Posts By Dale Jolley

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Guest post by Melissa AndersenCousinsTV

Wow – has it been a whole season of Cousins Undercover already? The big finale with The Ellen DeGeneres show airs this Sunday (November 17), and I can’t help but think back on all the places the Cousins have taken us. These seven weeks – and the countless hours spent planning and building each renovation – have truly been transformative for those of us involved, and we hope this season has changed you a little bit too!

As fans of HGTV, we’re all a little design-obsessed (self-proclaimed design junkie right here!). But what Anthony and John have shown us over the course of the season is that design is about so much more than just aesthetics. Good design transports you; it provides a sanctuary, a place to be inspired, a haven in which you can just be. Good design makes a house a home and for the people featured on this season of Cousins Undercover, it did all that and more.

Best behind-the-scenes moments from Cousins Undercover

The Cousins, their crew, and the unrelenting, passionate – and compassionate – teams of volunteers have transformed the lives of some of the most inspiring hometown heroes around: a school teacher and mother raising her newborn child on her own; a vice principal and wrestling coach who has mentored his town’s youth for years; an 11-year-old budding chef and cancer survivor who works tirelessly to raise funds and awareness for pediatric cancer; a teacher and computer wiz who dedicates his life to ensuring his students are armed with the latest tech and the knowledge to use it; a mother who coordinate all the town’s athletic, school-related, and social activities to build community; and a volunteer firefighter, EMT, and policeman who has followed in his family’s footsteps of generations of public service.

Now, this Sunday, the Cousins are teaming up with Ellen DeGeneres for one last, all-out, go-big-or-go-home renovation for a military veteran, his canine-rescuing wife, and their adorably nicknamed son, Cheese. This young family is the epitome of hometown heroes – from fighting for our country, to helping our four-legged friends find their forever homes, to brightening everyone’s day simply by saying ‘Cheese,’ it’s not hard to see why their tight-knit band of family and friends is over-the-moon for the Wendls and determined to turn their 70-year-old home into the cheerful, vintage-inspired abode they’ve always dreamed about.

For the ardent Cousins fans out there, you know Anthony and John love to push their designs (and themselves) to the limit, always adding new projects until moments before the reveal. But when Ellen DeGeneres is involved, you know things are going to be epic. The season finale, airing this Sunday at 8pm, is a more-than-fitting end to a series about more than just inspiring design. After seeing the examples set by the incredible people featured in this season, we’re inspired to try to live up to their example of paying it forward, and we hope you are too.

It’s been a crazy journey… thanks for taking it with us!


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If you’re like me, you’re wondering what happened to 2013.  It seems Labor Day wasn’t that long ago, yet Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas…they’re all upon us once again.

I’m not complaining…I’m just as caught up in the pre-holiday excitement as everyone else.  Most of my friends on social media are already posting and pinning their favorite recipes and decorating ideas.

And the folks here at HGTV have to be the most excited of all.  Our studio workshops are already sparkling with remnants of Christmas crafts, glitter, tinsel, and garland.   Of course that’s probably no secret if you follow us on Pinterest.

To add to the excitement, we’re celebrating the launch of HGTV’s second annual Holiday House, our own home that we’ve staged to the tee with our favorite traditional décor and brand new holiday designs.

And that leads me to the really fun part of this year’s holiday activities.  You’re invited to join us for a virtual Pin Party on Pinterest with special guest designer, Casey Noble.

This Monday starting 8pmEST, we’ll be pinning our favorite holiday trends of the year, decorating how-to’s you’ll want to try, and simple handmade gift ideas…everything you need to make the season bright.  Plus, Casey will be sharing her special designs exclusive to this year’s HGTV Holiday House.

Joining the party is easy.  Just follow these four easy steps:

1.  Log on to Pinterest this Monday starting 8pmEST

2.  Join the party board

3.  Follow hashtag #HolidayHouse

4.  Pour your favorite holiday beverage and help us spread some holiday cheer

(P.S.  Remember to refresh your browser often during the party to see the latest pins).

See you there!

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Guest post by Melissa AndersenCousinsTV

John and Anthony of HGTV’s Cousins Undercover know how lucky they are to get to do what they love every day and help incredible people in the process. And they also know none of that would be possible without the support of their loyal fans. It is the ongoing engagement they have with each of you and your constant feedback that keeps them striving to be better and do better, always.  They can’t always give back, but they can get back in touch with the people who got them where they are today.

Because of your devotion, it has always been important to Anthony and John to make sure that their connection with you is a two-way street and with the rise of social media, these Cousins are always on call.

Want to talk with Anthony and John? Here’s how:

Facebook: This is where the majority of our fan interaction happens. Though we can’t always respond to every comment or post, we read and take each one to heart.

Why We Love It: Facebook is the single best way to get honest feedback in a snap. Your feedback about the show, the designs, content we share, and the things Anthony and John have going on in their lives keeps us on our toes and lets us instantly know how we’re doing.

What’s Next: We’re constantly posting new content on Facebook, whether it’s design inspiration, polls, or show goodies. We also have our LAST live Facebook Q&A this Sunday after the East Coast showing of the newest episode of Cousins Undercover (show airs 8pm ET, Q&A goes live immediately after at 9pm).

Twitter: What’s more instant than a tweet? Quick, concise, and real, those 140 characters push us to get to the heart of the matter.

Why We Love It: Twitter is the best place to ask us questions and get a direct response. Ask about the show, what’s going on in the Cousins’ day-to-day, and especially your design questions (use #DesignQ).

What’s Next: What we enjoy most on Twitter are the real-time conversations with our fans… especially during our live-tweet parties during the show. Join us for the next one this Sunday from 8-9pm ET @CousinsTV, @ColaneriJohn, and @CarrinoAnthony (don’t forget to use #CousinsUndercover).

Pinterest: Design people are visual people, so Pinterest really speaks our language. Follow us for design photos (and even some tips!) from all of our shows.

Why We Love It: Pinterest is the best gauge for which of the Cousins’ designs you love most. See something on one of our boards that you find inspiring, inventive, or just plain beautiful? Show us by repining it!

What’s Next: Check back every Thursday for new boards of photos from that week’s episode… and keep an eye out for fun surprises in the coming months.

Now that you know where to find them, go online and get social with the Cousins.  John and Anthony are always on call and waiting to hear from you!


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Guest post by Melissa AndersenCousinsTV

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade… or in the case of Johnny Volpe, chicken cordon bleu. The now 11-year-old did not let his cancer diagnosis define him. Rather, Johnny redefined what it means to be a cancer survivor by turning his misfortune into something truly spectacular, as you’ll see on this Sunday’s new episode of Cousins Undercover.

“Johnny is the perfect example of how positivity helps you overcome some of the hardest challenges in life…and now that he has overcome his cancer, at just 11 years old, he shares his positivity with others in the same situation he was in to try and help them through. He is a pretty remarkable kid.” – Anthony Carrino

Since his diagnosis, Johnny and his family have worked tirelessly to raise awareness and funds for pediatric cancer charities and cancer research, and have participated in over 20 fundraising events this year alone. But as a budding young chef, Johnny’s favorite way to raise awareness for his cause is through his love of cooking for others, and his dishes serve up much more than just inspired cuisine.

Volpe Family Portrait

During Johnny’s two-year battle with cancer, all of the Volpe family’s time, energy, and money were spent helping him beat his cancer into remission – the battle of a lifetime won by a fighter barely out of his first decade. In the process, their house was neglected and no longer reflected physically the love and warmth that defines the Volpe family. This chef-in-training, with an appetite for giving back, needed a place to hone his skills and perfect his specialty – chicken cordon bleu. After years of giving, it’s finally his time to receive.

Vinnie Volpe, and his son John Volpe who is a cancer survivor, are surprised and emotional as they see their home for the first time.

“Even though Johnny Volpe is only 11 years old, he inspires children and adults of all ages by showing them that a disease like cancer can be overcome with the support of family and the faith in yourself to succeed.” – John Colaneri

This Sunday on an all-new episode of Cousins Undercover, Anthony and John – with the help of over 70 volunteers, all of whom have been touched in some way by the Volpes – give Johnny and his family the home of their dreams (including a true chef’s kitchen for Johnny and a dedicated workspace where his mom can organize their fundraising efforts)… all in just three days. A renovation of this magnitude on that kind of deadline is a massive undertaking, but as you’ll hear the volunteers on Sunday’s episode tell you, this is but a small dent in repaying a young man and his family who have already done more for their community than could ever possibly be repaid.

Anthony and John with the many volunteers who have come to help the Volpe family.

Want to chat with John and Anthony about the show and hear their thoughts on Johnny and the Volpe family? Join our live Twitter chat during the episode @CousinsTV, @CarrinoAnthony, and @ColaneriJohn with the #CousinsUndercover hashtag. New episodes of Cousins Undercover air Sunday nights at 8/7c on HGTV.


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Guest post by Melissa AndersenCousinsTV

For those of us who played sports growing up, we know how important those days on the field were in forming the people we are today. How many of our most cherished memories begin and end with locker room mishaps, hometown rivalries, and teammates that would end up becoming lifelong friends?  Every scar has a story and every story has its exaggerated victories and defeats, and it’s these moments that come to mind first when we think back on the good old days.

But any childhood athlete knows that the most important factor on any team is the coach. The coach makes all the difference and the truly good ones – their impact lasts well beyond the scoreboard.  They’re the ones who not only teach the physical skills to play the game, but the mental and emotional skills to succeed in life.

The homeowner in this Sunday’s episode of Cousins Undercover, Coach Bob Keenan, is one of those coaches. In fact, calling him a coach hardly does justice to the role he plays in his community. Vice principal, neighbor, husband, mentor, volunteer, and father (even father figure)… he’s all those things and more to the lucky kids who can count themselves part of his ever-growing roster of second family. Bob is a true giver – of his time, his love, and of himself.

John, Anthony, and Keenan family reveal finished space to Coach Bob Keenan.

“Bob Keenan is the coach that pushes you in life to exceed beyond what you think is possible. He is a motivator and mentor that shows you through his own actions that the only to way to succeed in life is through hard work… and that family always comes first. If there was ever a person that you should emulate, it’s Bob Keenan.” – John Colaneri

Though this project was completed months ago, it’s one that Anthony and John still talk about with overwhelming emotion. The reverence they have for Coach Keenan and what he does for his community is evident in the incredible transformation his home undergoes at the hands of the Cousins. A true wrestling gym, a massive deck, and a new living room (in just THREE DAYS) are just the physical manifestations of the changes that this home makeover has brought to the Keenan family and their entire community.

Have the tissues ready, folks. It’s about to get teary-eyed up in here.  Cousins Undercover airs Sunday 8/7c on HGTV.

P.S.-Don’t forget to chat LIVE with John and Anthony during the episode on Twitter (Follow @ColaneriJohn and @CarrinoAnthony).  Then again on their Facebook page right after the show!


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If you’re one of millions of people that start their day off with NBC’s The Today Show then you’ve probably noticed the show’s brand new look.  The set of the popular news and lifestyle program recently received a complete makeover.

The re-design was so well-received that The Today Show ran a viewer contest for a free room makeover, inspired by the set and designed with help from HGTV HOME™.

This morning our very own Property Brothers, Jonathan and Drew Scott, paid a visit to hosts Kathie Lee and Hoda to reveal the winning family’s new living room (and bonus dining room).

HGTV’s Drew and Jonathan Scott reveal Today Show viewer makeover.

Check out more from the finished makeover (and get HGTV HOME™ product info) on Pinterest.

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Guest post by Melissa Andersen, CousinsTV

As Web Content & Social Media Manager for HGTV’s Cousins, Anthony and John, I’m in the unique position to see firsthand the blood, sweat, and passion that go into each and every home renovation they tackle – whether on air or off.  When I tell people that I work with the Cousins, the first question is, nearly without fail, ‘Are they the same in real life as they are on TV?’ – and the answer is, unflinchingly, YES!

On the set of “Cousins Undercover”

 Anthony and John are the real deal – what you see is what you get. When they’re getting emotional with the people they’re helping – it’s real. When they’re stressing about a deadline or construction setback – it’s real. And when they’re laughing and joking with each other, giving us a teeny glimpse into what a meal at the Carrino/Colaneri family dinner table is like – it’s real. They’re not actors, they’re not acting, and being genuine is at the very core of who they are and what they do.

When I joined the team to help manage their social presence, it was clear from the start that a connection with their fans – a real one – was their top priority. They didn’t simply hand me the reins and walk away from their most direct touch point to the people who got them where they are today… their social media was, and still is, a joint collaboration between all three of us. They bring the love, energy, and inspiration, and I tidy it up into a neat little package that makes sense for whatever platform we’re working on, whether it be Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.  Our working relationship is easy because they trust my instincts and because I trust their authenticity.

The hour-long episodes of Cousins Undercover (which premieres this Sunday at 8/7c) follow Anthony and John as they navigate the unpredictable waters of surprise home makeovers in a matter of days. But the show is also about family and community – two things the Cousins know all about – and coming together to pay it forward to local heroes who have given so much of themselves, often at the price of their own needs.

More from the set of “Cousins Undercover”

We want the fans to feel like they’re part of the show. The stories of the people featured in each episode don’t stop at the end of the hour, but keep unfolding – and we want them to continue for you, too.

That’s why we’re getting super social with all you loyal Cousins fans! Not only will Anthony and John be live-tweeting every episode, but they also will be hosting LIVE Q&A sessions on Facebook (starting 10/13 and continuing for alternating episodes for the rest of the season). In the 30 minutes following the show, Anthony and John will answer your questions about that night’s episode (and even some design and renovation questions!) so you can get the inside scoop on what goes into super-sized, super-secret home renovations like you’ll see on Cousins Undercover. As usual, they’re keeping it real.

 We hope to see you there.


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If you’ve been watching HGTV lately or keeping up with us on social media, then you know we’re all “a-buzz” over the exciting new series, Cousins Undercover.

Real-life cousins and HGTV experts, Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri.

Real-life cousins and renovation experts, Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri, seek out deserving neighborhood heroes then surprise them with amazing home makeovers.

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the Cousins Undercover Show Trailer.  Then make a date with the cousins, this Sunday at 8/7c on HGTV.

And make Cousins Undercover even more rewarding with the free Viggle app for your mobile device.

With Viggle you can check into your favorite shows, chat with friends, and access bonus content…all while earning real rewards just for watching.

You can even donate your rewards points to help low income homeowners in need with our partnerRebuilding Together.  Learn more about Rebuilding Together here.

Download Viggle on the App Store or Google Play.  Then check in Sunday to join the Cousins Undercover LIVE experience.  Visit for more information.

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Calling all Pinterest fans…join us for an exclusive event this weekend.

Now’s your chance to re-pin “never-before-pinned” photos from brand new episodes of Dear Genevieve,  the hit series with designer, Genevieve Gorder.

We’ll be pinning our favorite room makeovers LIVE as they air on HGTV.

Watch NEW episodes this Saturday (Sept 21) starting 3pmEST, and follow us on Pinterest  (hashtag #DearGenevieve) to join the party!

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Calling all Pinterest fans…you’re invited to an exclusive event this weekend.

Now’s your chance to re-pin “never-before-pinned” photos from brand new episodes of Candice Tells All,  the hit HGTV series featuring beloved design diva, Candice Olson.

We’ll be pinning our favorite room makeovers from tomorrow’s shows, LIVE as they air on HGTV.

Watch NEW episodes tomorrow (Saturday, Sept 14) starting 3pmEST and follow us on Pinterest  using hashtag #CandiceTellsAll to join the party!

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