6 Things We Learned From Watching HGTV Designers

by Alex ThatcherSeptember 28, 2018

Sit Back, Relax, and Binge Watch Your Favorite HGTV Show — It’s Educational

If binge-watching design shows on HGTV is your guilty pleasure, you aren’t alone. There is something undeniably therapeutic about sitting on the couch with a bag of popcorn and watching a complete stranger remodel their home with the help of a reality-TV-star slash interior design expert. Home-repair reality shows have been a staple of American television since the early 2000s, with trailblazing shows like Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and Trading Spaces paving the way for the recent crop of newcomers.

Since the early days of home television, HGTV has provided the masses with some of the best home makeover and real estate television content that we never even knew we needed. From Fixer Upper to Desert Flippers, HGTV television and the designers that they feature have taught us countless lessons about how to make a home, how to sell a home, and how to live in your home. Here are the top six lessons that we’ve gotten out of our favorite HGTV shows and the designers who star in them over the years.

favorite HGTV shows

1) Bloom Where You’re Planted

Fixer Upper, starring Chip and Joanna Gaines from Waco, Texas, is a show about transforming dilapidated homes into gorgeous gems. Using a plethora of shiplap, Chip and Joanna find local homes with lots of potential for remodeling, and do just that.

So what does that teach us about home design? It teaches us that we should never give up hope on a space. If your home is currently a fixer upper, chances are that it just needs some love for the magic of the home to really start to come through.

You don’t need to sell your house and move to a glamorous neighborhood to achieve your dream house. Start with achievable goals and make a room-by-room plan, then put your plans into action. Also, you can never use too much shiplap.
favorite HGTV shows

2) Always Negotiate

House Hunters is one of HGTV’s most binge-worthy TV shows because it allows us to live vicariously through the occasionally unrealistic home buyers that are often features on the show. You may not be ready to put down 1.5 million on a waterfront beach house on a tropical island, but someone on House Hunters will show you how it’s done. House Hunters teaches a valuable lesson about how to negotiate when you’re thinking about purchasing a home.

And those negotiation skills can come in handy even if you aren’t thinking of buying or selling your home. As you do renovations on your home, no matter how big or small, it’s important to prioritize your needs through every step of the process. Whether you’re selling, buying, or renovating, it’s important to methodically review your options and weigh the pros and cons of any big decision throughout the process.

3) Curb Appeal Matters

Hilary Farr and David Visentin from Love It or List It may come from different backgrounds — Hilary is an interior designer while David is a real estate agent; but there’s one take away that you can get from the show: curb appeal matters. Whether you’re thinking of selling now or considering it as an option for the distant future, curb appeal can instantly increase the value of your home.

Love it or List it paints a portrait of the work that it takes to get your home ready to sell. While you may not be able to invest thousands of dollars into the staging of your home, you will probably have to invest some time and energy into getting your home ready to sell.

News flash: you really don’t have to invest thousands of dollars to get your home ready to sell. Check out our article on how to up your curb appeal for under $500.

favorite HGTV shows

4) Be Realistic About Your Budget

If there’s one thing that all of the designers on HGTV could teach us, it’s that you have to finish what you start. And that means you need a realistic budget that will allow you to finish your home projects. The Property Brothers, Jonathan and Drew Scott, are two HGTV designers who seem to be hyper aware of the importance of budgeting.

Throughout Property Brothers, Drew and Scott constantly adjust the budget as problems arise to ensure that every project they start can be finished, and finished on time and on budget. They also teach us that working within the confines of a budget can inspire creative problem solving that leads to better results than you could ever imagine.

5) Recognize a Diamond in the Rough

Countless HGTV shows demonstrate how a seemingly unsaveable home can be transformed into something beautiful with a vision. Desert Flippers does just that. Real estate agent Eric and interior designer Lindsay team up to find Palm Springs homes that just need some TLC before they can become a diamond in the desert.

Throughout their house flipping escapades, the couple must cope with high temperatures and harsh desert landscapes all while working to transform a home into a desert oasis. The takeaway of this show is that any home can become an oasis with the right vision.

6) Transform Your Home’s Flaws into Unique Selling Points

Hometown, starring Ben and Erin Napier, live in Laurel, Mississippi and work to bring together historic charm with modern appeal. They work with historic craftsman and Victorian houses to add an aspect of modernity without losing the old house charm

Hometown teaches us that it’s possible to celebrate the character of an old home while also bringing in modern aspects that improve the overall value of the home. Instead of trying to stifle the quirks that an older home inevitably has, play them up without sacrificing necessary updates.

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About The Author
Alex Thatcher
Alex is a home staging guru who moonlights as a writer. She loves everything about interior design and loves working in the industry. Alex is an expert in finding what makes people light up when they walk into a room, and has made a living by creating interiors that are unique, warm and inviting. When she isn't arranging flowers or making sure she's found the right loveseat for prospective buyers, she writes about her passion — home design.