When you're the host on a number of HGTV shows, there are some assumptions people make. Like, for example, that no matter how rough and dirty you get on screen, your life is actually filled with fancy cocktail parties and limousine rides. But that's definitely not the case for Bryan Baeumler, host of "DIY Disaster," and "House of Bryan: In The Sticks," premiering Sunday, Dec. 14 at 9 p.m. EST on HGTV Canada.
In the new series, Baeumler, along with his wife Sarah and four children, pull up stakes from their suburban Oakville, Ont. home and move to the country to build a whole new kind of dream house, one with acres and acres of land. But as far as Baeumler is concerned, it's no sacrifice at all.
"To be honest, it was a really smooth transition for us, and if anything we were all a little surprised at how quickly everyone adapted," he tells The Huffington Post Canada. "The kids love their new home, and their friends love visiting, as do ours. If anything, we seem to entertain even more than we did living in the city, and the time we spend at our home with family and friends now seems to be of greater quality, if that makes any sense."
Having grown up surrounded by farmland (and of course, by virtue of his job as a contractor), Baeumler was more than prepared for the home maintenance projects around the house, and battling traffic to get into the city to maintain his construction business. His wife, however, who was born and bred in Oakville, needed a little convincing.
"At first she didn't understand why we needed so much property. However, it didn't take long for our new lifestyle to win her over. She's even eyeing up the farm next door…it turns out the kids, and Sarah, like horses. I may have created a rural monster."
Baeumler speaks glowingly of the increased property value, sense of privacy and safety for his family afforded by the country. Of course, it helps that his view of city living is none too flattering.
"When we lived in town, it was too easy to run out to the store, go out to a carbon-copy restaurant with saucy mediocre defrosted food, or pop back into the office after hours to finish up a bit of work. You'd be amazed how many things we 'think' we need that aren't mission critical to everyday life," he says.
"Now, work stays at the office, and we spend more time as a family eating home-cooked (and much healthier!) meals, playing outdoors or exploring nature together. Our kids will choose a few hours running around outside playing together or chasing squirrels over their iPads, which I think is great."
But despite his ebullience about his new digs and the "natural air filter and oxygen factory" he now lives in, he doesn't think it's for everyone. In fact, he knows it's not.
"If you like getting up in the morning, walking or jumping on your bike or the streetcar and hitting up your local Starbucks for a skinny-mocha-frappe-whatchamacallit, you don't enjoy a lot of home maintenance projects, or spending time in the dark after a storm (or listening to the hum of a generator), the occasional septic pump failure, or deer, wild turkey and coyotes wandering through your yard, or you enjoy the convenience of the local strip mall, country life might not be for you.