Design TV – Pilot Episode

We’re back from Suwanee, Georgia- and the room we re-did for our pilot episode for HGTV is done!

It was an exciting/fast-paced five days, and we’re thrilled with how the Morrison’s living room turned out! (More importantly- so were they! Yay!)

Our adventure started on Thursday, September 8th.

We borrowed our neighbors Suburban because we had so much stuff to bring with us for the makeover. That sucker was packed front to back and floor to ceiling!

(Thank you Peter and Josette!)

I shared the passenger seat with a table lamp from TJ Maxx.

Our friend Meghan warmed up my hair on Friday, the 9th…

…and we spent the 10th and 11th pounding the pavement for some new duds, and more furniture and accessories for the makeover room.

On the 12th, our TV team gathered in our hotel’s conference room to talk about everything that needed to be accomplished over the next 5 days.

That’s Patrick, our executive producer, at the head of the table. It was his idea to create a show that was an extension of our blog, and we can’t thank him enough for allowing us to be ourselves, and for letting us video things with our own camera like we’re used to doing for our posts! (He even incorporated our presto change-o concept into the show- yay!)

These three kept things running super smooth all week…

That’s Jinnie on the left, (remember her from Carter Can? She’s amazing!), Jason in the middle (construction manager extraordinaire!), and Whitney on the right. Whitney coordinated everything and made sure we all knew where to be, and at what time. She’s 14 years younger than me, but holy cow is she waaaay more organized than I was at 23!

This is Michael…

He used his big fancy-schmancy camera to shoot footage of us, while we shot footage with our little bitty camera. His view will show things from another perspective, and capture things we couldn’t with our own camera. We’re excited to see what that looks like!

Terry was in charge of capturing all of our audio…

I felt so bad for him having to tote that thing around with him all day, every day!

Here he is, putting Kev’s mic on him at the beginning of day 1…

And that cool old blazer on the right side of the pic? That’s Suzie.

A friendly fellow blogger named Charity (and her hubby!) let us borrow her for the shoot.

(I have another story to tell you about her this week, but I want to save it for a separate post.)

Our friends Matt and Shaunna graciously volunteered their time and talents the whole week too…

…and if they’re able to work it out, we’re hoping one or both of them will be able to join our crew full time if the show gets picked up! (We also want to send out a HUGE thanks to Shaunna’s parents for kid-sitting so Matt & Shaunna could be a part of the show!)

(Matt, hard at work)

(Shaunna, ready to shoot a pic of us pulling up to the makeover house on day 1. PS- Would you believe that sucker sold for almost the exact same price as our little Lettered Cottage?!)

And speaking of helpful-volunteers-we-owe-bigtime…we were stoked so many bloggers and blog readers were able to come out and participate in the shoot!

(Deneen (who drove all the way from TN!), Mendy, me and Donna)

(Rhoda, on wallpaper duty)

We seriously would not have finished the room without our blog friends’ help. Like we mentioned in an earlier post- the show would be about connecting with our e-friends and redoing rooms on a budget, so we’re really excited about the opportunity to work with lots more bloggers and blog readers on future redecorating adventures!

This is Rachel

She was the first person there on day 2, and one of the very last people to leave that day! She drove all the way over from Columbus, GA- and was an absolute delight to be around! Our construction manager, Jason, was very impressed with her work, and we can’t thank her enough for jumping in and making over that room with everyone!

We also want to thank Sherry from for donating so many lovely fresh flower arrangements and plants, and Mel & Denise for sewing together all of our curtains and throw pillow covers! We felt so lucky to have you guys there!!! And our favorite salvage shop in Alabama, Southern Accents, hooked us up with great deals on several of the wood elements in the room- SUCH AMAZING PEOPLE!

Kev and I are so used to tackling redos by ourselves, but we had to do a lot more yappin’ than usual this time…


…so we’re very grateful that so many friendly folks were able to come out and help with this (big/fast) redo! (If the episode airs, you’ll notice that my voice is significantly lower and weaker on day 5 than it is on day 1- LOL!)

Here are some random pics Shaunna shot throughout the week…

Patrick pinching my cheek…

Just kidding, I have no idea what was going on there!

Kev, shooting something with our blog cam…

Terry, sticking my mic to my shirt…

Lori, Rhoda, Emily and Alex- taking a break in the kitchen…

Kev and me- taking a banana break in the kitchen…

Me and Jinnie Choi…

Patrick giving us our first iPad lesson…

Jason, hard at work…

The electrician that gave us a heck of a deal…

The living room before…

The living room during…

Shaunna, Matt, Kev and me…

Flea market shopping at Queen of Hearts Antiques in Buford, GA…

This was right before we showed the Morrisons their “new” (soon-to-be-reupholstered) armchairs…

And here’s a shot of Kev explaining that the flap of fabric at the bottom would be taken off to expose the chair’s great-looking legs…

Thanks to Susan from Sassy Stitches for knocking that reupholstery project out of the park!

The night of day 4 (a 17 hour day!) we did a little shooting at the Gwinnett County Fair…

Rides were ridden, cotton candy was consumed, and stuffed animals were won- it was a night we’ll never forget!

And last but not least, here’s a sweet shot of the newly-wed homeowners…

(Alex and Emily)

They just moved into the house a couple of weeks ago, and it just so happened that their one year wedding anniversary was on the exact same day we revealed their new living room to them! We’re so glad to have had the chance to meet them, and we hope having their living room done will inspire and motivate them to forge ahead with the ideas they have in the rest of their house! Purchasing a foreclosure can be intimidating (especially when you have to spend all of your redo money on a new HVAC unit before you even move in, like Emily and Alex had to do!), but we tried to show them that even a shoestring budget can stretch a long way if you think outside the box and make a party out of it!

Thank you friends and family for inspiring and motivating us to give this thing wild thing a whirl!


And like our header says- 0ur blog is our playground, and passion pushes our swing- so no matter what happens with that all that wacky TV footage, we’re so grateful to have had the chance to try something new, and redo another room!

PS- We’ll let you know if we hear anything back from the folks at HGTV before the end of the year. It’ll take a couple of months to edit the episode, so it’ll be a while before we blog about a yay or nay!

Suzie the Chevy Blazer
Design TV Eve

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  1. Elaine says

    Kev & Layla~
    Ok, so this is AMAZING…HGTV!!!! Fingers crossed it becomes a HUGE hit for all of us “budget” friendly folks out here who like to re-do or change up our homes! I LOVE your ideas and your ability to take simple, every day items and make them show stoppers! You two deserve every bit of success, you’ve worked hard and you are passionate about what you do! Best of Luck from Massachuesetts!

  2. Deb says

    WOW , looking so forward to the show , it will be a sure hit after the first show ,you have a style that any budget can handle ,its so fresh and pure style !!!

  3. says

    So neat to see this experience for you two.. I couldn’t be happier.. I know patience is a virtue I can hope the time passes quickly for you. Woot!!

  4. says

    So AWESOME! I truly hope they pick you up. I think what you do is very unique and there’s a market for that right now. With the economy struggling, people are looking for the cheapest way possible to redo a room. Picking up a show that provides direction on that should be a no-brainer. Best wishes!

  5. says

    You guys rock. Wish I lived in the States so I could view the aired episode:(

    Loved the pic of you and Kev at the fair where I caught a glimpse of those new shoes of yours, Layla! Really cool and hoping they got more comfortable!

  6. Heather R. says

    So GREAT to see all your successes. Well deserved. I want that pig. And you to come to our house. 😉

  7. says

    What an amazing opportunity! I cannot wait to see the episode. I have no doubt that HGTV is going to jump all over the chance to give you guys a show. It’s going to be a hit. You’ve earned it!

  8. says

    This is so exciting for you. I’m sure your show will be picked up and will be a hit. You both have so much talent and are so likeable they’d be fools not to run with it.
    I hope your pillows turned up in time and you were able to put them to good use.
    I hope you post lots of photos of what you did with the room when you can as I doubt I’ll get to see the programme over here. I’m sure it was stunning.
    Can you come and fix my house next please?!!! :)

  9. says

    Love this post!

    So fun to see/share the process with you guys and to see the behind-the-scenes stuff. That’s a very technical word you know.

  10. Becky says

    OMG – what fun! I wish you all the best of luck with whatever comes your way. P.S. I could tell that was Rhoda. I’m so glad you had lots of wonderful people helping. Please come to California!

    ~Becky H.

  11. says

    seriously, layla {and kevin!}! how stinkin’ exciting is this???? how wonderful, fun, and exhausting. SO hoping it gets picked up!!!! go guys! you make us bloggers proud.

  12. Andrea @ Big Creek Cottage says

    I am so excited for you guys….I can’t wait to see this and watch many many more episodes…….Ok…you won’t quit bloggin will ya? You have to keep bloggin even when you are famous hgtv stars and I watch you every week….K?

  13. Vickie Wiles says

    Hi, Kevin and Layla! I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you. You have so much talent, personality, and spirit…I believe you’re very deserving of the great things that life has to offer. BTW, Layla, my daughter Julie met you this summer at High Noon Entertainment in Denver where she was doing an internship. She no doubt told you I’m a big fan of your blog and love your work and ideas. Best of luck with everything!
    Vickie Wiles

  14. Elizabeth says

    Well HGTV sure could use some new shows and a husband/wife team would be nice.

  15. Roxanna Morgan says

    Congrats! You have so many followers & people who love you. What’s not to love…….your the cutest darn couple I have ever seen. I hope HGTV selects your program as I will be a faithful watcher & fan. Best regards and blessing to you both.


  16. Melanie says


  17. says

    Oh my gosh what a total blast !!! I am loving getting
    to watch your journey and can’t wait to hear !


  18. Susan S says

    I’d have to question the “gods” at HGTV if they DIDN’T pick up your show!

  19. says

    Wish I could have been there! I only live about an hour away from where you were shooting, and I had to kick myself for not being able to help– work gets in the way of life sometimes! Looks like y’all had a great time.

    • says

      me, too! i live in alabaster, al!

      congrats, layla, on this project. also, i am excited to hear more about your adoption. we are adopting from china via Lifeline here in birmingham, which could happen in the next few months.

      oooh, also just read the post on your hair. love!

  20. missy says

    How exciting!! Somehow I stumbled across your blog when you FIRST STARTED, and I’ve been reading ever since. So happy for you guys! I’m in Knoxville, which I’m sure you already know is where HGTV is headquartered, so if they pick this up, I’m sure you’ll be here at some point. Hope I get to hook up with you guys and help with a project. I live in an historic district so there are always HGTV trucks over here doing something. Can’t wait to see where this leads you!!!!!

  21. says

    Holy-schmoly – I just now got a minute to catch on my blog reading, and I opened this post to many familiar faces. Patrick was my producer, and Michael was my camera guy while I was with Carter Can. They are the absolute BESTEST of the BEST. Patrick in a fantastic designer himself, and a spot-on director with a great eye for beauty shots. Michael is awesome. You’ll be amazed at what your finished product turns out like. Jenny was the Cali designer, so I never met her, but the construction guys told me how slick she was. She looks so different now. I assume you’re working with Sonny, and Chris, and Dana, and the rest of the gang. They are all true pros, and they definitely know what works for HGTV. And, they think Patrick hung the moon, so they take his opinion to heart. If he loves you, so will they. He’s never produced a show that wasn’t a huge success. That’s how good he is. Will they be staying with the show or were they just brought in to do the pilot? Patrick and Jinny still live in LA, don’t they? And Michael in Denver?

    You’re going to love working with all these people. You’ll get used to the 15-17 hour days quicker than you think, and it’s all worth it.

    I miss those guys! You’re gonna have SO. MUCH. FUN!
    Super-duper congratulations to you both. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that they pick up the show. There’s no reason they shouldn’t.

  22. says

    WOW what a great time you all must have had & all the blogging people who are there to help & friends forged I bet it was a lovely post I really enjoyed reading it, good look with it all I hope you will get a permanent spot on the TV with it! :))))

  23. Theresa in ALberta says

    I popped over from PW’s site…….Yes please tell us when the show will air! Bloggers meet HGTV, LUV IT!!!

  24. Jenny says

    Most random question of the day…my 14 year old son was walking past as I was looking at your shoot pics and wants me to ask what shoes Kevin is wearing…he likey. Thanks and congrats! Hope it gets picked up, I want to see the after pics!

  25. Jenny says

    Thanks! Do they happen to have a style name? The Adidas my son has now are falling apart (and they are new!) his are are Adidas Dragons and he has not found any that he likes as much…until we saw Kevin’s shoes!!!!

  26. Julie says

    I just started reading your blog this week and I love it. I am originally from Montgomery and my parents still live there. Seagrove Beach is my home now. I was so pleased to hear you were from Prattville and now the possibility of a show on HGTV. Good luck with everything and I will keep enjoying your creative and inspiring blog!

  27. says

    Well I don’t know what ever happened with this pilot butbI would have loved to see it as well as subsequent,episodes ( hopefully a series.) I really enjoy your blog and am so mad at HGTV for their complete sellout to the real estate industry. Guess they just decided to thumb their noses at their loyal viewers and just accept and air nothing but dull freebie real estate puffs. Shame on this network for abandoning its mission–and for not putting you or anyone else worth watching on the air in recent years.