Jul 12, 2013

Re-decorating: Kitty Bartholomew where have you gone?

I loved Kitty Bartholomew on HGTV! I know that dates me but I cannot help it. In fact, I woke up the other day thinking how much I missed those HGTV shows that inspired me to create and recreate. She made me feel at home in my home because the message was that little changes made a big difference. I could do it myself.

Kitty Bartholomew's Decorating Style: A Hands-On Approach to Creating Affordable, Beautiful, and Comfortable Rooms
I still watch HGTV but after a while every show is the same. If you have wasted enough time watching Property Brothers or Love It or List It, you know what is coming next because, in the end, every decor is the same. Nothing reflects the fact that anyone lived there. If you do it their way, a trip to the local big box store is  all you need to decorate any apartment or home. What each place is missing is the layers of life we bring to our dwellings. A home is so much more than furniture placed correctly or even the pictures on the walls. It is those personal items that make the difference.

Moving is a real test of your ability to make a home. Downsizing is a challenge in particular. All the "stuff" you have chosen to keep comes with you and now the task is to make a nest where you can feel as though it reflects who you are. But most people don't move with the thought of hiring a is expensive to move. Yet we all want a fresh look. As a result, you have to take what you have and make it work. Someone told me once that when my husband and I moved, you could not tell we had just arrived. It was just us from top to bottom yet it all "looked" new.

The fun is in taking what we have and putting it together in a different a recipe that is changed in small ways creating a totally new dish...familiar yet refreshed.  I love to take all of my wall decor, for example, and mix them together in different way. I do that several different ways:
  • color combination, i.e. all black and whites or muted colors or genre
  • texture, i.e. all antique frames or woods
  • eclectic, i.e. a mixture of colors, textures, 3-d items (musical instruments, etc.)
  • shapes, i.e. round, rectangle, square
  • themes, i.e. travel photos, pictures of flowers, family photos, landscapes
I use this same technique when I arrange furniture or gather a table top arrangement.
I can use my formula for my home and it looks okay. But Kitty knows that a home is where you live. Every item in her rooms seemed to say that she put her hands on it and made it her own. I always had the feeling that each piece had a story and she could tell you where it was from and why she loved it. I want to be like her.

When you come in my house, you will know that what you see is what my husband and I love. My husband is the ergonomically correct person and he wants to have his things at his finger tips. I have come to love that. His clutter is a thing of beauty because it tells me that he is at home too. I suppose this fact explains why the walls are not pink and covered with flowers. Our home is a shared space.

So, Kitty Bartholomew wherever you are, thank you for making it okay to "live" in my little house with a cat that sheds and a husband that nests. Even as our home gets smaller we feel comfortable. In my eyes it is beautiful. You have given me a very special gift.



  1. I miss her too!! Back then, HGTV was the BEST program ever. They took the HG out and added HHTV ...House Hunters TV. I have seen just about one too many House Hunter's programs which has very little to do with Home and Garden.

    1. I think we appreciated it because it was such a treat.

  2. I AGREE.. I miss our Kitty too. That girl had such unique style and fabulous originality that is no where to be found on HGTV these days. I wish she would do another show!

  3. Along with missing Kitty's show, I miss a variety of shows throughout the day and evening. HGTV started it, and now it's mostly back-to-back-to-back programming of the same thing for hours on most channels, so I find myself reading more and watching TV a lot less!

    1. I often wonder when they came up with the idea to play one show all day. Honestly I just want to scream

  4. Miss the old HGTV shows.Kitty you were great and and great projects.Hgtv is so boring now!!!

  5. HGTV recently deleted its decorating board as well. 5 day warning it was going to be deleted.

  6. Yes, I agree. Why did HGTV switch to house hunting and love it or list it? People need help with using what they've got too. I miss Kitty, Lynette, and the Room by Room, and the one that showed high end rooms, then showed you how to get the same room for less.


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