While we can’t get enough of Fixer Upper and could binge watch House Hunters for hours, there was something great about early 2000s HGTV shows. Those 30-minute redesigns that we could watch without sacrificing a whole hour of our day are the ones we truly miss. You might have forgotten about some of the HGTV shows you used to know and love, but let us jog your memory.
Design on a Dime
With the cost of living only getting higher, we need shows that help people improve the look of their homes without spending the equivalent of a down payment. Yes, quartz countertops look fabulous, and so does that Ethan Allen sofa, but we miss Design on a Dime’s low-budget, fun décor tips and tricks — that we could actually afford. Shame on HGTV for getting rid of this super helpful show.
The best part about this show was watching the look on the new buyers’ faces when they realized their miniscule budget would not get them a detached home with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. Nothing brought first-time home buyers down from the clouds like Property Virgins. Plus, some episodes went into the meaning behind short sale, the term “sold as is” and other important lessons about purchasing a first home. Both Sandra Rinomato and Egypt Sherrod were fun to watch and gave great advice that many of us still need to hear today.
Nothing against Chip and Joanna or the Property Brothers, but there was something exciting about seeing homeowners look at three completely different designers before choosing the one for their home project. Today, once you’ve seen one episode, you’ve seen a million. HGTV’s designers create homes with same style over and over again (does every home in Waco need shiplap?). Designers’ Challenge had an element of surprise to its designs that the network lacks these days.
Designed to Sell
This was another budget-conscious show that helped people get their homes ready to sell. Unlike Property Brothers: Buying and Selling and Love It or List It, homeowners on this show had a maximum budget of just $2,000 to turn their home around. It had design tips and money-saving tricks to help people increase their home value without decreasing their bank account. Plus, Clive Pearse was the host, and who doesn’t love a fun British accent?
While Fixer Upper does reimagine the exterior of a home, shows like House Hunters: Renovation and Property Brothers almost never touch the home’s exterior. Interior design is usually a bit more interesting, but viewers had a lot to gain from watching Curb Appeal. The show discussed many money-saving tips for getting that perfect landscape. It talked about which plants fare best in which climates and combined fun, stylish colors that most people might be scared to try on their own homes.
HGTV host Candice Olson had a design style that was more elegant than anything on the network today. Olson had so much creativity; she could transform any space into something extremely classy and sophisticated. Of course, it came at a premium cost. With all of the budget-friendly design shows on television, this made viewers feel spoiled. It added a nice balance to those necessary low-cost shows that were all over the network at the time. Oh, and it had a super catchy tune at the beginning that got stuck in everyone’s heads.
Vern Yip was one of those designers who also had a family man vibe. Deserving Design was HGTV’s version of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (another show that should be brought back). Yip would help homeowners design a room in their house — then surprise them by designing another one, too. People might plan a nursery but also get a brand new master bedroom or family room. The show made us feel warm and fuzzy inside. We miss it, HGTV.
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