By Megan Wild

Who needs Netflix when you’ve got HGTV? Seriously, I’m addicted. You know why? Because I’m one of the many, many women out there who needs to get a life.

I’m totally kidding. Actually, it’s really because I think I might find some good ideas. That way I’ll be ready when I buy my first ever lottery ticket and take home the jackpot winnings to renovate my home with Chip and Joanna Gaines at my side. Because they won’t be able to say no to my millions.

Creative Lifestyles

Sigh. Why aren’t they my best friends?

Really, though, I’m in love with HGTV. I’m in love with the people on HGTV. I feel like my husband and I need to sell our house just so we can make another pro-con list of multiple properties and then settle on the one that we already have. Then we’ll renovate and finally put in that master suite and commercial kitchen big enough to feed an army.

The Value of Home Shows

Yes, every show leaves me inspired, maybe even ever so slightly envious of the people who’ve just settled into their dream home. I’m settled into mine, too. However, with the milk-stained—from my toddler—carpet glistening in the glow of the television, I know that someday I’ll convince my husband to get hardwood floors.

In the meantime, I’m learning what I like and don’t like for our house from other people. That’s why HGTV is valuable—it’s helping me define my style in a unique way. That is, vicariously through other people.

Beyond Paint Colors

Shows like “Fixer Upper,” “House Hunters,” and “Property Brothers” have a certain flair for defining today’s style in the housing industry. Open floorplan, industrial accents, his and hers sinks—and the list continues. Among all of these modern-day niceties, there are a few other things that stick out beyond the paint colors.

Creative Lifestyles

Here are some important lessons I’ve learned by chilling in front of HGTV:

  • Life Is Full of Compromises. Whether you’re buying or selling a house, planning a renovation or just hopping into a DIY project with your partner, sometimes there will be hiccups. You may not agree on everything and you may need to make compromises, but in the end, it will still be beautiful, especially if you have a designer working with you.
  • Expect the Unexpected. The one downfall of owning a house is that all of the repairs rest on your shoulders—and wallet. Put aside a little cushion to deal with the unexpected, but necessary, home maintenance repairs. It also helps to prevent the unexpected by doing mundane tasks such as preventative maintenance that can save you money later down the line.
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Honestly, this mantra that was drilled into my head in first grade is still valuable. In fact, it may be more important now than ever. You don’t always have to go for a brand new build. Find a house with character that needs a family to give it some love. When it comes to accessories, don’t make a Target run until you’ve headed out to your local flea market for one-of-a-kind pieces.
  • Use Space Wisely. Old farmhouses are a perfect example of what not to do. Oftentimes, rooms and additions are just haphazardly placed on the existing structure, but in today’s world, the existing space is redesigned to be better utilized. Marry function with style for a perfectly designed and useful space.
  • Don’t Settle. Every one of those couples on “Property Brothers” has a list of their must-haves for a new home. Although it looks like an impossible – and maybe a little shallow – laundry list, there’s something to be said for waiting for the right time and the right price when you’re making a big investment.

Creative Lifestyles

See? There’s something to learn from the hours spent in front of the TV. So pop some bubbly, turn on the tube and enjoy an evening of inspiring stories of houses being turned into homes.

Megan Wild is a home improvement and home decor fanatic. When she’s not planning a way to improve the state of her current house, she’s writing on her blog, Your Wild Home.

*Photos from HGTV*

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