From Where I Sit – Hooked on HGTV

A few years back my daughter Hilary and some of her friends toyed with the idea of starting a support group for teens. To join you must have a mother hooked on Home and Garden TV!

Hilary knows whereof she speaks. After a lifetime of resisting, we finally said goodbye to Peasant TV (CFRN, CBC, Global) and hello to the world of satellite.

It’s like I died and went to heaven. Since my semi-retirement, I have the time to watch TV and actually act on the ideas rather than just add them to my “someday I’ll do” list. I also need the creativity ‘fix’. With the trend to cocooning and seeing home as a refuge, I turned a critical eye to both the house and yard. Both had suffered during my busy years.

I was a virtual sponge soaking up the visuals and design tips from the various hosts. From the delicious looking Designer Guys to the clever Dennis Flanagan of Indoor Gardener to the somewhat frivolous Savoire Faire.

Eventually I clued into the innumerable reruns. In the beginning, though, everything was new.

I couldn’t sit through a whole episode of Martha. I appreciate the practicality of the projects on Home to Go and One House, Two Looks. I understand the value of studying the design examples in shows like Design for Living and House and Home even if I never have a 4000 square foot, architect-designed showplace filled with French antiques. I ignore the gardening advice from those softies in Ontario who think Zone 6 gardening is tough! I admire the chutzpah of the people featured in Weird Homes, Awesome Interiors and Extreme Homes. The clowns on Broken House Chronicles are people we all know, sometimes intimately. Love by Design is playing more with hormones than color swatches.

Home and Garden TV and selected other shows like Trading Spaces and Decorating Challenge have empowered me. I’ve assembled the requisite tools–low tack painter’s tape, spray adhesive, paint, fabric, fringes, stencils, tape gun, cordless drill, sewing machine, upholstery tools, potting soil… I frequent second hand stores for salvageables. I dusted off my can-do attitude.

In short I’ve become a menace.

If you’ve ever started a home reno or do-it-yourself project you know the simplest idea has a way of taking on a life of its own. Improve one area and the rest looks worse in comparison. Spend $50 to save 5. Discover that NOTHING is transformed in TV’s half- hour format. Realize that all the stars have producers, directors, stylists, prep workers, production assistants, budgets.

So far I’ve re-painted most of the main floor, sewn draperies, planted mixed floral baskets, refurbished trays, started my bedding plants, decoupaged anything that doesn’t move, made topiaries, upholstered stools and chairs, started an indoor herb garden.

I still need to make my own stepping stones, construct an ottoman, appliqué guest towels, hang the rods, build my indoor fountain… Well, you get the idea.

Time and location of support group meetings to be announced. It’s inevitable, from where I sit.

*Reprinted with permission