On their new HGTV show,Small town potential, broker and businessmanDavina Thomasoulaand her life partner Kristin Leitheusertackling renovation projects in the Hudson Valley — and wWhen Davina shows potential homeowners a listing of homes, she finds herself using the words "Has great potential" over and over again.
"The Hudson Valley is full of wonderful old homes, farms and mom-and-pop businesses, but it's also an easy train ride to New York," he says. “Even if you've lived here your whole life, you keep discovering new things you didn't even know existed. Anyone with an imagination can restore some amazing properties here.”
Ahead, meet this gracious couple who not only breathe new life into old properties, but also brighten up the very special area they call home.
They are engaged
"We've been engaged for four years and still navigating a wedding date," Davina tells WebMD. "Everyone is wondering when we're going to hitchhike, but we're so busy with all our projects!" Kristin confirms that they get this question all the time. "But there's so much going on in our work lives, we take everything else day by day," he adds.
Their dogs are their children
Davina and Kristin hope to have children someday, but for now they have their hands full with their two dogs, Stephen (a rescue dog, 4 years old) and Winston (a Brussels Griffon, 5 years old). “We like to give our pets human names,” laughs Kristin. “We found Stephen, who was about 9 months old at the time, wandering the streets of Poughkeepsie. He was skinny and he was eating out of bins, and we were like 'Whose dog is that?' until we realized it was ours!'
They are both air signs
Davina is an Aquarius (February 8) and Kristin is a Gemini (June 15), which horoscope experts say are compatible signs that make an extremely powerful couple.
They grew up in different parts of the country
Kristin's family lives in the Hudson Valley. He grew up in Pleasant Valley, New York, a town located between New York City and the state capital of Albany. Davina was born in Buffalo, New York and raised in Coral Springs, Florida, about 20 miles northwest of Fort Lauderdale. They now live in Kingston, New York, a town at the foot of the Catskill Mountains steeped in history and a vibrant arts community.
They met in a bar
"After college I played on a recreational basketball team in New York and one time after a game we went to a bar because someone knew the bartender, which turned out to be Davina!" Christine laughs. "I played it safe and ordered a Guinness and the rest is history."
And now they have one!
"I've been a bartender for over a decade and always dreamed of opening a neighborhood bar," says Davina. "So I did." Located in Poughkeepsie, New York, the bar's name, (Good night Kenny), is a tribute to Davina's father, Kenny. “As a musician who plays at night, my dad likes to take a nap during the day. Goodnight Kenny is what we call him every time he takes a nap,” laughs Davina, who signed a lease on the bar two weeks before the pandemic hit. “It's been a crazy time, but we've been open for about six months now and it's been great, including being able to hire local people and give back to the community, which has always been one of our main goals,” adds Kristin. . "It's a small bar — only about 700 square feet." When you are there you feel like you are hanging out with people in your living room.
They found properties in different ways
“I studied journalism at college and wanted to be an on-air meteorologist,” says Davina. "Instead, I worked in the hospitality industry for 20 years before becoming a real estate agent." Kristin earned a business degree in college, but “I loved carpentry and knew I wanted to follow in my contractor father's footsteps after working with him during my summers,” she says.
van KristiDad is on the show
Don is a master carpenter who has been renovating homes in the New York area for 40 years and stars in the show. "I discovered my love of holding a hammer next to him," Kristin tells WebMD. "This is a whole new world for him - he never thought he'd be a part of this show!"
They have their strengths when it comes to Home Renos
“I've been told I have a knack for finding solutions,” says Kristin. "I believe there's always a way to fix something, and I'm always willing to find out." Davina is proud when clients share their gratitude for helping them find their forever homes. "It's a huge compliment when someone reaches out after years to say they're still happy in their space."
Their families are their inspiration
"I will always look to my family. They just work so hard,” says Davina. "It's in my heart when I wake up every morning." Kristin echoes that sentiment. “It may sound cliché, but my mom and dad inspire me every day. As I get older I realize that I inherited some great traits from both of them, and they still influence the way I do things. I'm so lucky to have them in my life."
There's one thing no one knows about Kristin
"I've had long, blonde hair for most of my life," says Kristin. "I cut it off almost five years ago."
They share the same favorite color
Vegetable. "I love that it's a neutral shade and makes me feel peaceful and happy," says Davina. She agrees with Kristin: "Green is such a versatile color in nature and my mom always tells me when it comes to fashion, green looks good on me because it suits my eyes."
They can define themselves in three words
Davina:ambitious, foolish, honest.
Christine:driven, handy, disciplined.
They love that about each other
"Kristin is never afraid to tell the truth about anything," says Davina. "I always know I'm going to get an honest answer or opinion from her." As for Kristin, it's Davina's way of lighting up a room. "People are just drawn to her ghost," he says. "He can make and find a deal with anyone."
They can do without open design
"We often work in older houses where there's no reason to knock down walls everywhere," says Davina. "A small room has such personality. I'd say embrace the low ceilings." People seem to gravitate toward the older layouts now, Kristin agrees. "My dad and I like to restore things to their original form – and that often means appreciating the past and keeping rooms separate."
They loved filming their show
"Sometimes it felt like an adult summer camp," says Davina. "We met the crew, made new friends and shared some very interesting experiences." Kristin adds, “MeIt can be stressful because you're not just dealing with your typical construction issues - there's an elephant in the room and that's the camera waiting to film. Getting there was sometimes difficult, but in the end we always delivered a great product to our customers.”
They have a favorite episode
“Renovating my mom's house, which is 600 feet from our home in Kingston, New York, was a real success for both of us,” says Davina. "There was a lot of pressure because it's her family and if she didn't like it she would have told us." Davina's mother had one request: her kitchen cabinets to match her green eyes. “So we used a custom color on the cabinets to do just that,” says Davina.
They are proud of what sets their show apart
"We're the only two queer female hosts," says Davina.
They had this reaction when HGTV greenlit their show
"We were so shocked that we almost blocked out our response," says Davina. "I think I was in my car when I heard the news, and I called Kristin and asked, 'What does the green light mean?' Christine said she almost fell over. "I just couldn't believe it!"
Small town potential roughWednesday, June 14 at 9|8c. Continue with the show at@HGTVIn#SmallTownPotentialopFacebook,On Twitter,InstagramInTik Tok. They can also follow Davina (@davinathomasula) a Christine (@kristin2_1) on Instagram.
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