Why We Love, “Love It or List It!”

I love designing spaces that celebrate the people who live in them.

I get asked all the time: How will you know my style?  This may seem like a hurdle, but it actually happens more easily and naturally than most people think. First, we get to know each other.  I’ll ask questions about how you use your space, what colors you love, and how your friends would describe your style. Then, the details of the design start to fall into place.

I always have my clients show me their home, telling me what they love and don’t like about their current decor.  We look at pictures of designed, complete rooms together. They tell me how they want the room we are designing to feel & what activities will be taking place in the particular room.  Sometimes the process continues when I put together a mood board – with suggestions of how to move forward with the room, again with my client reiterating what they love & on the contrary – the things that just don’t speak to them.

Often, specific designers come up in these conversations…  If you begin to notice that you really like the work of a specific designer – this is a great way to communicate what your design style is to your decorator!


In these conversations of “getting to know you, understanding your style” goodness, I’ve been noticing a trend.  A Love It or List It trend.  So many of you love the work of  Hilary Farr – the designer on the HGTV show “Love It or List It”.  The first time I had a client tell me she likes the design of “Love It or List It” I was excited to have a collection of rooms to reference for inspiration when designing for my client.  Then, after the second or third time of hearing “Love It or List It” mentioned, I thought – “I got to figure out what is so great about these rooms.”  I mean, I know that the rooms are beautiful – but everyone seems to love Hilary’s designs.  {kudos girl!}


If you haven’t seen the show, each episode of LIOLI is centered around a specific home and homeowner. For one reason (or 72.5 reasons) the current home isn’t working for the homeowner – usually a married couple.  One of the spouses feels that they should make updates to their current home to make it work, while the other is ready to move on to another home.  The show then becomes a competition of sorts, between a realtor [who tries to find them the perfect new home to move to], and a designer [hello Hilary! who remodels their current home to meet their needs].  The homeowners give both the realtor and the designer a budget to work within for the potential new home, and for the remodel.

With that introduction, let’s dig into the wonder of LIOLI rooms.  Here are 5 reasons why I think Hilary’s designs are so wonderful – and why we love them so much…

1. Packed With Purpose

Hilary is usually given a crazy, low budget when compared to the list of updates that the homeowners want to achieve. And she nearly always uncovers surprises (think electrical problems, water damage, you name it).  That being said – Hilary isn’t wasting her time worrying about how to get the latest trend in pattern & color in the rooms she’s designing – no, she’s spending her time focused on how to meet the needs of the homeowners while staying within the limitations of her budget.  Therefore – her rooms are packed with purpose. Isn’t it amazing how beautiful things can happen when the driving force to the design is function?!

Bay Window

2. Neutral Nuance

All of the images in this post are from the show – on HGTV.com [you can click through each image to the original website]. Can you see a consistency in color choices?  The rooms are very neutral – blacks, whites, greys, taupes, tans. And that leads me to #3.

3. Careful with Color

Hilary is very careful with color.  When a non-neutral is used, it’s usually as a small accent on top of the sea of well-chosen neutrals.  How do the rooms have so much interest without tons of color?… gorgeous texture & contrast!

White Kitchen



Kitchen Dining

4. Simplicity

LIOLI spaces are generally very simplistic.  Hilary knows the perfect way to finish a room without it looking overdone.  She uses artwork, accessories, and furniture with very clean lines & simple geometry.  No fussy extras in these rooms – makes us feel like we could move right in [or for the family in the show – stay put!] Living

5.  Timeless

What happens when you have a room packed with purpose, with clean lines, simple geometry, and neutral tones?  It becomes timeless!  A clean, neutral room that meets your needs is never going to go out of style!

Stairs Office

Here’s to you Hilary!  We love “Love It or List It”.  If you designed the spaces in our homes, we would choose “LOVE IT” every time!

I would love to hear your thoughts.  Post a comment below – what’s your favorite of the 5 reasons to love, “Love It or List It”?


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