We couldn't have said it better

Annie DeighnaughJuly 20, 2012

Was flipping through Christopher Lowell's blog and he was talking about exploring a return to TV. Does any of this sound familiar????

Because I feel the state of how-to programming is the worst it's ever been and I know many of you agree... I'm continually eavesdropping on many of your sites and blogs.

Ironically, it comes at a time when Americans need real experts more then ever, especially with the amount of lifestyle changes, downsizing, re-prioritizing and reinvention this country is going through....

...The HGTVs of the world have shot themselves in their own proverbial feet and have turned off a lot of their core viewers who are saying enough already. It's just not working... at least for those of you who want REAL hardcore information and inspiration you can really use.

Often these "hosts" are relegated to being Emcees; traffic cops and umpires versus actually teaching. Many aren't even experts at all but spokespeople...

But you know when I first came to TV the situation was the same and the category had to be reinvented. I guess what I'm saying is that if I could do it once, perhaps, now that the category has come full circle, maybe I should try reinventing it once again.

Heck I don't even see Candice on HGTV any more. And while I watch Nate Berkus, frankly, he's weak dishwater compared to Lynette and Christopher and Candice...and I don't like his IKEA driven design aesthetic. His "teaching" segments are so short that even as prepped and laid out as his projects are, they still can't get through them in an intelligible way. And then every other thing on his show is a product placement....and a giant give away like he's buying his audiences' loyalty.

Heck I learned more from Matt and Sherry!

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I'm with you completely, Christopher taught us something step by step on every show and make it fun, the HGTV shows are stale now.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 10:39PM
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I can't even remember the last time I watched HGTV.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 10:46PM
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Heck, what is left on HGTV but all House Hunters, all the time?

Even Design Star, which was about design as well as the competition in the first two years, is all about drama and stress and the personalities, rather than about what they are trying to create, how they are thinking.

I would love to have Lynette and Christopher and Candice and yes, Matt and Shari, band together and get their own network going for those who want to learn about design, about creative ways to reimagine things, about why some things work and some don't, about the fun of creating your own style. Even the original Design on a Dime shows had something to offer.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 10:48PM
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Hear! Hear! ((clapping hands ....))

Useless TV at this time ... and count me as another one who can NOT remember the last time I watched HGTV!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 10:52PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Despite how many years ago he was on, I still owe so much of my decorating skills, however meager they are, to him and what I learned from him. I faux finished the columns in my library/DR area and learned how to do it from watching his show. I painted all my ceilings with color and the way I mixed the colors and blended them from room to room, I learned from him. How to visually separate spaces, yet keep them unified, I learned from him. Using cross-linking devices, I learned from him. Understanding the importance of lighting, I learned from him. Making entertaining easily accessible so others can enjoy your newly created spaces, I learned from him. (Certainly not from Martha Stewart who wanted you to plant grass weeks before Easter so you could cut the grass and use it when baking your easter ham!!!) But perhaps the most important lesson was his incessant "you can do it!" that gave me the insight and the courage to try stuff...that decor was accessible without a decorator or without spending $$$$$.

Thanks, Christopher...I can do it!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 11:02PM
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I would love to see a channel offer real decorating shows. HGTV has lost me as a viewer completely as I'm not interested in competition or "drama." I also don't care to see how celebrities decorate or how badly a room can be designed and cost a million dollars.

I would love to see a new version of Small Space, Big Style and Mission Organization and something similar to Decorating Cents as it was when Joan Steffend hosted. I don't really want to see a show with bad DIY like they had on Design on a Dime, though.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 11:59PM
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Oh yes to what Les said and also Kitty ---- I forgot the name, she was very creative and fun to watch. I painted my panelling in the cellar via the way she showed and it still looks good. Oh and Joan somethink, I liked her too.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 1:09AM
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Lori A. Sawaya

Many aren't even experts at all but spokespeople... It's just not working... at least for those of you who want REAL hardcore information and inspiration you can really use.

Exactly what I was talking about on a thread the other day with paint companies. No real expertise. It's just a bunch of clueless, empty, talking heads. Pretty. Nice enough. But perhaps intellectually in a lil over their said talking head. Marketing departments are all about the image, the look, the package. They are cranking out looks and images left and right but they have zero substance behind any of it. Completely backwards. Should be craft substance and then create the image to represent and go with. They assume the public is dumb enough to buy the b.s. their image factories regurgitate. It's a mistake to assume the consumer can't handle smart. Because not only can they handle it, they crave it.

Agree 100% with CL.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 1:38AM
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Another show I loved, in addition to the great ones mentioned,was with host Michael Payne....Can't remember what it was called. And does anyone remember all the great gardening shows?
I have family members in the advertising industry who say that the reason we see so many episodes of House Hunters is because it is very cheap to produce. The realtor and the couple don't get paid and the "host" is a voice-over. A film crew and a writer is all you need.
Christopher was one of the first home decorating shows I watched when I was a SAHM. My husband even loved him!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 6:02AM
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Michael Payne: Design for the Sexes?

Design on a Dime: Ideas/concepts, NOT execution.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 8:40AM
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I don't even know who these people are--- Christopher, Lynette, Shari, etc. I have seen Candice Olson and was not that impressed, as she seemed unable to design a room without a piece of mirrored furniture.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 8:54AM
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THAT is too funny!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 8:59AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Lynette....remember her doing a segment on how to make a bed and how to arrange a bookcase and she made drapery rod finials out of tennis balls. She was the one who discussed the "waterline" in rooms with extreme ceilings.... but I never was a fan of her flower arranging.

Matt and Shari always ended up with rooms I considered to be upscale pedestrian if there is such a style, but still a darn site better than the befores. And they did have a lot of good ideas.

Joan Steffend had the shows with different designers and there was one designer who frequented the show who did such fabulous things with the most incredible junk and made it look terrific...almost literally sow's ear/silk purse stuff. She made beautiful finials for a 4 poster bed out of christmas ornaments.

Design on a dime had some of the worst color selections ever. And their projects always looked like they'd fall apart in a good stiff wind.

I think the only decorating show on now is Hi/Low project with Sabrina Soto and that show is so rigged it's unbelievable. (We're going to recreate this $20,000 room for $5,000....the first thing we are going to do is replace the $15,000 hand knotted silk rug with this remnant for $150.) At least the show is not filmed in Canada so you can get some hints at stores to shop for bargains in in NYC.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 9:25AM
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I like Candace, and oh, yes, I do remember Michael Payne and Designing for the Sexes. With Designing for the Sexes, most of the time, the couple had a decent budget. It seems many of the HGTV shows now are geared toward quick, short-term, cheap room design. While it's true that most of us are economically in need of doing more with less these days, the results on these shows are typically so disappointing, uninspired, and just lacking in design.

I would LOVE to see more shows that offer real design concept instruction for those of us who need help with the fundamentals.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 9:50AM
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Now I remember, it was Kitty Bartholomew. I LOVED Christopher Lowell, he had such passion for all that he did and his "Seven Layers of Style" book was incredible.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 10:41AM
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HGTV and Food network have both gone that way. I wouldn't mind one or two shows with a little drama, but I much prefer a competition that is really about design or challenges people can relate to. Designing a high end living room with feathers and gum wrappers or other garbage in a matter of hours is not reality. It isn't helpful and it isn't entertaining --well not past one time giving novelty's sake the benefit of the doubt. I would like to see a return on both channels.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 10:58AM
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"I would LOVE to see more shows that offer real design concept instruction for those of us who need help with the fundamentals."

totally agree....

right now sarah richardson is probably my favorite with candace right behind her....i so miss designers like christopher lowell and michael payne....HGTV i hope you are listening! i guess it is just a lot cheaper to produce shows like 'house hunters' and run them incessantly....christopher if you see this do consider a webcast if possible???

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 11:33AM
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Hear, hear Annie! (and all you who mentioned missing Lynette, Matt and Sheri etc)

Christopher Lowell just started pinning. His board 'Elements & Learning' looks good. I'm going to browse through it further tonight.

Here is a link that might be useful: Christopher Lowell on Pinterest

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 11:55AM
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I got HGTV after Christopher and Lynette. Sigh.
I miss Kitty, Matt and Sherry, and Joan.

In the past few years, I've loved Sarah, both for inspiration, education, and fun. But I don't seem to be seeing her anymore either.

HGTV should be called the real estate channel now...it's all about buying, selling, and rehabbing so you can sell. I've so tired of it.

I also miss the great gardening shows they used to have. There don't seem to be any landscaping shows anymore either.

I even miss all the quilting shows they used to have...

Y'all are making me sad for all we've lost.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 1:43PM
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Nate was canceled. His show jumped the shark immediately. All the wasted time spent on actors, cooking, sob stories (I don't mean to sound cold, but I don't want to see that on a decor show) was just another "talk show." There was absolutely NO decorating.

I haven't watched HGTV in years. I guess I missed the good shows because all the shows I watched only decorated in those bright, primary colors, cookie cutter houses, and all modern in design.

Happy, does PBS still have the Saturday morning quilting show? I used to watch it all the time!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 3:03PM
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AnnieDeighnaugh, Are you referring to Barbara Sculati? She had the most amazing ideas.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 4:08PM
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Oh, how I long for Christopher, Lynette, Michael, and Cadice.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 4:25PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Yes, it was Barbara Sculati! She was terrif.

I didn't know Nate was cancelled...but I'm not surprised....I only record the show and end up fast forwarding through a lot of it.

Just before we moved, our cable co added a channel that was nothing but home crafts and arts...I used to love to watch (was it Bob?) the artist guy who spoke so softly while he created these landscape oil paintings and made it look so easy.

We'll be switching from uverse to cable soon at our new house and it looks like this cable co has a similar channel....I'll be sure to check it out. Not decor, but crafty nonetheless...

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 5:38PM
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I wonder if the OWN channel would be a great spot for them? I remember them all and did learn a lot from them.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 5:44PM
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I agree totally! I don't even watch hgtv anymore since House Hunters seems to always be on. I miss the old shows too. One of my favorites was Country Style along with Room By Room. I hope Christopher Lowell does come back along with all the others!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 8:18PM
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Matt and Sherry had a program on our local PBS station on Saturday mornings but I haven't seen it lately. The quilting program is still on our PBS station.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 8:20PM
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I came out of lurker mode and reactivated my account just to join in here... I pray HGTV sees this posting! I love all the same old shows and now never watch HGTV due to above reasons. PLEASE change back HGTV!!! Otherwise I'll stick to Pinterest! ;-P

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 9:22PM
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upa_lazy_river: What a great idea! OWN would be the perfect place for some of these past shows. It would help give a purpose to a struggling network (OWN), and make it one people would seek out, a destination station. Oprah always said "Your home should rise up and meet you" so decorating and home is a passion of hers.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 11:17PM
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It seems today, if your taste doesn't run to decorating mainstream (pottery barn, ikea, anything contemporary) there is no place to go for design inspiration. Some of my taste runs very traditional, none of the shows, hosts or now magazines stay true to that core. Even on this site if someone has jabots or swags, the emphasis is to update, modernize, and get with it. There doesn't appear to be room to embrace any other style; actually, it's scary that everyone wants their homes to look alike. In the old days, decorating incorporated all tastes, today it doesn't.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 7:50AM
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http://www.barbarasculati.com/ I think this is the same person mentioned in your post?

I worked in the design field most of my life (now retired). Most furniture stores, high end furnishings, and custom shops all feel that 'design' is FREE to the clients. The commission is made like any other salesperson, but the Designer is not paid extra. To be a Designer, college fees are as any other student who has student loans of $40,000 or more to repay. Once you get to the level beyond entry level, the competition is stiff... others who 'want to be' decorators (without education) taking your ideas and making them their own to save their skins at their jobs and the owners of the company 'owning' your designs because you work there, etc. Insurance is high, you need to be bonded, and when you hang your own shingle, people still feel you come for FREE.

Like the fairy designers who go door to door to evangelize your home and spend hours with you while you try and find the right shade of beige... for free? There is no such world. Hence that is why HGTV cannot put that programing on for long, IF they do not pay the people good enough to 'teach' then they lose them to other money-making ventures.

Two things that cost NOTHING or next to nothing on TV are cooking and real estate. Houses for sale are already staged by someone else's money and recipes (only have to change 3 ingredients of someone else's recipe to make it yours), No sets no people to maintain all the parts to create something as Martha Stewart's empire (leaked information about her as a tyrant).

Whenever you see 'anyone' add to their line up... recipes and cooking, you can bet ratings are down, the sponsors are leaving and not renewing and it is on the downward trend. The cooking is best left to the Chefs who paid for their education and KNOW what they are doing! (Chef shows are great because they ARE about food).

I loved Lynette Jennings, was sorry to hear when she quit and battled cancer, and then rearranged her life to be closer to home and settle into a less hectic life.
I loved Joe Ruggiero, he was a good host (link to his site below). Lynette's cancer site: http://eagleheartcenter.com/2ndbattle/survivors_plea.html

And another thing about the designers, ONCE you design for a high end client, they do NOT want their home publicised. After all they want visitors to find their home unique. Only those in the business of being an Industry supplier want their wares all over the net. A lot of Houzz are companies who work for the high end and do their house with what they provide such as landscaping, or the Architects who design those great homes. I have photos of client's homes and would never show them on the internet! That is why Pinterest is doing great, we get to see photos, some from company portfolios (professionally done with client signing off on showing the work). Clients feel they paid big bucks and own that design. Imagine paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to see someone plaster your home all over the internet and claim all the credit? Not a good idea! Not professional either!

Even Annie Sloan will only show so much of her techniques, the rest are done in courses (YES you PAY for more knowledge).

I think the idea of designers having their own network and you pay separately for it would be a GREAT idea! I mean you would get REAL information and actual lessons and step by step type, so as not to confuse with the mundane 'how to's' it would have to have a different type of ID than DIY.

And you can learn Interior Design, the place for it is done as Correspondence courses, and high school evening courses, and if you really love it as I did, 4 yrs of college with lots of hard work and long hours and big bucks spent on art supplies and books. So, I paid my dues to give my opinion. I think a design consultant (I used to charge $75 for one hour) and taught, answered questions and drew out what was talked about, worked out a color scheme, style type and plan. There are people out there that do that type of thing and you could learn a lot from one consultation. At least you would have your eyes open to what you like and how to get it going and set up a plan. That can teach you so much. You do not need to know how to do everyone else's house, just your own taste and define what you need. Form follows function. Meaning the house has to 'work' first, then make pretty.

I did a Color study at a client's house a long time ago, it was a special house with all wood, and every room had an outside deck, the lady could not figure out what color to put on the few plaster walls that was not 'orange'! I had to make up a contract with both our signatures that I would never divulge her address to anyone, nor the city in which she lived, because I had photographed her house (that meant her art, possessions, valuables, and layout of the home).

Christopher Lowell, I do like him, he is a set designer, so he is good at 'faux' finishes that from the audience they look real (like faux molding detail with a calking gun he did once looked like cake frosting). And his filling every sq inch of the floor of a room with the open daybeds and only needing 18" of space to scoot in was awful, how many of us are the only one in the room needing to move around? I like wide doorways and lots of room for others who live in my house to pass by me without causing injury.

Good read, thought I would add my two cents, thanks for reading.

Here is a link that might be useful: Joe Ruggiero

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 10:58AM
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I also wanted to mention that the economy is down, home building went down, so HGTV is not all to blame for sponsors now spending on advertising. Everyone spends lots of money on 'polls' and there is not much left for the one providing the space for ads. Everyone in large business is trying so hard to 'target' the client that will buy from them, they are all competing for our $1 and we don't have too many of them to go around!

Also Babyboomers are aging, and spending less... YES we wised up and live within our means, and we are mostly settled into the house we are going to stay in. So, the sponsors have less 'targets' to aim for to grab those bucks.

So, HGTV, had a great idea by putting on decorating shows, but they didn't know what WE wanted or what WE could continue to watch and so invested in the wrong 'reality' show realism that is too bizarre for the regular person to watch over and over. It became like the same script was on every show! And then repeats (that costs them next to nothing to run) over and over... they only repeat the ones that they do not have to pay royalties to. Not a people-friendly company is it? If they don't even like people, how can they know what they like to watch?

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 11:06AM
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I loved reading your post(s). I could actually hear a voice behind the words and it was as if someone were talking directly to me. Very insightful and a good read.

Also, I've never thought about the HGTV reruns being royalty free or HGTV in that perspective, but I guess with shows like House Hunters where the participants are every day normal folk that would ring true, eye opening indeed. Thanks.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 1:53PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

The thing is, with the economy down, many people are not moving into larger spaces so they are making do in the space they have, which means remodeling. You think HD or Jo-Anns would be as interested as ever in drawing customers in as they're remodeling their spaces from just a paint job to something more involved. I know when I was watching Lynette and Christopher and others, I was certainly heading to the stores more often to look for products that would help me accomplish my latest project....be it caulk or PVC pipe or curtain rods, paint or fabric.

House hunters (which I don't watch) only leads you to think that gee, if I could move, I could look for that kind of kitchen too....it certainly doesn't inspire you to get busy.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 2:56PM
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Mary_Ruth, That is indeed the lady who used to come up with incredible trash to treasure projects on Decorating Cents. Most of the guest designers on that show were interesting and quirky. You could tell that they really did work in the field of decorating in some way and were not out-of-work actors. Joan Steffend, as a host, was mature, warm and welcoming. I really appreciate hosts like Joan, Joe Ruggiero and Nancy Glass. They seem intelligent, professional and polished.

I understand that busy, successful interior designers probably wouldn't want to do a 13-episode television show. I remember one of Candice Olson's early crew members mentioning that he had to leave the show because it didn't pay a living wage. However, there must be some design professionals like yourself that no longer wish to run a design business day-to-day, but that could lend their expertise to a show. It could be a Designers Across America type of show where each episode could feature a guest designer showing the process of one project from start to finish, suitably edited. I think there are plenty of mainstream (not celebrity or extremely wealthy) people who wouldn't mind their project being featured on air, especially if they weren't shown to be pretentious twits by the producers and editors.

I'd love for it to be an hour-long show so the viewers could see a part of the initial meeting, some brainstorming, some sourcing and a tips and suggestions segment. I hate HGTV's current editing of set-up segment, preview next segment, commercial, review last segment, air next segment, preview next segment, commercial...well, you get the picture. There's only about 15 minutes of non-repetitive content.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 3:11PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I like the designers across america idea, but I want more...I want people who teach design principles and DIY projects that help improve everyone's design skills. That's what I really miss.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 4:50PM
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Lynette Jennings was a great show for that reason, but what I loved most about it was taht she illustrated the principles by showing custom homes that carried them out in fine style.

Another educational version might be the type of show that caters to cash-strapped young families by stapling fabric to pieces of Styrofoam and hanging them on the walls of standard tract homes for "art." We've had plenty of those, but I passed my spray-painted egg crate years long ago and am no longer interested.

BTW, I liked Christopher's early episodes a lot, where he also showed fine design in situ, but he lost me completely when his show was down-budgeted into a studio, and he kept talking about "merchandising" items in a display. Some people learned from this merchandising gimmick, for me a major turnoff. Crass. Yuck. Couldn't watch.

Note, HGTV, that none of this has anything to do with Christopher. Bring back the fine examples of design precepts, ones I in middle life might aspire to, and I'll be very glad to turn his show on.

Or even...how about reruns of the higher-budget old shows??? I'd love to see Lynette again.

1 Like    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 5:13PM
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Annie ..."I used to love to watch (was it Bob?) the artist guy who spoke so softly while he created these landscape oil paintings and made it look so easy."
That was Bob Ross, a very gentle spirit. He passed of cancer.
Matt and Sherry were fun, loved Kitty B., Lynette was a "real" designer and Christopher L. taught me a lot. The new shows pretty much stink.

1 Like    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 10:43PM
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I agree with most of these posts. While HGTV is great for gaining some inspiration, it often lacks sensitivity to the fact that most of us have significantly less of a budget to work with and are simply looking for great tips and ideas that won't break the bank! I believe this is why DIY blogs are so popular.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 10:49PM
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This thread is a great read! I wonder how many of you do projects really, or just like to see them done! I like to learn, and not always like to 'do' certain projects.

Did you ever notice that whatever project you want to do, it costs $100 to get the basic tools, supplies, paint or whatever?
So, if you did like 5 new projects this month, that might be $500! Been there, done that!

I can see why Blogland has turned to advertising to pay for all the supplies to be able to keep posting projects! I know I do not have that kind of budget to experiment with supplies and items to work on week after week.

I noticed on YouTube that there are some video series that teach, you can watch as many as you want for free. Perhaps a few of those would be featured. I have included one clip that I found today, and he has a whole series. I think making CD's and YouTube is the way to go, because you personally talk and make suggestions as you go, so you get the instruction and the visual.

I am now looking for Blogs that feature short videos instead of still photos. Pinterest is satisfying with all the still shots, but the short videos is the way of the near future.
Now a good collection of short videos all by different people featured on one topic would be nice for a public TV Chanel to feature wouldn't it? That means anyone could do these and end up a star! lol

Here is a link that might be useful: working with gesso on YouTube

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 12:27AM
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I too miss Candace, Christopher, and Lynette. I use to find some real inspiration in their earlier shows. Christopher once inspired me to turn my den closet into an office, and then he featured it on his website! I was sooooo proud! That was eons ago, but I'm sitting in that office/closet right now.

I use to love the show that would copy a designer on a budget - I forget what it was called ("Sensible Chic"?). Then the designer would critique the copy. I've recently seen a knockoff of that show with The High Low Project. Not quite as good but it's a start.

I also loved to watch Million Dollar Decorators on Bravo. I think there were only a couple of seasons of that, but I'm hoping it will return. I certainly can't afford a million dollar design, but I did get a kick out of some of the spaces they did, particularly watching Martyn Lawrence-Bullard pick out items to be featured on One Kings Lane for sale. If not for him, I'd never have know the "balls in a bowl" trend started with antique cricket balls.

I think I started seeing things go downhill with Design on a Dime on HGTV.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 5:00PM
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for Annie Deighnaugh:
I just found this on Tonic, it's a remix of expressions from
Bob Ross
Check it out, it's sweet.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 6:49PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Thank you for that hhireno... It was a nice tribute.

We recently switched from uverse to cable and we now get a create channel and I see they are still broadcasting his show. Watching him paint was like a meditation....

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 10:12PM
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Too bad most of our HGTV comments are about the 'past' not current!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 11:49PM
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We can only HOPE CL makes a return~I used to absolutely love his show and record it every day. As a set designer his ideas were great and doable for the average person, and not like what we see so much of today.

A friend I met on another board appeared on his show twice, one time on the glasshouse segments~I was in the audience with my son, wearing shirts I had made and was asked to open the show! CL is such a 'real person' and there is no one with such a passion for decorating.

Let's hope it's 'for real' on a return to tv! ;o)

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 1:11PM
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Too may of the shows today are geared toward instant gratification, and not doing a house/room a little at a time. David Bromstad is constantly using the words "you-want-the-room-to-look-like-it's-been-done-over-time", but IMO, never do.

CL had a knack for giving a room charm, sophistication, elegance, etc., yet still very livable and even cozy.

Cindyandmocha, me too!! I'm sitting in that 'office' right now as I write this post. He was so (((inspiring))). ;o)

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 4:31PM
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Love this thread.

I, too, am weary of the lack of good programming and do a lot of home design blog surfing. There are some good ones out there.

I do like "Love it or list it" - Hillary Farr and Desta come up with some great solutions and design. The Property Brothers is worth watching sometimes.

I can hardly watch most HGTV shows and am so tired of: OMG, WOW, awesome, holy smokes" and the must haves: granite, stainless, open concept to be able to see the kids, love to entertain, blah, blah"

Wonderful points Mary Ruth -- wish you weren't retired and lived in my area :-)

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 8:49AM
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I couldn't believe the date on this thread~July 20, 2012.

Well, since it's been 2 years, and there's been no sign of CL, I've about given up he'll ever return. With a blog, and now pinterest~ he may even have a radio show~I don't see a return happening. I also thought I heard he had left the LA area as it was getting to be too much and he needed somewhere more serene. Where, I don't know.

I feel we were lucky to have him as long as we did. ;)

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 9:23AM
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Yes, we were lucky! It would be fun to have Barbara Walters do a "Where are they now" with all of them.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 10:20AM
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Elraes Miller

Where did they go:

Matt and Sherry

Candice Olson

Kitty Bartholomew

Decorating Sense

Just a few, but easy to find with searches. All of the episodes once was are available to watch on various sites. Although I'm confused about HGTV showing a schedule for many of them.

Thanks for Christopher's pins. He does a great job in a couple of sentences about each pic.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 10:26AM
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I got an email update on this thread, WOW 2 yrs, I almost don't remember posting this! I have become a Pinterest PIN saver!

I do not watch TV at all now, spend my time playing with refinishing my furniture (bought used or redoing antiques I have) for our forever home (retirement home). I had a major fall about 5 yrs ago now and many surgeries/therapy that slowed me down, but hasn't stopped me.

I still keep up with posts online about the decorating-interested posters out there. I think You-Tube is amazing and people are starting to cash in on short videos that tell 'how to' and explain and show (show and tell). And the grass-roots movement of women becoming entrepreneurs is growing!

With the technology improved so much, especially in the way we communicate by photos and messages on our phones and reaching ever more people 'out there'! We can do short videos or get a video camera to film yourself doing something you do well. Check out How To's for jewelry making, and beading, and how to build something in furniture, upholstery, or painting. The videos for those topics are plentiful. Makes it easier to learn How To do most anything! My suggestion, do not try and learn it ALL, just learn well what YOUR project is, it won't be long before those tricks you learned become a 'skill set'! You 'think' well, everyone is learning the same thing (such as Annie Sloan painting techniques). But IF it is not a passion for someone, they cannot repeat on their own... FOLLOW YOUR PASSION!

You do not want to wait on HGTV to spoon feed us!

Good luck to all of you out there with doing your own projects and kicking up your decor up a notch or two!

GREAT to see everyone's post here and to re-read this thread!

Here is a link that might be useful: MY PINTEREST page

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 11:07AM
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Somebody, please find Lynette and let her do her shows pre-Home Depot when she had to use their products. That ruined her programs. She is a real, college-educated interior designer, and the love for her craft came at her father's side. Find P. Allen Smith and make it a real gardening and decorating network. Christopher was good. He is very theatrical, makes great settings and drama. Yes. I can tolerate Candice because I think she can decorate although she was doing what she was told to do for personality sake. Someone needs to take the lead. I have not watched HGTV in years. It is so c.2009 real estate market flop.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 8:51PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

According to ask.com,
"As of 2014, artist Lynette Jennings concentrates on painting and splitting time between her ranch in Colorado and home in Abiquiu, N.M. She retired from television in 2002 and started the "Lynette Jennings Foundation" to promote art."

She's also battled cancer.

This is one of her paintings, called "Denial"

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 9:43PM
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I AGREE, when did everyone HAVE to have the EXACT same taste to be considered current. I miss Lynette, though I loved her latest book on decorating, no compromise. EXACTLY, get stuff that is YOU, and makes YOU happy And Christopher, I still refer to the 7 layers of design. It doesn't have to COST a truckload to be functional or design worthy. I have ALWAYS been on a limited budget, so they inspired me to create beauty from everyday stuff that didn't look awful. I went to the Parade of Homes and saw NOTHING, but dark, ugly combo's of stuff that was PRICEY but not good design. Good design is timeless. I was taught to invest in good pieces and build your design around the good stuff, because it lasted, and I did. I wouldn't trade my "investment" pieces for anything that is now considered a "must" have, ha. My house is dated, but then SO am I, ha...so I make no apologies. And age allows you the luxury of NOT being fadish or having to keep up with the Jones', I am grateful for coming up in a time when you learned how to sew, how to do projects, how to repurpose(fancy verbage for reuse) and not be wasteful. I was "green" before it was cool, because I was taught frugal ways by my family. And there is SO much satisfaction in doing stuff for yourself, learning a new skill, etc. I don't watch TV because my reality is better than anything they are showing, ha...yet I miss the quality programs.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2014 at 7:08PM
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I'm happy someone brought this thread up; I'd never seen it. I don't remember most of the people you've mentioned, but I do remember Christopher. I really paid attention when he talked about paint. And thanks to that link to Pinterest, I found this. And I can't wait to try this technique in a bathroom I've been pondering.

Here is a link that might be useful: Painting technique

    Bookmark   September 19, 2014 at 12:20AM
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Christopher Lowell is on Pinterest


and Facebook


and he has a website


and another website, if you want to hire him


    Bookmark   September 19, 2014 at 9:45AM
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Sorry if I'm repeating...haven't read all the comments. Michael Payne and Designing for the Sexes rocked!!! That was real talent and class, and you always learned something about design. I also really enjoyed Decorator's Challenge and Landscapers Challenge because these were actual talented designers who gave 3 unique perspectives on one project. Now everything on HGTV looks exactly the same ( i.e. gray walls, hardwood floors, too many randomly patterned throw pillows, contemporary furniture). Where's the variety?

Bring back Chris Casson Madden (Interiors by Design) and Joann Liebler (Room by Room), Mission Organization, Donna and Shannon Freeman (Secets That Sell), Before and After, Dream House, Weekend Warriors (a personal favorite) Susie Coehlo (Surprise Gardener), Debbie Travis (The Painted House) and shows like Location, Location, Location that showed different aspects of people purchasing homes. I am rather annoyed by how House Hunters is always about a bickering couple who can't agree on style, but at 22 can always afford to buy their dream home. How about showing a variety of homebuyers again; older people, singles, working parents who can't afford to gut and renovate. I'd like to see people with more modest budgets take the homes they purchase and turn them into something wonderful.

And for those who are not familiar with any of these shows or hosts, you really missed a treat. This was HGTV at its prime. Believe it or not, long before the last season or two of Divine Design, and long before that crap Candice Tells All, Candice Olsen actually used to design rooms without mirrored furniture, espresso wood, and ice blue and gray. Anyone remember the sherbert colored sunroom or the kitchen with the blue strie (sp?) cabinets? Those were the days...

Not that the Property Brothers arent't good, and I do particularly like Hillary Farr's style (even if she can't budget worth a darn), but enough is enough. And don't get me started on Genevieve. She sucked on Trading Spaces! Now if the would just dig up the Designer Guys from the Discovery Channel, all would be well. Anyone who can design a woman's apartment around a man's suit and make it look fabulous is okay in my book.

Done with my rant....i'll get back to work

    Bookmark   September 19, 2014 at 12:07PM
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GREAT programing is what brought me to HGTV channel and to the boards! They actually had an ad about how to find the forums! I felt I was part of that scene... Oh well...

Love reading all the comments!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2014 at 2:14PM
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I am so, so there with you all! I can't stomach 99% of the shows on HGTV these days and really miss the great old shows and hosts that many of you have listed above. But, I do enjoy watching something while I run on my elliptical every day and while I'm cooking, too. I'm not a soap fan at all, and so I usually turn on HGTV while I run. I was desperate this morning and ended up watching "Love It or List It", which I detest. I think the original hosts are snarky and just plain obnoxious and I can't stand the attitude of 95% of their clients. The newer one isn't much better, but at least the hosts (Jillian & Todd) are a little more likeable. But, two shows that I still enjoy are "Property Brothers" and "Income Property". Why? Because the host are actually talented and NICE.
Too much of HGTV today is built around buy a house, sell a house or rent a house with encouragement, it seems, for the clients to be as petty as humanly possible. Ugh . . . no thanks!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2014 at 2:53PM
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