Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Architectural Digest talks to Jonathan and Jordan Knight

Architectural Digest has published a new interview with Jonathan and Jordan! They also share a preview clip from tonight's episode of Farmhouse Fixer!

Farmhouse Fixer: Jordan Knight Is Joining Jonathan to Relocate an Entire Home

How the brothers and NKOTB bandmates pulled off this feat—plus an exclusive look at this week’s episode

By Leena Tailor

“You’re asking for trouble!” responds Jordan Knight when his brother Jonathan Knight announces his plan to relocate and renovate a family home during the upcoming Wednesday night episode of Farmhouse Fixer on HGTV. As it is to be expected, some frustration and setbacks ensue, but the project is ultimately a success, and the episode culminates in a tearjerker scene where they reflect on their five decades as brothers and New Kids on the Block bandmates.

Jonathan, 53, took on the $350,000 project during season two of his HGTV series, which sees him restoring historic New England farmhouses with interior designer Kristina Crestin. Under governance by a Massachusetts conservation organization, the Essex property where the home was located (Jonathan purchased the house from their mom, Marlene) is only allowed one residential building, while all other structures must support farming. Jonathan—who currently lives on a neighboring farm—has long been battling trustees for permission to build a dream house for himself and his husband, Harley Rodriguez, on the land. When the chances of that seemed slim, he opted to shift the 110-year-old farmhouse to another lot he owns across the street and renovate it for family members to enjoy as a rural escape

Jordan, their sister Sharon, her son Matthew, and Marlene make a special cameo on the episode to offer up their opinions on the renovation. Jordan says the episode was an exciting “bonding” experience for the family, and having witnessed Jonathan’s struggles with anxiety and public attention throughout the years, Jordan couldn’t be prouder to see his older brother hosting his own series.

“It’s been inspiring to see him step out and go for it,” Jordan, 52, tells AD. “This is something he’s always been passionate about, so any fears about the spotlight haven’t held him back. His passion for creating things for others has overtaken that. He’s in his element.” In addition to Farmhouse Fixer, Jonathan is set to appear with Crestin on season four of HGTV’s Rock the Block.

Architectural Digest: How do your design styles differ?

Jordan: When we were young, I was a city kid and Jon was a country kid with a green thumb at heart. I go for an urban and modern style, and he’s more farmhouse and earthy vibes. I think we both have good taste though!

Jonathan: During this process, Jordan became more receptive to relaxed and rustic design. It’s funny because in our twenties we bought a 20-acre property together, and he lasted four months before going, “Get me back to the city.” He couldn’t sleep because the quietness freaked him out. Now, in our fifties, he’s saying he loves the serenity here. Personalities and priorities change as we age!

He even helps you on the farm sometimes, right? 

Jonathan: He loves the goats. I never would’ve imagined him talking to goats. If I ever need a goat-sitter, I’m calling him!

What characteristics of the house were most important to retain, and how did you do so?

Jonathan: We wanted this to feel like a really old farmhouse. We replicated woodwork to match the old woodwork. The kitchen needed a makeover, but Kristina and I looked over images to figure out how to make it look like it was there when the house was built. We chose materials like soapstone, and added beams back to the ceiling to give that old feeling.

You also incorporated bleacher seats gifted to you by Boston Garden, which is a great salute to NKOTB.

Jonathan: Every time Kristina walked into my barn, she went, “These would be perfect in the mud room because the seats lift up.” The colors were perfect. I never would’ve thought of designing around a gift.

What was the biggest challenge of the renovation?

Jordan: Getting all our preferences aligned, but that mostly fell on Jon and Kristina! 

Jonathan: To keep the property farm-like but appease everyone’s styles. My mother likes traditional and English country, and my sister’s more modern, so it was hard mixing everybody’s needs into one house.

Any advice for managing different preferences during a family renovation?

Jonathan: Initially, I wanted the kitchen in a different space, and Sharon said, “No.” She was coming from the perspective of being a mother. I don’t know what it’s like getting kids fed and off to school and she educated me, so don’t ever discount what others have to say. Listen.

Farmhouse Fixer airs Wednesdays 9pm ET/PT on HGTV, and is available to stream on discovery+.

Here is the preview clip: 


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