Nina James knows what makes a room make sense and how to create balance, function, comfort and beauty. Apply that with her practical experience in tiling, laying floors, painting, etc. and you’ve got yourself one heck of a hard working, self-taught, can-do media executive turned designer.
From a very young age, Jeff began building and creating with tools and scraps of just about anything he could get his hands on. “I have always tinkered. I spent most of my early days breaking things. Now my days are filled with fixing them. Funny how things work out!”
Jeff’s professional foray into carpentry began over fifteen years ago as an apprentice for an historic home remodeler, where he honed his skills in the trade and gained a deep appreciation for the character, craftsmanship and beauty of historic dwellings. This blooming passion for designing, creating and building things, is what led Jeff to his chosen career path.
As an apprentice for a company that purchased antiquated properties on the verge of extinction, Jeff helped to rehabilitate them back to their original splendor of 100, or even 200, years past. Jeff was often in awe of the fine craftsmanship, attention to detail and heart these structures demanded of carpenters and, as a result, he came to demand this same level of manual investment and dedication of himself. Jeff took a hands-on approach to learning about construction and fine woodworking while putting the rest of his effort into absorbing all available information about his craft. To satisfy his natural tendency toward precision and excellence, Jeff strived to replicate the craftsmanship that he saw in these timeless homes with each and every project he adopted.
Jeff’s passion and dedication along with his natural ability to entertain those around him with humor, honesty and a smile, led him to the world of television. Currently, Jeff is busy shooting 2 new shows for The DIY Network: Jeff completely renovates some of the most challenging bathrooms in the Country on “I Hate My Bath.” “You’d be surprised what people are willing to put up with, it blows my mind! We’re really taking bathrooms to a whole new level on this show!” “I Hate My Bath” airs Tuesdays at 10 pm. And if you’ve ever found yourself perplexed about a major decision during a renovation, Jeff’s other DIY Network Show “Good, Better… Best” will solve all that. He guides homeowners through major decision points during their renovations, everything from which design plan to choose, to various materials, and budget. “I really love giving people options. It takes away some of their trepidation and empowers homeowners during what can be an overwhelming process. Pretty awesome!” “Good, Better…Best”, airs Fridays at 11pm on DIY Network. One of Jeff’s favorite specials to work on for DIY Network is his hosting duties for the show “DIY Hot List: Bath Special”, which takes viewers behind the scenes at the annual Kitchen & Bath Industry Show. A great gig, where he’s become a staple at!
Jeff started his career in front of the camera as a Host and resident carpenter of HGTV’s wildly successful show “Spice Up My Kitchen.” “We saw every kind of kitchen, in every kind of stage you can imagine. And I can honestly say that renovating the kitchen absolutely transforms a home and the way people live.” Next Jeff caught the eye of A&E Television Networks, where he led the cast of the show “Drill Team.” Each show focused on coming to the aid of homeowners who were either dealing with a DIY project gone awry, or a tragedy like a fire or flood. Throw in a crazy deadline and this show’s drama combined with the massive renovations, turned disasters into personal triumphs for the homeowners and the cast. “Being there for people to help them pick up the pieces is not only a rewarding experience, but to see the physical room transformations as well as the emotional ones is just amazing.”
Through his exposure on TV, the prestigious tool companies, Craftsman and Kreg Jig recognized Jeff’s expertise and chose him to demonstrate their products with on-going video web series. This gives Jeff an opportunity to teach viewers his tricks of the trade for pulling off everything from simple projects, to more in depth jobs. During all of his various on-screen ventures, Jeff has remained very hands on behind the scenes with his own company, SchoolHouse Woodworking; a custom woodworking company that delivers on their promise of excellence. Jeff maintains his contractor licenses and insurance and does everything from complete kitchen, bathroom, and basement renovations and of course his custom built-ins, furniture and woodwork.
Nowadays, Jeff has also dedicated himself to his website, jeffdevlin.net, which provides homeowners with tips, tricks and step-by-step video instruction for a variety of home improvement projects, maintenance, tool-use and safety, carpentry and much more. Jeff’s uses his website to provide both novice and experienced homeowners with a valuable resource when considering home improvement projects. Jeff’s practical approach and dynamic personality transform education into entertainment, creating a fun and enjoyable learning experience.
Jeff’s love for fixing things and his hard earned experience perfecting his craft has led him to independently accomplish the complete renovation of two historic Pennsylvania farmhouses, the current, of which, is the house of his dreams. He shares this labor of love with his patient wife Christine, two children, Reese and Aidan, a crazy Labrador Spanky, Gretel, a St. Bernard puppy, Betsy, the Beagle, 2 Pot Belly Pigs, Daisy May and Buttercup, and 10 chickens….and counting!