ALL POSTS IN HGTV On-Air

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Vern Yip

That’s me with Vern!

HGTV is known for having awesome network talent that are both friendly and down-to-earth. Such is definitely the case with Vern Yip. As an intern for HGTV we get to work closely with Vern on our design projects and the other day my coworker, Sam, and I made the trip to visit with Vern at his beautiful home just north of the metropolitan area of Atlanta.

This was not my first time talking with Vern, or even meeting with him, but each time I get to interact with him I always walk away thinking “what an incredible human being.” And friends, I don’t just say that about anybody. Besides being a talented and thoughtful designer he is also an incredibly kind and gracious person. Upon entering his home and exchanging pleasant greetings he ushered Sam and I into his well-designed and curated but homey sitting room and offered us refreshments. When Sam and I just said water he asked “How do you like your water? Room temperature, chilled or with ice?” It didn’t feel like we were in a celebrity’s house, it felt like we were just visiting with a friend. We chatted on the couch for a bit about work and design and about how things were going in school. Then he gave us a tour of his home. His whole home. Bedrooms, bathrooms, closets, everything. I was amazed that he was allowing us to take a look at spaces and rooms that my own non-famous friends and family members wouldn’t even let me see. I was quite in awe.

Every piece of furniture, every work of art, every object in his home had a story behind it or some kind of sentimental value. They were pieces brought back from his travels (he informed us that he’s been to 47 countries just in the last 5 years!), pieces used in past projects or installations and even the first dining table and chair set from Crate and Barrel that he bought with his first ‘real’ architect’s paycheck — to name a few examples. It was like walking through a museum of his life, but the kind of museum where you are not just allowed but encouraged to sit on the furniture, flip through books and make yourself at home.

One of his design philosophies is that your home should tell the story of who you are. It should be the most comfortable place in the world and styled with pieces that mean something to you, not just replicating something you saw in a catalog or magazine. His home is truly the essence of that philosophy.

Vern Yip

This is a pretty good selfie, right?

As we were preparing to leave what had been the most pleasant morning imaginable we, of course, had to make sure we got some pictures. Vern even insisted that we “take a selfie” with him! It was all too good to be true. We parted ways with hugs, best wishes and promises that this wouldn’t be the last time we meet. I walked down the driveway with a smile on my face and a happy feeling filling up inside me. Vern Yip is a top-notch guy.

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The first rule of real estate is location, location, location — but what happens when a buyer’s only option in the right location is a house with horrible design and a clunky layout? Renovation, design and real estate pros Joanna and Chip Gaines say buy it — then fix it! Fixer Upper is the Texas couple’s new show coming to HGTV Thursday, April 24, at 11pm/10c. The network is excited to have their expertise on television — and, HGTV.com is thrilled to have Joanna as our newest guest editor. Welcome, Joanna!

As with last quarter’s guest editor, Nancy Fire, Joanna will be bringing her fun, expert commentary to Design Happens, adding insight to 2014 design and home remodeling trends throughout HGTV.com, and even taking over HGTV’s Instagram here and there.

Joanna Gaines

HGTV.com Guest Editor Joanna Gaines

For you to get to know a little more about HGTV’s new star and our guest editor, we recently interviewed Joanna.

Our Chat

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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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Matt Muenster

Matt Muenster, star of DIY Network’s and HGTV’s Bath Crashers, and me!

Here at HGTV, everyone is always talking about how awesome the “network talent” is.  If, like me, you aren’t fluent in the language of production, “network talent” equals the stars you see on TV.  Seriously though, it feels like every single person I encounter at the office has some story about the time they met Vern Yip or Sabrina Soto and they were “so nice and down to earth!” Well my friends, as of a recent shoot for HGTV Magazine, I am officially among those who can confirm that our “network talent” is pretty amazing.  I had the chance to spend a few hours with Matt Muenster, star of DIY Network’s and HGTV’s Bath Crashers, and let me tell you, he totally lived up to the hype.

I’m famous for leaving interesting first impressions, and Matt was no exception.  The night before the photo shoot, I went home early with a nasty cold, so he and my supervisor, Carol, figured I’d sleep all day and left the hotel without me the next morning.  When I arrived downstairs at 8am dressed and ready to go, they had to turn around to get me.  I hopped in the back of our rental car embarrassed, congested and a little afraid the celebrity in the passenger’s seat might be displeased about the detour.  Instead of giving me a piece of his mind, however, he looked over his shoulder through his aviator shades and excitedly said, “You’re alive!”

We arrived on set and there was still a lot of prep work to be done, so we had plenty of time to sit around and get to know each other before the camera started flashing.  I learned that Matt went to school at the University of Wisconsin and studied interior design (which is awesome because I go to the University of Cincinnati for the same thing).  I then made the mistake of calling him “Matthew” — a mistake because it’s not his real name — the birth certificate clearly says “Matt.”  Furthermore, his middle name is “J.”  Not “Jay.”  It’s “J.”  He also has a brother named Andy.  You guessed it.  Just “Andy.”

All morning, Matt was full of jokes and was extremely low maintenance.  The guy felt like everybody’s best friend.  He was laughing all the time and disarming everyone with his big, genuine smile.  He said, “I’m only here for a few hours, so I might as well be nice and have fun.”  Though it was a total diva-free zone, he still had to get primped and polished by Lisa, the makeup artist.  It was astounding how much time it took to get people camera-ready.  Matt had to take what felt like a million pictures, with the photographer actually yelling things like “Work it! Make me love you!” Apparently those lines aren’t just reserved for movies. When it was all said and done, he still somehow found energy to take several goofball portraits with me.

At the end of the shoot, Carol, Matt and I hopped in the rental car and started the long drive back to the Philadelphia Airport, but before arriving, Matt admitted he had never had a real Philly Cheese-steak.  Blasphemy.  We ended up in downtown Philadelphia at Jim’s Steaks, we all ordered “a steak with whiz” (i.e. a giant bun, chopped steak and cheese-wiz), and though we were a little skeptical at first, it was so worth it.  As Carol fiddled with the ATM machine inside after lunch, Matt and I jogged around on the sidewalk, laughing and taking pictures of the colorful store window displays on the street.   With our bellies full, we made it to the airport, hugged our goodbyes and headed for security.  He walked off to his gate waving and smiling like he was parting ways with an old friend.  I waved and smiled back as I thought to myself, “Matt J. Muenster is one cool dude.”

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We get it. You love the Scott Brothers. We do, too! In fact, we can’t get enough of them, hence their newest competition show, Brother Vs. Brother. (But don’t worry, Property Brothers fans; they’re filming new episodes of PB as we speak.) The whole concept of Brother Vs. Brother was created because of Jonathan and Drew’s pure, competitive nature. Yes, they throw playful jabs back and forth, but they like to have fun on set, too. We heart them.

Reason #1: Jonathan’s Luscious Locks

Brother Vs. Brother Jonathan Scott

Reason #2: Drew Can Bust a Move

Brother Vs Brother Drew and Jonathan

Reason #3: Drew Has No Shame (And Nice Legs)

Brother Vs Brother Jonathan and Drew

Reason #4: They’re Dedicated to Music + the Arts

Brother Vs Brother Jonathan

Reason #5: Drew Proves “There’s No Crying in Remodeling’”

Brother Vs Brother Drew and Jonathan

Reason #6: Jonathan Practices (Beginner’s) Kung Fu

Brother Vs Brother Jonathan

Brother Vs. Brother fans, it’s time to test your knowledge. Can you guess who said these notable one-liners from the first three episodes? Play Along >>

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This season of HGTV Star has been a whirlwind! We’re already down to the final three designers, Brooks, Tiffany and Jeribai, one of whom will have their own HGTV show after Sunday night’s showdown. For this week’s final challenge, the designers are headed to Palm Springs, Calif. where they’ll each make over a huge suite in a resort hotel in just three days. Each designer will have their former competitors to call on, plus the guidance and expertise of our favorite brothers, Jonathan and Drew Scott.

HGTV Star Season 8 Finale

Brooks Atwood, Host David Bromstad, Tiffany Brooks and Jeribai Tascoe for HGTV Star

Tune in this Sunday, July 21 at 8/7c for the finale of HGTV Star. And check out HGTV’s exclusive competition blog, HGTVersus, for behind-the-scenes info, exclusive video clips and more!

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Pinterest is about to get even more interesting.

David Bromstad will host an HGTV Star Pinterest Pinning Party this Sunday from 9-10 p.m. ET.

 HGTV Star Pinterest Pinning Party with David Bromstad

Directions to the party:
Simply click on this link to our STAR Pinterest board and join the conversation with David in the comment fields of the pin. If you love it, repin it to one of your boards. You can also find us by searching the hashtag: #hgtvstar.

We’ll be pinning pictures from the show and colorful throwbacks from past seasons. David Bromstad is the season one winner of HGTV Design Star and host of the all-new season of HGTV Star, which airs Sunday nights 8/7c.

New to Pinterest? To sign up, go to www.pinterest.com and select the button “Join Pinterest” at the top of the page.

If a picture alone is worth a thousand words, you’ll want to hear what’s behind the pins of HGTV Star.

See you Sunday night!

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Summer’s here and you know what that means: it’s time for a brand-new season of HGTV Star! There’s a fresh, new name, 10 smiling faces to meet and a slew of challenges that will leave the judges with a tough (or not-so-tough) elimination each week. Tune into the premiere Sunday, June 9 at 8/7c as these designers each compete for a chance to win their own HGTV show. Looking for behind-the-scenes dish, full episodes and all things HGTV Star? We’ve got you covered.

HGTV Star Cast and David Bromstad

The 10 hopefuls of HGTV Star season 8, plus host and mentor David Bromstad.

HGTV Star Judges

The host and mentor of HGTV Star, David Bromstad, with judges Genevieve Gorder, Vern Yip and Sabrina Soto.

Check out the HGTV Star Blog, HGTVersus. Throughout the season Liz Gray and I will be sharing post-episode recaps, behind-the-scenes photos, sneak peeks, contestant interviews, candid opinions from the judges and more. It’s the only place to get exclusive show info you can’t get anywhere else!

Get social. Follow along before, during and after the show with HGTV Star fans like yourself by using the #hgtvstar hashtag on Twitter.

Help your favorite designer get an HGTV.com show. Help one lucky HGTV Star contestant win an online show by casting your vote up to 10 times daily. By voting you can win prizes like a $25 One Kings Lane gift card or $25 gift cards from Visa or Mastercard.

Watch our online videos. Prepare for the new season by checking out our behind-the-scenes footage, meeting our online HGTV Star host, Dan Collopy, and catching a sneak peek of the premiere episode. Miss an episode? No DVR? That’s OK! We’ll have full episodes available right here every Monday.

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