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'House Hunters Renovation': The great chandelier debate

House Hunters Renovation is in its third season, but has only produced 29 episodes total so far. That might be why I’ve never heard of it. When you’re in the middle of an HGTV marathon, it’s surprising what programming rears its lovely head.

My introduction to the series involves Alex and Fiona, actors in Los Angeles who have had enough of condo living and are ready to upgrade to a house. Money is a factor no matter what your profession, and Fiona (Gubelmann) stars on FX series Wilfred, so she’s not struggling. However, with their max budget of $900,000, she’s excited to find a charming cottage with a vintage feel that they can renovate to add their own touches. Of course Alex wants a traditional, modern California ranch — a turnkey, if you will. Considering the title of this branch of the House Hunters franchise, something tells me Alex is out of luck.


After viewing three houses, the couple decides on a cute cottage that meets a lot more of Fiona’s demands than Alex’s. They have yard space to foster dogs, room for litter boxes for their rescue cats (are you falling in love with them yet?), and a beautiful in-ground pool.

The funky layout of the house — which seems perfect to me, considering Fiona’s desire for a craft room — doesn’t meet their needs, and they decide to overhaul the master suite, including the compartmentalized bath, so the space is more open and less claustrophobic.

Alex grew up in a house that was under constant renovation, and as soon as the demolition starts, his anxiety level rises. As costs match his fears, it’s difficult not to feel for the guy. Fiona and their designer want to use chandelier lighting in unexpected places. Alex’s unease is not as entertaining as I would have expected. It’s too easy to like these two.


It’s refreshing to see a young couple working so hard on their own renovation. It becomes a family affair when Fiona’s stepdad comes over to help her set down the wires for the heated bathroom flooring. All is going swimmingly until they discover that in order to get their vented cat closet (totally cool; I really want to know Alex and Fiona!), the last remaining bathroom in a three-bath house will need to be taken out of commission, leaving them without one functioning in the house. Even the most determined renovator is going to take their leave of that situation!


The couple’s love for each other and sense of humor keeps them grounded, and their laughter and hugs reassure us that the renovation will not break this couple. There is something really different about the mood of this hour compared to other renovation programming. It’s uplifting and encouraging, while other shows sometimes focus on a couple’s weaknesses or what goes wrong during construction. Whether it’s deliberate or due to this specific couple will only be known when another episode rolls around.

Until then, enjoy the highlights of the Great Chandelier Debate:

“No, stop, no! We’re not putting a chandelier in a closet. It’s crazy!” — Alex

“It’s bad enough that we have to have a chandelier hanging over a bathtub. Have I ever mentioned that the chandelier is probably going to kill me when I’m in the tub? It’s going to drop down and electrocute me.” — Alex

“Fiona wants to turn this house into some sort of Parisian palace with chandeliers in every single room. It’s not gonna happen!” — Alex

“Alex definitely gets a little frustrated and stressed out sometimes but, you know, that’s one of the reasons I love him. He balances out my flighty quirkiness. One thing is true, though: I will have my charming chandelier in the closet!” — Fiona


In the end, they decide to put a skylight tube into the closet that will bring in natural, diffused light without the worry of UV problems for Fiona’s clothing. “So no chandelier?” Alex smiles happily. Not so fast! They still need something at night. Fiona decides to repurpose their dining room chandelier, utilizing her crafty side to glam it up with octagonal beads.

“I was so against having a chandelier in the walk-in closet, but because Fiona repurposed this so well, it’s kind of a shame that no one else is gonna get to see it, you know?” — Alex


“It feels like this really modern hotel bathroom,” Alex says about the newly remodeled master en suite. “Except you really did incorporate the vintage charm, like with … I love that chandelier!” exclaims Fiona.

What did you think about this look at House Hunters Renovation? There will be more of these than ever before; you can find a schedule by clicking the show link above. Let me know in the comments if you want to see before-and-after pictures, what parts of the house the couples reuse, or what else would get you excited to read more about this show!

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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