For University of Montevallo alumna Linn Gresham, what’s old can be easily transformed into something stunning and new.
That’s the premise of her potential show with Home & Garden Television (HGTV). Titled “Vintage Savannah,” the program follows Gresham and her design partner, Leah Bailey, as they work to restore Savannah’s antiquated homes into contemporary treasures.
Gresham was raised in Hoover, Alabama by Jane and William Gresham. Both graduated from UM, a decision she and her brother Alex later followed.
The unique architecture of UM’s campus, originally conceived by the famed Olmstead Brothers, sparked Gresham’s interest in design. She also took part in UM’s storied homecoming tradition College Night, where she lead the Gold Side to victory in 2001.
That year, she graduated from UM with a bachelor’s degree in interior design and planned to pursue her education at the Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD). While SCAD offered her more knowledge through a Master of Fine Arts degree, Gresham fell for the hanging moss and historic architecture of the city cradling the college.
She soon settled in Savannah and started a family while also building up her reputation as a quality interior designer. “It always pays you back when you do things the right way,” she said. Her path eventually crossed with Bailey, who offered Gresham space in her studio when the economy began to crash in 2010.
The two eventually became best friends and design partners. In 2015, a mutual friend at a production company envisioned their easy rapport and expertise as the foundation for a successful TV show. After several conversations and a surprise audition over Skype, HGTV sent a production crew to the Hostess City of the South to film two pilots for “Vintage Savannah.”
The pilots originally aired on Thursday, Sept. 15. Gresham said those who are curious to catch it again should keep their eyes on the Vintage Savannah Facebook page for show times and ratings updates.
Even though they now have the potential to entertain audiences across the country, Gresham said the two take their jobs extremely seriously. In their line of work, families trust them with the keys to their homes four to five weeks at a time.
With that in mind, Gresham and Bailey hope to continue “Vintage Savannah” in order to transform more spaces and lives. The UM alumna said she can always expect a heartfelt hug and thank you when she sees one of the pilot’s clients on Savannah’s cobblestone streets. “That is the power of good design,” she said.