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Home > Property Brothers News > Catch Up On Breaking New Ground—Trailer, Episode Recaps, Where to Watch, and More

Catch Up On Breaking New Ground—Trailer, Episode Recaps, Where to Watch, and More

breaking new ground robert hartwell kitchen renovation

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The brand-new MAX original series, Breaking New Ground, just aired, and we’re so excited to watch! The series touches on everything from history to resiliency, honing in on your creativity, and the emotions that go into owning and renovating a home. Look forward to watching Robert Hartwell, a Broadway performer, educator, and entrepreneur, on his journey to reconstructing a legacy home that celebrates his individuality and his heritage.

From renovating the house top to bottom to restoring its historic elements and honoring those people who were living in the house before him, Robert takes us on a heart-wrenching journey throughout the entire series. We watch him dig deep into the historical significance of the home, the weight that it holds being a homeowner of such a space as a gay Black man, and what it means to create a home. Catch up on everything from the series right here, and let us know what you think about Robert’s gorgeous renovations on social media after each episode.

Episode Recaps


Episode 2: The Kitchen and Dining Room

This room is supposed to be where the magic happens—but when they began renovations, it was anything but. Looking back at the house’s previous censuses, Robert noticed that there were unnamed people that were accounted for in 1820, likely Black people who labored for the home. Because of this history, the house’s original construction included back stairs specifically for their use. Robert plans to remove these and turn this kitchen and dining space into a place of love, joy, and community.

The Kitchen and Dining Room: Before and After
breaking new ground after dining room episode

Robert and Alan decided to open up the wall separating the spaces to get some much-needed natural light flowing into the dining room. Though they ran into some issues with major previous water damage, they took that as an opportunity to make the space more custom than it would have been otherwise. The dining, kitchen, and breakfast nooks were all made specific to Robert’s wants and needs, and those back stairs were finally a thing of the past after renovations.

Episode 1: The Parlor

After purchasing the 200-year-old home in Great Barrington (a part of The Berkshires in Massachusetts), Robert discusses his plans to renovate and move into the home in nine months. This is not only Robert’s first renovation, but also his first house, and it needs a ton of TLC to turn it into the sanctuary he desires.

The Parlor: Before and After

The house was built in 1820 and still maintains many of its original elements and fixtures. Robert plans to preserve some of these components, so he’s working with a local architect, Alan Mayer, to help him do so, and come up with a successful plan for his full-home renovation. In the first episode of Breaking New Ground, the two get together to start mapping out the space and begin work in the parlor, the first room of the house.

Frequently Asked Questions


When Does Breaking New Ground Air?

Breaking New Ground premiered on Thursday, June 27 exclusively on MAX. One new episode will air every week through August 1, making it a six-episode series.

What Is the Series About?

The MAX series follows Robert as he buys and renovates a 200-year-old house with a complex historical significance. Robert transforms the house top-to-bottom, turning it into an entirely new home filled with love and thoughtful touches. Robert is determined to make this home a sanctuary, and he’s honoring his ancestors, family, and himself throughout the process.

This renovation story is one that celebrates Robert’s resilience, the journey of what it means to own and transform a home into your own, and celebrating the creation of a new legacy. As his first property, Robert will also be learning a lot about the renovation process and all of the ups and downs that come with it, especially in an old build.

Where Can I Watch the Trailer?

Watch the Breaking New Ground trailer right here! Let us know what you’re most looking forward to on socials, and don’t forget to hashtag #BreakingNewGround #StreamOnMax when you post.

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