HGTV that is. I think I first became obsessed with HGTV when Trading Spaces was in its heyday, what, like 10 years ago? My how time flies. My mom asked me the other day whatever happened to some of those designers. Well, the great ones (Vern Yip and Genevieve Gorder) still have shows on HGTV and are still my favorites, style-wise. And a little known fact about the Babbler? I actually met Paige Davis, the host of Trading Spaces,
a few years ago when I was living in Austin. I spotted her one morning at Austin Java when I stopped for coffee on my way to work. She was sitting at a table with her parents and I got all starstruck but had to make sure it was really and truly her, so I went up and asked and proceeded to gush about how great I think she is (like the dork that I am). Good thing my husband wasn’t with me- he would have been completely mortified. I also met The Bachelor (the Austin-version) on another occasion, in another Austin Java, but that’s another story.
Back to HGTV. Currently, I’m obsessed with a couple of shows on the network. Home on maternity leave, I’ll admit there’s occasionally some background t.v. on while I nurse. Here’s where Dr. Jay would interject with "Occasionally? Try 24/7", but I ignore him because I know HGTV is quality programming and I feel it’s part of my job to stay current with design and real estate. My t.v. watching has actually decreased dramatically lately since our little man has become much more aware of that bright picture box, and the American Academy of Pediatrics says that is a major no-no. Really, back to HGTV. I love Curb Appeal: The Block, hosted by John Gidding. And it’s not just because he’s another pretty face.
First of all, he’s a real for sure architect. I was skeptical at first, thinking HGTV might be trying to pull one over on us, so I checked him out and though he is a former model (okay, if you want to see something really funny, go here– really, that is John Gidding), he’s also a Harvard GSD graduate. If you watch the show (or another show he does with HGTV- Designed to Sell) you’ll see he’s a very talented designer. I just love the concept of Curb Appeal: The Block because they work to upgrade the curb appeal of not just one home, but a few on the street to improve not only area property values but also foster a sense of community and value to a neighborhood. It’s such a design school trope, but the team really seems to pull it off and the results are never the "quick fix" as are so many of the design show solutions. Check out this slideshow of neighborhood makeovers. Here’s a before and after.
What an incredible transformation from bland to “Come on over and party, friends”. And there’s a yellow front door, which we all know I heart.
John seems like such a down-to-earth guy. AND, all his projects take place in Atlanta-area neighborhoods (shout out for the ATL) so it’s fun to see some of the places I’m familiar with, and some neighborhoods I’d like to explore. If I ever ran into John Gidding in Atlanta I would freak out. Seriously, like an eight year old girl probably does when she sees Justin Bieber. Who the heck is Justin Bieber? I have no idea, but I know people go crazy for him.
Next post… the Canadians are taking over HGTV. Stay tuned.