Especially in today's economy, we all long for the comforts of home
When Ken Lowe had the idea for a cable channel devoted exclusively to the home in 1994, a lot of people scoffed. But Lowe knew better.
He pitched the idea of a home and garden network to executives by drawing every room in the house — from attic to cellar — and describing each space as an individual television show. By the time he finished, his bosses at Scripps-Howard were sold. And the HGTV network was born.
Lowe was ahead of his time. More than 15 years later, the network is still going like gangbusters because people never seem to tire of reveling in the comforts of home.
At our home, HGTV is on much of the time. CNN or Fox News can't match House Hunters, House Hunters International, Color Splash or Devine Design. Who would you rather spent time with: BIll O'Reilly or David Bromstad?
With the economy still in the doldrums, we're not dreaming of exotic, far-away vacations. Instead, we're looking for ways to make our living space more comfortable. That's what I'm hearing from all my friends, too. A two-week trip to Greece sure would be nice, but a Viking range lasts a lifetime.
"Nesting" is an overused word, but in today's chaotic world, there's something reassuring about making your home or apartment into a space you enjoy and want to spend time in. So during this month, our special editorial series looks at ways to enjoy the comforts of home.
Since everybody loves to see how the other half lives, we'll peek into the favorite rooms of some Houston notables and a few closets of the rich and famous for ideas. Luckily, it's the season for home tours, so we'll also search for ideas from Houston Mod and the Houston chapter of the American Institute of Architects.
Along the way, we'll ask some Houston designers if there's really such a thing as a Houston look — and if so, how to get it (or if you don't like it, how to keep it out of your home life).
We'll scout out tips on how to furnish a room from scratch or make it over with a few key objects. We'll look at ways to spend a bundle on a room and ways to spruce it up on the cheap, with five things under $100 (or close to it) that will reinvent your space. And we'll seek out to ways to make a loft more homey, create more storage space in a high rise or make any space more stylish and comfy.
I know firsthand how paint color can make a difference. When we remodeled our kitchen a few years ago, I was all set on a pale green, believing that a darker shade would turn the space into a cave. But I forgot about the remarkable amount of light that streams into the kitchen through a big picture window, so when we tested colors the darker shade worked just fine. We love the color, but is it time for a change? Experts will discuss hot paint colors for fall — and beige is not an option.
There's a world of great gadgets out there that we plan to explore. I want to learn more about streaming TV through my computer, but there's still something reassuring about snuggling up in an overstuffed chair in the rarely-used living room and getting lost in a real book.
Other ideas we're throwing around: The concept of urban nesting (meshing two homes into one), how to have a kid-friendly and adult-focused home (they don't have to be mutually exclusive), and ways to create a space your pet will love (we can't forget about Fluffy or Fido).
And since we're headed into the best time of the year — when we can spend time outside without feeling like we're in a sauna — we'll examine the best ways to utilize every ounce of outdoor space, from creating the perfect herb garden to finding the best outdoor furniture for the price.
As you can tell, there's no shortage of ideas on the subject of the comforts of home. But if you have any solutions to share, let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org).