How (not) to be on TV

So our big moment on HGTV’s Curb Appeal: The Block . . .  is not happening.

Why? Because John Gidding’s design concept is as big as his ego.

Here’s what happened: HGTV came out and spent a whole day with us. They filmed us answering leading questions about our home (much to the delight of the elderly neighbor whose lawn we were standing on, and the little boy who enthusiastically told his mom “I’ve always wanted to see a real movie set!” and proceeded to sit and watch from his SUV front-row seat), had us change outfits, and then wait a bit while the star of the show arrived.

Ever wake up to camera crews filming your house? I have. Here an HGTV team take "before" shots of our frontyard.

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Show Time!

Today is the day we discover what John Gidding, the designer for HGTV’s Curb Appeal: The Block, has cooked up for our house! Over the past weeks we’ve come home to interns crawling around and measuring our front yard, to the tanned host himself scoping out our fixer. The team has been busy designing, getting permits, and planning our makeover. This afternoon we go into full action with a production crew coming to shoot an interview with us and then the on camera reveal of our design! Actual construction will begin November 8 and wrap up by November 19.

Stay tuned for details, if we’re allowed to share them 🙂

Who wants to be on HGTV?

As everyone knows, Kane is an HGTV addict. Recently, we began to wonder how do you get to be on HGTV? After all, it would be pretty cool to get some free professional help on the house. Turns out there is a listing of open casting calls on the HGTV website. And when we checked there was a call for houses in the San Francisco area to feature on a new season of Curb Appeal: The Block.

In need of serious curb appeal.

If you haven’t watched this show before, it involves a $20,000 frontyard makeover plus two $1,000 mini-makeovers of nearby homes. The idea is to raise the value of the chosen home and the street as a whole. The main makeover usually includes painting the house, landscaping, hardscaping, and creating or modifying one or more other features.

Now, our frontyard is kind of an eyesore and frankly we’re not much for gardening. So we applied with our heartfelt story about having spent all this time and money on the interior of our fixer-upper, having a baby on the way, and the infinite patience of our poor neighbors wondering about when we would finally spruce up the yard.

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The official mommy-mobile

Now that we’ve had a year in suburbia (but not too far into suburbia! really, it doesn’t count if you can see San Francisco from the house) we’ve made another step towards the requisite lifestyle. That’s right, we’re a two car family again!

Living in San Francisco, a car was kind of a headache. You had to find parking spots, dodge maniacal bicyclists, deal with the fog and dust of the outerlands, and everywhere was least 20 minutes away. As a result, having one tiny car worked pretty well. Our Scion xA was just small enough to squeeze into those funny in-between driveway spots, could breeze past lines of buses, and put up well with the inevitable dings and scratches. Continue reading

Color commitment

Since moving in, we’ve slowly painted the house room by room, using our own admittedly amateur labor (and recruiting one little sister for help). However, two room remained untouched. The stairwell, given the lack of appropriate ladders, and our office, which until recently had always had too much stuff in it to paint around.

After our recent game of musical rooms, in which the office moved upstairs, the master bedroom downstairs, the guest room to the former animal room, the animals to the mudroom, and the office on the way to becoming a nursery, we figured we’d paint both spaces — and this time we’d have someone else do it!

But first — what color?

Colors!

(Also, an apology for the grainy photos this time around. My camera died last week and so I am relegated to taking photos with my cellphone. Actually with my new cellphone, after my original iPhone made a valiant leap for freedom and gained a shattered screen for its efforts. It was not a good week for electronic gadgetry. And a word to the wise: those Applecare extended warranties aren’t worth a penny.) Continue reading

Space invasion

The product of decades past, our house came equipped with a rickety old floor furnace that did little to warm the house. During the winter months we would wake up to a freezing downstairs and what heat we could depend on was produce at the whim of a thermostat that had long ago lost its dial. Well, enough was enough, and this week we finally had a real heater put in.

Of course when I imagined a heater, I was thinking of something compact and functional. Apparently heating systems have changed since I last saw one, because I came home to find what appeared to be a space ship under the house.

Ducts installed underneath the house

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