Category Archives: Design TV

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Love it or List it

Anybody else been watching Love it or List it on HGTV? Hosted by designer Hilary Farr and realtor David Visentin, each week they meet with homeowners who’ve had it with their home. Hilary renovates to try to get them to love it, while David shows them other homes, in hopes of getting them to list it. I do like this show. But, I get tired of the EXACT SAME formula they follow with each episode. I used to work in television (albeit local), I understand sticking with a formula that works. But, it just starts to feel so tired. 

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The supposed tension between the hosts feels slightly contrived. He tells her she’s in over her head. She tells him they won’t want to leave their home once they see her renovation. Then he takes the homeowners to see homes that don’t fit their needs. Either they’re just outside of the area they want, or they also need renovations, it’s too expensive, too small, you name it.

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In the meantime, Hilary over promises what she can accomplish with the budget she is presented with. Then, every time, something goes wrong with the renovations. This may be the most realistic part of the show! Inevitably the homeowners are always angry with Hilary.
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After a few failed showings, David shows them a home that is nearly perfect for them. Hilary then gets a chance to reveal the renovations and they’re thrilled. The homeowner’s reactions are typical with all the home renovation shows–“I can’t believe this is our house.”love it 2

Then the debate begins. One of the partners always wants to stay, and one always wants to go. That part may also be realistic. But, after careful consideration they always end up in agreement.

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Finally, it comes time to reveal their decision. Hilary: “Are you going to love it?” David: “Or are you going to list it?” I’m usually rooting for them to love it and I find they often do stay. I just wish they’d shake it up a bit! Maybe Hilary and David could be in agreement just one time. Maybe they both think the homeowners are wishy washy. Or, they could both say what they’re really thinking, like if they purged some junk the home would be a perfect fit for them! I know Hilary has it in her, she reveals that in this interview.
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Hilary is a big time designer in Canada, check our her site here. You can find David on Twitter. To learn more about the show go here.

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New Jeff Lewis Show

He’s snarky. He’s complicated. He’s a great designer. And, he makes great TV. Jeff Lewis is dominating design television with Flipping Out, and Interior Therapy with Jeff Lewis, both on Bravo. Now, he’s got a third series (also on Bravo) that will premiere on July 9th with back-to-back episodes at 10/9c and 10:30/9:30c.

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Bravo describes Property Envy as a “30-minute panel talk show hosted by Stephen Collins with Jeff Lewis, prominent interior designer Mary McDonald and Chicago-based real estate guru Brandie Malay, breaking down the world of luxury real estate, cutting-edge home technology and trendsetting décor.” They further explained that they’ll feature exclusive and expensive homes, and one-of-a-kind cultural landmarks. Seems like something I’d like! To read more about his latest show click here.

In writing this post I started researching Jeff Lewis, which brought me to his design firm’s page. In his design gallery there are lots of great images of home remodels he has completed on his shows. I could waste lots of time clicking through them all. But, let’s take a quick look at Gramercy Place.

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This home was special to Jeff Lewis. It was the one that got away! Jeff owned this home and sold it in 2006. Since this one always held a special place in his house-flipper heart, when it came back on the market, he and his parter Gage bought it and renovated it.

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Holy closet Batman! If you’ve watched Jeff Lewis interact with his employees, you’re aware he most likely suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder. His OCD tendencies are clearly on display in this stunning closet.

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For a complete look at before and afters of this home click here.

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Sarah Richardson’s New Website

My absolute favorite television designer, Sarah Richardson, announced her new website today. I could spend hours looking at her designs, checking out her finds, viewing her collection and reading her new online magazine! And, if you’re a fan of Tommy, her TV design sidekick, there is plenty of him too. The website has images from many of the makeovers from Sarah 101, Sarah’s House, and Design, Inc. This kitchen is from season 1 of Sarah 101. It’s got a great cottage feel.

sarah 1If you follow Sarah Richardson, you’ve probably noticed she has a streamlined, transitional style. She tends to gravitate towards light fabric, often having an elegant and traditional feel. This image is also from season 1 of Sarah 101 and it’s from an episode called, Contemporary Living. This is one of the more modern designs I’ve seen from her. sarah 2 Another sweet, cottage kitchen. This one is extra special because it’s from her summer home, and a series where she remodels her cottage, which is located on an off-the-grid island. Watching this series was fun because we got to peek into her personal cottage, meet her husband and watch the contractors struggle with bringing all the supplies in via boat!

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This gorgeous bathroom is from season 2 of Design, Inc. This series gave us an understanding of what it’s like to run a design firm. And, a chance to overdose on Tommy! I love the marble floor throughout, and the mosaic tile detail on the large shower.sarah 4This room is also from Design, Inc., which ran for four seasons. This room is classic Sarah Richardson to me. I am amazed that she has small children, and designs rooms like this. I’d be curious if she has any rooms like this in her own house. I love, love, love it. But, with a dog and two kids, I would never live comfortably in a room like this.

sarah 5Sarah isn’t afraid to make bold choices, like this ornate wall paper on the ceiling of this contemporary nursery. I think it’d be overstimulating for a baby. But, the parents would probably feel sophisticated when spending time in this blue and orange boy’s room. Definitely a room that will grow with a child!

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Another good example of what I like about Sarah Richardson. Simple, pretty, and functional designs are commonplace in her makeovers. Details like the wood ceiling and the beadboard planks, make this space feel finished and design-rich.

sarah 9Her redesigned website also includes Get Inspired, a new online magazine with tips and finds. This scrapwood wallpaper looks amazingly real and is much easier than sourcing and compiling scrap wood! It’s $270 a roll, and she includes links to buy.
sarah 7And, there are even affordable finds. This charming floral plate is from Anthropologie and is just $14 a plate. Sarah suggests buying a few and box framing them for display art.

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When you have some time to kill and you’re looking for great design inspiration, be sure to visit Sarah Richardson’s new website!