HGTV House Hunters clients: the recap

The show has aired.  You had questions.  I have answers. ;-)

Q: How did you get these clients?
A:  One of my very first rooms I was able to design from start to finish was this nursery for Kara and Tom.  Colleen is Kara's sister.  So when it came to getting help with their first home, they came to me.  Yay!

Q: I love the framed painting/print.  Did they already have that piece?  If not, where did you get it?
A: I love this painting too. When I found it I knew it was perfect for them.  I wish they had it on a huge scale, but this still looks great. ;-)  You can buy this print off Etsy for $35 here.

Q: Why isn't there more furniture by the fireplace?  Shouldn't the fireplace always be the focal point?

A:   No, it's not a must that a fireplace be the focal point.  Some rooms have more than one focal point.  This fireplace is right against two patio doors that lead to...the patio. :-)  This is a high traffic area, especially in the warmer months.  Opposite of the fireplace is the peninsula from the kitchen with three stools, and a reading nook for Colleen.  What you should know is that they actually don't want more furniture there.  They had three weeks to get the house ready for filming.  Three.  Weeks.  And they are two teachers also budgeting for a wedding, so this room was done on a tight budget.  Yes, there could always be more.  (Possibly two very small scale x-stools in front of the fireplace?)  But it's not always necessary or practical.  Colleen and Rick like having two separate areas in in the living room when she wants to read and he's watching sports.

Q: Where did Meredith, their Realtor, get her dresses?
A:  The first dress was Laundry from Nordstrom.  The Second dress was Tina Turk from Nordstrom.  And the third was from Saks.  Interesting fact was that she had to have all of her outfits approved by HGTV before filming.  

Q: Why weren't the patio doors painted white like the trim?  Did that just not get done?
A:  I did suggest they paint the doors, but as I said earlier, they only had 3 weeks.  I think by that point they were just over painting.  Wouldn't you agree, Colleen? ;-)

image courtesy of HGTV

The show opens with Colleen explaining how the pressure is on...that she's wondering about what can they afford and what can't they.  Not true.  Before the filming even started they had already placed an offer on one of the houses and it was accepted.  So the other two homes they tour are "dummie houses" that, in theory, they could change their mind and buy instead, but they were already sold on the original house they had a contract on.

What they don't tell you is that Colleen's sister (and family) live in the neighborhood of the first house.  Besides having the best layout, being literally around the corner from her sister was a major part of their decision.  HH didn't like that angle as much as "let's create imagined tension because their Realtor is also their landlord".  Silly.

A few other pieces when Colleen had to act:
-pretend to be sad there is only one sink in the master bath
-pretend to need a jetted tub

Did you notice the after shots were pretty quick?  They showed more of Rick in the after shots, because Colleen mentioned me and they edited that part out.  So sweet of her, but HGTV doesn't really want to give some random blogger a plug. ;-)

This was a super fun experience that just happened without any of my doing.  Colleen and Rick looked adorable and very natural on TV.  Next up is their master bedroom.  I'm excited!


  1. This is so funny to read. I wonder if they tell everyone to act sad about the no double sink situation. That seems to be the one thing they always get hung up on and I think that's so weird. .. Thanks for the insight :)

  2. Gah! I should have known that HH tweaks how people act in the episodes, but it's so annoying to read how they created imaginary tension. Oh well, I'll still watch it. :) I need to see if I can find it online since I don't have cable.

    Do they tell every woman to make the "these closets are for me, what will you do, honey? thing? :) Just kidding.

  3. That's funny about the double sink. I always thought it was ridiculous that people were making a decision not to buy a house because it didn't have double sinks in the bathroom (or stainless steel appliances). I get really bored with those shows, they are so repetitive. Wish there were more real design shows. One featuring blogger designers would be great!

  4. I hate that they stage is so much. I know in the back of my mind that all "reality" shows are this way but I totally choose to ignore it!! Drives my husband crazy.

    So fun that they were on the show and how rude of them to cut out the part about you!! :)

  5. Thanks for sharing the behind the scenes info. It always amazes me learn how much is staged in what is protrayed to be reality tv.

  6. Too funny. They always seem to be upset about double sinks and mention that the porch would be the perfect place to have a cup of coffee in the morning. Who has time to drink coffee on the porch in the morning?!?!?

  7. Too funny!! Me and my mom love to watch HH International. The staging/acting seems silly, but we still watch the show so it must work haha

  8. When I first watched it a few years ago, I really liked it. After a few months, I got bored because I figured many of the scenes were staged. I began to see a pattern with the reactions of all the prospective home buyers. I already sensed that those 3 houses were not the first time they had seen it. If they were less staged, maybe it will be more fun to watch.

    Thanks for sharing with us the behind the scenes info. By the way, do you have any idea how the homeowners are picked for the show? Do they look for people who are natural in front of the camera? Or perhaps they received letters from people to be on the show? I have always wondered about that.

    Have a good day!


  9. Totally fun facts!! It's amazing what makes for good tv and how it's manipulated. You did a great job on that room, and so did they.

  10. Always fun to hear the 'behind the scenes' story! Thanks for sharing, Abby!

  11. Yes...I always wondered how those shows were even possible in busy markets with bidding wars! A friend of mine in iceland had the same situation - was asking friends to "borrow" their houses for filming! too funny.

  12. Really fascinating as I love that show...they should have mentioned you though so now I might not be as loyal.

  13. Don't you just love reality television?! Thanks for all the real insights!

  14. Interesting! And I agree, for what's it worth, Colleen and Rick were extremely natural compared to other robots I've seen on that show. And can't wait to see their bedroom plans!

  15. Thanks Abby! So much staging for a reality tv show- LOL! Even thought they cut your name, its still exciting that you did it! Thanks for answering questions!

  16. I wish I got that show in Dubai - it's always interesting what goes on behind the scenes :)

  17. Interesting. Julia from Hooked on Houses post about the real scope about HH -how most of its staged.



Abby Manchesky Interiors is a boutique design firm based in Grand Rapids, MI. Combining the new traditional, vintage and a dash of the unexpected is her ideal. Contact Abby Manchesky Interiors for more information on available interior design services for clients near and far. abbyminteriors@gmail.com | 616.719.9400


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