Picture this. It’s late, far past your bedtime. But after listening to your dog yelping to be let out, you finally put on your sweatpants and take him out for a walk. As you walk him down the streets of your neighborhood, you notice the lights on in one of the houses you pass by. You stop, and as you watch your dog sniff their mailbox, you get the sudden urge to peek inside and see what the family who lives there is up to.
You feel a mix of emotions. Curiosity about the lives of the people behind the doors, together with guilt since you know you wouldn’t want someone to do the same to you. If any of this is familiar, don’t feel too bad; it’s human nature to be interested in the personal lives of others, be they your neighbors, the same barista who makes your coffee every morning, or your favorite TV hosts, such as the many talented ones gracing the screen on HGTV.
HGTV was created in 1994 and it has since become one of the most popular channels on television and it even over took CNN as the third most-watched channel. The acronym for the channel stands for Home & Garden Television, which is the area of focus for its different shows.
The channel is a homeowner’s paradise, with renovation shows, house hunting shows and shows about multi-million dollar homes. Not only are the shows entertaining but they also give the viewer inspiration for their own homes and decorating ideas. Many of the shows instruct audiences how to do these “at home” projects by themselves and remain on budget. This can give homeowners the motivation and inspiration they need to turn their home into a customized sanctuary.
HGTV’s shows have created some big names in the home renovation and decorating world. Huge franchises have been created by the channel, such as contractor Mike Holmes, who’s had multiple shows on the network, including Holmes on Homes, and Holmes: Buy It Right. Married couple Chip and Joanna Gaines also became world famous stars thanks to their popular HGTV show, Fixer Upper.
In this article we give you a behind the scenes look at what the stars of the network, both past and present, are up to today. Some of them have gone on to become multi-millionaires who are still in the spotlight, while others have taken their HGTV earnings, retired to a life of seclusion or even switched careers entirely! Read on to find out their amazing stories.
While HGTV does have a lot of shows about houses the average person could never afford, they have done shows for viewers on a budget. One such show was Design on a Dime, which was hosted by the savvy Kristan Cunningham. She hosted the show for an entertaining ten seasons but left to appear regularly on The Rachael Ray Show. She also got her own show on the OWN network that lasted for a year, and she is now running a design studio alongside her husband.
One of the first shows to air on HGTV was The Carol Duvall Show, which aired from 1994 until 2005. The show revolved around Carol teaching her viewers how to do basic arts and crafts. It was canceled on HGTV, but then, after a lot of backlash from fans, it got picked up on the DIY Network, where it aired until 2009. Duvall has chosen to stay off the screen since the show ended, and she is now focusing on traveling and writing.
One of HGTV’s biggest stars,Genevieve Gorder she got her start on the hit series Trading Spaces as one of the show’s original designers. However, it was her own show, called Dear Genevieve, which catapulted her to fame. The show aired for three seasons from 2009 until 2012 but Genevieve worked for the network until 2014 as a judge on the show Design Star. She now resides in New York City with her daughter and runs a design company.
Candice Olson is another Canadian native who appeared on HGTV on the renovation show Divine Design. After the show was canceled in 2011, the top Canadian designer focused on her own brand of home products called the Candice Olson Collection. In 2011, she also got her own show called Candice Tells All, where she explores a major principle of design in every episode. In addition to her two television shows, Olson has published two books.
Unlike most of the other HGTV stars who are comfortable inside decorating houses, Paul James is known as the master gardener. He was the writer, creator and host of the show Gardening by the Yard, which started in 1996 and ended in 2009 after a long run. Since then, James has altogether disappeared from the spotlight and even took down his social media and website. These days, James mainly spends his time relaxing in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Josh Temple is a licensed contractor who has worked in construction for many years. Temple has been on HGTV since 2009 when he began hosting the show House Crashers, he wanders around home improvement stores until he finds someone who will let him renovate their home. Since then he has appeared on Disaster House, Beach Flip and Flipping the Block. On his show Disaster House, Temple and his crew demolished houses and then rebuild and renovate them.
From 1999 until 2007, Suzanne Whang was the face of the reality show House Hunters, which follows couples and families on their search for the perfect home. Despite finding success on Trading Spaces, the left the show to focus on her acting career, and has landed roles in shows such as The Secret Life of the American Teenager and General Hospital. When she’s not auditioning for other acting roles, Whang works as a storyteller in Los Angeles.
Matt Fox and Shari Hiller
Shari Hiller and Matt Fox hold a record on HGTV as they hosted the first show ever on the channel! The show called Room by Room aired starting way back in 1994 until 2006. They hold even more records as not only were they the channel’s first hosts but they also had the longest running show about decorating with more than 350 episodes. After a 4 year break in 2010, they got another show called Around the House with Matt and Shari.
Sandra Rinomato is a Toronto based real estate agent who hosted Property Virgins on HGTV from 2006 until 2011. As the same gives away, the show follows the experiences of first time property owners. In 2012, Rinomato hosted another show called Buy Herself, however, it only lasted one year. Nowadays, Rinomato is back to working as a real estate agent in Toronto and she periodically appears as a real estate expert on television.
Kitty Bartholomew had a self titled show on HGTV from the mid ’90s until the early 2000s called Kitty Bartholomew: You’re Home. The upbeat host redecorated rooms along with the help of professional designers. After the show ended, Bartholomew decided that she wanted to stay out of the spotlight and she turned to the written word instead of speaking on television. She has published two books about decorating called Kitty Bartholomew’s Decorating Style and Designer Knitting With Kitty Bartholomew.
Chris Madden is a well-known designer from New York who became one of the first four hosts on HGTV with her show Interiors by Design. The Fashion Institute of Technology graduate hosted the show from 1995 until 2003 and began working on her business and it ended. She developed a line of products fr JC Penny and became a spokesperson for the company as well as their design expert. In 2010, Madden return to her college roots and became a member of the Board of Trustees and her alma matter where she served until 2015.
Bryan Baeumler is a Canadian HGTV star who gained fame for the show Disaster DIY where he helped homeowners who had attempted to complete home projects on their own (and failed) fix up their messes. His most recent show was House of Bryan where he managed a team of builders and apprentices in order to build a house. In 2012, Bryan began hosting the renovation show Leave It to Bryan and the show is still on the air today.
Hilary Farr is a designer, TV host and actress who co-hosts the show Love It or List It. The premise of the show is that a couple living in a home cannot decide whether or stay or move and the hosts, Hilary and David help them make this decision. In addition to being an HGTV star, the Canadian designer has acted on stage at a production of Sleeping Beauty in Toronto.
Although Brice Cooper only appeared on HGTV for a brief amount of time, he was definitely a memorable personality. The designer competed on Design on a Dime for a number of seasons but he left the show in 2007 in hopes of becoming a professional motorcycle racer. Cooper posts pictures on his Instagram of his motorcycle along with his adventures in California. He explains on his Facebook page that he got into racing at the late age of 26 as he finally had enough money to pursue his dream.
After winning HGTV’s Design Star, Emily Henderson landed her own show on the network called Secrets from a Stylist. The show helps homeowner design a room based on their own, personalized style with help from Emily. The show ended in 2012 and Henderson now has her own LA based design company and she is also a home spokesperson for Target. In addition to this, Emily wrote her own book called STYLED and she has her own blog.
Michael Payne is a British interior designer who hosted Designing for the Sexes on HGTV, a show about married couples who had vastly different tastes and were arguing about how to decorate their house. After the show ended in 2003, the designer published a book called Let’s Ask Michael. Nowadays, he lives in Los Angeles with his wife where he owns an interior design business. Payne has designed a series of furniture lines and he often speaks at home expos.
Joan Steffend was the bubbly host of the budget friendly HGTV show, Decorating Cents. The premise of this who was that each room could only be decorated using $500. The show had immense success with more than 400 episodes. After the show ended, however, Joan decided to go down a spiritual path and become an author and “peace seeker.” Steffend has written two books about finding inner peace called Peace in Peace Out and And She Sparked.
There are a lot of Canadians on our list and one of the most famous ones in Mike Holmes. Mike Holmes started working for HGTV back in 2001 when he hosted the self titled show Holmes on Homes. The show was extremely successful and audiences loved Holmes’ no nonsense approach to home renovation. Since then he has had a number of spin-off shows such as Mike’s Ultimate Garage and his latest show, Holmes: Buy It Right.
Egypt Sherrod is knowns as one of the most beloved real estate agents on television. Sherrod as over 14 years of experience in real estate and she took her knowledge to HGTV where she hosted the shows, Property Virgins and Flipping Virgins. The energetic host is now a staple on the network and besides her time on television shows, she has also interview A-list celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and Beyonce. Egypt also has her own organization called the The Egypt Cares Family Foundation which advocates financial empowerment.
Will you accept this rose? Before Chris Harrison was matching guys and girls up in a television competition, he was hosting Designer’s Challenge on HGTV. The competition show pit three designers against each other to make home designs for a homeowner. That was back in 1999 and a couple years later in 2002, Harrison began hosting the Bachelor which now has various spin-offs such as The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise.
Jonathan and Drew Scott
These Canadian, twin brothers are likely the most popular hosts on HGTV. Not only are they very attractive but they are also great at transforming “fixer uppers.” The brothers help potential homeowners navigate through the plus and down sides of purchasing an older home that needs work. The two brothers’ backgrounds combine perfectly as Jonathan is a contractor while Drew is a real estate agent. Property Brothers premiered in 2011 and it is still on the air today.
David Bromstad started his career on HGTV after winning the first season of Design Star. Every year since then, Bromstad has become a bigger and bigger star on HGTV and he even has three shows on the network. One show he hosts is My Lottery Dream Home where he helps lottery winners find their perfect home. In addition to his on air work, Bromstad also contributes to a weekly blog put out by HGTV and he also has his own line of furniture and accessories.
Wow, Canadians really know how to make successful home decoration show. Scott McGillivray is the host and executive producer of the hit show Income Property, a home improvement show that first premiered on HGTV Canada. Scott began his foray into the real estate world at a young age when he bought his first property at 21. He then became a contractor and he now has multiple shows on TV including Moving the McGillivrays.
Sarah Richardson is a host of many HGTV shows who got her start as a prop designer in 1994. Sarah has hosted many shows such as Room Service, Design Inc. and arguably her most popular show, Sarah;s House. In every episode, Sarah purchases an undervalued house and renovates it with a focus on one or two rooms. This show spawned the spin-off series Sarah’s Cottage and Sarah 101. Her latest show is Real Potential in which she takes potential home owners on a tour of three houses.
Hilary’s co-str on Love It or Leave It is Canadian realtor and actor, David Visentin. Prior to appearing on the show, Visentin worked alongside his father for Country Living Realty in Ontario. Visentin has been co-hosting Love It or List It since 2008 and throughout that time he has also appeared on Brother Vs. Brother and the Fox News Channel. Visentin is multi-talented as he is also a writer who contributes to various news agencies.
Chip and Joanna Gaines
Chip and Joanna Gaines are definitely the most beloved couple on HGTV and likely one of the most loved on television in general. The couple gained notoriety from their show called Fixer Upper where they helped clients in Texas remodel their homes. The couple live in Waco, Texas where the show is filmed along with their four children. In 2017, it was announced that they would get a spin-off show from the series tiled Fixer Upper: Behind the Design where it is revealed how the couple comes up with the designs for Fixer Upper.
Nicole Curtis is the host of the hit HGTV show Rehab Addict. On the show, Curtis “rehabilitates” old homes that have become forgotten and dusty. The show has been incredibly successful and it spawned a spin-off show called Rehab Addict: Detroit. Curtis has also appeared on the HGTV shows Flipping the Block and Beach Flip. Curtis is still filming episodes of Rehab Addict and when she isn’t working, she’s spending time with her two young children.
Carter Oosterhouse is now the host of three HGTV programs but before that, he appeared on the TLC show Trading Spaces. He then appeared on the NBC show Three Wishes where he traveled across the country giving back to needy people, however, the show had low ratings. In 2007, Oosterhouse began hosting two shows on HGTV, Carter Can and The Inside Job. He also hosts the show Million Dollar Rooms where he showcases extravagant rooms in luxurious homes.
Sabrina Soto is the host of the hit HGTV show The High/Low Project. On the show, Sabrina helps homeowners design their dream room without the constraints of a budget. She then takes their actual budget and tries to create the exact look they want without breaking the bank. At the end of the show, the price tag and room is revealed. In addition to this show, Soto has appeared on other HGTV shows such as White House Christmas and Get It Sold.
Lara Spencer is a TV host who once hosted the show Flea Market Flip. The premise of the show is to show homeowners that a little cash can go a long way. Two competing teams are given $500 and go off to buy all they can in the flea market and flip the items to sell at a higher price. Lara went onto to become a host on The Insider and she is now best-known for being a co-anchor on ABC’s Good Morning America.