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Have you heard that Knoxville, Tenn. has been named the Most Romantic City in the US by Amazon.com? That may come as a surprise to a lot of you, but as the hometown of Design Happens and HGTV,  it’s really only appropriate.

Since the majority of D-Happ’s bloggers live in Knoxville, how could we not be inspired by our surroundings? Just look at how we roll.

Historic Tennessee Theater Photo by HelloKnoxville.com

3 Ways We Show Our Passionate Side

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The Design Happens crew packed our warmest parkas and trendiest scarves (Grant packed his bow tie collection!) and headed to this week’s Altitude Design Summit in beautiful Salt Lake City. Isn’t the view amazing?

Design Happens at Alt Summit

We’ll be posting photos of our favorite bloggers, design elements and scenery all week long. Follow Design Happens on Twitter and HGTV on Instagram to see what we’re up to.  And if you’re at Alt, too, come say hi to Grant, Briana and me!

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We’ve seen a spike in the number of online readers searching for tips on how to paint furniture. It’s a quick, inexpensive way to give old pieces a dramatic new look, which can transform an entire room.

Designer Tyler Wisler says, “Painting is always the easiest and quickest way to give any outdated piece of furniture an instant makeover, but the key to all of it, regardless of the color choice, is to prep. Prep, prep, prep those pieces correctly! Just grabbing a can of paint and having at it will inevitably end in cracked and peeling paint in no time. A good once over with a fine grit sandpaper, then a thorough wipe down with a damp cloth to get rid of any dust particles, is the simplest way to get the paint to stick to the piece and will last so much longer!”

How to Paint Furniture

Get the Steps and Creative Painting Ideas

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Over the past few days, the HGTV online team, contributors, Design Happens bloggers and special guests have shared their favorite designs, trends, ideas, tips and projects from 2012 on Pinterest. See what we loved: HGTV 2012 Favorites.

The 2012 Design Star fan favorite and finale runner-up Britany Simon also shared her favorites.

I included the most popular pins from readers as well. The top three most pinned photos from HGTV.com in 2012 are:

Vintage Drawer Storage

Candle Display

Outdoor Fireplace

What were your favorite trends and ideas of 2012?

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We’re revealing what we loved most this year on our HGTV 2012 Favorites shared Pinterest board. From now until the end of the year, join the HGTV online team, contributors, designers, bloggers and 2012 Design Star fan favorite and finale runner-up Britany Simon on Pinterest.

Britany Simon of HGTV Design Star 2012.

You can also follow along on Twitter #PinFaves2012. Join us as we pin the designs, trends, ideas, tips and projects we loved most in 2012.

See you there!

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Need a break? Unwind throughout the season by pinning with us on @hgtv Pinterest. If you’re new to Pinterest, check it out.

We’ve had a blast with our HGTV Pinterest Pinners this year. If you haven’t joined us, this is what you’re missing:

We have virtual pinning parties where you can chat with HGTV celebrities, like Monica Pedersen, host of the HGTV Dream Home 2013 special.

HGTV Dream Home 2013 Pinterest Pinning Party

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How does a luxurious interior design sensation like Miles Redd create a brand of “cozy glamour” and step into the world of design? It all started at age five.

“When I was a boy growing up in Atlanta, Ga., my mother had a copy of Cecil Beaton‘s book The Royal Portraits that I used to flip through for hours on end. The photographs are heavy stuff: Princess Elizabeth in ermine coronation robes, holding scepters; Princess Margaret in an immense tulle ball gown splayed across a red damask banquette. After that, there wasn’t a prayer for me; my five-year-old eyes had seen what appeared to be the height of chic, and there was no turning back, at least not until I had my own tufted red madness. It was my first glimpse of the great big glittering world to which I wanted to belong.” — Miles Redd, The Big Book of Chic

The Big Book of Chic

Miles was inspired by chic, elegant decor at a young age and remains drawn to the same style of living to this day. I truly believe you can learn the most about a person by looking at their photographs, and interior designers often convey their personality through their designs. Miles’ newest book, The Big Book of Chic (Assouline, 2012), does just that. It’s 300 pages long with 150 full-page illustrations, giving readers a glimpse into what inspires Miles and provides intimate portraits of a beautiful, sophisticated life. You know, a group gathered around a well-dressed table enjoying hors d’oeuvres and cocktails; an elegant man stepping off a private jet with his dog; and a photo of Princess Margaret in a luxurious tulle ball gown. Quotes from Marcel Proust, Virginia Woolf, Pablo Picasso, Henry James and Alexander Pope (just to name a few) are truly the icing on the cake of this beautifully-illustrated book.

Plus, readers can peek into several of Miles’ own townhouse and beach house projects in Houston, Atlanta, Millbrook and Locust Valley. What I love most about this book is that I can be staring at the details of an antique crystal chandelier on one page and turn to a picture of Miles in a tuxedo standing on a chair in a mirrored room.

Miles ReddCourtesy of Cameron Krone

Step inside the colorful, whimsical, inspirational, spirited and eclectic world that is Miles Redd.

The Big of Chic Interiors© Francesco Lagnese

“There are chemists who spend their whole lives trying to find out what’s in a lump of sugar. I want to know one thing. What is color?” — Pablo Picasso, featured in The Big Book of Chic

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Our HGTV Pinning Party on Pinterest was a blast last night!

Pinners mixed and mingled with editors, bloggers and specials guests Meg Caswell, Sabrina Soto, Britany Simon and Tyler Wisler, along with HGTVRemodels House Counselor Laurie March and DIYNetwork blogger Emily Winters.

We shared some of our best ideas for holiday decorating and entertaining. Here’s a digital album of highlights from the pinning party:

It was full of wonderful surprises, like a visit from HGTV celebrity Sabrina Soto.

HGTV Pinning Party celebrity guest Sabrina Soto chats with Pinterest pinners.

More Highlights

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You are cordially invited to our HGTV Holiday Pinning Party on Pinterest this Sunday from 7-9 p.m. EST!

Many of you might be wondering, what is a pinning party? Basically, it’s an opportunity for us to interact with you as we gear up for the holidays. During the party, go to pinterest.com/hgtv/holiday-pinning-party where we’ll be pinning our favorite decorations, handmade gifts and holiday recipes. You can interact in the comment fields of the pins with our HGTV.com editors, Design Happens bloggers and special guests: HGTV’s Meg Caswell, Emily Henderson, Britany Simon and Tyler Wisler as well as HGTVRemodels.com’s House Counselor, Laurie March and DIYNetwork.com’s blogger Emily Winters.

HGTV Holiday Pinning Party

We want to hear your ideas and questions about holiday decorating and entertaining. Tell us about your family traditions and what you love most about the holidays.

Plan to grab a glass of wine or hot cider and join our Holiday Pinning Party anytime from 7-9 p.m. EST this Sunday, Nov. 18. If you’re on Twitter, we’ll also be live tweeting with the hashtag #hgtvholidays.

Even though we’ll have several HGTV celebs at the party, we consider you — the HGTV Pinners — our VIPs!

See you Sunday!

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Yesterday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the New York Times that her favorite television show is HGTV’s Love It or List It, saying “I find it very calming.”
Hillary Clinton's Favorite Show
The show follows homeowners who have a big financial and emotional question: renovate or sell? In each hour-long episode, realtor David Visentin and designer Hilary Farr compete for the homeowners’ final decision to stay or go.

The reporter, Gail Collins, says it’s befitting that the HGTV show appeals to Clinton. She writes, “After a lot of hard work and the final commercial, there’s a happy ending.”

It sounds as though Hillary might be interested in a happy ending of her own on HGTV.

When asked what her next move will be after this next presidential term, rather than express interest in a second run at the White House, she says, “Maybe I’ll get a decorating show.”

Would you like to be on HGTV? Click here to learn how. (Hillary, that includes you!)

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No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you, and yes, you’re at Design Happens. But as you can see, something is very different around here. We have a new look! The team behind D-Happ (its little nickname around the HGTV offices) would like to welcome you to the new and improved Design Happens! We have been feverishly working for months to get this new layout just right and we hope you are happy with all of our hard work.

New Look

Rest assured, what isn’t changing is the quality content you’ve come to expect from us. The writing staff remains, the weekly franchises are still here and our devotion and adoration to the world of design is ever-present. If anything, we hope our new look gives you more insight into our staff and what we’re up to (like our headshots?).

So again, welcome to the new Design Happens — click around and let us know what you think!

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HGTV loves Pinterest, in large part because we have the best pinners. We read every comment and here are a few things we know about the HGTV Pinterest followers:

They love a good cocktail.

Cocktail recipes are popular on Pinterest.

They have great ideas.

HGTV Pinterest pinners offer great tips.

They make solid observations.

Why are the chairs pulled up to the pool table?

They care about animals.

HGTV Pinterest pinner expresses concern.

They ask good questions.

HGTV Pinterest pinner asks a good question about Halloween candy.

Thank you HGTV Pinterest followers for sharing your insight and for making our jobs so fun. If you haven’t already, join us!

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On Halloween night, go trick-or-treating with your little ones, then come home and spend the evening with HGTV’s Property Brothers. Drew and Jonathan will be going head-to-head in our prime-time special, Pumpkin Wars.

The bros are helping two towns battle to see which one can carve and display the most jack-o’-lanterns (both attempting to set a new Guinness World Record). Watch the Brother vs. Brother showdown Wednesday at 9pm/8c.

Want to see Jonathan help eat the pies? Or see more of Drew in Keene? Check out behind-the-scenes videos from the episode.

Sneak Peek: Check out Facebook-exclusive photos from Pumpkin Wars right now. What’s that? You haven’t liked HGTV on Facebook, you say? Well, let’s take care of that first.

Pumpkin Wars

Warring Brothers Drew and Jonathan Scott

HGTV Pumpkin Wars

How do you plan on spending your Halloween? Tell me below.

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The powerful superstorm known as Hurricane Sandy is expected to make landfall tonight and last well into Tuesday, but many areas are already experiencing damaging winds and severe flooding. Several cities have mandated emergency evacuations, shutdown transit systems, canceled flights and closed schools until later this week. Many spent the weekend evacuating or rushing to stores to gather provisions for an inevitable power outage.

Hurricane Katrina Cleanup aftermath

Five years after Hurricane Katrina and a year after Hurricane Irene, many homeowners are still trying to rebuild their lives. Hurricane Sandy, though a lower level category, is nearly twice the size of its predecessors. It has already left many without power and caused major flooding in the Northeastern United States.

If you’re a little confused on what makes this storm so dangerous, here’s the breakdown: Hurricane Sandy is only a Category 1 hurricane, but the wind speeds are expected to grow to over 90 miles per hour, meaning it could easily turn into Category 2 territory. Sandy is also setting records for its size – the storm’s wind field is 900 miles long. Thanks to an ill-timed full moon, the tide levels are high, making it easy for Sandy to transport even more water to the coast. Finally, Sandy is combining with an early winter storm system from the west and cold air from Canada, bringing snow as far south as the Carolinas and East Tennessee.

A storm like this naturally raises a lot of issues, so we’ve answered some tough questions and gathered advice for those of you in the path of the storm.

READ MORE

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Canstruction® is an annual design competition and food charity in New York City. Over 25 teams of architects, engineers and contractors compete to build enormous structures made entirely out of unopened cans of food. They are then on view to the public until dismantled and donated to City Harvest. Admission is free, but visitors are asked to bring a can of high quality food.

If you’re in the NYC area, check out the exhibit November 2 – 14 at the World Financial Center Complex.

Sneaker

2011 sneaker that weighed more than a ton

Lady Gaga Shoe

2011 replica of Alexander McQueen’s Lady Gaga high heels (made from 3,600 cans)

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Interior designer Nate Berkus debuts The Nate Berkus Collection at Target, online and in stores, this month.

My favorite piece in Nate’s line is the lacquered tortoise shell. Nate’s inspiration for the look came from a real shell that his parents brought home from their honeymoon in Mexico. The souvenir always hung above the family’s fireplace — and, to Nate, shells have reminded him of home ever since.

Nate Berkus

Nate Berkus

 What do you think? Are you intrigued by the shell, or are you — well, shell-shocked?

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HGTV is so close to reaching 200K followers on Twitter — but, we need you to help us make that goal. By assisting us, you could win a $200 American Express gift card.

Are you ready to help?

Twitter

Here’s what you do.

1. Copy and paste this line, then Tweet it:

Help @HGTV get to 200K followers for a chance to win a $200 gift card. RT then click here>> http://ow.ly/ewLdw.

2. Once you’ve Tweeted the line above, leave your Twitter handle in the comments section of this blog post (below) letting us know you’ve done it.

That’s all you do! Pretty easy, right? Oh, and if you’re not following HGTV on Twitter — then let’s remedy that right now!

Once HGTV has reached 200K followers, we will randomly choose a winner from the comments below to receive a $200 American Express gift card.

On your mark, get set — start Tweeting!

You may only comment once to be considered, and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited by law. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S., D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 years of age to win. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of prize: $200. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a HGTV, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37932.

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So, I don’t have a ring on my finger (yet), but naturally, I swoon over all things wedding related. Currently, I’ve been obsessing over these unique one-of-a-kind wedding stationary designs from Love vs. Design. On Monday, Love vs. Design launched their latest photo save the date collaboration with photographer Max Wanger. Love vs. Design’s Jen and Floris Gierman spent several months brainstorming with Max on ways to incorporate his whimsical photography into wedding stationary. Together, they created 16 gorgeous and elegant save-the-date postcard designs to feature on the site. I’ve already picked out four of my favorites from the collection:

Love vs Design: Save the Date IdeasGelato

Love vs Design: Save the Date IdeasSparkling

Love vs Design: Save the Date IdeasSomewhere

Love vs Design: Save the Date IdeasGreetings From…

Swoon!

The ordering process is easy, and everything can be customized, from the font and size to the wording and language. And, of course, you can change the photograph to you and your loved one! See how the process works >>

Is your big day coming up? Head over to Love vs. Design to complete your wedding stationary to-do list: save the dates, invitations, response cards, programs, menus, place cards, thank you cards and more!

Latest Pins on Pinterest

  • As seen on the HGTV & DIY Network series, Rehab Addict.

  • #TBT Favorite bedrooms from HGTV Dream Homes past

  • #TBT Favorite bedrooms from HGTV Dream Homes past

  • #TBT Favorite bedrooms from HGTV Dream Homes past