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Restored by the Fords

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Discuss Restored by the Fords Here!

Brother-and-sister Leanne Ford and Steve Ford renovate homes. On HGTV.

Edited by Refresh

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This show is in its second season now but I'm only starting to watch it now.

The houses have variety which is nice. So far I've watched Midcentury, 80s, Early 1900s etc. They definitely have a design style which revolves around wood and white with touches of black, which I dig. The construction looks well done.

I like Leanne's personal (clothing) style a lot, I covet her wardrobe.

Edited by Refresh

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Glad to see a topic for this show, which is one of the best that HGTV currently has to offer. Leanne's style is so elegant and Steve pulls it off without all the drama of other teams.

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I get a little tired of her “everything is black and white”, plus, she’s another one who refuses to install upper cabinets.  I watched an episode Saturday where the kitchen were just lower cabinets along one wall, which made me wonder where the family stored all of their stuff. 

That being said, I love the no drama of the show, and I love the way they interact with each other. 

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All the black and white inside the houses was making me twitchy, but then I saw her paint two house exteriors entirely black with no contrasting trim or anything and that was more than I could handle.  It's just so jarring, especially in a leafy green setting.  So depressing and grim, and vaguely haunted house-ish.  I do not understand that aesthetic at all.

I do like that they work with the architecture and historic features of the homes, though.

Edited by izabella
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She’s channeling Diane Keaton from her Annie Hall era. Down to the teeth, the slightly staticy hair style, the glasses and her smile and speech pattern. 

How they get these remodels done for the budgeted amount with all the “surprises” I don’t know. I’ve gotten estimates for similar work that were 50% or more higher. 

She does nice work, but kind of a one trick pony like Joanna Gaines. 

Open shelving.... everything you go to use has to be rinsed off to avoid dust and dead insects. Ugh, 

Edited by iwasish
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Now that I've watched more than 3 episodes, in fact watching everything available (avoiding doing my taxes) I have some thoughts.

- I do like most of the work on anything Mid-century to present. Specifically the 70s and 80s homes. 

- I don't hate the black exteriors because I see how it can accentuate the shapes of the house. That said, it snows in Pittsburgh, they have winters. When that green is gone and it's just bare trees, that's a very dark house. So yes, maybe a pop of color somewhere? The door? The 70s era house with the blended family cried for a pop of color or white on the front door, to me. Just making it gloss black wasn't enough. That black kitchen also seemed really dark. But I loved the living room.

- The Victorian homes I don't really love. Especially the one that has all that beautiful woodwork. To me it those details clash with her look. That said, seems like they don't tend to paint over wood trim unless it's already been painted over. So that's a plus?

- The midcentury with the pool that was in 2 episodes? The black pool seriously creeped me out but maybe it looks different in person.

She's definitely got a look. The houses on the show do seem to have a little more variety than whats is in Waco. I liked Fixer Upper but gutting ranch homes can get boring, on this show what they start with varies a little more.

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Something that shocked me about Leanne is that in one house she CHOSE white appliances and in another home she stated they were going to keep the black appliances. Be still, my heart. How are the homeowners ever going to live without stainless steel appliances?!

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So I like these two but I'm not going to lie, the all white gets a tad boring (and the one eclectic lady's house looked half done because they didn't put very much of her stuff in. Maybe they couldn't, but they could have faked a few art pieces to break up the all white walls) and sometimes Leanne talks like she is tranquilized. And the static-y hair just makes it look like she didn't bother to comb it. But hey, you do you, Leanne. I like Steve, he is laid back and chill without being too clownish (which is fine but Chip Gains cornered that market). Also, he (or someone) got the corners for the crown to match which makes me HUGELY jealous. I just put up crown and all the corners have a ton of putty in them to hide the fact that they just didn't line up right.

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I live near the city of Pittsburgh and I wish they would give a small hint as to what neighborhoods they are in! Sometimes I do recognize landmarks, etc. but the screen changes so quickly I still can't tell where the homes are. Other than that, I am a big fan.

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8 hours ago, PennyPie18 said:

I live near the city of Pittsburgh and I wish they would give a small hint as to what neighborhoods they are in! Sometimes I do recognize landmarks, etc. but the screen changes so quickly I still can't tell where the homes are. Other than that, I am a big fan.

One of the episodes was in Squirrel Hill. I believe it was last season.

I'm a huge fan. Steve reminds me so much of my college boyfriend that I especially enjoy watching him.

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On 4/7/2019 at 10:38 PM, iwasish said:

She’s channeling Diane Keaton from her Annie Hall era. Down to the teeth, the slightly staticy hair style, the glasses and her smile and speech pattern. 

How they get these remodels done for the budgeted amount with all the “surprises” I don’t know. I’ve gotten estimates for similar work that were 50% or more higher. 

She does nice work, but kind of a one trick pony like Joanna Gaines. 

Open shelving.... everything you go to use has to be rinsed off to avoid dust and dead insects. Ugh, 

OMG! There was a Woody Allen/Diane Keaton movie on TCM last night. I agree , Leanne really does look, sound, and act like Keaton, especially her voice. They sound almost identical. I wonder if she is trying to deliberately act like Keaton, or if this is how she is in real life??

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Leanne and her brother both sound and act like they are on "edibles"  

What is up with the range in the dining area??  If you are cooking pasta you fill the pot 20 feet away and then walk the boiling hot past over to the sink--20 feet away--to drain??   Definitely form over function.

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I watched the show last night, and, while they do seem like very personable, talented folks, I just don't get some of the designs and ideas. I also wonder if, say the owners don't like the finished product, what happens then?? Or, is the remodel already planned prior to the broadcast and the  owners already know what to expect???

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I know they meet for the show, but I would assume there are design meetings that happen off camera too. Plus, she has a pretty distinctive design (all the white walls!), so if people want to be on the show, they know what they’re getting. 

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I can't remember which episode it was but on one of them, when Lee Ann and Steve went to the house for the hand-off/walk through they said they'd been working with the homeowners for weeks before they moved out, so I would imagine people have a pretty good idea what they're getting.

I've liked most of the homes this season except for that one where she built a tiny bathroom and used a rusty garden vessel as the sink.   I know the layout of hat place was a challenge but the end result was weird to me.     The guys who owned it were thrilled tho, so I guess that's the point.

I really enjoy how close she and Steve are as adult siblings and they seem to have so much respect for each other's abilities.   They kid around a little but you can tell they have a really close family.

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I really enjoyed the guest cottage they did this week. The old elements they incorporated were very appropriate, such as the kitchen sink with the patina intact. However, I was confused that there was a "rain"-style shower head above that gorgeous antique bathtub, but no shower curtain rod installed around it. That reminded me of so many of the bathrooms we see in flip shows where there are beautiful new walk-in showers, but no glass enclosures.

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I've been in walk-in showers with no glass or curtain. We have a rain shower head and the water falls straight down. If the shower is big enough, no enclosure needed. Not sure about a claw foot tub though.

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On 4/25/2019 at 8:37 AM, chessiegal said:

I've been in walk-in showers with no glass or curtain. We have a rain shower head and the water falls straight down. If the shower is big enough, no enclosure needed. Not sure about a claw foot tub though.

I've used tub/shower combos in Europe that only have glass enclosing the half of the tub on the end where the shower head is located and that is fine if one is careful.

Agreed that if the shower is big enough and has a  rain shower head there isn't a need for an enclosure. However, the ones on TV flip shows certainly need something to keep the entire bathroom from getting wet, especially when the tub is free standing. Unless the walls and entire floor are tiled, and the floor has a drain, the bathroom is gonna be a "wet room" in no time unless the tub is encircled by a shower curtain.

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I still don't understand why Leanne has such a dislike for overhead kitchen cabinets. I'm sure the lack of them does make the kitchen look bigger, but unless the kitchen is massive, where do you put all your dishes, glasses, etc? And always bending over to reach for items, IMHO, would get old really quickly. 

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On 5/2/2019 at 8:33 PM, PennyPie18 said:

I still don't understand why Leanne has such a dislike for overhead kitchen cabinets. I'm sure the lack of them does make the kitchen look bigger, but unless the kitchen is massive, where do you put all your dishes, glasses, etc? And always bending over to reach for items, IMHO, would get old really quickly. 

Not to mention, the dusty, greasy dishes from sitting out with all the cooking vapors.  I have a few tchotchkes sitting on an open shelf, nowhere near my stove. I couldn’t believe how greasy they got sitting on that shelf!

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I really like Leanne and Steve(actually him the most!) but I am really over the all white walls with black trim! I guess if you hire them, you know that this is her "thing" but I do like color! The original kitchen was cut up and choppy but I really liked the navy in it. And like almost everyone else, I want doors on my cabinets!! This won't stop me from watching the show but I don't think I will take away many design ideas from it. And the rooms always look way better than they started out but still too much black and white for me!

And it was such a shame they could not save the delft tiles. I have loved delft for years and years and hopefully I will have a new addition to my teeny collection because my son and family are heading to the Netherlands in two weeks and I talked him into adding Delft to their itinerary!

Edited by suebee12
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I think Leanne is trolling people now with the black and white.  She actually painted three canvases with the same white paint she used for the walls, and then hung them in the living room.  White painted canvas on white walls...art!  Seriously?  Like, really?  WTF? 

I know it's her style, but then I don't know why anyone hires her, because who can't hire any old painter to paint their walls white?  That's not exactly a design; it's white paint, the default that everyone chooses unless they know what they're doing with color.  These homeowners lived in that house for 22 years and had a different color in each room.  Maybe they now want white and black in every room?  I wish we had seen the upstairs they had already done and if that was all black and white, too.  Those homeowners did not want their staircase painted black, at least the husband didn't, and I agree with him.  Now it is a featureless black hole in the entry and doesn't even showcase the sweeping curve.

I did love the big arched doors, and the fireplace in the living room.  I hadn't seen that kind of fireplace treatment before.

Edited by izabella
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On 5/9/2019 at 12:32 PM, suebee12 said:

I really like Leanne and Steve(actually him the most!) but I am really over the all white walls with black trim! I guess if you hire them, you know that this is her "thing" but I do like color! The original kitchen was cut up and choppy but I really liked the navy in it. And like almost everyone else, I want doors on my cabinets!! This won't stop me from watching the show but I don't think I will take away many design ideas from it. And the rooms always look way better than they started out but still too much black and white for me!

And it was such a shame they could not save the delft tiles. I have loved delft for years and years and hopefully I will have a new addition to my teeny collection because my son and family are heading to the Netherlands in two weeks and I talked him into adding Delft to their itinerary!

I agree with your post, Suebee12. I've yet to see any of her ideas that I would/could use in my home. Maybe it's a generational shift in interior decorating, no color, no top cabinets, and lots and lots of white! I wonder how Steve keeps from getting injured, he must be so sore at the end of each show. 

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I can't unsee Leanne as a mini Hildi Santo-Tomas, both in appearance and taste. Puts me right off.

The homeowners must know they're in for white minimalism top to bottom, and their happiness at the reveal seems genuine, but I have pretty much disliked every house she's done.

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Just saw the most recent white box and really, I understand devotion to white is her thing but unrelieved white is not any better than the constant gray on the other shows. It hides the architectural details and it definitely does not make these rooms feel bigger. The mismatched furniture in the living room, the urns that took up the entirety of the fireplace, the pot on the stairs for some reason...does she have a thing against curtains? The place looked as blank and sad as my first apartment---sadder because my inflatable furniture had color.

I agree about the trolling. These homeowners clearly have art or the ability to acquire art but she puts up plain white canvases, not even a slash of black? She either hates color, is trolling, or is a slave to her stated aesthetic and won't deviate even a hair (which will kill the show because there are only so many boring white boxes to feature on TV). Give me the One of a Kind lady with her somewhat over the top quirk any day.

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I really enjoyed this show when it debuted, and I really, really like Steve a lot. However, it's getting stale with all the white and black.

When Leanne said she took her inspiration from the homeowner's dining table I nearly gagged. That table and chairs looked like an outdoor plastic patio furniture set.

The new fireplace treatment in the living room was interesting, but all the lovely original character was removed and the rest of the room was blah. Same in the dining room--it was a shame that they couldn't have cleaned up that Delft tile and built around it to keep it exposed as a feature.

Did anyone else notice the horrible downspouts in the front of the house? They ran down the wall part way and then 'flared' out in a length that would make them a trip hazard on the porch at the right side of the house. Really odd placement and detracted from the curb appeal. It was the first thing I noticed.

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16 minutes ago, CruiseDiva said:

I really enjoyed this show when it debuted, and I really, really like Steve a lot. However, it's getting stale with all the white and black.

When Leanne said she took her inspiration from the homeowner's dining table I nearly gagged. That table and chairs looked like an outdoor plastic patio furniture set.

I wish that Steve could have his own show...but that will never happen! I will continue to watch just to see him!!

And you are giving that table and chairs too much credit!

Edited by suebee12
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22 minutes ago, suebee12 said:

I wish that Steve could have his own show...but that will never happen! I will continue to watch just to see him!!

And you are giving that table and chairs too much credit!

Steve is the spitting image of my college boyfriend. My first love. Sigh. I watch the show to see him.

I've had a table and chairs on my deck that were nicer.

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I wonder if she just found it more difficult to source those “quirky” furnishings she used in previous shows as her pregnancy advanced. Because it did look like some episodes just showed her phoning it in. 

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Have not watched this show, until tonight. Wow. Not sure I like her style. She painted the walls half black and half white. I got the distinct idea the homeowners were like WTH when they walked in. Did not look good. Leanne has a very quirky way of dressing. Interesting.

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40 minutes ago, Pickles said:

Leanne has a very quirky way of dressing. Interesting.

I think she was hiding her pregnancy in this episode...I have noticed it several times this year.

Well, she didn't paint it white tonight but I think I wish she had...that dark green topped with white was a bit much. And her furniture placement???? The back of the couch faced the fireplace???? Just a strange set up all around. I was getting tired of all of her black and white but the green was too dark, and ugly! This house was just not good....at least in MHO.

One thing I did like was the kitchen island. That turned out really well.

Edited by suebee12
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18 minutes ago, suebee12 said:

And her furniture placement???? The back of the couch faced the fireplace????

Maybe she was taking her inspiration from Frasier lol.

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2 minutes ago, chessiegal said:

Maybe she was taking her inspiration from Frasier lol.

You will have to explain...I never watched Frasier........

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Just now, suebee12 said:

You will have to explain...I never watched Frasier........

Frasier has this gorgeous apartment overlooking the Seattle skyline. He is quite the snob on how it is furnished. He has a couch that's back faces a fireplace that is always on. Always struck me as odd.

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1 minute ago, chessiegal said:

He has a couch that's back faces a fireplace that is always on. Always struck me as odd.

As did the one Leanne placed where she did! Thanks for the info...

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I like the kitchen and dining room, but hated the living room. At least she used upper cabinets rather than open shelving!  I bet the family painted as soon as the cameras left. 

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10 hours ago, suebee12 said:

I think she was hiding her pregnancy in this episode...I have noticed it several times this year.

Well, she didn't paint it white tonight but I think I wish she had...that dark green topped with white was a bit much. And her furniture placement???? The back of the couch faced the fireplace???? Just a strange set up all around. I was getting tired of all of her black and white but the green was too dark, and ugly! This house was just not good....at least in MHO.

One thing I did like was the kitchen island. That turned out really well.

Okay, so that was dark green paint and not black on half the walls? I remember now her looking at the green paint swatches. Omg, it was so dark! I seriously thought it was black. It looked so bad. I really thought I could read the wife's mind and she was like--how fast can I get this repainted.

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27 minutes ago, Pickles said:

Okay, so that was dark green paint and not black on half the walls?

Yes, she had three greens she put on the wall but didn't like any of them but loved the color of Steve's shirt! He peeled the shirt off and she took that with her to color match!!! Then when the husband came in to see the room, they commented that his shirt matched also!

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I  wanted to shout "Please don't touch that beautiful mirror" over the mantel! It was so unique, and why couldn't Leanne just work around it instead of insisting it be taken down? I knew it was going to shatter. At least Steve didn't appear to get cut.  I did notice some upper kitchen cabinets were painted white and saved. Not one of my favorite redesigns.....and those step were killers! I assume there was a back, level way to get into the house? Perhaps from an alley behind the house with a small back yard?

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Did not like how the green was used in the poet's house.  Way too severe

     Sometimes  a fireplace  just needs to be downplayed/take a backseat in a furniture arrangement  and the room just doesn't evolve around it.

Kept screaming, put a powder room in the space where the new kitchen  entry went.

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The green walls were just okay and the homeowners didn't seem to love the color. The patterned kitchen tile floor was hideous--it didn't go with anything.

I didn't like the living room furniture placement, but homeowners can reposition that huge sectional to work for them. I hope they take it apart and do that so their backs aren't facing the fireplace. That was simply odd.

The mirror was pretty, but I'd have removed it as well. It's too bad that the way it was fastened to the wall made saving it impossible. I totally agreed with Steve's smashing it from across the room. He couldn't get it out any other way.

I wonder if that house is in the Squirrel Hill area of Pittsburgh. Some of the homes there are positioned high up from the street and have steps to reach them.

Edited by CruiseDiva

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I wish that Steve could have his own show...but that will never happen! I will continue to watch just to see him!!

I'm not convinced that Steve has any outstanding skills. He knows something about construction, but he doesn't seem to have many ideas and I've never gotten the impression that he's better than mediocre at any one thing. He certainly doesn't do well speaking in front of the cameras. To me, he's kind of....dim.

The one time Leanne can start with white walls is the time she decides to go for color.  

I like this show, but lately, I've been kind of Bored by the Fords.

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It did not read on TV as green except maybe, slightly on the fireplace. Definitely looked like a charcoal gray/black. And without a chair rail or plate rail, it looked unfinished. Or more southwestern than eastern/colonial. Honestly, what she does with her white paint frequently changes the character of the house from colonial/federal/whatever to something californian-seeming. The wall texture doesn't help but when she paints it white (or nearly black) it is reading as adobe which just seems weird for Pennsylvania. That opening in the living room to the kitchen was a bad choice. Should have kept it just in the kitchen as a pantry and would have helped with furniture placement. Yeah, the flow would be reduced but the function would be improved. The kitchen/dining works better and is lighter despite the dark paint (and she went for the spendy ikea fronts on the lowers, I was there last weekend and recognized them)

That family is definitely changing stuff. You could see wife scrambling to determine what to change. I see the walls ending up lighter and blue to go with the tile on the floor, a bookcase or something over that opening as soon as the kids get a little older, and much, much smaller furniture. The thing I might do for the immediate time would be swap the living room and dining room--put the table in the front room with all the doors and the family room in the room where there is a wall (or corner at least) to put a TV on. Didn't really seem like a 70k job unless there were electrical/plumbing/structural issues not discussed...

ETA: Leanne's style works SO much better in a contemporary style house. She should stay the hell away from federals, colonials, and Craftsman style houses.

Edited by MaKaM
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The dark green walls did not work in this house--and I am someone who loves green--had mostly green in my decor for many years.    I actually have silk curtains that are almost the same color as what she ended up picking--but it was not a good fit, and I did not like the stark white above--it might have been better if it was a creamier tone.

The texture on the walls was really distracting from the style I think she might have been going for--and that style would have been better with a picture rail or something. I probably would have done that board and batten framing over the lower section to try to cover up as much of the textured wall as possible.    And I liked the color/material of the couch but it was too darn big for that room and blocking off the fireplace with one end and it falling kind of off-center from the opposite wall bothered me from a function perspective.    A smaller scale L-shaped piece that left the end by the fireplace open might have been better but I'm not sure.    I feel like for the money they spent they did not really fix the layout issues in the house.   

Steve seemed really off in this one--not sure if he was worried about her being on-site and pregnant, or he just knew the design was not going to come out well but he was definitely not himself.

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I liked this episode. Leanne designed Steve's warehouse-home. All black, gray, and white, but it was clearly to Steve's taste. It seems that Steve has lived comfortably in apartments using a sleeping bag for bedding, so it was interesting to see how he wanted a gigantic kitchen island (concrete, of course) and a steam shower. I get the feeling he lived frugally and was easily able to trick out his new place. Although we know little about him, the living area seemed so him. I also get the feeling that his mother, older sister  (he looks like them), and Leanne (she doesn't resemble the others, I don't think), are pleased to see him settle into his own home.

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I typically do not like loft style apartments but I really liked this one! Even tho' the bedroom was a part of the main area, it was still separate enough. The kitchen and bathroom were amazing! I don't think I saw a television anywhere...did I miss it?

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It was a nice touch introducing their Mom and older sister.....they seem like a close, loving family. Being from the Pittsburgh area, it was making me crazy trying to figure out what neighborhood Steve's loft was in. Any other  Pittsburghers here who may have figured out just where they were??? I'll have to watch the show again.....that one church did look familiar. Steve was very excited and happy with his new home, it fits him perfectly.

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