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No stranger to HGTV, Candice Olson remains one of our all-time favorite designers, male or female. In honor of Women’s History Month, we asked her a few questions we’ve been dying to know.


Which female designers influenced you?

Dorothy Draper for her courage and sense of fun and whimsy.

Ellen O’Neill who was an integral part in developing the casual, lived-in look of Ralph Lauren’s Home and Lifestyle Collections.

Sheila Bridges for her fresh take on classic design.

What’s the essential home accessory you use in your designs?

A beautiful area carpet not only grounds the room but often provides the jumping up point for the design of the entire space.

What are your top three favorite places to shop for the home?

Flea Markets and antique shops

Fabric showrooms. I love pattern, texture and color — fabric has it all.

1stdibs.com for truly unusual and unique art and accessories

What’s the best design advice you’ve ever received?

“A room is called a living room because it is made to be lived in not just to look at.”

A client said this to me years ago after she hired me to redesign her living room. She had been swept up in her previous designer’s signature look; very formal, white, uber-elegant, only to find it really wasn’t practical for her rambunctious young family and it really didn’t reflect who they were. It was a bit of a reality check for her and a valuable piece of advice that I’ve carried with me throughout my career.

candice-olson-basement-livingCandice combines reclaimed wood and modern furniture to create a masculine getaway for NHL star Alex Steen.

What room did you most enjoyed designing? Why do you love it?

Alex Steen’s basement: I love to incorporate natural materials and nature-inspired elements into my work. I think it’s what adds the warmth and comfort to the simple pared down lines of contemporary design.

Natural references are everywhere in this large basement project that incorporates an exercise room, family room and lounge area. Areas are divided with walls of flowing waterfalls, stacked logs become decorative art panels and a unique limestone-clad fireplace provides the perfect relaxing ambiance. The fact that the client was a professional hockey player was a big bonus — it’s the Canadian in me!


Don’t miss our interview with Annette Tatum, author of The Well-Dressed Home and our look back at textile pioneer Lucienne Day.


Designers & Talent

160 Responses

  1. beth detwiler says:

    Hello I have been trying to get my house done but it has not been succesful .The contractors have been taking our money and the job is not done correct it was supposebly be my dream home and now it has been nothing but a headache i have shade nothing but tears .

  2. cattail says:

    do you think wall paper is making a come-back? You are the only designer i would ever trust in my house, thanks for sharing your talents with us.

  3. Marilyn says:

    I just saw your new show last Saturday, "Candice Tells All", Episode: The monochromatic bedroom. This episode and others like it inspired me to create a line of modular upholstered headboards. Candice, you can now go big and still get it up the stairs! I love your designs. Thank you for the inspiration!

    Marilyn Wilson
    CEO <a href="http://www.headybed.com” target=”_blank”>www.headybed.com

  4. Doris Peterson says:

    How can I find out about a particular necklace Candice wore on a TV show – the V-shaped one that looks as though it could be crocheted with beads? If anyone knows where I can get a pattern like that or a suggestion on where I might find that necklace, I would appreciate it.

  5. Lynn says:

    Our 18 month old 6000 square foot Atlanta suburban home was totaled by a house fire in November. We are finalizing with the insurance company and hope to demo down what remains and start the rebuild begin in march. We would love to have you consider us for your show. We are fun and have come away from this loss of just about everything with thankful hearts, no one was hurt and it's all just stuff. Makes you prioritize what is really important. I hope this note get's to you. Thanks in advance for considering us. If someone from your staff would contact me, I can provide pictures and all of the additional details you might require.

  6. Lesley Nezowitz says:

    I live in Florida and just bought a new house. I love the Island (tropical furniture), but I also fell in love with the new retro look. My family room, kitchen, dining and living room are open to each other. Is there a way I can combine both styles of furniture, or be able to do Island Tropical in the kitchen/family room and retro (hollywood glam) in the dining and living rooms even though they are open to each other. I would really appreciate it if you can answer my decorating dilemma.

  7. MArta Villarroel says:

    Candise, me encantan tus trabajos son espectaculares! Me encantaría q alguna vez vengan a Argentina a dar una charla para el Público en general y darnos esas hermosas ideas q tienes. Miro siempre tu programa en Discovery Home and Helf. Saludos desde Argentina.

  8. Vivian T. Cook says:

    Candice I love watching your show. Although Selma, Al. are not on your list of cities.I been trying to reach you for a long time. I know you dont have time to come to small town Selma, Al.,if only I could get
    your imput on how to place the furniture in the rooms,different types of lights in bathrooms,kitchen and
    front pouch.I just love your styles. May God continue to bless you.

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  10. Cathy says:

    Why don't we see Candice Olson on HGTV anymore! I miss her designs!

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