When Danielle Bryk agreed to renovate her family cottage, she had no clue that—partway through the project—cameras would arrive on the scene to capture everything for a television show. She’d been consulting on the renovation of sister Terry and brother-in-law Norman’s dilapidated, outdated Georgian Bay property but Norman had been running the project. Then a television producing job came calling and Norman had to leave.
“He said, ‘Oh god, you need to take over. You need to help Terry out,” Bryk (Home to Win) says over the phone. “I’m the resident renovator in the family, so I couldn’t really refuse.” Then, totally by coincidence, Cottage Life came calling and asked if Bryk had any projects on the go. She mentioned the cottage reno and they jumped on board.
The Bryk Cottage, debuting Thursday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Cottage Life, isn’t your typical renovation series. This is a true documentary that, over the course of six episodes, shows Bryk organizing and executing the project under the watchful eye of Terry. Episode 1 introduces the folks involved and expectations; Terry and Norman bought the property years ago and it’s served as a homey getaway for the burgeoning family. Now it’s time for an upgrade. Terry has high-end plans for the home and it’s up to Bryk to keep costs down and the project on schedule.
“My sister is such a great sport,” Bryk says. “She has no filter. We finished filming one bit and she said, ‘Great, I’m probably going to come off as a total b-word!’ I said, ‘Dude, you knew they were rolling!’ She is a great sport and she knows it does make for great TV.” It certainly does.
But aside from the siblings butting heads over materials and budgets, The Bryk Cottage is educational. Constructing a passive building is explored for Terry and Norman. Bryk first heard of the concept about 20 years ago in a book by Sir Terence Conran. The idea of keeping a home heated or cooled passively stuck with her and she jumped at the chance to capture and utilize the sun’s heat to its full advantage through the use of windows and insulation. She recalls filming The Bryk Cottage through the winter and the building being nice and toasty thanks to just a small space heater the drywall guy was using. The Bryk Cottage is educational and entertaining, but it’s also telling a story many can relate to.
“The crux of all this is family and of connection,” Bryk says. “It’s so important these days to carve out spaces and time to do that kind of thing. To me, it’s the only thing that matters.”
The Bryk Cottage airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Cottage Life.
Image courtesy of Blue Ant Media.