There are a number of shows that feature home design and decorating. My favorite of these are on House and Garden Television – HGTV. Their website besides providing information on their programming, has tips on decorating, home improvement, landscaping, crafts, organizing, among other related subjects. Register online for a number of newsletters that are available by email: ideas, decorating, gardening, kitchen design, bath design, shopping, and green living. Scripps Network Interactive is the manager and general partner of HGTV (as well as the Food and DYI Networks.) Check your local television listing for times; repeats are usually shown daily during the weekdays, My favorite HGTV show is “Divine Design”, with Candice Olson. This Canadian interior designer’s show is aptly named. Her designs are elegant, stylish, sophisticated, and very creative, yet at the same time, warm and comfortable. Although I sometimes think her choices of materials are questionable, her finished designs are awe-inspiring and often surprise me that they work out so very well. If I had a choice of a designer who would work on my home, she would be at the top of the list!
Another show I enjoy watching is “Deserving Design” with Vern Yip. Each episode features him visiting someone who has been nominated as being worthy of having a room in their home done. He always ends up doing two rooms – one where he has talked with the selectee(s) about their needs, wants, and tastes, the other a complete surprise. The people featured have done something for their community or for a group that exemplifies generosity and compassion for others. This show can be quite touching, and Mr. Yip is a very empathetic and kind man, as well as a worthy designer. I find this show very heart-warming and inspiring.
“Dear Genevieve” features the interior designs of Minneapolis native Genevieve Gorder, who selects people from a gallery where they have communicated their design issues. She chooses one each episode and addresses them personally. Additionally she answers quick questions from the gallery during her show. Her ideas are creative, and it is especially interesting to me to watch her work on people to open their minds, expand their horizons, and address their decorating fears.
David Bromstad began his HGTV career by winning the “Design Star” competition show. Now the host of “Color Splash”, he has become famous for the custom art pieces he creates for each assignment. Known for using vibrant color, his ideas are often out-of-the-box, and include building furniture and using unusual accessories in unusual ways.
Carter Oosterhouse of “Carter Can” is as pleasant to look at as his home improvements. He solves challenging projects with his skills and abilities, which are quite extensive. He focuses on green solutions and educates homeowners and viewers alike on these issues by demonstrating the use of materials and projects that are environmentally friendly and energy-efficient. A very capable carpenter who is also a very knowledgeable and thoughtful problem-solver, there is always something to learn watching this show.
There are many other shows to learn from. I find “Design on a Dime” interesting at times, but depending on who the designer is, it can be pretty amateur. Some finished rooms are pretty tacky-looking, and I figure if I can see the staples, nails, and shoddy craftsmanship from my couch, it has to be worse in person. “Design Star” is interesting as it reveals the challenges in a design job, and gives wanna-be designers a chance to really learn what it really takes. Whether you are thinking of remodeling, already in a project, or finished with one and reflecting on other ways you could have gone, HGTV give you plenty of fodder.