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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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Episode three was a total blast (watch it here). Excitement just oozed out of Micah and Evelyn. I promise never to say ‘oozed out of them’ again. Gross. But it did. They were desperate for help and all they wanted was fun, color and some function. They already had a TV room (that you didn’t see.) They also wanted a place to play with their friends—they love themselves some board games. They also needed a dining room. The loft was pretty daunting actually; it was massive and dark and totally vacuous. Frankly, it was very cold, and these people are not.

Secrets From a Stylist: Episode 3 Loft, BeforeI know. Empty. Dead. Boring.

But It Gets Better

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I just love surprises, don’t you? That’s why I’ll be watching the HGTV Dream Home 2011 Giveaway special tomorrow, March 19, at 8 p.m. EST. Designer Monica Pedersen and the HGTV team will ambush the very lucky winner of this year’s giveaway with not only the keys to the HGTV Dream Home 2011, but also with $500,000 and a 2011 GMC Acadia Denali. You won’t want to miss designer John Gidding’s drool-worthy tour of the entire home, inside and out. Plus the Vermont-inspired housewarming gifts you all voted for will also be revealed. If you voted, you could win them, too! (I love them all, but I have to say, this leather wine carrier would be perfect for summer picnics.)

HGTV Dream Home 2011 Mount Mansfield Stowe Vermont

I know I’m not alone when I say this: I’m completely lusting over Dream Home’s decor, from the outdoor lounge chairs to the master bedroom linens. Even if you didn’t win, you can own a piece of the home and all the stellar furnishings that come with it. Tour your favorite Dream Home 2011 rooms to uncover the featured products you can drop in your electronic shopping cart. I have officially added these three beauties:

HGTV Dream Home Giveaway House Products Shopping

Left to right: Tabletop Candelabra, Parker Chair, Glass Cloche Chandelier, all Ethan Allen

What Dream Home items are you bringing home? Let us know! And tune in tomorrow for the big reveal!

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Am i alone on this or was that the cutest family that you’ve ever met on a design show ever, or in person? (If you missed it, don’t worry. You aren’t too late. You can still watch the full episode of Mad Men Bohemian: Secrets From a Stylist). I got super close to these guys, and they kinda made me want to have kids right now. They were just so fun and funny and stylish and cool, yet super good parents, i was totally enamored. And i love both of their styles, which makes it easier in a lot of ways. I love how opinionated Manesh is, some guys know they don’t have style and some guys know they do and love to talk about it, and Manesh is the latter which is actually so much fun and easier than the former. He’s a music editor (picks music for movies – big-old comedies that we all know) and she is an art teacher and an artist that makes these really amazing paper art pieces that i’m obsessed with.

For these guys there really wasn’t too much ‘behind the scenes you’ll freak out when you hear this’ stories, it was actually super pleasant. The second week already felt much better than the first week. I started understanding the production schedule and everyone on the crew started really getting to know each other.

Heres is my main inspiration pic for them – they both loved how eclectic it is, how casual it is, grown up, yet not too fussy for kids.

  How Did I Make It Work?

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To celebrate tonight’s premiere of the show 15 Fresh Handmade Gift Ideas, we’re giving away a little piece of HGTV. Watch the special this evening at 7/6 for a look at hundreds of our favorite Etsy gifts, as well as excellent how-tos for 15 fabulous crafts you can make and give as presents.

I snagged this on-trend and utterly cute birdhouse terrarium by Etsy seller No Place Like Gnome while visiting the set of the 15 Fresh Handmade Gift Ideas shoot.

Take a few seconds to answer this week’s question before 12/11c Monday, Nov. 29 for your chance to win the kit to recreate this whimsical terrarium.

This week’s question: What is the most cherished handmade gift you’ve given or received?

And don’t forget to watch the show!

Click for official rules.

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In early October, I visited the set of HGTV’s new craft special, 15 Fresh Handmade Gift Ideas. I don’t believe I’m going overboard or being utterly biased when I say that this first-ever HGTV/Etsy/Michele Beschen/Taniya Nayak collaboration is the best handmade TV show of the year. And if you think I’m reaching, tune in and judge for yourself this Friday at 7/6.

Hosts Taniya Nayak and Michele Beschen share more than 100 handmade creative gift ideas in 15 of the most-popular gift categories. We’re talking one-of-a-kind presents by Etsy crafters perfect for men, women, kids, pets, trendsetters, techies and everyone else on your holiday gift list. Plus, there’s easy-to-follow instructions for 15 fresh handmade gifts you can create that are demonstrated in the show and outlined on

Michele Beschen explains the project.


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We’re down to the final four — Courtland, Emily, Casey and Michael — and Vern invites the contestants to brunch at Aarón Sanchez’s Centrico. He wants them to take the morning and relax. Everyone is exhausted and so happy to indulge after all the pressure leading up to this point. I mean, I’d need some rest after being subjected to all those wall murals, am I right?

First course is a tropical fruit salad, second is huevos rancheros, third is an elegant corn tamale and fourth is rice pudding empanadas with a mango chutney. They gulp it all down while patting each other on the back. Suddenly Vern walks in with the chef. Like I’ve said before, you never want to see Vern walk in. It’s almost always bad news.

Turns out chef Aarón Sanchez has one of the biggest hits on the Food Network, Chefs vs. City. The contestants are to choose one of the dishes they’ve just devoured as inspiration for this week’s challenge: to create a dining room space. Casey chooses the tamale, Courtland goes with the empanadas, Emily chooses huevos rancheros, which means Michael is left with the fruit salad. The twist is that they have to start with a very lived-in space and must repurpose furniture and materials to create their designs. As if deriving design inspiration from the taste of a meal isn’t hard enough.

Read the rest over at the Design Star Blog

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We begin with the men returning to the apartment without Trent, and there seems to be a sigh of relief from everyone. Alex admits he’s disappointed with his performance so far, and he plans to step it up this week. I think that’s one refrain you always hear in these kinds of competitions: “This week I’ll show them!” Along with, “I’m not here to make friends.” I’m just waiting for that one.


This week’s challenge starts outside a flower shop when Candice announces each designer gets to choose the flower that inspires them the most. None of the contestants know which flower any of the others are choosing, and finally Vern walks out with a bouquet made up of each team’s combined choices. They must design a studio apartment based on the overall team bouquet and also incorporate their own individual floral inspiration.


The men’s bouquet is, as Courtland describes, “easy on the eye.” Clean, minimal, soft and fresh, made up of ranunculus, tulip, calla lily and snapdragon. Whereas the women’s bouquet is much more overtly romantic and whimsical: orchid, daffodil, carnation, hyacinth and wax flower. Immediately Dan starts to try to fight for himself and warns the women that in the last challenge they tackled too many construction-heavy projects, meaning ALL HIM. Can they please shop a bit more this time? Does he really have to say that to a car full of women? IN NEW YORK CITY?!

Read the rest of Dooce’s review»

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Is it episode three already? It is, and as Nina points out very wisely as the men celebrate their win, “The fall from the top is a long way down.” She was on top the first week, in the bottom two last week. Already Design Star is saying to the contestants, WE EAT EGOS LIKE YOURS FOR BREAKFAST.

Immediately the contestants walk out onto the rooftop of Trump International Hotel and Tower where a jazz band is getting down. Oh, jazz. You cute little acquired musical taste. Like hot, diluted beer on an uncovered patio in the desert. My husband loves you. I love him despite this.

Vern tells the ladies to choose one guy to join their team since the numbers are lopsided four to six (women being the first two eliminated). After a tiny bit of whispering they choose Dan, they say because of his skills and his nice energy, an infusion the women could really use. Really, it’s not because he’s so cute and has that adorable Southern accent? Those things come in handy when you’re sewing curtains.

This week’s challenge is to design a 200-square-foot outdoor terrace inspired by music, what Vern describes as one of the most difficult Design Star challenges ever…

Click over to HGTV Design Star blog for the rest

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Welcome to the new season of HGTV Design Star where the competition has moved back to New York City, what Vern Yip refers to as the “epicenter of design.” I don’t know what he’s talking about, because last I checked Jasper, Alabama was on the tip of everyone’s tongues. But I guess New York will do.

HGTV Design Star judges Candice Olson, Genevieve Gorder and Vern Yip

HGTV Design Star judges Candice Olson, Genevieve Gorder and Vern Yip

Twelve new designers, all with varied backgrounds, some formally schooled, others who found inspiration building pig troughs (those things are darling), under pressure to impress the judges — Vern Yip, Genevieve Gorder, and Candice Olson — to become host of their own TV show. And already I get the sense that Vern means business. Like, yes, the two women beside him are taller by three feet, but who’s doing the voice-over?! THAT’S WHAT I THOUGHT.

HGTV Design Star contestant, Nina Ferrer

HGTV Design Star contestant, Nina Ferrer

First competition: Each designer is paired with another designer, someone they have never met, and they have to design a white-box bedroom for that person, based on their personality. Budget: $500. The catch is that it all has to be spent at an Asian market. OH MY LOLA. Is it just me, or do I sense a glut of Kimonos, geisha umbrellas and paper lanterns? Seriously, if someone glues kimchi to a wall I may have to leave the room.

Click Over to HGTV Design Star for the rest

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The new season of HGTV Design Star premieres on Sunday, June 13 at 10/9c. Mark Burnett Productions of Survivor and The Apprentice fame is producing Design Star this  year, which can only mean the challenges will be bigger, the designers better and the judges tougher. Stop by the Design Star blog to get the scoop on the upcoming season.


Plus, we’ve been catching up with the designers from last season: Antonio, Dan, Jason, Lonni and many more. See where the designers are now »

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HGTV and Heather Armstrong (@HGTVHeather) invite you to our first “Watch with Heather” Twitter Party! We’ll be tweeting during the series premiere of Home Rules. Join us at #watchHGTV from 9-10pm EST for all the fun. You can also watch the party unfold on our Twitter widget, which will refresh with the 4 most recent tweets throughout the night:

new TWTR.Widget({
version: 2,
type: ‘profile’,
rpp: 4,
interval: 6000,
width: 250,
height: 300,
theme: {
shell: {
background: ‘#325928′,
color: ‘#ffffff’
tweets: {
background: ‘#ffffff’,
color: ‘#612a26′,
links: ‘#e3700c’
features: {
scrollbar: false,
loop: false,
live: false,
hashtags: true,
timestamp: true,
avatars: false,
behavior: ‘all’

To make comments and/or replies, please follow @HGTVHeather and include #watchHGTV in your tweet.

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Antonio Ballatore, Design Star

Antonio Ballatore, Design Star

HGTV Design Star 4 winner Antonio Ballatore has a new show — The Antonio Treatment — that you’ll be able to sneak-peek at 1/12c on New Year’s Day.

Our New York interns, Sarah Garza, Katherine Whelan and Eliza Grosovsky, got an early look at the show and got to interview Antonio. Lucky gals! Here’s the rundown:

The one-hour show is packed with the cool vibe that Antonio is known for. Now joined by his dog, Chewie, and a team of guys just as crazy as he is, Antonio is even more fun to watch and — oh yeah — his designs rock, too!

And now for the interview…. READ MORE

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Do you think you have what it takes to host your own series on HGTV?  Here’s your chance to be on Design Star!


Mark Burnett, executive producer of reality competitions such as Survivor and The Apprentice, and his production team will be producing season five of HGTV Design Star.

“The Mark Burnett team is extremely creative and talented — masters at crafting entertaining reality programming,” said Freddy James, senior vice president, programming development and production, HGTV. “We expect that they will infuse HGTV Design Star with fresh perspectives and innovative ideas that will serve as a blueprint for a successful fifth season.”

Get the official rules and application here, and be sure to send in your submission by January 19, 2010.

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Behind the Magic: Disney Holidays

Disney artwork/properties: ©Disney

After the turkey gets put away, it’s time to jump into the shopping and decorating fray. But somewhere between feeling just plain busy and over-the-top overwhelmed, imagine having to put up 8.5 million lights and 15 miles of garland. That’s what the Disney folks are doing this year. For me, watching Behind the Magic: Disney Holidays (Sunday, Nov. 29, 8/7c) will get me into the spirit & and put my Christmas to-do list into perspective.

Latest Pins on Pinterest

  • As seen on HGTV's "Property Brothers At Home"

  • As seen on HGTV's "Property Brothers At Home"

  • As seen on HGTV's "Property Brothers At Home"

  • As seen on HGTV's "Property Brothers At Home"