A new TV series is documenting a family's experience with renovating an old mansion and making it their home. But there's a twist. Heather and Arryn Blumberg's property in Chatham-Kent used to be a funeral home.
Early in the pandemic, they were considering moving to a big home in a rural area, the couple explained. Online, they came across photos of a large Victorian property in Dresden, located north of Chatham.
"We were struck by the architecture of the home and fell in love instantly," Heather said.
Prior to the viewing, some cyber sleuthing revealed that the home was in fact a former funeral parlor.
"Explains the decor," Heather said, with a chuckle.
But it didn't put them off. The home itself — which Arryn describes as "frighteningly large at times" — won them over.
"We loved it. We knew we wanted to buy it within the first few minutes of being here," he said.
The series, called We Bought A Funeral Home, debuts on the streaming platform Discovery+ on Oct. 1.
The home is over 12,000 square feet. The couple had a $400,000 budget for their reno, billed as a "massive glam goth overhaul."
In addition to the showing off the home's transformation, the show promises some spooky surprises along the way.
The couple had no prior TV experience, but they were contacted by producers after their purchase of the property was the subject of an article on the website Narcity.
They have been living in the home throughout the renovation with their two children, Noa and Rafferty.
"It was intense," said Heather. There's no two ways about it. It's a huge construction project that we had on the go. We had a TV crew with us every single inch of the way."
They're about half way through the renovation. The kitchen, dining room and family room are done, as are bedrooms and bathrooms for the family.
They've had some fun with some spaces in the home and played into the funeral home theme, Heather said.
"We took the embalming room and turned it into a cigar lounge, and we took the storage room and the casket bar and turned it into a speakeasy," she said.