About a year and a half ago I had a production company reach out to me to see if I was interested in having my own HGTV show. Of course I was surprised and excited about the opportunity. While the show was ultimately not picked up, I still learned a lot, developed friendships, and made memories to tell the grandkids someday.
So while this blog post is different than my normal content, I thought it would be fun to show you how it went and fill in some of the behind the scenes details of the HGTV show application process.
What is an HGTV SHOW Sizzle?
A sizzle is a short video explaining how a pilot might look. We worked with a very tight budget, a little suspension of disbelief, and not nearly enough time. We were trying to convince the network that an HGTV show about maximalism could play out and be well received. HGTV was looking for a strong emotion connection, and I quickly learned that more important than the design was the fact that we should reuse the home owner’s treasures vs throw them out. There is joy in keeping things around you that remind you of your past, memories, and heritage. So basically I was playing the part of the anti- Mari Kondo 😜.
The Stress of the Timeline
Last summer was BUSY! The day I returned home from a big cross country family road trip I dove into hosting the Bathroom Primp and Pamper (think yellow and green bathroom). I revealed the bathroom on the the second day of filming the sizzle. I remember trying to post to instagram while I was at the home of Damon, the furniture dealer (um, multi tasking?). Oh btw, I had been selected as a featured designer for the One Room Challenge. So while I was filming for HGTV Richard, or contractor, was at our home installing the oversized chandelier in the living room and starting a little demoing at my home. The ORC started the next week, and I felt behind the entire time…but man, what a summer. LOL. I wouldn’t have traded any of those experiences for anything.
It is actually comical how much the week of filming took out of me. My advice to anyone who is given the same opportunity is utilize all the help you can get from family and friends.
We wrapped up the actual filming by about 5pm everyday, but I spent the off hours writing the bathroom blog post, upholstering a sofa (totally rushed job), sewing curtains, etc. I slept about three hours a night for three nights and by the end (the interview in the green dress) I looked every bit as tired as I felt. I actually cried during the interview when the asked the first question about my family.😜. Exhaustion at it’s finest. Lesson learned here kids: Out source! Call in all favors. It may look like a one man show, but there is no way that it actually can be done by one person unless there was time for an extensive amount of prep work.
So here is the “before” shot. What you need to know here is that we brought in the musical instruments and a few other things from the rooms to make the space look a little more cluttered than it actaully was. Truthfully, the homewner, while they did own a lot of dark heavy furniture, is a very tidy person. She was a good sport to let us uproot her and her family. I think they were as stressed and tired at the end as I was. Her neighbors were kind enough to help sew the last of the drapes. The home owner and I stayed up until 1:30 together trying to pull together the room in time for the 8:30 revel the next day. Lesson learned on this one: If you ask this someone to use their house it will be a bigger “ask” than you realize.
One of my favorite parts of the entire experience was making memories with some incredible people who I am lucky enough to call my friends.
Brian and his crew kept the construction fun. Plus, their miter corners were perfect…I should have been taking notes.
I first met Damon while buying one of his mirrors. His collection and knowledge of vintage furniture is unreal. Definitely worth an IG follow.
I still find every excuse possible to go visit my friend Austin at Fabric Place Basement. He seriously cracks me up and I am blessed to call him a friend…oh, and traditional fabric stores are just so hard to find anymore. I’m lucky to have this gem near me.
Laura Gunn is an incredible artist and has become a dear friend. She even painted the art above my fireplace for the One Room Challenge.
We pulled off the reveal by the skin of our teeth. As I watch the video I see things that I should have done differently (hello silk curtains that need to look more structured, I’m looking at you), but ultimately the home owner loved the mural (the big maximalist-risk in the room). It is hard to capture in video, but Laura really did an incredible job on this piece of art and the book case/mantal transformation was stunning. It was fun to work all of her pieces into the room.
After the Reveal
If you are ever given this opportunity it is important to know that there is sometimes a bit of a wait to hear the results. We filmed late summer and found out early spring. This may have been a bit longer than average, though maybe not.
While I had a total blast filming the sizzle I felt very at peace (and not at all surprised) that we didn’t get it (reference pure exhaustion in the final interview). What I didn’t know when I received the news was that COVID as about to hit, and the timing would have been very challenging with global pandemic and four kids virtual learning. I actually consider this a great blessing to have tried and ultimately not been picked up for my own HGTV show. Those are memories that I will be able to share with my family for years to come.
Watch the Video Here
The password is “clutter”
I really liked your HGTV Sizzle video. It’s too bad there are not more shows like this on HGTV. Your show up-cycles while adding a few investment pieces for a realistic makeover that’s within financial reach. Most of us want to do what you did. We don’t have plans nor budgets that would allow a massive demolition and a huge construction crew—like what’s typically seen on HGTV. Also, many of us don’t want a new room filled with 100% store bought furniture and decor. We don’t live in a magazine. We want to tell our own story and utilize some of what we have…we just don’t know how.
Love the video!!
Thanks so much Jean!
Thanks Margaret! It was a cool concept ❤️
Great room!! I love the painted walls with the layers of colors and “drips”!!! You’re giving me ideas I never would have imagined.And I would have loved a show with you!
Thanks so much Lynn! Laura is a master!
Jewel! It was so good!! You did great 👏🏼👏🏼
It’s so cool that you did that! And that reveal is so fab and so you. Love it!
Thanks so much Jessica!