POSTS BY Kelley Walters

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OMG, the *books*. Piles of nonfiction, stacks of mysteries and romances, dusty autobiographies and Norton Anthologies (Norton Anthologies? really?!)…. I’ve carried books with me since I was in college — in the last century.

But as I found out during my home office reorg, in my gypsy lifestyle, books were important. The people behind them, the writers and the characters, were extended family. The Nortons represented happy college days in the library. Even though I didn’t have a house, they were my physical roots.

During my first coaching with Julie Morgenstern, author of SHED Your Stuff Change Your Life: A Four-Step Guide to Getting Unstuck, I marked the books as being the things to which I had the highest emotional attachment. In this organizing process, you first get rid of the things that are 100% obsolete, to which you have no attachment, building momentum to the obsolete items you’re most attached to. (As a quick reminder: SHED = Separate the Treasures, Heave the Trash, Embrace Your Identity and Drive Yourself Forward.)

My cookbooks, arranged on a built-in bookshelf

Dude! I can find my cookbooks!


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So, here it is, the first big reveal, the result of my coaching with Julie Morgenstern, author of SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life: A Four-Step Guide to Getting Unstuck.

Remember my theme, “root to flower”? I kept it in mind as I sorted through box after bag after dusty basket. I’d set an aggressive 8-hour goal to Separate the Treasures and Heave (steps 1 and 2 of the SHED process), and Julie helped me break it down into sessions of a couple of hours at a time, based on each activity.

Remember my desk before I organized?


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Julie Morgenstern, author of SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life: A Four-Step Guide to Getting Unstuck is helping me organize my embarrassingly disorganized home office.

SHED is Julie’s process for helping people through transitions, so they can tame the chaos and make their unique contribution.

The four steps are: Separate the Treasures, Heave, Embrace Your Identity From Within and Drive Yourself Forward. In my first coaching, we focused on Separating the Treasures and Heaving.

Julie and I looked at my photos of the room. Um…super-embarrassing. I mean, look at this place!

Wow, does this home office need some organizing help!

Yes, that hat-shaped thing is a beaded lampshade. On the floor.


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Last December, I was interviewing organizing experts for an upcoming article. One of them was Julie Morgenstern. You’ve probably seen her here on, or other places like Redbook or Good Morning America.

“Why do people have so much clutter?” I asked.

“Going through stuff requires time and decision-making,” Julie said. Most people don’t have a clear head or a clear schedule, and they hang onto clutter because they need abundance. Or it gives them a feeling of fullness, of having enough.

Some people feel comfortable when their home is 60% full; some people feel better at 20%. There’s not a universally perfect amount of stuff — the key is, if you feel like you’re suffocating, you have too much.

That hit hard, because I was suffocating in stuff. I’d recently gone through a divorce and had one of those shameful rooms. You know the one: boxes leaning in precarious floor-to-ceiling stacks; bags of unsorted bills; piles of old clothes; cat brushes, jars of seashells, even 20-year-old floppy disks….

Clutter on a desk in a home office

I swear my desk is under there somewhere!

I asked Julie if I could use her book, SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life: A Four-Step Guide to Getting Unstuck, as a template for a reorganizing process, and tackle that room. She said she’d do me one better: she’d coach me through it.

Yeah, I jumped on it.

Starting next Friday, I hope you’ll go with me on the journey as — in 3 coachings — Julie helps me purge that room by targeting why I let that much clutter pile up in the first place.

Until then, here’s a clue: You clear out the obsolete so you can make room to move forward. When I say it’s fueling and energizing…well…you’ll see.

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We’re so excited to announce that we’ve partnered up for the holidays again this year with our friends at Etsy. (Remember last year’s amazing Christmas crafts?) This year, we’re featuring Etsy on an upcoming episode of Design on a Dime, airing Saturday, Dec. 10 at 8p/7c.

We’re all big fans of their Treasury. The Treasury allows you to create a collection of your favorite Etsy items and share it with your friends.

Making one is super-simple: learn how here. You can even browse our gorgeous Christmas decorating tips for inspiration.

Create your own HGTV-inspired Treasury with Etsy products, and we just might feature your creation on our blog!

HGTV <i>Color Splash</i> Treasury

How cool is this Color Splash collection?

Make sure to tag yours with “HGTV Treasury Challenge 2011″ and leave a link to your inspiration in the description.

Mad About Marigold Etsy Treasury

Liz Gray's "Mad About Marigold" Treasury

Want to explore the HGTV Treasury Challenge 2011 collections? It’s a great way to see what other people have done and get excited about creating your own.

We’ll be browsing all the collections tagged with “HGTV Treasury Challenge 2011″ between now and when the show airs, and we’ll pick a couple of our favorites to post here on the blog next week!

As promised, here are some of our collections. We can’t wait to see yours!

Briana Mowrey, Decorating Editor and Daily Delight writer – Daily Delights

Liz Gray, Decorating Editor – HGTV’s November Color of the Month, marigold (PS Have you seen which color we picked for December?)

Leanne Potts, VP, Editorial – 2012 Dream Home location, Park City, Utah. BTW, the HGTV Dream Home tour just launched. Feel free to drool; we are!

Lili Zarghami, Senior Editor (and mom of twins) – Twin-inspired treasury

Tune in on Dec. 10 for Design on a Dime, Etsy style.

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Want an unforgettably festive home this holiday? Let Gilt Home and HGTV deck out your space.

Shop Gilt Home’s exclusive sale – at up to 60% off retail – starting today at noon. You’ll find beautiful holiday decorations from great designer brands, hand-picked by HGTV’s editors.

Register today and get inspired.

HGTV + Gilt Home Holiday Chairs

Let us help you with your Christmas decorating.

Don’t delay: Gilt Home is giving $10 credits to the first 3,000 people who register.

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Can’t you see yourself enjoying dinner with friends and family in one of these gorgeous dining rooms? (I know I can!) Vote for your favorite space in the poll below the photos and we’ll publish the results in the second issue of HGTV MAGAZINE — on sale in January!

Dining Room #1 – Colorful + Eclectic

Meg Adams Dining Room

Design by Meg Adams

Dining Room #2 – Clean + Contemporary

Matthew Leverone Dining Room

Design by Matthew Leverone

Living Room #3 – New Traditional

Katie Ridder Dining Room

Dining Room by Katie Ridder

More Rooms by Katie Ridder

Living Room #4 – Mid-Century Modern

Beth Haley Dining Room

Dining Room by Beth Haley

More Rooms by Beth Haley

After you vote, leave a comment telling us why you love your favorite room and you might see your comment in the magazine, too!

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Want an unforgettably festive home this holiday? Let Gilt Home and HGTV deck out your space.

Shop Gilt Home’s exclusive sales – at up to 60% off retail – on Nov. 22 and 30. You’ll find beautiful holiday tabletop and decorations from great designer brands including Michael Aram, Sferra and Kim Seybert, hand-picked by HGTV’s editors.

Register today and get inspired.

Gilt Home + HGTV Holiday Sale

HGTV + Gilt Home help you set a festive holiday table.

Don’t delay: Gilt Home is giving $10 credits to the first 5,000 people who register.

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Say hi to our newest blogger, Rashon Carraway, aka Mr. Goodwill Hunting. If you love rummaging through thrift stores for the perfect design find, you’ll love Rashon’s weekly posts, all about thrifting. They’ll run every Friday starting tomorrow. And if you haven’t made his acquaintance yet, here’s a little about him.
Rashon Carraway, Mr. Goodwill HuntingRashon began blogging under the alias Mr. Goodwill Hunting in 2009 as a way of sharing his love of thrifting with the world. Although a renter, Rashon felt the need to personalize his space without spending a lot of money. As his blog audience grew, he began to open up more about his decorating process, sharing his fantastic finds along the way.

HGTV Blog of the Month: Thrifting With Mr. Goodwill Hunting

In January 2011, Rashon made a guest appearance on the Nate Berkus and was invited back several times during the season. He became a regular guest during season two.

He owns a lifestyle firm, Rashon Carraway Designs, that seeks to help individuals live their best life through thrifting. He is also a wardrobe consultant and event planner.

In the summer of 2011 Rashon created I Love Thrifting Day bringing people together from all over the country to shop and the spread the word about his favorite topic.

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Can you see yourself cozying up with a good book and a cup of tea on one of these sofas? Vote for your favorite living room in the poll below the photos and we’ll publish the results in the premiere issue of HGTV MAGAZINE—on sale in October!

Living Room #1 – Sleek + White

Modern Living Room by Don Raney

Living Room #2 – Classic + Casual

Traditional Living Room by Jennifer Duneier

Living Room #3 – Colorful + Traditional

Transitional Living Room by Shelly Riehl David

Living Room #4 – Fresh + Contemporary

Contemporary Living Room by Natalie Umbert

After you vote, leave a comment telling us why you love your favorite room and you might see your comment in the magazine, too!

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Hey friends — remember our new partnership with Ellen? Tune in to The Ellen DeGeneres Show today to see what’s next with Ellen and HGTV’s new ultimate fantasy makeover series, HGTV’d. I can’t give anything away, but I think you’ll love it as much as you did Monday’s surprise, a $100,000 makeover for a military family. (Click the link above to see the video of Ellen telling Ryan and Crystal about their makeover — I give it a 3-hankie warning).

HGTV Design Happens - HGTV'd - The Ellen Degeneres Show
PS: Ellen also will feature something great from HGTV’d on Friday, May 20. We’ll tell you more about that, later!

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Beginning today, HGTV and the Ellen show will kick off an exciting new partnership with HGTV’s new ultimate fantasy makeover series, HGTV’d! Following the special announcement on today’s episode, Ellen will air segments featuring HGTV’d on Wednesday, May 18, and Friday, May 20.

PS I just had to post this adorable video from Ellen’s site yesterday, of her surprising two members of her audience with an HGTV’d Makeover. (If it doesn’t pop up first in the player, click the thumbnail below the player titled “A Huge Surprise Home Makeover!”) Did you guys squee as much as I did when she told Crystal and Ryan about their surprise, $100,000 makeover? :bouncebouncebounce:

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The weather may still be saying winter in our area, but the calendar says spring. Our Color of the Month picks for April couldn’t reflect the mood more: violet and pink for redbuds and tulips, and the cool, neutral gray of a rainy sky.

April 2011 Color of the Month - PinkClockwise: Pink Velvet Settee, 1stDibs; Benjamin Moore Pink Cloud Paint, Pottery Barn; Cameroonian Juju Hat from Aphrochic; Girl’s Bedroom, House Beautiful

Click to Vote for Your Fave

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Last week Japan was hit with its largest recorded earthquake, followed by a ferocious tsunami that killed thousands of people and washed away ships, cars and homes. Like the rest of the world, we at HGTV are watching the devastating news continue to unfold.

We’re grateful for the heroes who have jumped in to help, including our friends at The Red Cross. The Japanese Red Cross, a highly-experienced disaster relief organization, has deployed mobile medical clinics, disaster management teams and relief workers with emergency supplies into those areas affected by this disaster. If you want to help, you can go to, call 1-800-RED-CROSS or make a $10 donation by texting REDCROSS to 90999. Gifts to the American Red Cross will support their disaster relief efforts to help those affected by the earthquake and tsunami throughout the Pacific. On those rare occasions when donations exceed American Red Cross expenses for a specific crisis, contributions are used to prepare for and service victims of other crises.

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A couple of days ago, we ran a post on, asking you to vote on your favorite room by our pal Brian Patrick Flynn. You picked Stacy Elgin’s gorgeous home office.

As promised, Brian wrote up his design inspiration + tips for recreating the look. I love #5—it makes me feel better about my catalog addiction.

1. Due to time and budget, I needed to use products I could purchase online that included reasonable or gratis shipping costs. The wallpaper is from Graham Brown, console is from Wisteria and flooring came from Lumber Liquidators.

2. Entire build-out and installation took two weeks.

3. When using bold or busy wallpaper, keep furniture simple and graphic or else it will just be clutter.

4. To keep spaces from looking matchy-matchy, pair different styles together that introduce a mix of shapes and finishes.

5. When designing from catalogs, DO NOT buy everything from the same one, it will look flat. Buy several pieces from different catalogs so the overall look seems more evolved.

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Check out Emilys precap over on her blog for Secrets From a Stylist episode 2, Mad Men Bohemian. (Love that title!)

Here’s the before pic of the living room Emily designed on the show:

And here’s her mood board:

I’ve seen the after pics already and…yeah. Y’all are gonna love it. We’ll have Emily’s recap here bright and early Sunday morning, so come back to get her behind-the-scenes dish. Here’s a tease: “Here’s a secret, men love accent walls, i’m serious, they are always showing me tear sheets that only have one wall painted, i’m trying to get to the bottom of it.”

LOL Pure Emily!

BTW, the first episode is up if you want to re-watch this weekend: Secrets From a Stylist, Episode 1

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