Home To Win Episode 1: Lakeside Love

Who tuned into last night’s premier of HGTV Canada’s Home To Win!?

A few of us HGTV Canada pals gathered at Sangita’s house last night to watchbut we may have done more talking, laughing and eating than watching, which is really what it’s all about. (Good news though: the first episode is online for those who missed it!)

Along with the charcuterie, sushi and rainbow cake (a la Tiffany Pratt), we enjoyed one too many laughs at our own expense (thanks to Instagram Stories and SnapChat filters). But jokes aside, since becoming a part of the HGTV family, I’ve truly gained some amazing friends and I can’t say enough good things about these people. The best way I can put it is to quote Brian McCourt every time one of us came up on the TV screen: “LOOK—THAT’S MY FRIEND!”

Without further ado, let’s get into all the juicy stuff and take a stroll through last night’s epic premier, shall we?!

Photo: Sangita Patel

Watching it last night brought back all the feels from that first day on set—everyone buzzing, excited and yes, melting in the heat. We all commiserated last night as we watched, recalling how hot it was that first day.

But weather aside, pulling up to the house that HGTV Canada Celebrity Builders Bryan Baeumler and Scott McGillivray so expertly chose to be this season’s HGTV Canada Home To Win was a trip. A diamond in the rough nestled in the trees, the sprawling lakeside bungalow was screaming to have its full potential realized.

Walking through the space, everyone’s gears began churning as we all began scheming about the impending renovations. The interior was truly a blank canvas. And lucky for the builders, us designers surprisingly weren’t itching to take down walls. The overall footprint and layout was functional and workable—it just screamed for some re-jigging and a huge aesthetic upgrade.

Needless to say, it was like herding cats getting all of us coordinated, but thankfully host Sangita kept us all on track and shared the lay of the land: builders were to head to the backyard to tackle replacing the old rickety dock and designers were called to the garage to share thoughts and establish a cohesive design vision for the entire home.

Designing for people you don’t yet know is a challenge, so the goal for us 11 designers was to make sure the space could work as either a vacation property or a primary residence, or both! Not to mention, we all wrestled a bit when it came to colour: do we sway HGTV Canada Celebrity Designer Tiffany Pratt or Danielle Bryk? In the end, we gained inspiration from the property itself and agreed that a bright, airy motif with a nod to the natural coastal surroundings was the way to go. As HGTV Canada Celebrity Designer Sarah Richardson put it best, “classically lakeside.”

As for antics, my favorite moment had to be when HGTV Canada Celebrity Builder Brian McCourt—or as the heavyweights hazed by referring to him as “the other Brian”—gave Scott’s white t-shirt a pool-sludge makeover. A runner-up moment had to be Bryan’s jealousy of Scott’s friendship with HGTV Canada Celebrity Builder Kate Campbell!

As for the rest of the episode, the long but thrilling day came to a close as us designers joined the builders in the backyard to kick off the project with a celebratory dock party.

And next week? The interior renovations begin which are—to quote Tiffany—”gonna blow ya socks off!”

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