I have an addiction to home-related TV shows that is flat-out unhealthy.
I can watch episodes I've seen many times over with the same zeal as if I've just won Powerball (seriously). Jon is so fed up with the amount of HGTV and Fine Living Network (FLN) that plays on our television that he refuses to be in the room when they are on. I just can't help it; I love them. (I may also tell myself that I am learning facts and helpful tools of the trade and therefore it's kind of like interior design home-schooling . . . as opposed to when I watch Gossip Girl and my brain has a mini stroke. Though both are equally enjoyable.)
Here are the very best of the best:
HGTV/FLN: Sarah's House and Sarah's Cottage (not yet aired)
Designer Sarah Richardson purchases, remodels and fully designs the interior of each new home. She may overdo it on occasion, but she has great ideas, and fun fabrics are always the start to every room. There are a million things to learn from her - nothing is ever done halfway. The series follows from purchase to the final, remodeled house price assessment by her realtor. She is the real deal Holyfield.
FLN: Design, Inc.
Sarah Richardson's interior design business with the fabulous Tommy (who says words like "ho-rrendous" and feigns gagging at unsightly spaces - we really need to be friends) and her design employees. Each episode follows the design process for one room in a new client's space. You'll get a behind-the-scenes look at how they choose furniture, fabric, finishes and see custom pieces from start to end. Sarah often buys from auctions and flea markets, turning diamonds in the rough into shiny, modern jewels. I wish I could work for her, however, she's based in Toronto. CANADA. Rude.
HGTV: Divine Design with Candice Olsen
If the show takes a little longer to get to the reveal, it's still worth it because she designs each room from studs to ceiling. Plus, she's 6 feet tall, has like 12 children, and is funny. These three shows are hosted by true interior designers, not stagers/builders/remodelers with a talent for crafts and decorating.
HGTV: For Rent
Okay, fine. Not officially about designing, but at the end of each episode Jodi Gilmour decorates the rented apartment for around $1000 or the cost of one month's rent. And they look fabulous. Really great ideas for people on a budget. I wish I'd seen this when I moved into my first apartment.
HGTV: House Hunters International
This show is the main culprit of my repeat viewings. I will watch it over and over and over ad Jon's nauseum. Villa in France? Apartment in Italy? Home in Panama? Sign me up for all of them. They may not be my style, but nonetheless I will imagine myself in their old-people shoes, shopping for a home in a beautiful, foreign country. They also show the homeowners fully moved in at the end of the episode, so you can see how they've decorated (though 99% of the time it looks hideous). Keep an eye out for the marathons on beach vacation homes. Though that sometimes inspires the rage, especially when I gaze over our frozen backyard.
I could really keep going (Income Property, Get It Sold, Dear Genevieve), but these are the best and absolutely worth searching out. I am willing to admit it may a problem (but not one worth fixing!). Check them out and let me know what you think.
P.S. If you visit Sarah Richardson's site, don't hold the ugly design and font against her. Once you see her portfolio you'll see how talented she is.