was important to Jon and me,” says Crestin. “We don’t want these TV shows to be fast and low quality.”
Crestin hopes the show will appeal to folks with all different styles. “There’s a wide [range] of aesthetics,” she says. “There’s some traditional farmhouse, there’s a coastal farmhouse, there’s a more modern farmhouse, there’s European countryside,” she says, adding that she can’t wait for folks to see this new work and to put these projects in her portfolio.
The team keeps the series genuine and realistic by honoring the pasts of these historic homes. “It feels very authentic to me,” says Crestin. “Jon’s passion for old houses just oozes out of him.”
Follow Crestin and Knight on their journey as they restore six North Shore farmhouses over six episodes, all airing on Wednesday nights at 9:00. All episodes will appear for streaming on Discovery+ after they’ve aired on TV.