Hooked on HGTV...but my house is starting to look nice!

A few months ago I decided that my house was in serious need of redecorating. I bought the place in 96. It was built in 24 but it had been gutted, rewired and the inside plumbing was new. It had new fixtures, replacement windows, and new moldings (a shame because they are cheap as shit and I know the originals were beautiful). Anyway, after almost 5 years of heathen children of various ages running amouk the walls and baseboards were cruddy, the hardwood floors scratched and no matter how hard I cleaned everything looked dingy. It’s cold in that house too. A townhouse on a 125’ by 33’ lot, it faces north with no side windows. The front of the house gets very weak light. The inside was painted with the cheapest of builders grade flat paint. I had wiped the wall up the staircase until the blue on the sheet rock shown through.

So I started watching HGTV. Thought I’d get some ideas on how to fix the place up. Now I’m hooked. I usually watch on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Tuesday and Wednesday are my favorite nights. The shows on those days are about “budget decorating” or “trash to treasure”. I’ve gotten some really good ideas. My house is finally coming together.

It’s taken a couple of months over the weekends but we’ve finally painted every room except two of the bedrooms. I’m so happy with my yellow walls I can’t stand myself. (The actual color is called “golden straw hat”.) Going from that cold stark “off white” has warmed the house up considerably. The house is dark, a townhouse with no side windows. It faces north and only gets full sun at the back. The ceilings are 10 feet high. It was like living in a large snow cave. I’m not only tickled with the color but I used satin finish paint and have already had to wipe down the hall stairwell. The dirty little fingerprints come right off and the paint stays on the wall! So if you’re on a budget I can recommend Lowes brand, mid-grade satin finish paint. (About 16.00 a gallon or 14.00 if you get it in a 5 gallon bucket like I did.) Although yellow and red are supposedly the hardest colors to get good coverage with, it went on beautifully usually with only one coat.

Anyway, if you feel like sprucing up your place, even on a budget, HGTV will give you some great ideas. I know I’m hooked. Last weekend I made my own dining room curtains and covered the chair seats, and last night I made a slip cover for my little footstool out of the scraps.


I am glad to see someone else is hooked on HGTV like I am when remodeling. I would go into Home Depot and quote Bob.

Here’s an interesting tidbit that no one around here knows about-

I’ve been seen on that show. Well, my arm was anyways. Or, I think it was. I’ve never seen the actual show, or whether or not I got cut out, but a store that I worked at for a summer, that estimated silver, was featured in Collectible Treasures (episode 212. I just looked it up) a few years ago.

The quick story- A lady customer and her husband overheard me talking to one of the waitresses about computer school and all that and that I was interested in the field. She started asking me questions, and before I knew it, I was at her business the next week setting up her computer and figuring out her systems.

Anyhoo, long story short, I was there the day that Sharon Anderson and a film crew came to watch the makeover of some silver pieces. They were doing work for Karen Proft, wife of Pat Proft, of the Naked Gun films, and I think I’m seen walking from one room to the another- literally two seconds of fame, if that.

Watching them spend a day filming, while I stood around making $15.00 an hour doing nothing, ranks up there as one of the cooler things I did that summer.

Sorry, nothing to add, but I need to milk that two seconds for everything it’s worth…

Needs, can I hire you to come do something with my apartment? I hate it, but I am sooo not creative! And I really wish I was, because I love Martha Stewart’s Living, and Better Homes and Gardens, but there is no way I could do even the simplest things in those mags.

one you have been hit with the home improvement bug, you are infected for life. you can never have enough paint chips, spend hours in hardware stores. it is even worse if you work in an arch. & eng. firm. your coworkers will spend hours listening to your stories, showing you new stuff, lugging out the newest catalog, show you pictures of their own houses. then you hear yourself say: “ohhh, i love that light fixture, where did you find it?” and you know you can never go back. although… there is nothing like looking at a redone room and knowing you did it and it looks great.

your house sounds warm and welcoming now, needs2know. keep up the good work.

I watched HGTV for hours and hours when we first hooked up the satellite. Still do, on Saturday nights.

Room by Room is my favorite – have you noticed that the clothes Shari wears always coordinate with the colors in the rooms they’re working on? Looks like someone learned something from Miami Vice.

My only quibble is the conspicuous consumption – some of the houses redone in Before and After were just fine before. Some of the bathrooms on Bed and Bath Design cost more than my entire house. Minor quibble though. I might do that stuff too if I could afford it (after donating a sizable amount of the lottery winnings to charity, of course).

I don’t actually do anything with what I’m learning though. Good for you, needs2know!

I was out of town the weekend we got HGTV. When I came back Sunday night, I discovered my husband clad in his underpants (I love that word!), surrounded by empty bags of rice cakes and half-crushed Dr. Pepper cans.

He looked up at me from his stupor and said, “Oh, wow- you gotta see this new channel!”. I should have known right then to run, run fast and far.
Too late. We’ve redone our entire house (it sooo needed it) and every time we’d get one thing finished, we’d see something cooler on one of their shows. What I wouldn’t give for an Extreme Home

Needs2know, I hear ya. I painted my living room some light shade of yellow (it had been builder’s grade dull some-shade-of-beige). What a difference! (Also a north facing room, with a porch that I built attached to the window side, which really took away the light). The yellow was so much, I dunno, sunnier. (Used Lowe’s paint, too).

I also found that a contrasting color somewhere, like a stripe, or a molding - something slight - works wonders.

I love HGTV. I use their ideas all the time. I like that junk show - take an old-time faucet and make it a candle sconce, pound some old silverware flat and make wind chimes with it, etc.

My favorite is “Your New House”. It’s not just for new houses (I get it at 4PM Central time). And that goofy Paul James The Gardener Guy.
Here, help yerself to some links:



My father is a dairy farmer. There isn’t a whole heck of a lot of things to do in rural Minnesota in January, and dad’s a sports nut, so mom talked my siblings and I into buying a satellite dish for him for Christmas a couple of years ago.

Since that Christmas we have a new standard family joke:

Mom: “You know, I saw something on HGTV the other day…”

Us: “You? YOU were watching a home improvement show? Not YOU!!!..”

Dad figures that the dish has cost him approximately $6000 in the past two years - paint and moulding and an brushes and stencils and curtain material and…

I’m absolutely hooked on Tuesday nights!

Several years ago, I bought a house built in 1924 in the downtown historic district; I too painted my living room a bright golden yellow with white trim and moldings. It looked fantastic with the original hardwood floors and window trim and burgundy/blue/beige tapestry furniture. I even made blue tapestry swags for the windows myself.

Also, a great color for walls is a dark taupe. Trust me, with white crown molding it looks great.

Those shows are such an inspiration.

Unfortunately, I no longer have a house that needs “fixing up” so I’m stuck with stenciling sisal rugs and such :frowning:

We just recently bought our first home, and also discovered HGTV at the same time, and know one week In to our new home we have the obligatory “Jasmine Yellow” living room, fantastic color Behr’s Premium Plus from Home Depot. We have ordered completely knew trim for the entire house floor and ceiling and I have someone coming over this weekend to give me a bid on all new doors.

THis Channel is going to cost me $1000s of dollars but it is great, I prefer the show Before and After the best, I love watching these schmucks in Savannah getting shafted by there contractors. It just makes me cringe watching how spineless they are.

HGTV is wonderful but for me “houses” are nothing new. Ever since I was a child my mother dragged us around from one lovely old plantation house to another. (Civil war battlefields too.) Guess that’s why Greek Revival is still my favorite style of house. Of course my tastes developed over the years along more eclectic lines (Funny little “new” word isn’t it?), just means that I’ve learned to appreciate just about every design style. Mom still isn’t terribly into “modern”. But I love the clean lines too whether it’s modern, Arts and Crafts style or even Asian inspired. I just don’t care much for “Victorian clutter”.

Yes, my walls are yellow but it leans a little to the beige side. Originally I wanted to use greens and terra cotta or an antique red as accent colors, that flew out of the window pretty quick. I had this old collection of blue and white china and “junk”. My art work (mostly posters and salvaged stuff) is a conglomeration of styles and colors. Luckily many of them are framed in black. I’d been searching and searching for drapery material that I could afford. Forget it! But a couple of weeks ago my mom, the treasure hunter, found a huge bolt of this really bright red linen blend material. It had a slubby texture with tiny black threads and picks. Then there was a smaller bolt of a polished cotton with a blue, red, kelly green, navy (that looks black) and small beige stripe. She found them at the Goodwill store for get this…5.50! There must be 15 yards on the red bolt. I’ve already made drapes for the dining room, just used pinch rings and cafe rods spray painted flat black. They go to the floor and look pretty damned good if I say so myself. Now the window is flanked by blue willow plates on black wrought iron plate racks.

If you’re trying to decorate on a budget…I just can’t say enough about PAINT! My boyfriend, who has been invaluable through all of this, says his grandma used to say…“Paint makes what ain’t.” He’s got a thing for black spray paint, but that turned out fine. I’ve used black accents in all three of the downstairs rooms and it ties them all together. We even spray painted an old dresser that was in my daughter’s room black. I accented the carved areas with gold, hung an oval gold mirror over it and now it’s the buffet in my dining room. It is a huge old piece, 6’1" long. I’ve used black wrought iron plate racks and a chair that we “made” out of scraps painted black as a side chair. It’s working. We took down all the hardware in the kitchen and sprayed it flat black. Looks so much better, richer, than the chipped off brass look that was there before. We really have done a lot. I even attempted a faux tortoise effect on a huge old plastic mirror that the BF picked up. It turned out fine. Everyone comments on it. We know it’s “faux” but it’s fun, and better yet it no longer looks plastic.

It would be nice if I had the bucks to furnish my home like one of the houses in my mom’s “House Beautiful” magazine but I don’t. That doesn’t mean that I can’t find inspiration there. Furniture can be picked up anytime free or on the cheap, so can accesories, but fabric is expensive any way you cut it. Although I have used clearance sale table cloths and bedspreads to cut up and make other things. You just have to think differently. You have to look at things for their potential, even if it isn’t what they were orignally used for.

Oh yeah, and my favorite shows are “Room by Room”, “Decorating Cents” (that woman has a beautiful voice) and “Treasure Makers”. Although I do watch “Designing for the Sexes”, “Designer’s Challenge” and “Before and After” often too. My house is a work in progress. Guess in the spring I’ll start learning more about landscape design!