Dreaming of Homes (HGTV Opinions)

The past few months saw the wonder and franticity (made-up word) of my obsession with the HGTV Dream Home, an odd sort of obsession, since I mostly spent my time figuring out how I would completely renovate the place to make it better.

Okay, not completely renovate, but I had ideas. For example, I deeply resented that there was only one fireplace, and that despite the grandeur of its presentation in the living room, it was so very very small. I moved it to the master bedroom, replaced it with a larger one, and installed a third where the television sat in the guest room. I also mentally replaced the very small master tub with a spa tub and opened the guest room windows onto the jacuzzi patio with French doors. The most impractical room of the house, the awesome eight-bed dorm room, I left as it was. Go figure.

Needless to say, I did not win the house. Which is just as well, since I would have spent every penny of the cash prize on renovations instead of banking it for next year's astronomical property taxes. All this despite the fact that my obsessive mental renovation was essentially inspired by a real love for the house as a whole. For all my opinions, something about that house says, "This is your home. Come and stay."

In two weeks, the sweepstakes will open for the HGTV Green Home, but you can view pictures of the house on their website already (follow the link). While unlike in the last sweepstakes, I am confident I will not win this one (despite over 70 million entries, I still held out a hope that I would be flipping pancakes in that epic kitchen next fall), I will probably enter every day anyway. Just because, you know, you never know.

I still have my reservations about some elements of the house. Certain characteristics are carried over from Dream Home to Green Home in a pretty obvious way. The railings of both stairways, for example, look oddly similar. And many of the furniture pieces look like they could have come from the same showroom. And the kitchen cupboards obviously came out of the same brain.

I don't mind those things, of course. They're just fine. But I am still renovating in my mind. (One of the reasons I won't win; I'm already looking the proverbial gift horse in the proverbial mouth.) The bubblegum pink girls' room is possibly the worst idea since ever. It is dramatic and clever for now, but in three years the colors will be outmoded and brash. And it won't be easy to change your mind, since it's the carpet and walls and ceiling (oh my).

I would also always rather have a bathtub in the master suite, though I really do love that bathroom. And, yet again, the fireplace in the living room is mysteriously and irrationally miniature. I know HGTV has some sort of deal going with Rinnai, but what is the point of that epic chimney/hearth presentation if it's just going to frame a little bitty flame? I would understand in Southern California, but this house is in Denver where the winters are bitter cold. Please.

Of course, should I win this (hah!) I take it all back. I do love the colors, adore the furniture, and appreciate the calm simplicity of the whole design. Really, I do. In a lot of ways, this house is very straightforward. It's a simple family home, and it doesn't pretend to be much else. Which is a strength, I think. The extra-special bits are in the details. Like the television hidden behind the paintings above the mantle. Or the very curious "do" room with hidden desk consoles. Or the dog shower in the garage. These are elements that anyone could do in their own home with a little ingenuity. And that, essentially, is what we love best about HGTV. That it inspires us to take what we already have and make it something unique.


  1. Of course, the only real problem with these homes are the location... for you. A ski dorm? Really Molly? And a house in Denver? That is probably the last city on your list to EVER live in. All the same, your renovations are lovely. And you're hilarious.

  2. I know. Denver. Whose idea was that? But it's near you and my uncle, so it wouldn't be a bad idea to stay there now and then. And I could loan the house to Emily, who would make every possible use of that craft room. As for the ski lodge, well... I didn't win it, so it doesn't matter. But I know one or two people who ski (right?) and I could keep the house warm and full of cookies for them while they go out on the slopes. It seemed pretty perfect at the time...


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