I have this Love-Hate relationship with HGTV. I’m totally addicted to the channel, yet I throw my hands up in frustration every time I watch it. It’s a great source of inspiration and even education for me. I love seeing the design trends and the great new items that are hitting the market, as it helps me help my clients. But PLEASE stop showing House Hunters and the peeps that are featured. You’re killing me here. Keep reading though, and grab your glass of wine, I’ve got a fun activity for you at the end of this post…

My Love-Hate Relationship with HGTV by Crystal Ortiz, Bluestone Decorating


The “Hate” List

Let’s start with the buyers, and you can pick any show on the channel for this one. Young couple is buying a home and they have one toddler, perhaps another on the way. They want Open Concept (rant for another day), granite countertops, stainless steel appliances in their updated kitchen (that must include sight lines to the family room so mom can watch the kids play while chopping vegetables), a large master bedroom with oversized ensuite, 4 bedrooms, two offices, a yoga studio, a large fenced yard, close to dad’s work, and they don’t want to spend over $150K (if they’re in the USA – the Canadian buyers it’s usually $1M). Ummm… where do I even begin here?

Perhaps my rant should be against Millenials and their entitlement attitude. I’m sure that you, just like I, did not start out at the top of the food chain. Perhaps their parents have all of those things after working 30 years to attain it, but why do these young whippersnappers feel that a home MUST have these things to even be considered? Our first house was a 1200 square foot modular built in 1979, and featured ONE (not 1 1/2) bathroom for our young family. I couldn’t see my kids from the kitchen, but it wasn’t that hard to hear them in the next room, or to actually sit down and play with them instead of plugging them into the nearest electronic device. Anyhoo, I’m digressing.

I get frustrated watching Hillary on “Love it or List it”. The couple gives her $90,000 to renovate their home. Wowza!! You could almost build a new house for that!! She ends up doing 3 things they asked for, and then does crazy things like provide a brand new washer & dryer (retail over $2000 for the set when you price the style she commonly uses), but can’t even update their bathroom? Nothing even cosmetic? Prioritize, please. I don’t remember seeing “brand new top-of-the-line-laundry-units” on that couple’s wishlist.

The “Love” List

I love me some “Property Brothers”. And it’s not just the eye candy factor – Jonathan works wonders with the budget he establishes. I love his clean, contemporary style for Staging. I love that he can completely remodel an entire house for a family for $15K (he should offer Hillary some lessons here). Although I do wonder why, in all of America and Canada, The Brothers need to be the star talent of at least 3 shows on this channel. Hey boys – you’re total cuties – go get married and live a little!

I actually love “Flip or Flop” as well. At first Christina kind of annoyed me, but over the seasons I’ve really come to like her. She has great taste and knows that a cheap investment in materials means a cheap return on the properties she’s flipping with Tarek. They balance each other well, and I love the way they transform run down homes into move-in-ready for (usually) average California families. And they STAGE their properties! They see the value in it and the minimal expense for maximum return shows they know what they’re doing in their Real Estate business.

I think she’s now on DIY Network, but I also adore Nicole Curtis of “Rehab Addict”. She’s amazing. Her love for houses and the character and detail is something that I find inspiring. I love that she gets in there and gets her hands dirty, runs power equipment without batting an eye, and breaks down barriers that girls can’t do what boys can. That’s my kinda gal. I love the way I feel after an exhausting day of hard labor – I’m not a stereotypical decorator or stager who just wants to oversee everything. Gimme a paintbrush or a router.

My personal favorite, though – “Fixer Upper” with Chip & Joanna Gaines. OH MY! I love these two! Chip is hilarious – he reminds me of my own hubby, although I’d have to say Chip is a bit quirkier. Joanna has great taste and her signature style is beautiful. They’ve built a business and stayed true to their family, God, and their clients. My own daughter wants to move to Waco so she can hire Chip & Joanna – not sure how I feel about that! And did you know that Joanna did not attend design school? So hiring a decorator based solely on the letters after her name doesn’t mean anything. I have letters after my name, but only because some people feel better hiring me because of them. God-given talent can’t be purchased in a classroom.

HGTV Makes My Job Harder

Sometimes my clients don’t realize that what they saw transformed in an hour on television may take weeks of work in their own home. They expect that a tile they want is readily available by dropping in a store, not a custom order that may take 8 weeks. That there is SOOOO much planning that goes into creating the perfect room, and all of that planning takes hours of measuring, sourcing, shopping, re-sourcing when it’s not going to fit the budget… So now I will share with you how to cope:

The HGTV Drinking Game.

Warning: don’t play with Tequila, you’ll be hospitalized before the first show ends. Don’t drink? Do sit-ups, push-ups, crunches instead. I’ll just watch.

The HGTV Drinking Game


What’s Your HGTV Love/Hate List?

Share a comment with me and tell me what you love or hate about the channel. What personalities do you find inspiring? Who is your favorite decorator that you’d want to hire? And keep in mind – the drinking game is just for fun.

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4 comments on “My Love-Hate Relationship with HGTV”

  1. This is great! Between the drinking game and our mutual love/hate lists, I know you’d be a blast to hang out with!

  2. It’s like you’ve read my mind on every single thought I have about HGTV. I love Nicole Curtis, Chip & Joanna, and I’ve even come around on Tarek and Christina as well (I don’t like her sideways looks, PLEASE just turn your head, girlfriend!).

    Anyhoo, home buyers on the House Hunters shows can often be annoying with their unrealistic expectations, but I genuinely enjoy the HH International show because seeing homes in other parts of the world is very eye opening. Small bedroom here may be SUPER spacious elsewhere, so it’s fun to compare.

    All things considered, HGTV is television, it’s entertainment, and, if you play the above game, it’s a great way to get drunk. 😉 Thanks for your insightful post, Crystal!

    • Haha Summer! I’m so glad my sense of humor is showing through and I’m not alone in my thoughts. Just me here with my glass of wine. Might be time to watch “Chopped” for a bit. Could make a game of that one, too.

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