H. Camille Smith

"Trends come and go but good design is timeless."

Camille is a managing editor for HGTV.com, fine artist and antique furniture devotee. As a former interior designer and Nickelodeon animator, she has a real passion for balanced, beautiful interiors with a touch of whimsy and punch of color. Camille shares a mid-century cottage with two exceptionally pampered pooches and rooms filled with vintage finds.

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POSTS BY H. Camille Smith

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I love estate sales, digging through other people’s garages, cabinets and basements is how I spend most Saturday mornings and I ALWAYS bag a bargain. My latest find was an assortment of cut glass plates, small bowls and candlesticks. Just decorative tchotchkes on their own but I have bigger plans for them: They’re going to become the centerpiece for my holiday table.

Here’s a sneak peek of the end result, learn how to make your own after the jump:



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Thanksgiving is this Thursday. Not much time left before guests arrive. I have a few ideas for simple centerpieces that are big on style but can be put together using elements gathered on a walk through the woods or from your own backyard.


Okay, in all truth, these hedge apples (a.k.a osage oranges) didn’t come from my backyard. A neighbor has a well-established tree that dropped fruit the size of softballs onto the sidewalk. I just slowed down on my walk and scooped em up. Placed in an antique brass urn, they add a bright chartreuse pop to my dining room.


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That’s right — we have 25 creative, clever tips to share with you guaranteed to make decorating your home for the holidays and preparing for seasonal celebrations a snap. Designers-extraordinaire Erinn Valencich and Angelo Surmelis bring on the stylish solutions in this one-hour holiday special. Get 8 of Erinn and Angelo’s best tips, see how HGTV fans just like you get crafty when decorating for the holidays and share your own fabulous ideas.

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Are you expecting a gaggle of ghoulish guests for your fright-night festivities? Well then, you’re in luck! I have some fun (and free!) printables that will make throwing a party a little less scary.

I spied these cool, vintage-look potion labels courtesy of Love Manor on Flickr. Perfect for labeling the potent potables and monstrous munchies at your Halloween gathering.

I particularly like this one, I mean, it even comes with a recipe for Famous Dead Man’s Toe Pie (sounds delightful!). Cleverly sized to fit around a wide container, this would be a fun wrapper on a can of mixed nuts.

blog-dead-mans-toes READ MORE

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The weather here in the Southeast was beautiful this past weekend. So nice, in fact, that I decided to head outdoors and tackle some end-of-summer yard work. We had plenty of rain this year so my garden had a great growing season and many plants were way overdue for a good trim.

I started with my butterfly bushes which had become ginormous — beautiful, lush, fragrant and huge. The vibrant purple, fuschia and pink blooms are simply too pretty to put at the side of the road for pickup, so as I trimmed the limbs I put the blossoms into a ready container of water. I learned the hard way that butterfly bush blooms are a finicky lot; cut blooms need to go straight into water or they wilt and don’t recover.

blog-kitchen-double-arrangementMy kitchen received a bright pop of color courtesy of the trimmed butterfly bushes and a few fern fronds.  


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Does the languishing economy have you vacationing at home this year? No worries — a lazy week spent around the house is the perfect time to make a few small but key updates for a home that is a stylish haven year round. Get started with these 14 inexpenive ideas by one of our favorite designers, Erinn Valencich of Omniarte Design. Erinn has teamed with TiVo for the Staycation Sweepstakes; register now for the chance to win an assortment of prizes sure to make your living room into your favorite entertainment destination.

Get started on boosting your home’s appeal with these tips from Erinn:

erinn-valencich-mariah-nighstand2Easy Update 1: Trade traditonal bell-shaped shades for a more current drum or box shade. The modern shades give even dated lamps a fresh, new look.

Get More of Erinn’s Design Tips »

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I just love this card. The combination of lime green and coral feels fresh and exuberant. This little gem is the work of Debbie Olson, the talent behind the Thinking Inking blog.


If you’re a fan of papercrafts then this site is definitely worth a visit. Like Melissa of Lilybean Paperie, Debbie is on the inside track with many of the specialty paper and tool manufacturers so her site is a great place to preview new products before they hit stores, like these Spellbinder’s eyelet pendants that hit the market in June. Debbie introduced them on her blog with several super cute cards, like the one below, showcasing design possiblities. Debbie’s blog is also a great place to learn about craft contests and giveaways, the Spellbinders release was tied to a (now-ended) contest. But new contests are announced all the time, you just gotta keep checking!


Do you have craft projects to share? Upload them to HGTV.com’s Share My Craft, where you can comment on other’s creations, share advice and tips or just browse photos to get your creative juices flowing!

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Tune in one hour earlier this Sunday night at 9/8c for the season finale of  HGTV Showdown. Former Showdown champs Vern Yip and Angelo Surmelis team up with carpenters Anthony Gilardi (team Vern) and James Lunday (team Angelo) take on this disjointed and dated kitchen/mudroom.


How will Vern and Angelo tackle this challenge? Will they add new flooring? Remove the wall dividing the two spaces to create one large kitchen? Bring in new cabinets or new appliances? What would you do to update this room?

 On the topic of your thoughts, how would you caption this photo?

hhgsd304_guy-funny-blog-smallKimando gave us this gem: “Napkins are plentiful as Anthony and Vern practice the ancient tradition of rubbing a kitchen god’s head to bring them luck in their kitchen renovation.”

Think you can come up with something better? Well, bring it on! Head on over to the Showdown blog and show us what you got!

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Tune in Sunday night at 10/9c for this week’s installment of HGTV Showdown when designer David Bromstad (Color Splash) and carpenter Marcus Hunt (Hammer Heads) battle against designer John Gidding (Designed to Sell) and carpenter Jared Walker Dostie (Rate My Space) to make over this spatially-challenged studio apartment.

hhgsd303_bachelor-pad-before-blog-smallWill they replace the flooring? Brighten the room with paint? Find a way to seperate the bedroom area? What would you do to update this room?

On the topic of your thoughts, how would you caption this photo?:hhgsd303_jamie-in-sign-blog-small1

Blogger Kimando commented with this gem: “Clive: “Can I throw the pie now?” Got a better one? Head over to the Showdown blog and bring on the funny!

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We’ve got a fresh, action-packed episode ready for you this Sunday night at 10/9c. Host Jamie Durie challenges our celebrity teams: Sabrina Soto (Get It Sold) and Drew Lachey (host of HGTV’s $250,000 Challenge) versus Matthew Finlason (The Stagers) and Kristi Yamaguchi (yes, Olympic Gold Medalist Kristi Yamaguchi) to see who can best update this seriously dated bonus room in just four hours.

basement-before-blog-smallWill they ditch the ugly flooring? Pry the barn wood off the walls? De-plush the support beam? What would you do to update this room?

On the topic of your thoughts, how would you caption this photo?:kristi-jamie-blog-small

I’d say, it looks like Charlie’s got a new Angel. Got a better one? Head over to the Showdown blog and bring on the funny.

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That’s right, don’t forget to tune in this upcoming Sunday night at 10/9 c to see if our all-star teams can turn this sad backyard into a place where our homeowners will be proud to entertain.


Looks like they’ve got their work cut out for them! The homeowners have a long list of improvements they’d like to see (shocker!) but the design teams have limited time and resources to make their magic happen. Trust me, the transformations are incredible — you’ll have to see it to believe it!

While you wait for the new season of Showdown to start, let’s have a little fun! Head on over to the Showdown blog to flex your funny bone and tell us how you’d caption this photo:


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My pick this week is Lilybean Paperie. Chock full of fanciful touches and an eye for even the tiniest details, blogger Melissa Phillips makes this site a treat to visit. As a freelance designer for paper-craft companies big and small, Melissa regularly showcases the freshest papers, embellishments and techniques; sometimes sharing a glimpse of new products before they hit the market. If you’re a paperphile, then Lilybean Paperie is your Nirvana!


If you like the look of handmade cards but don’t have the time or inclination to create your own, be sure to check out Lilybean’s etsy store for a rotating selection of lovely paper crafts and sweet sentiments.

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That’s right, today’s the day we celebrate the “first man” in many of our lives. Whether you were a little girl who totally had daddy wrapped around her pinkie or a small boy secretly convinced that his dad was a super hero, Father’s Day is the one day of the year specifically set aside to let him know just how special he is.

Looking for ideas to make dad’s day unforgettable? No worries, check out our Father’s Day feature packed with gifts ideas or hop over to our friends at FoodNetwork.com for mouth-watering recipe ideas sure to please.

We’d like to know:

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It’s almost Father’s Day — again! Seems like we were just faced with the age-old dilemma: What to give the man who has everything? No worries, we’re here to help with suggestions for dads who are into tools, kicking back, gadgets, the great outdoors, beer (yes, shocking I know, but some dads like their beverages foamy and fermented) grilling and more.

We’d like to know:

Be sure to check out our Father’s Day feature for hundreds of out-of-the box gift ideas sure to please all sorts of dads.

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Are you a creative soul and fan of bling but short on time? peekaboo_copyThen be sure to check out The Impatient Crafter. Blogger Margot Potter shares ideas for one-of-a-kind jewelry, like the Peek-a-Boo Necklace (at right) or this sparkler inspired by Beyonce’s diamond-studded showstopper at the ’09 Golden Globes. As a design team member for several jewelry manufacturers, such as Beadalon and Swarovski, Margot has the inside track on the jewelry-making industry. She reviews new products before they hit the market and has frequent craft goody giveaways.

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Alright, you asked for it and you got it!  The whimsical Circus Tent Window Treatment that Design Star season 1 runner-up, Todd Davis created on this episode of HGTV Showdown was such a hit that we’ve asked him to share the instructions. So, gather up some 2x4s and a ton of fabric and check out the step-by-step instructions on Todd’s blog, Epic Spaces. Or watch a quick video here showing how it came together.

Looks like the circus is in town! What a clever way to create a play space that can easily be folded away when not in use.

Looks like the circus is in town! What a clever way to create a play space that can easily be folded away when not in use.

Not only is Todd a creative guy in front of the camera; behind-the-scenes he’s been hard at work on his upcoming book, Handy Dad, which will feature 25 projects that are cool enough to please kids, simple enough to be created by not-too-handy dads and safe enough to earn Mom’s stamp of approval. The publisher, Chronicle Books, estimates Handy Dad should be on a bookshelf near you by early summer 2010.

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