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Man About the House: Carter Oosterhouse + Me

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Janine Falcon and Carter Oosterhouse

Strangely, in the past few days more than one of my friends has mentioned the above photograph and the story I did for Canadian Living on TV carpenter dude Carter Oosterhouse, who, coincidentally, I happened to catch on the "CBS Early Show" earlier this week while I was in NYC. "Why isn't it on BeautyGeeks?" demanded one friend. Short answer: Staff. *sigh*

A few years back, the world was made more handsome with the placement of several billboards and magazine ads featuring a dreamy, dark-haired, windswept man at the helm of his powerful racing yacht. That man, TV personality Carter Oosterhouse, is actually a skilled sailor, not just playing one in a photograph. It's a good thing, too -- reports of the photo shoot told of harrowing winds and stormy seas that threatened to capsize the 40-foot yacht off the coast of Brazil. "It was an adventure," says Oosterhouse, who had stopped in at Toronto's Sutton Place Hotel to launch Coty's fragrance for men, Nautica Voyage.

Here's what I found out about the man about the house:

1. Oosterhouse doesn't just play a carpenter on TV. "I got into woodworking when I was about 13 or 14," he says. "My brothers are carpenters. I started by picking up trash on their job sites, then kept up the carpentry to put myself through school." How serendipitous: Oosterhouse got his big break when he landed a spot as a hunky, laid-back carpenter on TLC's "Trading Spaces" in 2003. He now appears on several television programs, including "Rachel Ray" and the "CBS Early Show."

2. He can set you up with a concisely outlined balanced diet. Obviously he's not available for consultations, but Oosterhouse does have a B.A. in nutrition and communication from Central Michigan University, which he attended on a rugby scholarship.

3. He considers moving boxes an honest day's work. Oosterhouse's plan to pursue his interest in nutrition once he got to L.A. was derailed when he got a production job with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck's Project Greenlight. "I was hired to move boxes," he laughs. Soon, he was reading scripts and writing synopses for the company, as well as taking acting classes and appearing in ads and commercials, including one for Gillette's M3Power razor. "Being behind the scenes was an advantage," he says. "The job allowed me to get the vibe of Hollywood -- it demystified everything. People also get to know you in a way that's different from just meeting you at auditions."

4. Men's grooming products, not so much. But he'll get a feng shui haircut. It's probably no surprise that Oosterhouse isn't much of a fragrance or product guy (though he does like the crisp, clean Nautica Voyage scent, saying, "it's more me"). With his genes, he needs no extra help. He is, however, enthusiastic about something called a feng shui haircut. L.A.-based stylist Billy Yamaguchi pioneered the cut, during which he applies feng shui principles to giving his clients the look that best reflects their inner energy.

5. He sees fame simply as part of the job. In addition to a fan base of females who watch him on television, Oosterhouse has been named one of the sexiest men on television by People Magazine. "It's not about me, it's just part of the job," he says. "One of my biggest fears, before anything had even happened, was of becoming a Hollywood jackass." A close friend kidded him unmercifully about getting ahead of himself, and that was the end of that. Oosterhouse credits his "focus on the positive and what can be improved," as well as strong family values instilled during childhood, for keeping him grounded.

6. He wouldn't say no to acting roles. Of his time in "Trading Spaces" carpentry world, Oosterhouse says he relished the opportunities to reinvent not himself, but what he does. "You constantly have to change design elements to keep things fresh and to evolve and progress with what you produce," he says. And while he enjoys that he's able to be himself on camera, he says he'd never say no to roles, especially after his years of acting studies. "I'm happy now, though. I love building every day."

There are a couple more things that you might like to know about Carter Oosterhouse. Folks, if you think the 6'3" Oosterhouse is a hottie in a T-shirt, shorts and a toolbelt, I have to tell you he's utterly swoon-worthy in a well-cut suit. As for proposals, it seems that during Oosterhouse's day in Toronto, he received just one, at least before 5 p.m. "Anywhere, anytime," he answered with a broad smile when I asked where he'd like our ceremony to take place.

I'd better get on that.

Hello, Mr Oosterhouse

For more on what Carter is up to, visit My interview with him is in the news section. Top photo by George Pimentel.