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When I meet someone at a social gathering and they find out that I’m a Director of Original Programming for HGTV, they always assume I’m living in a large, highly-decorated estate. I’m HUGELY flattered, always honored and somewhat guilty to admit that my abode is no such place. I leave the big jobs to my friends Taniya Nayak, Monica Pedersen, Angelo Surmelis, etc.

My home is modest and yet what I would consider fabulous at the same time. I have a very manageable home (it’s a 2 bedrooms/2 bath ranch built in 1950) — and it’s less than 1600 square feet.


However, I’ve managed to turn it into a bit of a real-world showplace that fits my own personal taste. Nothing in it is extravagantly expensive or incredibly unique — but when I walk through my front door each day, I LOVE what I see.


So what’s my style? I love contemporary furnishings that are still somewhat affordable (www.crateandbarrel.com) with little flashy indulgences of what I call “the awesome factor” (www.mogullife.com) — this website has inspired me to no end. Put it all together, and you have a comfy, cozy, personal and very “me” home.


Bottom line, you don’t need a mansion to feel like a mogul — trust me, I’m trying to live it by example. How have you been inspired to turn your real-world home into a showplace too? I especially love to hear about stylish, smaller homes — after all size doesn’t always matter!


Inspiring Spaces

9 Responses

  1. Susan says:

    I would love to turn my home into a show place. I've been working on it, but with lack of funds I've come to a standstill. I have painted beautiful stripes on the wall in the master bedroom, I don't know what color of bedspread to put with them. I have plans to refinish my dresser. I have curtins to hang, but I'm still looking for the perfect rods.

    I have painted my great room a nice warm but light green. The new furniture I bought is not holding up as I desired. But I did hang wonderful curtins in there.

    I'd love to re-do the cabinets in the kitchen, I can't understand why the people who built the house put in the old fashioned oak cabinets! The house is just 5 years old! And they put in molded fermica counters! I really want to change those too – but not granite!

    I've thought about posting on "Rate my Space", but I'm chicken!

  2. Mandy Ford says:

    Your home is really lovely. We have a 1935 bungalow and have been slowly decorating and doing some small renovations. It is 1500 square feet, and we just had twins, so we are definitely outgrowing it! It has so much character though, with original woodwork and built-ins. We recently put in a new kitchen which has been great. I've decorated mostly with a vintage feel but with some modern touches. I have photos on my flickr page if you want to take a look!


  3. chacha1 says:

    Hi Loren,

    I like your philosophy of a simple framework (nicely uncluttered in your photos) to set off posh details … the basis of good personal fashion as well as home design. Our 1500ft2, 2BR/2BA apartment features a lot of closed storage, furniture mostly on legs (allowing sightlines to go to the wall, creating the illusion of more space), and a consistent color palette. Most of our furniture is from China – some new, some vintage or antique – which softens and enriches the streamlined mid-century architecture. We were able to put in an inexpensive parquet floor instead of carpet in the open-plan dining/living/den areas – easy to clean, and looks very high-end. In addition, we've replaced all of the faucets and most of the light fixtures – inexpensive projects that really increase the style of a room. This will be our home for the foreseeable future, and we wanted a place offering peace, comfort, and beauty.

  4. Dana says:

    My 1200 sf home was built in 1950. I have decorated it mainly with vintage mid-century modern pieces. Not only do I enjoy having a house that's true to the period, but I also believe the smaller mid-century furniture was designed to the scale of the average ranch style house of that era and doesn't overpower the small space. I've found many affordable pieces at estate sales and on craigslist, and I've been able to pull together a house that's reminiscent of the one I grew up in during the 1950s…but with a contemporary flair. You can check out my rooms by searching danap.

  5. G.S. says:

    I agree one hundred percent. One can have style without having a design degree. However I have to say this…
    During my daily browsing thru HGTV's website, I stopped by the "rate my space" section to get some ideas for a spare bedroom I'm decorating… Good grief!!! I can't be the first one to think this, but: WHY DO SOME PEOPLE UPLOAD THEIR UGLY ROOMS AND ASK PEOPLE TO "RATE" THEM? As if they were completely oblivious to how hideous their spaces are! If you've got no decorating sense whatsoever, you should use this God-sent website to get ideas and fix your pad, not make a fool out of yourself by sharing with the world that you have awful, clueless taste!
    I mean… Can you imagine Candice Olson, Lisa LaPorta and all the HGTV hosts going thru these photos? They are probably rolling on the carpet laughing at these folks who think they have "design" talent… Get a life, people!

  6. Patti says:

    Vern Yip,
    In episode Episode HDDSN-312, what did you put over the photos, on the big green frames that you made?
    Thank you,

  7. JAN says:

    My 35 year old kitchen had wonderful oak cabinets….the room was always dark and I always thought "oh, the oak is real wood and was expensive at the time." Well, I finally got into the year 2008 painted them white and changed to stainless steel appliances. What a difference and so much light. Wish I would have done it years ago. They are still good oak wood, just painted.

  8. Debby says:

    i live in a small double-wide mobil home and i have lots of "treasures" that i have a hard time packing away but i try. i just need HELP !!! ??? !! ?? !?

  9. Kiniption says:

    My husband and I are newlyweds and we just purchased a 3 family 1928 city home in Western New York. Although our house is around 3,000 sq. feet, our apt is quite small, lacking in rooms and storage and closet space. We recently started making some changes to try to make it feel more like "home", but it has been difficult given the lack of space, as well as general repairs that need to be made with an old house. On top of that, we are somewhat still living out of boxes (some things made it out of the box but are now just cluttering up our small space). Do you have any suggestions for how to go about with this situation? Maybe what we can do first? Just the initial cleaning is very overwhelming, since our house was not technically "move-in ready" when we moved in.

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