Fresh off her HGTV Star win, I chatted with our newest host about the best and worst parts of the grueling competition, what it felt like to win and what you’ll see on her new show, Most Embarrassing Rooms in America, coming to HGTV this fall.
It’s been a crazy ride for you on HGTV Star! What was the most difficult thing about the competition?
The most difficult thing about the competition was the time. The viewers — and I was one of them — think “What’s wrong with this designer? Why didn’t they do this?” Time and resources play a huge role in the show. It’s like that unseen character.
What was your favorite moment on the set that we didn’t see on TV?
After they called time in the loft challenge and we were in the vans headed home, our story producers kept calling Brooks “Boris.” Brooks just sat there with this crazy look on his face, not answering any questions. Anne and Jeribai and I just feel into this pit of laughter. It went on for at least half an hour.
How did you feel going into the finale?
At that point I was just like, I’ve made it this far. I still didn’t believe that it was possible for me to win. I was still able to dream and be responsible and not be nervous about anything. When I heard it was in Palm Springs, I was like, it’s a mini-vacation!
Did you leave your finale suite wishing you’d done something different, or were you happy with the design?
I loved it. I loved the art installation, I loved the fireplace. It was completely me.
What was your first reaction to winning HGTV Star?
I kind of froze for a minute, and then started thinking,”Oh my God, they just said Tiffany. I have to respond, I have to do something.” So it was like my brain having a conversation with my body. I could not react quick enough. I was still stunned that they said my name.
And the moment happened so quickly — Vern was staring straight at us for like 5 minutes, and then all of the sudden out of nowhere, they said “Tiffany.” We started the Champagne toast, and the other contestants came over. They were screaming, they were crying, they were emotional over the fact that I had won. It really felt like these people were in my corner, and the win started to feel a little more real.
What was first thing you did when you got home after the show?
I slept. I of course said hi to my husband and gave my son the longest hug I could give him, but then I slept.
Tell us about your new show, Most Embarassing Rooms in America.
The new show is fabulous. You’re going to see some places that were truly hideous, and homeowners that were truly embarrassed. We got to fix that for them.
What was your favorite part of filming Most Embarrassing Rooms?
The show’s carpenter Jeff Devlin and I hit it off like we have known each other for years. The relationship that you’re going to see through the TV is real.
Can you share some of your favorite makeovers from the show?
Hands-down, my two favorites are the midcentury modern living room makeover and the kitchen makeover, which is the premiere.
[For the kitchen makeover,] the “before” home was just amazing. It had roosters everywhere. I called it “Cock-a-Doodle-Don’t,” which might end up being the episode title.
And the after was such a transformation!
Here’s the breakfast nook in the open kitchen and dining space…
…and a clutter-hiding, distressed barn door camo-ing a closet.
Like what you see? Most Embarrassing Rooms in America premieres on Saturday, September 14 at 2pm/1c. See an encore of the premiere on Sunday, September 21 at 2 pm/1c.