Albany County

Home renovations, blog keep Voorheesville couple happily busy

PHOTO PROVIDEDThe living room of the Mallinson home in Voorheesville.
The living room of the Mallinson home in Voorheesville.

VOORHEESVILLE — When Nicolle Mallinson launched her blog “Our Tiny Nest” in July 2017, she had no idea it would lead to so many amazing opportunities – the latest one featured on Martha Stewart’s HGTV show “Martha Knows Best.”

“A casting company found me through my blog and Instagram account, and asked if [my husband and I] would be interested in participating on a show where we get to ask a celebrity a question,” she said. “We didn’t know much about the show, including what network it would be on or who the celebrity would be, but we thought it would be a cool opportunity.”

Mallinson and her husband, Rick, participated in a series of phone interviews and sent in a video showing a garden project they needed help with. After finding out they made it to the final round of casting, they were asked to participate in a Zoom call.

It wasn’t until the couple logged into Zoom that they realized Martha Stewart would be helping them with their gardening question.

“We had no idea it would be Martha Stewart, who is like the queen of all things home and garden,” Mallinson said. “I’ve had several awesome opportunities that came about from my blog, including brunching with Dorinda Medley of the ‘Real Housewives of New York,’ but doing a Zoom call with Martha Stewart really tops it.”

Mallinson launched her blog “Our Tiny Nest” as an outlet to share her experience of becoming a mother. After she and her husband moved into their Voorheesville home two years ago, she began posting about home décor and home renovation projects.

“We joke around all the time and say we’re like a Chip and Jo, so to have the opportunity to be on HGTV was very surreal,” she said referring to Chip and Joanna Gaines, stars of HGTV’s home renovation television show “Fixer Upper.”

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Nicolle Mallinson said she and her husband were interested in improving their garden, as Rick had recently built a raised garden bed for the first time. Though they had planted some vegetable seeds, the couple found the garden bed was turning yellow and they hadn’t seen much growth.

“The very first thing that Martha said was that yellowing was due to overwatering,” Mallinson said, adding that Stewart also recommended they fill the top of their garden bed with soil during the episode, which aired July 31.

Since receiving advice from Stewart, the couple has harvested many fresh vegetables.

“Our eldest child loves to go out each night and help us pick them,” Mallinson said. “It’s been a great learning process, and we already have so many ideas as to what we will do differently next year and how to expand our garden.”

Mallinson, a Rotterdam native and graduate of Mohonasen High School, said that after getting married at Albany Country Club, she and her husband fell in love with the Voorheesville area.

“We wanted a home where we had some land and it felt like we were secluded, yet right in the middle of everything,” she said.

“It’s the best of both worlds.”
Shortly after moving into their four-bedroom, three-bathroom, 1,800-square-foot Voorheesville home, the couple repainted every room and whitewashed the downstairs fireplace.

“I was itching to redo it to give it a more updated look and it’s now my favorite renovation in our house so far,” she said. “It looks like a completely different room.”

Mallinson said whitewashing the fireplace boosted the couple’s confidence to take on more renovations.

“It kind of lit a fire in both of us,” she said. “I can look at something and see the potential and give Rick all of my ideas, and then he brings them to life. It’s been a fun thing for the two of us and has helped us work together as a team.”

Rick, who has a bachelor’s degree in construction management, does the home renovations himself, as he’s worked in the construction industry for more than 10 years.

“With my background it makes it easy for me to do it myself,” he said. “I’ve been building since I was a kid and I get a lot of satisfaction out of seeing what I’m able to create.”

After the couple began spending more time at home due to the pandemic, Rick decided to make one of his wife’s dreams come true and build a large raised garden bed.

“Nicolle has always wanted to have a garden, and since we were spending so much time at home it seemed like the perfect time,” he said. “It’s been fun for our son to see the whole process of how something grows from a little seed.”

Since it was his first try at gardening, Rick said he didn’t have high expectations for how the garden bed would turn out.

“We didn’t have a lot of hope since this was our first year, but we’ve grown a lot so far,” he said. “We’re already getting ideas [of what to plant] next year.”

Over the past two years, the couple has redone their master bedroom, family room and downstairs patio. Mallinson advises others who want to undergo home renovations to start small.

“Don’t start out by taking down walls; start with something that’s doable to boost your confidence,” she said. “Spend a lot of time in the room or area that you are looking to renovate and take your time. You want it to be purposeful and reflect you.”

Mallinson said she and her husband will soon turn their attention to renovating their main bathroom, as well as updating their kitchen and front porch.

“From the time I pull up the driveway and walk inside, I feel an immense sense of pride,” she said of her home. “We have truly made it our own, and it makes me so happy to see what Rick and I have been able to accomplish together.”

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