Liz Gray

Contributor to HGTVersus

May 23

Meet HGTV Star Bloggers Kayla + Liz

You’ve met the contestants and our new online host, Dan Collopy — now it’s time to meet this season’s HGTV Star bloggers Kayla and (me!) Liz. Think of us as your online guides to all things HGTV Star. Every week, we’ll share behind-the-scenes photos, from-the-set interviews with David and the judges, fun moments from the set and episode recaps.

HGTV Star Bloggers Kayla Kitts and Liz Gray

HGTV Star Bloggers Kayla Kitts and Liz Gray

When we’re not watching design shows or writing about HGTV Star, we’re both DIY project enthusiasts, bargain furniture addicts, design bloggers and editors for To help you get to know us better, Kayla and I answered a few questions about our best and worst design moments and our favorite (and least favorite) trends and colors.

Think about your first huge design mistake. How did you fix it?

Kayla: My first post-college apartment was an all-around design disaster. It was compiled of entirely hand-me-downs and absolutely nothing coordinated. I had a modern, black entertainment center, a shabby chic coffee table, rustic Pottery Barn side tables, a white laminate bookshelf, an antique desk in the corner and a retro, chrome-trimmed dining room table with yellow and black chairs. When I moved into my second apartment, which was double the size, I was able to buy newer pieces and sell the things that just really didn’t fit.

Liz: I didn’t wait until post-college for my most horrific design effort. Two words: sponge paint. I took a perfectly nice hand-me-down corner desk and transformed it from basic white to a swampy, textured mess covered in blobs of mint and forest green. The finished result was a horrible mix between amateur camouflage and early ’90s wall decor. Never again! Luckily I was just a can of paint away from a table that wasn’t an eyesore.

Now, what’s your current home like: What is the style? What’s your favorite area?

Liz: I recently bought a midcentury tri-level in need of some major updating. I love the view from my third-floor sitting room and my newly-updated bedroom. I love the faded orange carpeting and particle board kitchen cabinets a bit less.

What’s your favorite and least favorite) piece of furniture?

Kayla: My favorite piece of furniture is a new purchase that I found just last month at a local antique store on a whim. It’s a classic bentwood cane rocker in beautiful shape that I got for $29. My least favorite piece of furniture is my bed frame. It’s the same frame I’ve had for more than 10 years. It came with a bedroom set and doesn’t appeal to my design style at all. That’s next on my list!

Liz: The most beloved piece of furniture in my home is a handmade wooden chair with a leather back and seat that I purchased via my best friend, Craigslist. It was $50, and I learned that it traveled all the way from Texas before settling into my cozy mudroom.   My least favorite would have to be my brown leather sofa. It has an Art Deco feel that looked fine in my previous apartment but just doesn’t work in the paneled living room of my modern, 1950s house. There’s just too much brown! It may stay around as an office lounger, but its days in the living room are numbered.

What color do you hate?

Kayla: I’m actually pretty comfortable with most colors, except I can’t deal with yellow walls. I love yellow furniture and accents, but there’s something about yellow walls that rubs me the wrong way.

Now for a lighting round: We dish on whether we’re for or against these divisive design and decorating topics.

Pets on the bed:
: Absolutely. The more the merrier.
L: My dog would be crushed I wasn’t a “Yes” on this one.

K: In small doses.
L: Not for my home, but it looks good other places.

All-white interiors:
K: Yes, but not necessarily for me.
L: Beautiful, yet entirely unrealistic.

Wall decals:
K: No.
L: Yes! As long as you stay away from the cliche “birds on a wire” or tree designs.

Chalkboard paint:
K: Yes, but again, in small doses.
L: More is more for me. I want to paint my fridge!

Birds in decor:
K: Yes.
L: No way! Count me out.

K: Pants, jackets and vests, but not in interiors.
L: Definitely not on sofas, either.

Granite countertops:
K: No.
L: Over it.

Decorative skulls:
K: Absolutely. They’re edgy.
L: Eh. Too edgy.

Chevron patterns:
K: Why not!
L: I have chevron fatigue. No.

K: Faux
taxidermy, yes.
L: Faux or real — I’ll pass.

Lucite furniture:
K: I can’t decide. Come back to me.
L: Looks great in design magazines — usually less great in person.

Fake flowers:
K: No. No. No.
L: I have some faux ranunculus on my desk, so I can’t legitimately say an all-out no. But, generally, no.

Ceiling fans:
K: They’re not stylish, but they’re practical.
L: Still on the hunt for a stylish one — but I’m definitely in!

Karate chopped pillows:
K: In photo shoots, sure, but I’m not going to chop mine.
L: It’s one of those things I just can’t get behind.

Faux finishes:
K: NO!
L: Clearly I’ve learned my lesson on this one…no way!

Open shelving or glass-door cabinets:
K: Either are lovely if you can keep your stuff organized and clutter-free.
L: I’m not organized enough, but I like them in design magazines.

Mid-century modern furniture:
K: Oh my. Music to my ears.
L: I loved it before it was trendy…and I always will. <3



Now tell us about your design triumphs and pet peeves – we want to get to know you! What’s your most-hated hue? Your most embarrassing design mistake? The most amazing and messiest room of your house? Shout it out in the comments below.

Posted at 5:21 pm

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One Comment

  1. I have a question. What is the proper way to put your dishes and glasses in the cabinets .Glasses on right of stove and then the dishes on left. Please help me resolve this with my husband.
    Thank you

    sher_cas on March 29, 2014 at 11:21 am

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