Alyssa Sparacino

"Put a bow on anything, and I'm happy."

Alyssa is the Online Editor for HGTV Magazine. She lives in a cozy brownstone apartment in Hoboken with (she likes to think) tons of charm. The older building provides character in a growing town just across the Hudson from New York City. A mirrored vanity and a gallery wall are next up in her bedroom re-do.

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POSTS BY Alyssa Sparacino

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Head to the closest newsstand, drugstore, or supermarket tomorrow to find the latest November issue of HGTV Magazine. There’s lots to love inside: fall design trends, house tours that inspire, and as usual, advice from some HGTV stars.

November 2014 cover

That’s Sophie the golden retriever

Did you know there are also some valuable extras that you can only find online? Be sure to notice the URLs inside nearly every issue that lead to some hidden how-tos, extra projects, and useful info we couldn’t show you in the magazine. Below you’ll find a few stories that include exclusives to help bring the November issue to life.

The leaf pillow on the bench above is perfect for fall, and we show you step by step how to recreate this piece on our cover. Head to hgtv.com/cover-star-pillow for the leaf template you’ll need to finish the job.

leaf pillow

Download the leaf template at hgtv.com/cover-star-pillow

We love saving pieces that would otherwise hit the curb, which is where this “smile” painting was before we got our hands on it. Find out how we updated this discarded painting, and then visit hgtv.com/sticker-letters to create your own personalized art.

smile painting

Create your own art with letters at hgtv.com/sticker letters

It wouldn’t be HGTV Mag without some great flea market flips, and this issue included a cool rope-wrapped chandelier. Creating the monkey fist knots at the bottom of the lights proves a little tricky, so we showed you how — with pictures — at hgtv.com/monkey-fist-knot.

rope-wrapped chandelier

Photos guide your way at hgtv.com/monkey-fist-knot

Never miss out on exclusive content again. Follow us on Twitter at @HGTVMag to get updates sent straight to your feed.

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We changed things up a bit for this month’s High/Low Challenge by asking you to spot the lower priced item in not one, but four pairs of products. Why the bigger challenge? To keep up with Sabrina Soto’s SUPER big High/Low List in November’s HGTV Magazine!, of course! One lucky winner will receive the bigger-than-ever prize package filled with magazine goodies. Check your answers below to see if you were right!

blue sofa answer

The tight seat, sides, and back of the “low” sofa have a chic tailored look. Deep tufting and a pair of bolster pillows make the “high” sofa swanky.

black flatware answer

A matte finish gives the “high” flatware a modern vibe. This glossy “low” enameled version is dishwasher-safe.

purple ottomans

That’s purple leather covering the “high” ottoman on the left. The “low” choice offers a top that comes off for storage space.

sconces

Tinted glass shades give the allure of bronze, minus the cost on the “low” option above. Each light can be switched on separately for custom brightness in the “high” sconce.

Get the buying info for these items and lots more High/Low buys here and in the November issue of HGTV Magazine, on sale tomorrow. Don’t forget to keep up with us on Twitter @HGTVMag, Pinterest, and Facebook!
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Last year Sabrina Soto came together with our HGTV Magazine editors to curate a bigger than ever High Low Blowout, and you guys loved the extra shop-til-you-drop ideas. Well, we’ve teamed up again for the SUPER High Low List inside the November issue. We’ve got more than 30 pairs so similar you can barely tell them apart. With a list this big, it’s only natural that this month’s High Low Challenge (and prize package!) should be bigger, too, right? Right! Correctly identify the LOWER-priced item in ALL four pairs below, and you could win the double-sized HGTV Magazine prize package.

One winner will receive an HGTV Magazine tote bag, an HGTV Magazine iPhone 5 case, an HGTV Magazine notebook, and an HGTV Magazine mousepad, plus a copy of the November issue. All you have to do is leave your answer in the comments below for which item is priced LOWER. (i.e. Sofa: Bottom, Flatware: Left, and so on). Remember, you must correctly answer ALL four pairs for a chance to win. Come back Monday at 2 p.m. to see if you were right!

blue sofas

Living Room Sofas

black flatware

Black Flatware for the Kitchen

purple ottomans

Bedroom Ottomans in Shades of Purple

bathroom lighting

Bathroom Sconces

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C., age 21 or older. Void where prohibited. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. Sweepstakes ends at 2:00 p.m. ET on October 11, 2014. Full official rules are available here. Sponsored by Scripps Networks, LLC dba Home & Garden Television, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, Tennessee 37932.

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We challenged you to spot the price difference between two gorgeous green campaign dressers. Did you guess correctly? You won our vote for “Best Eye for Design” if you answered Left: low, Right: high. One lucky winner will be chosen and notified by email.

As usual, Sabrina Soto’s High/Low List is packed with great items at every price range, but these two really grabbed our attention. The unmistakable campaign-style hardware on the MDF and poplar chest on the left makes it a cost-conscious choice. And eight layers of lacquer means the higher-priced piece at right has some serious shine.

green campaign chests with text

We want them both!

Get the buying info for these two items and lots more High/Low buys in the October issue of HGTV Magazine, on sale Tuesday. Tired of waiting for new-issue goodness? Subscribe here and follow us on Twitter here.

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It may feel like the middle of summer outside, but the HGTV Magazine editors are living like it’s already fall. Putting the October issue together meant filling the office with fluffy pillows, warm colors, and comfy chairs. See every cozy idea from the new issue when October hits stands this Tuesday, September 9. And you lucky subscribers? Just head to the mailbox.

As usual, we’re giving online readers an early look inside the pages. Take a look at what’s to come.

October 2014 cover

On newsstands Tuesday, Sept. 9

From the looks of this home, you’d never guess it was once the victim of a disastrous fire. The homeowners stuck together and rebuilt their family’s home room by room. Take a look inside the gorgeous new space.

dining nook

Last year we asked a few HGTV stars to leave their mark on no-carve pumpkins, but this time we’re downsizing. It’s all about the mini pumpkin for Halloween 2014! We’re sharing six fun ideas inside the issue, plus 2 bonus designs and helpful templates exclusively for online readers at hgtv.com/mini-pumpkins.

mini pumpkin with bat wings

That’s one batty little pumpkin

For more from the magazine, follow us on Twitter @HGTVMag.

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Campaign furniture was originally used for — you guessed it — campaigns. Military units appreciated it for its portability, as chairs and chests were made to be easily broken down and reassembled — perfect for a troop on the move. These days, the stylish brass corners and unique drawer pulls make campaign dressers sophisticated focal points of any room.

There may be history behind the style, but you don’t have to pay antique-level prices to sport this trend in your home. In HGTV Magazine’s newest High/Low Challenge, we ask if you can name the price difference between these two chests. One winner will receive a prize package that includes a copy of the October issue, an HGTV Magazine iPhone 5 case, and an HGTV Magazine ice cream scoop. All you have to do is leave your answer in the comments below (i.e. Right: high, Left: low or vice versa). You must answer correctly for a chance to win. Come back tomorrow at 2 p.m. to see if you were right!

green lacquer campaign chests

We’d campaign for either of these gorgeous green pieces.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C., age 21 or older. Void where prohibited. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. Sweepstakes ends at 2:00 p.m. ET on September 5, 2014. Full official rules are available here. Sponsored by Scripps Networks, LLC dba Home & Garden Television, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, Tennessee 37932.

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We’re sharing a little of what you’re going to love in the latest September issue of HGTV Magazine, before it hits newsstands on Tuesday, August 5. Kitchens take the stage this month with stories on DIY art projects (more on that below), and a tour of Alison Victoria’s (host of Kitchen Crashers) personal cooking space.

September 2014 cover

Pick up your copy next week!

Take your pick from seven fun DIYs, all with a foodie-theme in mind, that will look charming on any kitchen wall. Plus, we’ve got exclusive downloads that can help you bring a few to life, only at hgtv.com/diy-kitchen-art.

DIY art projects

Ombré Cork Heart and Painted Wooden Spoons

This black, white, and red kitchen looks retro, but also so right-now. If you like the color palette, then you’ll enjoy the rest of the house, too. Take the tour.

black white and red kitchen

Seize the day

Catch up with everything @HGTVMag on Twitter.

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Take a seat and see if you were right. We asked you to look at two similar stools to see if you could correctly tell which one was priced higher than the other. If you answered Left: high, Right: low, then you are correct and would clearly make a good shopping buddy. One lucky winner of the HGTV Magazine prize package will be notified by email.

These stools caught the eye of both our market director and Sabrina Soto to make it on September’s The High/Low List. The maple barstool on the left is upholstered in easy-to-clean indoor-outdoor fabric, so you never have to worry about stains. The right polyester pick has such a friendly price tag, you might as well buy a whole set. See what else made the cut by subscribing or picking up a copy when it hits stands Tuesday.

high and low proced bar stools

Could you be the winner?

Find all the shopping info for these products and lots more in the September issue and online here. And follow us on Twitter @HGTVMag to get daily budget-friendly ideas, design inspiration, and exclusive access inside amazing homes.

 

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It’s a stool standoff for September’s sweepstakes! Excuse the alliteration, as I introduce the latest High/Low Challenge from the new issue of HGTV Magazine. September hits newsstands August 5th, but this will give you a taste of what’s to come.

These tufted stools may look similar, but the price tags are where they differ. Which is priced lower than the other? Enter for a chance to win a prize package that includes a copy of the September issue, an HGTV Magazine iPhone 5 case, and an HGTV Magazine umbrella. All you have to do is leave your best guess in the comments below (i.e. Right: low, Left: high or vice versa). You must answer correctly to win. The answer will be revealed on the blog tomorrow.

teal bar stools

Two great buys! Two different budgets.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C., age 21 or older. Void where prohibited. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. Sweepstakes ends at 2:00 p.m. ET on August 2, 2014. Full official rules are available here. Sponsored by Scripps Networks, LLC dba Home & Garden Television, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, Tennessee 37932.

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UPDATE: This poll is now closed. Thanks for spending Christmas in July with HGTV Magazine.

christmas in july

Get a head start on the holidays! Browse the Christmas in July hub where our hgtv.com editors have found the best ideas for handmade gifts and decorations, kids’ crafts, greeting cards and more. But first, take a second to answer the question below. HGTV Magazine is already prepping for this year’s December issue and asks for your input on the long-standing Christmas tree debate: real or fake?

Christmas decorations

The holidays will be here before you know it.

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We always work together here at HGTV Magazine, but with the new season of Brother Vs. Brother in full swing, we’ve found ourselves choosing sides.

Suddenly the office is divided between Team Jonathan and Team Drew supporters, so our lifestyle editor created temporary tattoos that show our allegiance. When a picture of them landed on Twitter, we received tons of replies asking where to get these tats and how to make them.

interns with brother tattoos

Our fabulous interns supporting their team captains

Well here you go! All you need is a laser or ink-jet printer and a temporary tattoo kit, which includes decal and adhesive paper. Follow the steps below, then tweet a pic of your tattoos to @HGTVMag using either #TeamDrew or #TeamJonathan to get in on the fun with us!

Brother Vs Brother tattoos

  1. First step: Choose a side. Who do you think will win this season of Brother vs. Brother? [Catch up on any episodes you may have missed here.]
  2. Click here to download the PDF of Team Drew and Team Jonathan tattoos, then save to your desktop. [Don’t worry that the pictures look backward. They will be flipped over before you apply the tattoos, so Jonathan and Drew will appear correctly on your skin.]
  3. Peel off the disposable front layer of the decal paper, [try Water Slide Temporary Tattoo Paper, decalpaper.com] and insert into printer. Print the image on the glossy side. Let dry for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Remove the disposable backing of the clear adhesive sheet and place directly on top of the printed decal paper. Be sure to remove air bubbles with an old credit card, straight edge or wallpaper smoother.
  5. Cut around the image. Remove the adhesive layer and place tattoo ink-side down on clean, dry skin, pressing firmly.
  6. Dab a damp cloth or paper towel to the tattoo until the entire tattoo shows through the paper. Remove paper to reveal the temporary tattoo.

A video tutorial, available on decalpaper.com, shares tips and tricks and shows you the printing and application process from start to finish.

Tune in Sundays at 9/8c to cheer on your team, and head over to the Brother Vs. Brother home base for web-exclusive videos, competition recaps, and behind-the-scenes looks.

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A claw-foot tub is timeless, and you can find them at various price points, but were you clever enough to know which bathroom costs a little more?

You’re correct if you guessed: Left: high, Right: low. The lucky winner of this month’s HGTV Magazine prize package will be notified by email.

high-low-reveal-july

Were you correct?

On the left, relax in luxury with a fabric shower curtain, relaxing spa-worthy showerhead, classic tub, and organic cotton rug. You’ll be singing in the shower after you’ve saved a bundle with the look on the right. Costs drop with a vinyl shower curtain, rainwater showerhead, cast-iron tub, and soft blue rug. We think a nice long bubble bath is in order.

Find info on these products and more in Sabrina Soto’s latest round-up of dynamic duos on The High/Low List.

Follow us on Twitter @HGTVMag for daily looks at past, present, and even future happenings in the magazine.

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When we launched The High/Low Challenge sweepstakes on the blog last month, we were amazed at the number of entries we received. [Thanks for all the love!] Games are fun, aren’t they?

Getting in on the action is simple. Just take a look at the two bathroom set-ups below. Both enjoy a soaking tub, cute raindrop curtain, showerhead, and blue patterned bathmat. The test: Which group is priced low, and which is priced high?

How to enter: Leave your guess in the comments section below. For example: Left: high, Right: low or vice versa. One lucky winner will receive an HGTV Magazine iPhone 5 case, an HGTV Magazine umbrella, and a copy of the latest July/August issue (on sale Tuesday). You must answer correctly for a chance to win. Come back tomorrow when we reveal the answer.

july aug challenge

Can you tell the difference?

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C., age 21 or older. Void where prohibited. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. Sweepstakes ends at 2:00 p.m. ET on June 13, 2014. Full official rules are available here. Sponsored by Scripps Networks, LLC dba Home & Garden Television, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, Tennessee 37932.

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If you’ve ever used or even seen a tube of Watermelon Lip Smacker lip balm, you’ll feel a little nostalgic when you see the punchy colors on the cover of HGTV Magazine’s July/August issue. The bright green and shades of pink, and of course, a slice or two of actual watermelon, scream summer and long days at the pool.

July August Cover

July/August 2014

Inside, the editors are playing it cool in this season’s heat with backyard party ideas, style tips for the front porch, plus the staples like flea market flips and high/low buys. Here’s a sneak peek at some of what you’ll find when the issue hits newsstands a week from today. Get your copy on June 17.

HGTV star Vern Yip knows how to enjoy summer — at his vacation home in Rosemary Beach, Florida with his family. Step inside here.

Vern beach house

Vern with his partner Craig and their two kids Gavin and Vera; the living room

If you love the look of wall stripes but don’t think you could tackle the technique, you’ll be happy to hear there is an answer. (And no, it’s not wallpaper.) Some of our favorite designers showed us how to create common patterns like ticking stripes and ombré. Plus, we’re sharing web-exclusive step-by-step instructions for each at hgtv.com/stripes, making these striped walls easier than ever before. Choose your favorite, then send us a pic of the finished look on Twitter or Instagram using #HGTVMagDIY, and you could be in an upcoming issue!

purple striped wall

Alternating stripes, by Sabrina Soto

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You guys LOVE a good guessing game! With more than 1,200 entries and comments, our very first High/Low Challenge sweepstakes was a big success and proves we’ve got some seriously impressive design eyes reading the blog.

You’re correct if you answered: Left: low, Right: high. The lucky winner of our HGTV Magazine prize package will be notified by email.

reveal image 1

Soak up the sun and the savings with this lightweight wicker chair and polyester umbrella in the left look. A chaise with stain-resistant cushions and teak umbrella make for a luxurious lounge spot on the right. Now all we need is a warm summer day and a good book. Find the info you need to snag any of these fabulous finds (plus lots more duos) in the latest installment of Sabrina Soto’s The High/Low List.

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A staple in every issue, Sabrina Soto’s High/Low List is consistently one of the most popular HGTV Magazine stories. Who doesn’t love a good deal on an item that has a more costly counterpart? What’s more, even the pricier twin is still a great buy.

Oftentimes you can barely tell them apart, which is what makes the duos so fun. Enter our brand-new sweeps, The High/Low Challenge, that tests your design eye. Do you think you could tell the difference between the “high” and “low” item in a pair without knowing a single thing about them? Let’s find out!

How to play: Take a look at both pairs of outdoor loungers and umbrellas. One set is priced low, the other high. Leave your guess in the comments section below. For example: Left: low, Right: high or vice versa. One lucky winner will receive an HGTV Magazine tote bag, an HGTV Magazine umbrella, and a copy of the latest June issue. You must answer correctly for a chance to win. Come back tomorrow when we reveal the answer.

High Low Challenge 1

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C., age 21 or older. Void where prohibited. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. Sweepstakes ends at 2:00 p.m. ET on May 9, 2014.  Full official rules are available here. Sponsored by Scripps Networks, LLC dba Home & Garden Television, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, Tennessee 37932.

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As our EIC Sara explains inside the June issue of HGTV Magazine, finding the right paint color can be much like finding “the one.” It’s not easy, but we think our biggest paint index EVER should help. You’ll find a total of 126 hues on our pages and an extended section devoted to coating rooms and furniture with color! We can’t share everything just yet, but here’s enough inspiration to tide you over until June hits newsstands on May 13 — just one week away!

June 2014

How could we have a special paint-centric issue without Mr. Color Splash himself? We couldn’t! David Bromstad is answering your biggest color questions.
David Bromstad

David wasn’t the only HGTV star hard at work in the painting department. Which expert do you think recreated this old lamp into something chic and unique?
green and gold lamp

We hope this issue makes you want to have a little fun with color. This house tour proves there are zero rules when it comes to decorating. Live a little!
fun house living room

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @HGTVMag and on Pinterest, here.

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UPDATE: This poll is now closed. Thanks to everyone who told us what they really want in a dream kitchen.

No this isn’t the silly party game where you’re asked to pick the lesser of two evils from a ridiculous scenario all in the name of an easy laugh. This is HGTV Magazine picking your brain about what matters most to you in your kitchen.

smart home 2013 kitchen

First you told us what features would be in your dream home, and now we want to learn more. HGTV Magazine asks you to make a choice from each of the groups below. If you had to choose, would you rather have an electric or a gas stovetop? What about hardwoods or tile floors? Your answers will help us with an upcoming story, so speak up, we’re listening!

From the following categories, which would you rather have in your kitchen? Choose one from each pair.

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We’re all about sharing the insider info—when it’s a secret, it sounds so much more fun, right? So take a look at some of the coolest DIY projects, house tours and transformations we have on the pages of the latest issue of HGTV Magazine before it hits newsstands in exactly one week.

May cover

You could barely even tell there was a house on this lot before all the overgrown greenery was cleared. And if you think the exterior transformation is amazing, just wait until you see what’s inside.

fixer upper house

If you haven’t been brave enough to rummage through your attic, this sewing machine turned side table can act as your motivation.

sewing machine diy

This rainbow wall that reminds you of sunshine and warm weather and well, rainbows is not from a home by the ocean. Nope, you can find this and more tropical style in the suburbs.

rainbow wall

We hope you’re loving what we showed you, and now we’re hoping you’ll do the same. In the front of each issue is the You Showed Us section where you get to show off some amazing projects. If you find something in the May (or any other) issue that you just have to replicate, take pictures and send them to us at hgtvmagazine@hearst.com, and your handiwork could be featured in an upcoming issue. You can also send pics via Instagram using the hashtag #HGTVMagDIY.

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There’s no such thing as sibling rivalry for sister publications HGTV Magazine and Food Network Magazine. These two know how to work together, and work together well! Their May issue covers will feature the best of what both teams have to offer. For Food Network, that means whipping up some delicious treats, and for us at HGTV, well, we know how to decorate for a gorgeous party.

party spread

Watch as the magic unfolds at our joint cover shoot in this exclusive behind-the-scenes video.

Exciting stuff, right? Get the recipes, and find info on how to recreate the scene yourself in the May issues of Food Network Magazine and HGTV Magazine, which hit newsstands 4/15 and 4/8 respectively.

Latest Pins on Pinterest

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  • #TBT Favorite bedrooms from HGTV Dream Homes past

  • #TBT Favorite bedrooms from HGTV Dream Homes past