ALL POSTS IN HGTV On-Air

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We love designing for our seven children, so the Everett family basement makeover was a blast! Even though the logistics of creating a bright and fun entertaining space for three kids and two adults is challenging enough, but we wanted to make this basement extra special with an emphasis on art and family memories.

Ultimate Art Space for Kids

Scott and Elyse’s kids are very creative, and they had accumulated loads of their art work with no place to hang it all, so we knew this had to be a focus of our design. Their new ultimate art space for kids now includes a wall stacked with pull-out craft paper, a wall covered in chalkboard paint and a cork board covered wall perfect for displaying art. And because it can be heartbreaking to part with our children’s art but eventually it can become cumbersome to keep it all, we went with the “shrink art” solution for the Everett family (something we’ve done with our own kids’ art.) Our friend and artist Jan Eleni makes wonderful archival solutions for displaying and enjoying your prolific young artists’ work forever.

Black and White Family Photos Wallpaper

We wanted mom and dad’s area of the basement to be full of personal keepsakes, just like the kids’ space. So we designed a focal wall covered in beautiful black-and-white wallpaper made from their family photos. This is a super easy project you can create online using one photo or a collage of photos for about $10/sq.ft. Adjacent to the family photo wall hangs an Ann Carrington original made with some help from our kids. The backing on the flag art is magnet boards that can be found at most home improvement stores.

Slide Staircase

Last week, we created a flirty pink-striped staircase for two surfing sisters. Well, clearly we can’t get enough funky staircases, because we did a playground style one this time — complete with a slide! In the show, wasn’t it fun to see the kids and parents can slide down to their new basement?

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Have you ever thought about what it’s like to actually build eleven 12X15 spaces, furnish them with transformable pieces which can be further enhanced decoratively with raw food and/or restaurant supply items, then break them all down in just a few days? I hadn’t before working the shoot for episode 2 of HGTV Design Star — the infamous White Box Challenge. But from the looks of anticipated exhaustion and lack of enthusiasm on my co-design producers, Sam and Shannon’s, faces, it was obviously not the most fun task.

Roughly two weeks before filming episode 2, the three of us had to conceptualize exactly how big each white box should be, choose pieces that could be repurposed for different room functions, assemble those pieces and paint them all white to ensure the designers all had level playing fields. When I say the three of us assembled all the furniture, I really mean Shannon and Sam, since I hopped on a plane for an HGTV event in Orlando only two hours into assembly. Saved by the bell? I’d say so.

White Box  Challenge Floorplan

White Box Challenge Elevated Floorplan

In addition to the white box build-outs, we also did a mock-shopping day where we thought of all the possible things designers might consider using from a restaurant supply store as decoration, then ensured that there was enough stock for the eleven designers to choose from. Now take a look at what goes into creating the White Box Challenge, then take time next season to think about the tired souls behind the scenes who were kicked off before the challenge even started.

White Box Challeng Waterbottle Chase

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Graffiti. I like it. I like it a lot. When the location for the White Box Challenge was locked in for episode two of HGTV Design Star, I was happier than a snippy Pomeranian during a FedEx delivery. Why? 5 Pointz, that’s why. Located in Long Island City, it’s often referred to as a New York “Graffiti Mecca” where spray paint artists from all over the world come to create urban works of art on the premises of a 200,000 sq. ft building.

Contestants Outside Building - Running into White Room

Its conception was always for a good purpose; 5 Pointz was created as a formal place for aerosol artists to showcase their talents instead of vandalizing public spaces. As the official location for season six’s White Box Challenge, it was the perfect juxtaposition to the stark white drywall rectangles the designers would have to bring to life. In the show, this threw the contestants for a loop. Here, they show up at this gritty, colorful setting, only to learn this is, in fact, the dreaded White Box Challenge.

Five Pointz Graffiti Art

Nestled between industrial buildings and elevated train tracks, 5 Pointz could easily have been a producer’s worst nightmare. Why? Deliveries from trucks with loud beeps mixed with constant stops and starts from train cars which shake the buildings is insanely disruptive after the director yells, “quiet on the set!” Miraculously, these city sounds proved to be a non issue. (Guess who once shot an entire makeover in a neighborhood nestled between a field of cows and a busy international airport? Yep, me. But I tend not to go into detail about mistakes I made at age 28, okay?)
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Hi everyone. Filming Home by Novogratz has been so much fun. Every episode we shoot allows us to meet new interesting people and work our vintage/modern, high/low, “no rules” design magic on their places. Instant makeovers can be stressful, but the energy and spirit of our fabulous crew and the reactions of psyched homeowners make it all worthwhile. It’s similar to how Robert and I are raising our seven kids — controlled chaos!

Cortney + Rob - Home by Novogratz – HGTV design blog
Here’s Robert and me with Deborah and Katherine Chen, two amazing sisters and our first clients. They bought an inexpensive house in rough shape in Far Rockaway, New York so they can enjoy weekends at the beach surfing. What do they want? A playful, girly beach pad. Their design inspiration? Betsey Johnson! Taking Deborah and Katherine’s cues, we knew exactly what to do. The staircase is the first thing you see when you enter their house.

striped stairs - Home by Novogratz – HGTV design blog

We chose to stripe the stairs for a real “wow” factor. (If you’re on a super-tight budget like us, with some colorful paint, you can tackle anything!) We measured the stripes for the stairs using painters tape and decided to go vertical. Three different shades of pink (their favorite color) with one pale blue one, and it looks amazing! The sisters love their new house , and I’m sure they have the most playful staircase in all of Rockaway.

Betsey Johnson - Ghost Girl - Home by Novogratz – HGTV design blog
If you haven’t seen the show, when you do, I think you’ll agree that Deborah and Katherine’s home is now light and airy with a cool beachy feel. It’s also packed with spunk and funky touches, like the kitchen renovation with a pink stove and baby blue vintage fridge and their new bedroom featuring Ghost Girl images put there by hand by world-famous graffiti artist Matt Siren.

Home by Novogratz Episode One

For next Saturday’s episode on July 23, we head down to the basement for a family playroom perfect for kids and adults. But first, here’s another picture of Deborah and Katherine’s pink surfer chic living room. What do you think? Love the stairs and the pillows? So Betsey.

Tell me in the comments below.

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Have you been missing the Novogratz? Cortney, Bob, their seven children and their eclectic, one-of-a-kind designs are coming to HGTV … tomorrow! Tune in to the premiere of Home by Novogratz at 10/9c to see the husband and wife design team create customized and over-the-top fabulous spaces from total gut jobs for their hip clientele. Here’s a sneak peek of what you can expect this season — eclectic retro, edgy contemporary, mid-century mod, surfer chic, ultra fem and more.

Home-By-Novogratz-Designs-HGTV-DesignHappens
Don’t forget to tune in tomorrow for the premiere of Home by Novogratz at 10/9c on HGTV. In the meantime, check out Cortney and Bob’s trendy product picks in HGTV MarketPlace.

Do you ever wonder how Cortney and Bob balance the design world with raising seven kids? Do you think that the “controlled chaos” helps fuel their design creativity? Tell us in the comments below.

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So I briefly moved from Atlanta to New York City after being asked to join the production team as a design producer for season six of HGTV Design Star. Totally awesome opening sentence, right? I know! FYI, just in case this new job seems totally random, I’ve been producing home makeover TV shows for about eight years, sometimes also hosting them, while working on private homes for clients on nights and weekends. In other words, this wasn’t my first time at the TV decorating rodeo. Was it my first time taking a subway to said metaphorical rodeo? Yes. The B and the D Line to be exact.

Columbus Circle

After some time up-close-and-personal working on the challenges and location scouts of HGTV’s hit show, I can tell you first-hand that it’s one of the fastest-paced, most challenging design shows on TV. So much that sleep is pretty much a luxury for producers, crew members and contestant designers. I’m not complaining. The entire experience was awesome. Let’s talk about episode one.

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Typically for a “vote-off” reality show, I know my favorite contestant approximately 20 minutes into the first episode. (Am I alone in this?) Sometimes my fave goes on to win, and sometimes I’m wrong, but it’s always fun to pick a favorite and cheer them on throughout the season (unless they’re booted off after the first challenge). I’ll be doing the same for HGTV Design Star Season 6. Tonight at 9/8c on HGTV, 12 designers will face off in competitive design challenges to win the ultimate prize — their own HGTV show. (And one will win fan favorite.) Candice Olson, Vern Yip and Genevieve Gorder will once again grace your TV screens as the tough and brutally honest judges. New to the cast this year are David Bromstad, as the design mentor, and Tanika Ray, as your lovely host.

HGTV-Design-Star-Cast-Season-6-HGTV-DesignHappens

Check out the cast bios and portfolios for a glimpse of what you can expect from the season 6 contestants. Who do you think should have an HGTV.com online show? Vote daily for your favorite design star through September 16.

Now, we want to know who’s your fave contestant and why? Sound off in the comments below.

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Would you rather have…
  1. HGTV interior designer Genevieve Gorder, Candice Olson or Vern Yip come over for an afternoon?
  2. Genevieve, Candice or Vern give you feedback on the way you’ve designed your home?
  3. Genevieve, Candice and Vern judge your original designs while you’re engaged in cutthroat competition with 11 other professional interior designers/contractors/stylists/artist on a hit reality series viewed by millions?

Season 6 Design Star Cast

If you picked No. 1, then watching Design Star is the next best thing. If you selected No. 2, have you considered auditioning for next season? If No. 3 was your pick, you’re a likely fit to join the ranks of 12 designers fighting to win their own show on HGTV.

The sixth season of HGTV Design Star premieres this Monday, July 11 at 9/8c. (If you need to catch up on previous years, no worries, we have episode recaps online.) See the drama unfold as mentor David Bromstad guides the talented contestants through their weekly design challenges and track their ongoing battles to impress judges Genevieve, Candice, Vern and surprise celebrity guests.

What’s your favorite part about watching the premiere? Meeting the new contestants? Guessing who will be the first to be eliminated? The tough mentoring and judging moments? Casting your fan vote based on the first episode?

Tell us in the comments below.

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You might have heard that words like ”OMG” and “party-crasher” were added to this year’s list of new words in the Oxford-English Dictionary. Now, we at HGTV have another word to add to the list: HGTV’d. Here’s the definition:

HGTV’d (v.)- 1. the act of talented HGTV designers traveling across the country in an 18-wheeler and arriving at the home of a surprised HGTV fan to give them over-the-top transformations of their home: “OMG! Did you hear that the party-crasher down the street was HGTV’d last week?”

HGTV'd Premiere - Get HGTV'd on HGTV

HGTV'd Family Room: Before & After

Tonight, pop some popcorn, invite some friends over and watch the premiere of HGTV’d at 9/8c. You’ll see dull spaces turn into wow spaces, like this now luxurious Regency-inspired family room by designer Kim Myles.

If you have a desperate space in need of a jaw-dropping makeover by an HGTV expert, enter a short video or photos for a chance to see the HGTV’d truck roll down your street and David Bromstad, Sabrina Soto, or who knows who, show up on your doorstep.

HGTV is HGTV'd

We were greeted with a surprise here at our headquarters this morning. Upon entering the building, all of the staff was officially HGTV’d with design vignettes by Bliss Home as seen in these two pics. It was a neat treat (considering we can’t enter the competition).

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Have you ever wished that HGTV would show up on your doorstep to give your home a makeover? Who hasn’t, right? We here at Design Happens are happy to say — that opportunity is knocking! Our new show HGTV’d was created to give you the opportunity to upload photos and videos of your space for a chance at a dream makeover from your favorite HGTV stars. The show premieres June 6th, but while you wait for the HGTV’d truck to roll down your street, we’re going to hook you up with a bedroom decked out in all things HGTV.

HGTV HOME bedding

Design Happens is proud to present the new HGTV HOME bedding line. We’re giving away three complete bedroom sets for an HGTV-approved bedroom mini-makeover. Each winner will get to pick any size bedding from the cool, blue Lucas set or the warm Lagare set. Each set includes a comforter, bed skirt, two shams, two decorative pillows, two window panels and one window valance.

For a chance to win, leave us a comment before 9am/8c Friday, May 27, telling us the next product HGTV HOME should come out with. HGTV furniture? HGTV art work? HGTV bathroom towel sets? What about life-size Jamie Durie cutouts?

Click for official rules.

Don’t forget to check out the premiere of HGTV’d Monday, June 6, 9pm/8c.

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If you missed this one, it was a blast! Don’t cry. You can watch all of the Secrets From a Stylist – Gunnin’ for Style episode on HGTV.com. So back to the design and the homeowner. He was hilarious to work with because he is one of those guys who wants good style and knows what he doesn’t like. But he can’t really put a finger on what he does, so you are just guessing and guessing and hoping you are right. You know what he didn’t like? The first look. Not one bit. But he was really great about it, super informational, not just standing there being weird, but actively saying what he didn’t like and why, which is strangely refreshing.

FIRST LOOK:

Design Happens - Emily Henderson - First Look

Not exactly a boy’s room. But i actually loved it. Full disclosure, the sofa is a Michel Ducaroy Togo knockoff, NOT the real thing but still pretty awesome. Those Toga sofas could break up marriages, destroy families, cause a civil war….they are very divisive. The crew at first didn’t like it, but then slowly, one by one, they all came to LOVE it and covet it and want it in their mouth.

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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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Alright. If you missed the episode of Mid-Century Artist: Secrets From a Stylist, here’s what we got. She loves anything bold and unexpected. He loves anything straight and clean. She likes feminine and soft and white. He’s hip to functional and symmetrical. Ultimately, this couple was not too far apart…

Secrets From a Stylist

…but their home was none of this. And i was about to make a bit design mistake. Stay tuned.

2 Looks, 2 Carpets

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Hands down one of my favorite episodes. (Missed it? Click here for my full episode of Modern Urban Beach: Secrets From a Stylist.) Many of reasons why. First of all, you all didn’t know this, but i am friends with these folks. (They auditioned and got on without any word from me, by the way.) She was 9 months pregos, and I felt so bad for her, because she was tired. Not exactly great timing. And it proved to be extra not great timing by the end of the week. That’s right, she had the baby before we finished shooting the episode. Whoops. They felt so sorry, and i was like, ‘SHUT UP! YOU ARE HAVING A BABY, AND THIS IS THE BEST THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED TO ANY OF US’. I was sooo excited for them. Long story short, i designed their new house, they had a baby and it all ended perfectly.

Their combined style is ‘Modern Urban Beach’ and their house (that used to be a guest house) looked a little something like this before:

Secrets From a Stylist

The Before: Well, at least I have a fairly clean slate!

But then i came along, and now it looks like this:

The Big Reveal

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Lauren and Andre were tricky. They were a great example of not knowing what they want, but upon seeing something they hate, they had really strong opinions. So there was more guess work than before. (If you missed this one or need a refresher, here’s an easy-peasy way you can watch the whole episode of California Spanish Mod: Secrets From a Stylist.) Here are a few pictures from Domino I showed them. (I find that if i bring GOOD magazines, people choose good things. If i tell them to send me pics, then i get UNinspired pics because most people are not obsessed with design blogs like i am. So finding beautiful, inspiring pictures is hard for them.) Here is what they both liked:

Secrets From a Stylist Episode Seven

Domino

She loved the mirror (which i did find, for $1600 at MIX) and they loved the colors. They both loved the coffee tables and the colors…which is why i started getting the ‘modern organic’ thing. It’s rustic, but more refined.

The Looks + Their Reactions

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Neo-southern modern scottish re-belle. Really Emily? That title was long but it totally made us laugh. Nick was terrified that i was going to do all their furniture in plaid. He works in TV so he knows that a lot of these shows try to create conflict and do so by going really over the top for the audience (If you missed it, you can watch or rewatch the full episode of Southern Roman Scottish Charm: Secrets From a Stylist). I totally messed with him about it off camera, with little ‘hope you like neon plaid’ comments here and there.

Secrets From a Stylist Episode Five

And Clark liked her title but i think she was thinking it would be super traditional matchy-matchy, where the drapery matches the sofa which matches the pillows kinda thing. So she was a little scared, too.
See Their Inspiration Rooms

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Designing for a designer is like massaging a masseuse. You know they are here because you can do something for them that they can’t, but at the same time you are acutely aware that they can and will have strong opinions about how you do them. Or maybe it’s all in your head. Joy is a graphic designer and blogger and she’s kinda big time. But she was intensely sweet and incredibly grateful, making the whole process so much easier. So while i thought that i would be more self-conscious, i actually wasn’t. It’s probably because i LOVED that final room and both their styles, so it made me feel confident. (You’ll see later in the season how when i don’t love a particular style, it’s harder but in some ways more interesting. But to start, if you missed this show, you can still watch the whole episode of Single Malt Nouveau: Secrets From a Stylist).

Secrets of a Stylist Episode FourThe before: Cute, but not quite there.

I thought i had Joy pegged. She’s a graphic designer, super feminine, playful and on trend. She likes things that make her happy and, well yes, joyful. Bob is harder (the men are either super hard (picky because they know what they don’t like but can’t put a finger on what they do) or easy (as long as it’s comfy and looks put together, they’re happy). Bob wanted masculine, sleek, large scale and modern. He showed me the chrome and wood chair that he loves, and i took a lot of input from that. OK, so he loves chrome…i can too when it’s right. He loves modern shapes, i can too when it’s right. But besides that, it is so hard to find furniture and accessories that get men really excited.

See My 2 Cheery Afters

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Picture this: You’re sitting at home drinking your morning coffee just like always when something happens that completely alters your reality. Your heart starts racing. Your jaw’s hanging open in an unflattering manner. And your coffee is now splattered across the floor. I imagine that’s what it feels like to find out you’re the grand prize winner of the HGTV Dream Home 2011, a 2011 GMC Acadia Denali and 500,000 smackeroos. (And if it were me, there would be a lot of high-pitched screaming involved when host Monica Pedersen walked in, surrounded by television cameras.)

HGTV Dream Home 2011 Giveaway 2011 GMC Acadia Denali

If you’re like me, you’re dying to watch the drama unfold when this year’s winner gets handed the keys…to the mountain lodge and car! Tune in TONIGHT at 8 p.m. EST for the HGTV Dream Home 2011 Giveaway special, including a dreamy home tour by designer John Gidding. Plus, find out which Vermont-inspired housewarming gifts made it into the home, thanks to your votes. Some lucky voter is going to win a duplicate set, too. Maybe you? Find out who!

And if you’ve fallen in love with this house and its designs, then you can add furnishings from the Stowe, Vt. Dream Home to your home by touring your favorite rooms and shopping to your heart’s content. (Don’t worry, we won’t tell on you.)

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