'Vintage Rehab' Series Premiere: Meet Ally Mahon

Fans of vintage-home renovation shows take note: there's a new kid in town, and you’ll find her on DIY Network. The kid is Ally Mahon, and the town is Pittsburgh, PA.

Ally Mahon, host of DIY Network's Vintage Rehab , in one of her newly remodeled kitchens

Ally Mahon, host of DIY Network's Vintage Rehab , in one of her newly remodeled kitchens

Vintage Rehab, DIY Network's latest foray into the world of reviving and revitalizing old homes, makes its series debut tonight with back-to-back episodes in the 9 and 9:30p time slots (8 and 8:30p central).

The new eight-episode series centers around Ally Mahon — licensed real-estate agent, restoration pro, wife and mom. In her beloved town of Pittsburgh, Ally has made something of a reputation for herself by recognizing potential in suffering, neglected and crumbling old homes — homes that still retain at least traces of their original period aesthetic — and devising a way to help their owners restore and enhance them, even when the budget is meager. Then she and her crew jump in and make it happen.

No fear of power tools

No fear of power tools

“Pittsburgh is my home town and reviving these properties is my passion,” says Ally in the show open. “My job is to add value and comfort without taking away that vintage charm.”

Key among Ally's skills is a knack for finding, restoring or upcycling antiques and old furniture pieces, fashioning creative period-appropriate additions to be featured in the newly renovated spaces. Often it's those pieces that become the standout show-stoppers in her makeovers. But it’s Ally’s on-the-spot ingenuity, contagious enthusiasm and generally positive vibe that serve as the spark and inspiration for homeowners who may be feeling they've gotten in over their heads in a vintage fixer-upper.

Take for example newlyweds Blair and Rachel, homeowners featured in the premiere episode. Their historic brick home is in an area called Squirrel Hill, a neighborhood in the east end of Pittsburgh distinguished by beautiful old Tudor and Craftsman homes. "It's Pittsburgh to the core," says Ally.

Blair and Rachel's 1920's-era home in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood

Blair and Rachel's 1920's-era home in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood

Blair and Rachel's 1920s era Craftsman has retained much of its vintage appeal except for in two areas: a kitchen that has suffered from an earlier "modern update", and a backyard which has degenerated into a muddy mess resembling an abandoned lot. The couple wants a kitchen with character that stylistically matches the architecture of the home, and a backyard that's more yard and less mud-pit. Their budget is $50,000.

The house is a 1920s Craftsman, but the kitchen is decidedly a 1990s eyesore.
homeowner, Rachel

Ally comes up with a plan for enhancing both spaces in an integrated strategy. For starters, she and her crew gut the kitchen and open it onto the adjacent dining room, giving the overall space a makeover while still honoring the home’s original Craftsman roots.

AFTER: Blair and Rachel's renovated kitchen includes a tile floor in red and brown brick tones, Moroccan tile backsplash and a salvaged leaded-glass window as an accent piece.

AFTER: Blair and Rachel's renovated kitchen includes a tile floor in red and brown brick tones, Moroccan tile backsplash and a salvaged leaded-glass window as an accent piece.

On the outside she re-works backyard landscaping, incorporates a special feature connecting the lower-level backyard to the upstairs and finds a particularly inventive use for a recently fallen oak tree.

The Vintage Rehab episode titled "Craftsman Inside and Out" premieres on DIY Network on September 6 at 9p|8c, followed by a second episode, "French Country Revival" at 9:30|8:30c. (Click on the episode links to see additional airtimes.) More new episodes will follow on Wednesdays at 9 on DIY Network.

The newly landscaped backyard features a stone patio, fire pit and walking path made from cross-sections of a fallen oak tree.

The newly landscaped backyard features a stone patio, fire pit and walking path made from cross-sections of a fallen oak tree.

And if you like what you see with Vintage Rehab, be sure to bookmark this page and to see more exclusive photos, videos and show updates.
 

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