Collect This!

Building our heritage into our future....

            Recently we met with Leigh Keno and the producers of a new show on MSN.com called “Collect This!”  They were anxious to learn more about building the “new old house” and wanted to showcase the work of Sunderland Period Homes in their first video segment.  It was exciting to share our enthusiasm for authentic colonial architecture with Leigh Keno, who is as passionate as we are about our colonial past.  His field, of course, is 18th century furniture, now branching into Modern, but he and his brother, Leslie, were just as enthusiastic about 18th century architecture.   It was a pleasure to introduce them to our newly constructed 18th century reproduction homes, as well as some restored originals.  Leigh appreciated the hand work that goes into reproducing an authentically detailed period home, running his hand across the hand-planed surface of the new paneling, much as he would across the back of an old high boy.  He was also amused by the integration of the “new” – those 21st century amenities that must be cleverly integrated for modern living, like pull out trash bins, and whirlpool tubs. 


            We are so fortunate to have people like the Keno’s whose love for the colonial craftsman’s work is infectious, their enthusiasm almost impossible to contain as they caress an early Chippendale chair with their eyes, hands and heart on the “Road Show,” read its history in the lines, wood and carvings, then surrender it back to its owner with a smile and a “thank you” for sharing it.  As we watch, we feel as though we just learned a little something about history, and gained a reverence for the maker and his time.  If only more people could find that enthusiasm within, feel that intense appreciation for a craft honed with love rather than how fast and how cheaply it can be done - what a force we could be in this crusade to preserve an authentic past.


            Thank you Keno’s for sharing your knowledge and love of 18th century America’s skill and handcraft with the world, and also for the opportunity to share our own work with you. We hope you enjoy the video.