Elizabeth Rotstein: How was the overall experience of filming your first TV show, “Tackle My Reno?”
Sebastian Clovis: It was exhilarating. It was a really fantastic experience. I always enjoy being challenged, and having new experiences. Building with the homeowner over my shoulder watching, and with a camera filming, was definitely a new experience and I relish that kind of thing.
ER: Is there one particular episode this season that has a special place in your heart?
SC: I loved working on the very first episode (16 Year Wait) with Pat and Ben. I absolutely love those two. We really did bond. I’ve talked to Pat a couple times since the show just to tell her how I’m doing, and how it’s all going. They are always so happy to hear me on the other end of the phone. I have a sweet spot in my heart for those two.
It’s not just my show, it’s our show. We all had such a magical experience doing it that it’s not just about me, it’s about me and the homeowner. I want to make sure that they are as much a part of it as I am.
* Sebastian Clovis with Pat and Ben from the episode, 16 Year Wait.
“It’s not just my show, it’s our show. We all had such a magical experience doing it that it’s not just about me, it’s about me and the homeowner. I want to make sure that they are as much a part of it as I am.”
ER: Are there any embarrassing moments on set that you can share with us?
SC: There was a scene were we were getting ready to paint, and we were running behind schedule. In this particular episode I was standing with my paint roller in my hand, and I didn’t know that the paint roller had been used earlier and was wet and had white paint on it. So right before the scene started, the director said to me, “Are you ready?” and I said, “Ready.” At that moment for some reason I spun the roller, and paint went up and down my entire outfit, face, hair, everything. She looked at me and I couldn’t say anything, I just stood there and we all broke down in tears of laughter.
ER: What’s your design style in your home?
SC: You’ll see a lot of the original characteristics in my personal home, but with a lot of modern updates. I like a very modular look with slat privacy fences, and nice stained woods. Of course I love anything that’s refurbished and reclaimed lumber.
I really enjoy building things myself. I don’t like the prefab look as much, but I’m the type of guy who will look at something prefab and I’ll analyze it and try to go back to my shop and replicate it, and put my own touches onto it. I really appreciate the old versus new and try to incorporate that as much as possible in my builds.
ER: Do you have any tips for aspiring renovators?
SC: One of the things that you will learn is that when you are building for other people, you really need to listen to what it is the homeowners want. You might think that something is going to look fantastic, and in your eye, it looks fantastic, but to the homeowners it might look awful. If a homeowner is adamant about having it the way that they want, your life is going to be very difficult if you try to go against them. In the renovation business, word of mouth is everything. People are going to speak about how you treated them, and how you made them feel, and what you ultimately did for them.
ER: Can you recommend a quick weekend DIY project for homeowners?
SC: Cleaning up the grout in your backsplash and tiles makes the place look brand new. Cleaning up the silicone and the caulking around the windows. That stuff gets really dirty and grimy, and just freshening that up can give your whole house a feeling of new again.
“Cleaning up the grout in your backsplash and tiles makes the place look brand new.”
ER: Where is your favourite place to live in Canada?
SC: The beauty about Canada is it’s so diverse and different. Every area really has its own feel. Living in Vancouver was fantastic because it has a great beach life, great restaurants, and nightlife that I really appreciated. Halifax in itself had a great family friendly feel to it. You felt like you could walk down the street barefoot at 2:00am and it’s just totally normal, kind of like walking around in your own home. It just resonates with that kind of ambiance over there.
Toronto has a little bit of everything, which is what I love about this city, that’s why I ultimately decided to settle here. But if you want to talk about football fans, Saskatchewan is the place to play football. If you want to play in the CFL and want to play for some fans and get the hype and really deliver, Saskatchewan is where you want to go!
ER: When you go camping, do you rough it, or do you glamp (glamorous camping)?
SC: I like to rough it all the way. I was a boy scout when I was younger, so I really take to the outdoors naturally. I love canoeing and kayaking, portaging and hiking. As soon as I’m in a forest, I’m the type of guy who is looking for a stick to pick up that I can whittle away and use as a walking stick. Even when I go to the cottage I’m the type of guy who brings his own tent and pitches it in the back.
It’s great to get out underneath the stars and to feel like you’re in natures element. We spend so much time in the city surrounded by TVs and microwaves and all kinds of Wi-Fi flying through the air, that I just really appreciated getting into nature, and kind of absorbing that energy.
* Sebastian Clovis receiving an award as a Boy Scout.