KALIS: Confessions of an HGTV addict

Aug 21, 2012


Yes, I have a strong opinion that the house hunters should pick house No. 3. Down deep, I wish that I could have the "Design to Sell" team come and fix up my house even though I have absolutely no intentions to sell it.

I have also caught myself daydreaming about running into the "House Crashers" guy while strolling through Home Depot. In my dream, he comes and renovates my entire kitchen for his television show, and I cry and hug him until my husband has to peel me off one arm at a time.

But alas, this is just a dream. The reality is the only thing I’ve gotten out of the shows is a vast array of decorating tips that unfortunately never get used. My walls are adorned with nothing. My light fixtures have all been referred to as “so outdated” by every "House Hunter" episode ever aired.

When my husband and I return from visits to various friends’ houses, we always say that we should at least buy, like, a vase of some kind or something — but it never happens. Perhaps I should have known from the start.

When we first got married and bought a home, it was filled with nothing but hand-me-down furniture. Our couch was a co-worker’s friend’s ex-girlfriend’s cousin’s brother’s roommate’s; and it could only be placed in one position, because if it wasn’t pushed against the wall, the arm would just lay open.

So one would think that the first purchase we would make would be a couch. Instead, my new husband came through the door with a big TV. His reasoning? There was a Red Wings game on that night — and, with the small TV we had, he couldn’t, and I quote, “See the puck.” The funny thing is that I found this completely logical.

So, it will come as no surprise to you that when we did go shopping for a couch, we came home with a pool table. Makes total sense, right?

Flash-forward to our move to Grand Haven. We vowed to invest in furniture and have a house that looked like grown-ups lived in it. We were determined to not allow our front room to sit empty for years. Shortly after our arrival, I had a baby — the first glitch in our plan. Oh, we furnished the front room all right — there was a table and chairs, a piano, even a full kitchen. Sure, it was all made of plastic and had the word “Playskool” plastered all over it — but hey, it was still furniture.

By the time we had our second child, it still looked like we just moved in and hadn’t had time to unpack. Years passed and not much changed.

When we finally dove in to decorating, the economy took a dive as well. We had to make decisions — all new flooring, or all the activities and sports the kids wanted to do. The kids came first and so explains our décor, or lack thereof. But that’s obviously not just about the economy, it’s about priorities. We want our kids to do the things they enjoy. We want to go on family vacations, and I don’t know about you, but in the summer we’d rather swim in Lake Michigan than paint the mudroom.

These are the things we will remember in years to come, not the fact that we don’t have granite countertops. At some point, maybe we will (or maybe our counters will come back into style before that happens). But for now, I’ve decided to write down little projects on pieces of paper and place them in a jar. I’ll pick one once a month and then maybe we can accomplish a little at a time, and the amount of things we’d like to do won’t be so overwhelming.

In the meantime, I will continue to obsess over HGTV, as well as daydream of a rendezvous with the "House Crashers" guy. And if you come over, don’t expect to see a vase of some kind or frames with actual pictures in them. But visit when there’s a Red Wings game on, and I guarantee you will be able to see the puck. Then afterward, we can have a great time shooting pool.

— By Kelly Kalis, Tribune community columnist



My wife is an HGTV addict (also DIY channel). Here is what I have learned from them:

1) If you have one baby, you need a 2000 sq. ft. house. If another baby is on the way, you need to upgrade to 5000 sq. ft.

2) You are a nobody without granite countertops and stainless steel appliances.

3) You must always have lots of room for "entertaining"!


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