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Designer Genevieve Gorder of HGTV's Real Genevieve.

8 Home Design Shows you need to Watch (and Some for all the Wrong Reasons)

As an absolute decorating and interiors nut, it probably comes as no surprise that when I clock off from a day of blogging and styling, home design shows are my go-to recreational activity.

Most nights of the week, actually, you’ll find me in front of the TV with a glass of red in hand (white in summer), a cat on my lap and the Foxtel remote in my hand, catching up on a bevvie of my fave shows. I don’t know what I did before I could record shows on Foxtel, but my life has improved ten-fold since they invented the series link option.

Even the bad home design shows are good in a twisted way; they’re my guilty pleasure and I adore them. I’ll share below which of these are my fave and why, but I’d love to hear from you in the comments below too, letting me know which ones you can’t get enough of (there is definitely room in my Foxtel library for a new series 😉 )

8 Home Design Shows I love to Watch

Inside Genevieve Gorder's New York Apartment

Dear Genevieve

Lifestyle Home on Foxtel

This is hands-down my favourite of all the home design shows I’ll mention in this post! While so many other series’ gloss over the decision making process when it comes to the design of a space, Dear Genevieve dedicates time to explaining the design plan, showing you where host and designer Genevieve Gorder shops, and even shows you when things go wrong.

The building and design team also feature heavily, so there’s no smoke and mirrors here about who is involved in the process or how it comes together.

I actually learn so much from this show, so I highly recommend it if you’re yet to give it a go. It’s a 30-minute episode but it packs a lot of content in – and the room makeovers are sublime! I’ve featured Genevieve’s New York apartment on the blog before and it’s truly inspiring.

Selling Houses Australia - Image via Foxtel Website

Selling Houses Australia

Season nine coming soon to Lifestyle Channel, Foxtel

I was hooked on this show since it premiere 8 years ago, at first because Andrew Winter was absolutely hilarious when he critiqued the home’s pre-makeover, but I quickly became smitten with Shaynna and Charlie’s involvement in the home transformations too.

I’ve interviewed Andrew on the blog before about how honest he is with home owners and he admitted that it doesn’t always go down well. Click here to read our chat.

This show is funny, all heart and honest. I like that you can go on the journey with real people and that sometimes, not everything goes according to plan, or the home owner’s are a right pain in the A. I like that Andrew will confront dodgy real estate agents if he needs to, and I love the pearls of wisdom Shaynna and Charlie share too.

The Block Judges Home Design Shows on The Life Creative

The Block

Want to know more about The Block? Read our ultimate guide to every season!

Sure, they’ve been running series of The Block back-to-back like there’s no tomorrow, but I still love this show for a multitude of reasons. Regular readers will be all too aware that I don’t watch the show throughout the week (I turn to The Real Housewives for my dose of drama), but I love the Sunday night reveals and I love recapping them and giving my two cents on each room every Monday on the blog.

This show also exposes us to a whole host of local furniture, art and decor brands, which has been one of the shows highlights if you ask me. Add in three judges who all have their own strong opinions and it makes for a very entertaining Sunday evening!

Home Design Shows Kevin McCloud from Grand Designs

Grand Designs

Lifestyle Home on Foxtel

Although a brand new season of the Aussie version has just landed, I prefer the UK show over the local incarnation. I think it has something to do with my strong love for Britain (am yet to travel there and it plagues my every thought!), but also because the homes tend to be a little grander and a little more interesting.

You also can’t fault Kevin McCloud. His passion for architecture and design is so apparent, and he’s not afraid to speak his mind even if it lands him in hot water with the home owner (I’ve seen some awkward moments like this happen on the show and it’s hilarious).

Home Design Shows My Dream Home Drew and Jonathan Scott

My Dream Home

Lifestyle Home on Foxtel

Of all the Canadian home design shows, this series – which has been going since 2011 – is one of the better ones. And with so many seasons under its belt it’s rare that you watch an episode you’ve seen before.

In a nutshell, it’s hosted by twin brothers Drew and Jonathan Scott. They take home hunters on a mission from first wanting their dream home they can’t afford, to showing them how buying a renovators delight can save them a tonne of money. They then do over the derelict home for the owners, delivering them their dream abode for a fraction of the cost of buying brand new.

This is another series that gives great insight into the process of a build/reno. It shows how the initial design can start out, how it’s tweaked throughout the build and what the final result looks like. It always inspires me to want to renovate.

better homes and gardens cast 2016

Better Homes and Gardens

Friday’s at 7.30pm on Channel 7

I still tune into this favourite on a regular basis because it’s so good for budget decorating ideas and craft projects. I have a bit of a crush on Tara Dennis, who continues to churn out awesome makeovers that don’t cost the earth. I’ve interviewed Tara on the blog before and she’s admitted that there have been some disasters in the past, but for the most part they all rock.

I’m also a sucker for a puppy or kitten, so I like the pet segments Doctor Harry does (and love that he’s still rocking that hat after all these years).

Home Design Shows 60 Minute Makeover on The Life Creative

60 Minute Makeover

Weekdays on 7 Two

There is a more recent version of this series on Lifestyle Home (hosted by Peter Andre of all people), but the older series is by far my fave (and for all the wrong reasons). The earlier series of this show is so bad it’s good!

The premise, as the show’s title suggests, is that a makeover team transforms a few rooms in someone’s home in just 60 minutes. They time it all, there’s loads of people rushing around, and the whole thing is absolute chaos as a group of 30 or so attempt the ridiculous; doing a home over in an hour.

The final result is the best/worst moment of the show; bad finishes, tacky designs, and a reveal at the end that the camera can never focus on for too long out of fear their dodgy work will be exposed. The home owner’s always look to be struggling, so of course they’re wowed by the makeover, but I can only imagine what happens once the production team leaves and they realise their wallpaper is bubbled and peeling off the walls.

Total shocker in the best way possible!

Home Design Shows on The Life Creative Sarah Beeny

Anything Sarah Beeny does

Numerous shows on The Lifestyle Channel

I first fell in love with Sarah Beeny years ago through one of her home design shows, Property Ladder, and in recent times she’s hosted, produced and starred in a total of eight different TV series.

She is wonderfully honest with people she encounters on her shows, she is incredibly successful as a property developer outside of her work on TV and almost all of her shows are addictively must-see. Four of them are currently airing on The Lifestyle Channel, so click here if you want to get across all of them.

The best part about Sarah on Property Ladder is when she tells home owners their crazy renovation ideas won’t make them any more money come time to sell, they usually get into an awkward argument, and then at the end of the show she will say things like “so, that renovation actually lost you money?” in the most innocent yet hilarious way – and the home owner’s are always royally peeved.

This woman can do no wrong in my eyes.

What are your fave home design shows? Drop a comment below and let me know what you’re hooked on!

Outside of writing this blog, Chris is an interior designer, presenter and author. He's also spent time on TV, on Channel 10's Changing Rooms, as well presenting segments on Channel 7's Sunrise and The Morning Show. If you'd like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

  • Justine


    Oh dear smoke and mirrors abound on Rv shows. my pet hate is when they claim you can buy a designer kitchen for $20k etc. Not true people. They cost $40k + appliances!

    18 November, 2015
  • Penny


    My ‘go to’ decorating show is ANYTHING ‘Sarah Richardson’ ~ like ‘REAL POTENTIAL’ or ‘Sarah 101’; there’s something about her Canadian accent that keeps me mesmerised and with her quirky offsider Tommy, they manage to have a laugh whilst they show you the ‘how to’ of decorating. I love it ..

    18 November, 2015
  • Karenc


    Love them all too! Sarah is my fave ( ex pom) and although I like Genevieve’s designs she’s a little OTT for me. Sarah Richardson (Sarahs House) is more my style. The living room on Friday nights also has some great reno tips when Cherie Barber’s on, and design ideas from Bas and his team and Jamie Durie of course!

    18 November, 2015
  • Jennyb


    I loved the Novogratz when they were on. They were so out there using industrial pieces etc. Fantastic.

    19 November, 2015
  • Good Morning Chris!

    I do love watching the Sunday reveal of the Block. Can’t watch it during the week. Obvious reasons. Ashlea from Glamour Coastal Living hit the nail on the head with her post today – “ˆI haven’t been watching The Block this season, I just couldn’t get into all the drama and tears once again. I miss the old seasons and the real fair dinkum blockheads like – Brad & Lara, Dale & Sophie, Josh & Jenna, Bec & George – they were all my favourites, not afraid of hard work and actually knew how to use the tools!

    I agree! Some of this year’s blockheads haven’t a clue! How did they get the role?

    Unfortunately, I’m not linked up to lifestyle channel – so I do miss Andrew Winter’s humour (have you seen his old English shows – they are so funny and he did a friend of mine’s house in Italy. It was hilarious!) and anything Sarah Beeny, and of course Kevin McCloud! All favourites!

    loving your posts Chris x

    19 November, 2015
  • Genevieve is my favorite! So happy you included her here! She comes across so natural and honest and I love love love her New York apartment!

    20 November, 2015
  • Sharee


    I love Genevieve and Sarah Beeny too, but my favourite is any show with Danielle Bryk in it, her style is amazing and she is not afraid to get her hands dirty!

    21 November, 2015
  • Henry Parkes


    I have to confess that I am an addict 😀 If you like watching home renovation shows, I recommend checking these too – Fixer Upper, Flip or Flop, and Masters of Flip. For example, in Fixer Upper a husband and wife team own a remodeling and design business called Magnolia Homes. Each week they work with a different couple or family, looking for their dream home. The premise is that many of these homes are extremely well-priced, because while they may be in a great neighborhood- they’re not the prettiest house on the block. The stars of the show help the new homeowners pick one of three “fixer uppers” (hence the name of the show). Then Chip and Jo go to town, using a pre-determined renovation budget, to bring a vision to life.

    26 March, 2017
  • Julie Margaret Morrissey


    I wish renos .were a little more cost effective
    . My daughter and partner recently brought an older property to get them on the housing market and they were done over big time smoked out omg .
    The bathroom pipes were leaking and they need to do a bathroom reno on no money .. the bathroom window is rusted up they cant open it …. they had painted the bedroom … !!! so you could not see the bathroom leaking through the walls and into the wardrobe
    . They are first time buyers … even though the estate agent had a inspection done who the trusted
    . Both work but cant afford to fix these problems so they come to my house to shower omg .. this is so unfair .
    They brought the house in good faith but now are struggling to deal with this mess …. so please make sure you tell people how much these renos cost … as they think it can be done that quickly and not cost the earth .
    The have shutters on the windows but cant open one as it was broken … the reticulation was broken pipes under the ground and it goes on they were ripped of for sure now have to somehow deal with these problems . x

    7 February, 2019

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