ALL POSTS IN HGTV On-Air

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We absolutely relished the opportunity to bring great design to a deserving high school’s gym in this episode of Home by Novogratz! We traveled to sunny California to tackle a locker room design makeover for the boys’ basketball team at Inglewood High School — alma mater of nine-time NBA All Star Paul Pierce!

Paul Pierce

Basketball is THE sport in the Novogratz family, so we were super excited to work with Paul Pierce to give some deserving kids a great space to relax, study and work out. Our family loves the New York Knicks and Paul plays for the Boston Celtics, but we put our rivalry aside for a great cause and an all-around great guy (and player!).

Home by Novogratz

Because it’s a school (and schools have rules!), we were somewhat limited in our use of furniture and paint. So, we chose to make a statement with the lighting. We went wild and bought over a dozen huge Suspension Lamps. We essentially created our own massive chandelier by hanging them all in a group at staggered heights. Aside from the room’s massive size, the hideous metal bars on the walls provided our biggest design challenge. Those bars made it feel like a prison! We overcame this obstacle by covering them with giant murals we had printed that feature the work of renowned photojournalist Chi Modu. The result is stunning and truly inspirational.

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The clients: Pat and Rika, newly engaged and the proud owners of a new apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. This hip, artistic couple needed help to get the industrial/cozy look they desired. Bare walls, exposed lights and zero storage were not cutting it. Not only did Pat and Rika need lighting fixtures and artwork for their walls, they also needed furniture — we had a serious shopping list to tackle! With a blank slate space and a funky, cool couple, we new we could go crazy with this makeover.

Home by Novogratz

Robert loved the idea of using chalkboard paint in an unexpected place — the ceiling! I wasn’t sold at first. (Robert’s the one with the crazy ideas. I’m more practical; he pushes me to take risks.) We asked DUMBO, Brooklyn based artist James Seward to draw an image in white chalk for the couple to look at from the bed. I love his creation… a playful deer Pegasus! And because wallpapering an entire room in designer paper can cost thousands of dollars, we chose to frame the bed with this hexagonal retro paper from SoHo’s Matter. By going with a bold pattern wallpapered on only one wall, we created a cool focal point for maximum design impact at a digestible price point!

Home by Novogratz Episode 101

If you’re working on a tight budget, here are two more design tips. We reupholstered the chaise using fabric remnants. An easy trick that can save you up to 70% on designer fabric. Robert and I also make a point to shop at local “mom and pop” stores for the bulk of our jobs. A lot of this project’s lighting came from a local NYC shop called A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and we scored some industrial furniture from Moon River Chattel. Independent stores like these are where you’re going to find something to call your own, something totally unique and not like your neighbors. They’re also more likely to work with you on the price. (I always start my offer at 20% below what it’s tagged.) While the design of Pat and Rika’s bedroom has plenty of whimsy, the dark color scheme, sophisticated wallpaper pattern and luxurious gold touches keep it mature.

Home by Novogratz

Robert and I really let loose in the main living area. It’s fun, but still hip and grown-up. We kept the brick wall as is and added a signature Novogratz look with a cluster of misfit mirrors. (Pat and Rika couldn’t believe how much bigger the mirrors made the room feel. Important in an 870 square foot apartment.) And we stenciled an inside joke the couple shared with us for an “art” wall for less than $20.

Remember, it’s important to infuse your own personality into your designs. Something that’s personable, full of character and uniquely you always feels warm, inviting and cozy. Do what makes you feel good, and you’ll never be disappointed in your home!

For a list of products we used in this episode of Home by Novogratz, like that sweet leather sectional, check out the HGTV Shop.

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For this episode of Home by Novogratz, we took the whole family and our crew down to Orlando to help out Winegard Elementary School. This deserving school won a $50K  makeover in a contest, and Robert and I were asked to give a fresh, new look to their music room. Our goal? Make the huge room colorful, comfortable and inspiring. First, we created custom stencils featuring the names of more than 150 famous musicians and arranged them in a border around the ceiling of the room. The Beatles, Beethoven, Placido Domingo, Pink Floyd, Tupac, U2… artists from a wide range of eras, backgrounds and styles to pique the students’ curiosity and creativity.

Courtney and Rob Novogratz

We also painted blue stripes (the school’s color) and piano keyboards on the room’s doors. These are both projects you can easily do at home (with the help of your local copy store) to bring in a “wow” factor to get your creative juices flowing.

Stripes and Piano Keyboard Doors

With a room this huge, we decided divide the space into activity zones working in from the corners. The art station is now filled with brain-stimulating supplies and iconic Panton chairs in orange and white.

Panton Art Center Zone

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David and Jane Cohen finally moved into their dream apartment, one with big, beautiful windows filled with stunning views of Manhattan, a terrace perfect for entertaining and other architectural details that made the it distinctive. But their temporary furnishings were too neutral and bland, really, making the penthouse a big white box. Far from the colorful home Jane and David wanted it to be.

Rob’s and my goal was to take their design sky high with a vibrant and timeless eclectic look. We mixed contemporary furnishings with vintage pieces. And to make their new home really pop, we used metallics to reflect the New York City skyline and bold blasts of color in the furniture and art to make the space really fantastic.

BEFORE ___________ AFTER
Home by Novogratz - HGTV - before and after - NYC Penthouse Apartment

Since we were working with 18 foot ceilings, hanging the six mod gold lights of varying sizes that we found at ABC Carpet and Home made for a much more dramatic statement than a single chandelier would. And by hanging them at different heights, they can be enjoyed from below, as you are walking up the stairs and from the second floor.
Home by Novogratz - HGTV - NYC Penthouse Apartment

The art, including a piece David and Jane already owned positioned next to the silver chesterfield and the “figure of speech” painting we commissioned by artist Cristina Vergano hung above the stairs, gives the apartment a quirky and smart jolt of character.
Home by Novogratz - HGTV - NYC Penthouse Apartment

We found the Philippe Starke inspired marble dining table at Modani, as well as the silver Croco Louis-style chairs. The oval shape allows for more seating, a perfect fit for the space. We scored the mint green 40s chairs, navy Deco chairs and Harry Bertoia chairs at Adelaide.

To make your own environment pop with character, invest your budget in bright throw pillows, a colorful carpet, unusual art (it doesn’t have to be expensive!) and lots of funky vintage furniture mixed with contemporary pieces. Remember, big walls need big art and cool accessories help define a space in a more exciting way.

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You know that I-apologize-if-I-fall-asleep-mid-sentence feeling you get from having pushed yourself too hard, then hit a wall? Well, how about hopping into a van with 11 other people at 4:45am in NYC to oversee four full room remodels 50 miles away in New Jersey, dealing with exhausted carpenters who are working out in the freezing rain until the sun goes down, then not stepping foot off the property until 9:15pm only to drive an hour back to Manhattan to do it all again the next day? Needless to say, episode three of HGTV Design Star was a tough one; however, since the owners of both homes loved their new spaces so much, it was totally worth it.

During the filming, my co-producer who is also one of my favorite human beings on earth, Alyssa Hastrich, and I stuck to the Callegaris house with Doug Hines, Mark Diaz, Leslie Ezelle, Kevin Grace and Kellie Clements. Between the full basement downstairs and wall cladding upstairs, it felt like a full house renovation. Luckily, we were able to stroll up the street to Christina Scano’s place to check on progress at the end of the day. With so much going on, we decided I’d take iPhone shots during the process to remember just exactly how much labor went into the enormous overhaul of all four spaces. Take a look at some of the in-process stuff you didn’t see on TV, then contemplate how small your one-wall paint project this weekend seems in comparison. Ha!

Leslie, Kevin and Kellie's Basement Before

BEFORE: Once Leslie, Kevin and Kellie got started painting the walls, all I could focus on was how much longer it would take them to do everything with the huge obstacles they’d have to work around: boxes of books and toys, the enormous treadmill, and then ripping up the 1980′s mauve carpet.

Kellie Leslie and Kevin

AFTER: If you’re planning to replace the floor in your own space and paint the walls, knocking out the paint first while the old floor is down is a wise idea. It allows you to spill and drip as needed with no worry since the floor will soon be ripped out completely. The trio got rather lucky with their lime green wall choice. Colors this saturated pretty much always require a tinted primer. Somehow, the puddy color of their walls kinda stepped it up and worked as one. Happy accident? I think so.

Mark and Doug's Living Room Before

BEFORE: Something I found super useful in episode three was the content of Doug’s camera challenge about removing wall-to-wall carpet. That was a fantastic tip. Did you know that cutting carpet into strips two-foot strips, then removing it piece-by-piece is the way to go? I sure as hell wish I would have known that four years ago when I, along with friends, carried a 12X14 roll of beige nastiness down a stairwell.

Mark and Doug

AFTER: Something not discussed on the show was how well Doug and Mark’s choice of flooring coordinated with the tones of the fireplace stone. Those same reddish-brown tones seen in the rustic masonry are picked up beautifully in the tones of the wood.

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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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