My favourite home and lifestyle series & some before and afters

Currently I am blogging from my sofa, laptop perched precariously on my lap, as I watch professional home stager, Matthew Finlason perform his magic on the television series, 'The Stagers'. Suddenly I have a flash of inspiration, with the recent explosion of home inspiration series, I have decided to dedicate this post to a few of my favourites. I realise there is the possibility my personal favourites may not be viewable in every country, however if you have digital TV you could have access to these and many more. If you don't have access have a great choice of packages available where you can discover your favourite series. I have to warn you some of these programs highly addictive, especially for those of us passionate about home decorating.

Candice Tells All:

An inspiring before and after series where weekly, Candice Olsen takes you through the detail of her signature makeovers where she turns a tired space into something beautiful. Candice loves classic design and has a savvy way of combining classic and contemporary pieces, creating a fresh, timeless look to her rooms. I love this series, not just for the makeover but Candice has a wonderful personality and she and her team usually have a little lighthearted fun as they progress through their work. A few examples of Candice signature style can be seen below;

Neutral  Hampton's style this living area has a bright fresh look

Candice loves to play with colour and pattern. The elaborate mirror is made more effective by the dark  plum paintwork

Nothing works together in this large empty space until Candice waves her magic wand....

Candice took a large space and created a stunning master wing. I don't know about you but I could totally live in this room.

Image sources via.

The Stagers:

A popular series where professional stagers Matthew, Bridget and Maureen take tired houses or empty properties and turn them into spectacular homes that will stand out in the property market. Matthew Finlason is my favourite stager, his crazy energy and 100 mile an hour mind, along with his obvious passion for his work make him a fun personality to watch. When Matthews rooms are complete, there is a definite "wow" factor. Matthew actually reminds me a little of my eldest son who is co-incidentally called Matthew too and is also a stylist but in the fashion industry, both Matts have the same enthusiastic energy that I love.

'The stagers' is a great series for learning lots of home styling tips and tricks. One tip I took one on board last year when I staged my mums house was using a blow up bed.  I had already sold her dated bedroom furniture and  thought, how on earth am I going to stage the bedrooms now. Simple! as seen on "The Stagers", I took 8 large cardboard cartons (free from the supermarket) and sat a blow up Queen size mattress on top (placing a carton at each corner and one in the centre of the side and bottom of the bed. Once I had dressed the bed, no one would have known. I was praying a child wouldn't run in and try and jump on the bed, luckily it didn't happen. It is a really worthwhile tip. A great idea if your styling an apartment and don't want to be moving a bed up and down stairs.

A few of Matthew's before and afters...
Before -  a multi use area in a loft apartment

After - a light filled dining area

Before -  a dark loft is given a contemporary and light filled look below...

After - with the addition of free standing lights, cream ottoman, glass coffee table and light coloured rug, retaining the owners small leather couch, Matthew worked his magic.

Before - No comment....

After -  Matthews magic touch - a stylish contemporary living area

Images via

House rules:

An Australian series currently airing on NZ TV, this fast paced series takes 5 couples and two brothers who compete by renovating each others homes. One home is showcased each week and each couple (apart from the home owner) is designated an area of the house and  given one week to complete the renovation. The only direction given is a short list of 'house rules' from the owners. The final winner will have their entire mortgage paid off.

With a roller coaster of highs and lows, rippling wallpaper, doorways being blocked off, live possums and dead rodents the program continually keeps you on the edge. Nevertheless the couples battle to achieve the highest marks, not only the judges but the home owners themselves.

In the list of house rules provided by the owners are their likes, dislikes and favoured style such as country/industrial and as you can imagine interpretations of style can vary. Homeowner Michelle loved Moroccan tiles, the two brothers who had Michelles bathroom to renovate, thought Morocco was in South America and decided they would create their own Moroccan look by using bright orange, green and yellow coloured mosaics in a geometric design, needless to say this didn't go down well with Michelle who apparently hated the colour orange and gave them a low 3 out of a possible 10 points. 

To date, the houses renovations are complete, one couple have been eliminated and it is now up to the remaining couples to have a second chance at re-doing one area in their own homes, the catch is, they only 24 hours to complete the transformation.  I think the series finishes this Friday in NZ. I am keen to see the changes they make this week, it's any ones chance of winning now as the original points have been wiped and they will start again.

Some of the final room makeovers below...

 This house had to be totally re-built, the house rule was coastal Moroccan mix

Amy and Sean's kitchen -  Their house rules were "country/industrial". Michelle and Steve interpreted this perfectly in their renovation of Amy and Sean's kitchen 

Brothers Chris and Nicks living/dining area is given a modern makeover

Jane and Plinio's new dining room

Images via

There many house renovation series, sadly I don't have time to review all so I have created a short list of others I enjoy...

  • Secrets from a stylist 
  • Sarah Beeny's selling houses 
  • Buying and selling with the property brothers
  • Dream build

I hope you have enjoyed this post, I would love to hear what your favourite home and lifestyle programme is?

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