Meet the Columbus couple who has their own renovation TV show on popular network

Melinda Green

“Beginning in the Middle” – not only the name of Catherine and Bryan Williamson’s renovation company, but a phrase that reflects new opportunities in both adulthood and the Midwest. Those opportunities brought them not only to Columbus, but to the birth of a company that was recently featured on Magnolia Network.

Their journey to the beginning (so to speak) began in New York City. Bryan, an interior design graduate originally from Worthington, was working at a custom furniture studio and wanted to return to Columbus. Catherine, a CPA, was a tax consultant at a large firm, climbing the corporate ladder.

“[My job] was very fast-paced,” Catherine said. “After a while, I started to realize that the pressure was not aligning with my values anymore. It was hard to give 300% to something when I stopped feeling a sense of purpose. And so it aligned very well with Bryan’s scheme to move back here.”     


When they landed in Columbus, both held day jobs and renovated their Italian Village home in their free time. Soon, they ventured into real estate investment, practicing and learning on one house at a time. After a few years, the couple realized it made more sense for Bryan to be the contractor than to pay a contractor, and eventually, Catherine left the CPA world and joined Bryan in full-time renovation.

She recalled those early, hectic years. “It was like every night, every weekend. Probably the equivalent of two full time jobs, I would say. But it was a creative outlet. So even though I was working essentially another job after my job, I looked forward to it.”           

When you own a renovation business, it goes without saying that you have to be incredibly handy, as well as artistic. Bryan acquired his skills little by little, over time. “Growing up, my dad introduced me to this stuff,” he said. The real core of Bryan’s foundation, though, was a college internship making furniture, where he was able to master woodworking skills.

Catherie’s upbringing was the opposite. “I was not really around construction at all. I’ve always appreciated aesthetics, but I’ve also appreciated how things work. I never realized that I had the skill set that I do for design and renovation until I started doing it with Bryan after we moved here. Everything kind of clicked and it was like, ‘Whoa, this is a great use of how I think.'”      

Naturally, working together on a daily basis, the couple has become familiar with compromise. “I have a different style than Catherine does, so there’s a bit of negotiation that  needs to take place,” Bryan admitted. “I gravitate towards things that are beautiful, but different—where beauty and function ultimately meet.”

“I think, for me, it’s details that are well done,” Catherine countered. “It’s not looking up a picture on Pinterest and copying it. It’s making it your own, some intentionality and thought behind it, that inspires me.”   

Their differences are just enough to keep their personal and professional relationships healthy, even if it all can sound tricky. “We’re still figuring it out,” Catherine said, laughing. “No, we genuinely enjoy each other’s company most of the time. We don’t have traditional dates and things like that. Sometimes, we’ll be like, ‘We’re going to design this cabinet together.’ Our time together is spent differently because we work together.”      

Photo by Jen Brown Photography

Bryan added, “It’s nice to be able to rely on somebody that you know [is] going to be there and have your back. We’ll just be like, ‘All right, today’s a nice day. Let’s go get a margarita.’ Things can be spontaneous.”            

As if all that weren’t enough to handle, they’re also the parents of two young daughters. How do they balance it all? “We just try,” they both said. Their daughters tag along to the construction site frequently, playing in a safe area of the site or helping with kid-sized tasks.  

Working with Magnolia Network was a carefully considered leap. Catherine recalled, “We had been contacted by production companies pretty frequently, and, always, it felt like they always wanted to fit us into a box. I think they see ‘husband and wife team with cool Instagram photos’ and immediately think … you know. We liked Magnolia’s content because it was stories of real people.”

Their show, A Home Away, aired earlier this year. It follows their current renovation, The Harrison House Bed & Breakfast on W. Fifth Avenue.

“[Magnolia] was a really rewarding experience,” Catherine said. “They filmed on and off over the course of two and a half years. It was very ‘We’re going to follow your process.’ There was a lot going on, a lot of coordination from the construction and design perspective, and they captured a lot of that.”  

As the couple got deep into construction, the cameras followed their progress daily for six to eight months. It’s easy to see how they developed “lifelong friendships” with the crew.

After three years, the property is finally nearing completion. “It has required all of our time plus a lot more,” Catherine joked. “We bought a bed and breakfast with the intent of updating it, reopening, and that’s it. But we found out that because the house had seven bedrooms, we couldn’t just renovate it; we would actually have to get it rezoned to reflect its use. Essentially, we had to make it a hotel. That led to us having to do a commercial renovation with fire suppression, egress, stair addition, all new everything. So it was a massively larger project than we expected.”

Although they’re always working, they’ve only renovated about a dozen properties over the last ten years, and now focus almost solely on their own investments. “We haven’t been a high volume business. We focus on making places really custom,” Catherine said. “We’ve kept a couple as rentals; we’ve sold a couple, but I think what we’ve realized is that because we love the details so much, we shy away from flips and things like that.” Smaller renovations take months; larger ones, years to complete.

And they love doing things by their own process. “We’ve done it in a way where we try to enjoy the details,” Catherine said. “It’s never like, ‘Let’s try to get this done as fast as we can.’ We try to put in the time to make them feel unique. We’re just trying to have fun with what we do, and learn and grow every day.”

View all episodes of A Home Away on Max, AppleTV, discovery+, and Prime, and follow Beginning in the Middle’s journey on their Instagram!

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