Never heard of these awards? Probably because this is the first group to be so honored in this newsletter. By anyone, for that matter. What prompted them, you ask? After years of watching HGTV, I felt the need to share my impressions with fellow connoisseurs of home renovation TV shows. Perhaps spark some discussion of others’ favorites and not-so-favorites.

As the daughter of a carpenter and wife of a woodworker, I appreciate the skill of those who build and remodel houses. But my real passion lies with the design and redesign of those homes. I appreciate the diverse ways in which HGTV goes about demonstrating the talents of their hosts. And as you’ll see below, their idiosyncrasies. 

Corniest Hosts

Ben Napier, Home Town, courtesy HGTV
Chip Gaines, Fixer Upper, courtesy HGTV

Not an episode of these two shows goes by without each of these two hosts showing their lighter side. Ben Napier likes making puns from terms related to construction and interior design. Recently, he’s even got his wife, Erin, beating him to the pun. On the other hand, Chip is more into physical humor, often kicking through walls and every so often swinging from one joice to the next.

Coldest Setting

“Should We Stay or Go” is shot in and around Minneapolis, Minnesota. Since the renovations featured in most episodes span several months, they are frequently shot in the snow and bad weather. “Good Bones” is a runner-up in this category, as the same shooting schedule and geographic setting apply to it also. It is filmed in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Heather and Brad Fox, Should I Stay or Go, courtesy HGTV

Most Drama

The two shows and three hosts tie for having the most drama in their shows. The very title, “Love It or List It” sets up at least one major question per episode: will the homeowners whose home Hilary worked her magic on decide her results are enough to keep them in that house, or will the greener pasture of one of the properties they’ve viewed thanks to real estate agent David lure them into listing their current home, using the enhancements Hilary has given them to up their asking price. But each home rehab comes fraught with other challenges: the current HVAC system unable to support additions to the building, unanticipated budget expenses and my favorite, the homeowners lowering the amount of money they’ve committed to the remodel. I can’t imagine facing Hilary with that announcement, but they do.

In the past, Alison Victoria has faced similar problems with the residences she has rehabbed in the Chicago, Illinois area for “Windy City Rehab.” Recently, her problems mushroomed with disagreements over funding with her partner. The past season of the show featured the continuing saga of her legal issues. Despite the conflict, she produces some of the most elegant and classy remodels on HGTV.

Most Bohemian Designs

Tamara Day, Bargain Mansions, courtesy HGTV

Tamara’s specialty is rehabbing older homes in the Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas areas, similar to the “Windy City Rehab” approach, with large nods to restoration or duplication of the styles of those periods. However, every so often, she gets a little funky with her additional touches.

Do You Agree?

What do you think? Do you agree with these designations