How HGTV is Influencing Homeowners and Builders

By Rachel Kinbar

Open, spacious great rooms are super trendy right now, as seen in the Grand Whitestone floor plan by Grand Homes in Sachse, TX.

Photo: Grand Homes

When it comes to the wide adoption of home design trends, there’s a bit of a chicken-or-egg debate — do the design trends result from the TV shows or do the TV shows pick up existing designs? According to Stephen Yerrakadu, Director of Architecture for AV Homes, Inc., the answer is clear. “I believe that the design comes first and television shows then celebrate and support the designs and a casual lifestyle. And then, because a lot of people are watching these shows and coming to us for something similar, we have an opportunity to provide those designs to more people.” In other words, the designs and the TV shows work in tandem to create huge trends.

We already knew that HGTV shows were having a massive impact on home renovation, but it is also influencing new home construction. “TV shows definitely play a big part in what we do in our studio,” says Annette Brown, Studio Manager at KB Home, a top builder of new construction homes in Orlando, Florida. “We have buyers who come in, who are ready to roll with their Pinterest page already set up. We see who they’re following, what shows they’ve been watching — like Flip or Flop. Some buyers are really prepared and want to recreate what they’ve seen.”

Fortunately, new homebuilders are embracing this development. Both KB Home and AV Homes, Inc. are eager to match the homes they build with the vision of their buyers. In the past, design trends weren’t always practical or liveable. Now, trends are more in line with how people actually live. As Yerrakadu explains, “Shows on HGTV, like Fixer Upper and the Property Brothers, they’re opening up spaces and designing homes for the casual way that we live and entertain. We’re able to provide what people see on TV — the functional spaces that make life easier, along with the dramatic spaces that they want to live in.”

Brown agrees. Not only are buyers looking to incorporate certain ideas or themes, sometimes they want to recreate something they saw in a specific episode. “I recently had a buyer who really loved Flip or Flop and really wanted a rustic farmhouse theme. She shared a couple snippets from the show, so we were able to recreate that using materials we had in our studio. We were able to match the floor, the countertops, everything down to the lighting and hardware.”

The Latest Homebuilder Trends

So what are the latest trends to influence new homebuilders? Yerrakadu says he’s been seeing larger islands, larger pantries, open living space, great rooms, and mud/laundry rooms. It’s all about a casual, practical, and comfortable lifestyle that is family-friendly and entertainment-ready.

Brown has noticed the rise of smart homes. “People want the newest and greatest things. When it’s on a TV show, they want that. One thing that has really come to the forefront is smart homes. That has really shaped our buyers, and it has shaped how we design and build houses. So when buyers come in, they want those gadgets, and we have to make sure we have those products to offer those buyers.” You may have noticed that HomLuv has been publishing more and more on the topic of smart homes, covering everything from hubs, to lighting, to security, to thermostats, to appliances, and more smart home tech. This is actually a trend with a high adoption rate and staying power, so it’s wise that builders are paying attention and incorporating smart home technology into new homes.

HGTV Shows to Watch

So which HGTV shows are exerting the greatest influence on homebuyers and builders? Fixer Upper, even though it has ended, is still a big influencer. Flip or Flop is also still a big one, and the show has several spinoffs including the new Flip or Flop Nashville. Newer shows, like Restored by the Fords (a brother-sister duo renovate homes in rural Pennsylvania while preserving their historic charm) and Rustic Rehab (a husband-wife team in California that turns outdated cabins, vacation rentals, and bungalows into charming retreats), are growing in popularity and influence by the day. Coming in 2019, HGTV will launch a new show with Christina El Moussa called Christina on the Coast. The show will feature Christina working directly with clients to design their dream spaces, you can be sure homebuyers will be paying attention.

Which, Brown reminds us, is a good thing. HGTV’s shows “help people get out of the box and explore different design options. Ten years ago, homebuyers building new homes were dealing with a limited range of options. Now we’re in the age of Amazon, where there is no end to options, and people are used to shopping that way. It applies to new homes as well.”

For the last 16 years, Rachel Kinbar has been a writer of articles, blog posts, white papers, essays, infographics, web copy, sales copy, scripts, poetry, lyrics, and more. She is the former editorial and marketing director of a creative content agency in Europe, where she resided for 11 years. Now back in the U.S., she is continuing her writing career and with her sister has co-founded Kinship Design Marketing, a boutique agency that provides marketing strategies and content for architects, interior designers, and landscape designers.

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