POSTS BY Jennifer Brake

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DC Design House Exterior Patio AreaGarden design by Botanical Decorators

Attention design lovers and do-gooders! You gotta see this house.

The Washington, D.C. Design House is on a mission to showcase designer talent and help bring healthcare to children in need. The Design House got its start in 2008 as a one-time exhibition for designers to raise money for a local charity by showing off their work. The showcase was such a success, it was made into an annual event, and they raised more than $1 million for Children’s National Health System in just six years! Pretty amazing, huh?

Now they’re back for their 7th year with a spectacular house filled with bold blues and cool greys. Every nook and cranny (inside and out!) of the 2014 house has been personally crafted by top area designers, so each space has a unique look but still flows seamlessly into the next.

Exterior and Front Door of the DC Design House 2014Entry Garden by D&A Dunlevy Landscapers, Inc. | Facade by Rill Architects

See inside the Design House!

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Baseball birthday party from Catch My PartyCatch My Party

Take me out to the ball game, take me out to the crowd…

There’s nothing better than a hot dog, a Coca-Cola and a day at the ball park – except maybe a top-to-bottom baseball-themed party. In honor of opening day, I couldn’t resist sharing details from these adorable baseball extravaganzas perfect for birthdays, baby showers and, of course, gamedays!

Pitch a Party!

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Jennifer Brake with Kitchen Cousins

Cue collective swooning at HGTV headquarters.

Employees lined the Food Network Kitchen as Kitchen Cousins Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri stopped by our Tennessee office for a quick tour of the building before they host the “Raise a Roof” benefit concert to raise money for Rebuilding Together Knoxville here tomorrow night.

As a national organization, Rebuilding Together rallies volunteers and provides home repairs and accessibility modifications to low-income homeowners at no charge to them. The concert will help more Knoxvillians have a safe and healthy place to call home. It’s similar to the Cousins’ newest show Cousins Undercover, where they secretly overhaul a neighborhood hero’s home with the help of the community.

Cute and philanthropic? It just really doesn’t get any better than that.

More photos from their visit

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It seems like staircases only get love during the holidays – little pumpkins for Halloween, garland and bows for Christmas, maybe a few Easter baskets in April. But for the rest of the year they’re just an uninspiring way to get from one floor to another. I’m here to argue in favor of year-round stair decor. Here are 10 simple ways to step up your stair game (mhm, you see what I did there?) without major construction.

Cousins Undercover makeover staircase with wallpaper and accent wall
1. Create an accent wall: Paint a bold color and construct a gallery of knick-knacks and photos on the wall behind the stairs, like HGTV’s John Colaneri and Anthony Carrino did to these stairs on Cousins Undercover.

Cousins Undercover apply birch tree wallpaper to stair risers
2. Wallpaper the risers: Apply a fun wallpaper to the risers to add visual interest to otherwise boring stairs. Go for paper with an interesting pattern in a neutral color palette to avoid going overboard.

See 8 more stairway ideas

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Pale Blue in Home DecorJamie Herzlinger | HGTV’s Renovation Raiders | Stools From Fab.com | Betty Lou Phillips

Lupita Nyong’o's style is always amazing, but the Prada gown she wore to the Oscars was a jaw-dropper. The color of the dress has been dubbed ‘Nairobi blue’ since Lupita said it reminds her of her home in Kenya. The 31-year-old looked stunning as she picked up an Oscar for best supporting actress for her role as Patsey in “12 Years A Slave.” Seeing her epic acceptance speech got me thinking, “How can I use that beautiful shade Nairobi blue?”

Pale blue Dining Room from Design On A DimeHGTV’s Design on a Dime

Blue and Red Living Room from Bright Bazaar

Bright Bazaar Blog

Blue and Red Living Room from HGTV's Renovation Raiders

HGTV’s Renovation Raiders

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Property Brothers spring green table place settingsSt. Patty’s Place Settings from HGTV’s Property Brothers

Spring officially begins this month (March 20!), and we at HGTV are beyond ready. It’s time to break out of your post-winter slump and start fresh with some Spring cleaning and new decor. Not feeling like you want to take on any major projects yet? Start small with your dining room or patio table. These place settings from HGTV’s Property Brothers are so fun and vibrant, you might just catch Spring Fever. So set your table for Spring and be sure to catch the new season of Property Brothers premiering March 12 at 9pm/8c.

More Spring-inspired table settings

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Book shelf in home library from Cousins Undercover

Yes, today is Valentine’s Day and all of us here at HGTV.com love love, but we also love a good read and a glass of wine! (Or is that just me?)

In addition to V-Day, February 14th is also Library Lovers’ Day. The holiday is more broadly recognized in Australia, but I’m pushing for a celebration here in the States, too. So whether you’ve got a big date tonight or you’re planning a night in, take a moment to fall in love with these beautiful home libraries from some of our favorite HGTV shows.

Home by Novogratz Home LibraryBright book room from HGTV’s Home by Novogratz

See more HGTV home libraries

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HGTV Dream Home 2014 Backyard

Wouldn’t it be nice to spend the summer in a gorgeous Lake Tahoe retreat? Enter the HGTV Dream Home 2014 Sweepstakes, and it could happen!

This mountain-style getaway is up for grabs along with a 2015 GMC Yukon Denali AND $250,000 in cash, but you’ll have to take a break from planning your perfect Valentine’s Day dinner and enter before 5pm/4c February 14th. Boost your odds by entering twice each day online — once on HGTV.com and once on FrontDoor.com — and you could be enjoying the fresh mountain air in no time.

See inside the Lake Tahoe Retreat

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Nerd Valentines Printable

NoBiggie.net

I wouldn’t really call myself a nerd, but I have spent many a Friday night with my nose in a book and I may or may not have dressed up as a Hogwarts student for the Harry Potter midnight movie premieres… But who hasn’t done that, right? So whether you’re an old-school Trekkie or a new Big Bang Theory fan, you’re sure to love these free Valentine’s Day printables that are simply “adorkable!”

Star Wars and Star Trek Valentine Printables
Star Wars and Star Trek Printables From The Dating Divas

More Nerdy Valentines

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A month ago, I spent New Year’s Eve in downtown Nashville, trying to keep my nose defrosted long enough to watch the giant guitar drop at midnight. This weekend, I’m prepping for a more comfortable New Year’s celebration – the Chinese New Year. The Chinese New Year is all about taking time away from school and work to focus on family and cleansing your home before another year.

There’s also some really delicious food involved. Dumplings, spring rolls and long noodles are all good luck symbols for wealth and long life. Nian gao, a sticky rice cake, is the traditional dessert served on the Chinese New Year, but I couldn’t pass up sharing these adorable cookies from The Sweet Adventures of Sugar Belle made with sugar cookie dough, a few Christmas cookie cutters and icing. They might not be traditional, but they’re a perfectly festive way to bring in the Chinese year of 4712.

Are you making anything special for the Chinese New Year?

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