POSTS BY Mary

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HGTV is proud to present a brand new HGTV Dream Homes Past iPad app that features floor plans, time-lapse photos, slideshows, virtual tours and more. Step inside our past five HGTV Dream Homes for up-close-and-personal virtual tours like you’ve never experienced before. Visit the Dreams Happen blog for more details.

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If urban living is your idea of a dream come true, soon you will have a chance to live the dream in the capitol of the world.

HGTV has teamed with house planner Jack Thomasson and world-renowned designer Vern Yip to create a posh pad located in the heart of New York City. The location? The Residences at W New York-Downtown. The space? A 900-square-foot fully furnished residence that boasts sweeping views of the city, including the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

Our online virtual tour of this amazing space begins on August 12, 2010. Then, starting on September 1, we invite you to enter once daily on HGTV.com and FrontDoor.com for your chance to win the apartment and a luxury vehicle. Our first on-air tour of the home premieres on Monday, September 6, 2010, at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT, so mark your calendar! And make plans to visit the Urban Oasis blog regularly for updates, exclusive videos and more. For more details, watch the announcement video.

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Today could be the day that changes your entire life. How so? You could enter the HGTV Green Home 2010 Giveaway today – and every day through June 4 at 5 p.m. ET – and end up winning our adorable eco-friendly cottage, located in picturesque Plymouth, Mass., just minutes from Cape Cod. Talk about a dream come true! But it doesn’t end there. The grand prize package includes a GMC® Terrain and $100,000 to help you start your brand new green life in New England.

Feeling lucky? Give it a go. You have nothing to lose (besides a few minutes of your time) and everything to gain.

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Ever imagine what it might be like to live out West? Out in the desert, surrounded by nothing but tumbleweed, low-growing pine trees and beautiful mountain views. There’s something about those gorgeous sunsets that just sets the soul right again.

If you have the itch to hit the road, but no time or money, try clicking through the virtual tour of HGTV Dream Home 2010, located in lovely Sandia Park, N.M. Even if you’re not a fan of Contemporary Southwest architecture, you’ll find something to ooh and ahh about in our special online presentation, which includes 360-degree panoramic tours and beautiful photos of 23 indoor and outdoor spaces, exclusive videos, design tips from the experts and more.

And while you’re enjoying the desert views, take a few moments to help us select housewarming gifts for the winner of this fabulous 3900-square-foot home. You can vote up to 10 times per day!

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The clock is ticking down: Black Friday and Cyber Monday are days away. Feeling those Christmas-shopping butterflies? No fears – this year, we’ve rounded up the best gifts for your loved ones in dozens of cool categories (HGTV fans, trendsetters, pet lovers, craft fanatics and more). Before you hit the mall or surf the Web in search of deals, check out HGTV’s Holiday Gift Guide. We might just have what you’re looking for.

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by Sandi Ionelli

For about eight months now, I’ve been birthing — yes, birthing (I don’t have kids, so these TV shows become my babies) — a one-hour special called Change the World: American Heroes. I’m sure my friends and family can’t wait until it airs so I’ll stop talking about it, but it truly is my proudest moment as a supervising producer. Shameless plug: It airs THIS Wednesday at 8pm Eastern/7pm Central — it truly has the biggest makeovers ever, is a tribute to veterans with lots of heartfelt moments and has CARTER!

People ask me about host/carpenter, Carter Oosterhouse all the time. The most common question? “Is he as good-looking in person as he looks on TV?” I’m blushing while I write this, but YES, he is. This show was my first opportunity to work with him and I must say he has a lot more to offer than good looks! He’s a real carpenter and swung his hammer right along with the volunteers in Philly and St. Louis. “Hot” took on new meaning the weekend we were shooting in St. Louis, because of the record-breaking heat — it was over 105 degrees! Thank God the AC guys had already fixed the heating and air unit, so we could breathe easy, inside at least.

Normally, on renovating/design shows (or any show really) there’s a team of support people behind the scenes that you don’t see: crew, design assistants, prop people, tradesmen, painters, interns, production assistants, etc. For this show, if you look closely, you’ll see them all in their volunteer T-shirts. We wanted everyone that was working on the project to blend in, just like the Rebuilding Together volunteers, so we’d have a sea of red, white and blue throughout the show.

Yes, design happens on HGTV, but not without planning and prep. Designer Monica Pedersen (with some help from her assistant, Becky, and intern, Cullen) came up with a lofty plan for both houses. Monica was intent on using every penny to make the living areas come to life for these American heroes (she has a soft spot for vets because her dad was in the military). Best moment with Monica that ended up on the cutting room floor? We were shooting at the Liberty Bell when some Brownies/Girl Scouts recognized Monica, because their “mom watches HGTV all the time!” Monica chatted with them about their bedroom designs, then they all took a group photo — so cute.

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HGTV Dream Home 2010

Last week, the online team paid a visit to HGTV Dream Home 2010 in Sandia Park, N.M., to prepare images and copy for the virtual tour, which is slated to launch on December 14.

For an insider’s perspective on the area, this amazing Contemporary Southwest-style home and the New Mexico experience, visit the Dream Home Blog:

Our First Day in New Mexico

A Trip Along the Turquoise Trail

A Peek Inside HGTV Dream Home 2010

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Wondering if the Duvernays will pull off another amazing makeover? Think the Marquezes will win it simply because of their positive attitudes and adorable smiles? If you’ve been following HGTV’s $250,000 Challenge, you’re probably hanging on the edge of your seat right now.

If you have some time today, hop on over to the $250K blog and share your thoughts on the show, the potential winner and what you might do with $250,000 if it were handed to you on a silver platter. Also, don’t forget to check out the sneak peek video of Sunday’s final episode – a nail-biting landscaping challenge led by guest judge Carter Oosterhouse.

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This Sunday, the final three teams competing in HGTV’s $250,000 Challenge face off in a kitchen smackdown. Guest designer Genevieve Gorder encourages each team to look to nature for a bit of design inspiration and offers up some pretty point-blank advice: “Go all the way — or don’t bother!” Watch a video sneak peek for details.

Before the weekend hits, take time to check out before-the-makeover photos of the teams’ kitchens (a bit uninspired, no?) and post your thoughts on the $250K blog. On the eve of episode three, we’re discussing our own kitchen design dreams. How would you transform your cooking space if you were handed $20,000?

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