From fantasy football to award show pools, there’s just something about lining up a dream team that never gets old. So what do you get when you combine this natural fascination with a love for home makeover shows? You get a fierce competition. HGTV, the mother of all home-related channels (and the channel where you can find nearly all of our survey’s most popular interior design shows) boasts a daily viewership of over 730,000 people in the U.S. alone. For many, that means names like Hilary Farr and Joanna Gaines are household staples. It also means Americans are no strangers to the magic of working with a professional design expert and the life-changing results of a proper home renovation. From HGTV stars to celebrities in the entertainment industry, we asked around 1,000 people to tell us whom they would bring on board to make their dream home a reality. Grab your shiplap and dive on in!
DIY: Dream it yourselfA select few celebrities are clearly at the top of their game: Men and women had identical top three picks for their home makeover dream teams, albeit in a slightly different order. Chip and Joanna Gaines of “Fixer Upper” fame reigned victorious as the most sought-after design duo overall—a couple who recently moved on from their trademark HGTV show and are now slated to start their very own TV network as a part of a gargantuan multiplatform media project. “Property Brothers” Drew and Jonathan Scott claimed first place among male respondents and second place for women, followed by Ty Pennington, who snagged third place overall. Both of these design teams are best known for completely overhauling underprivileged families’ homes, with brothers Drew and Jonathan most recently signing on to complete a construction project with Habitat for Humanity in Atlanta. Pennington, a veteran of the on-screen home renovation community, has been a mainstay of hard-hitting shows like “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” and “Trading Spaces.”
Preferred professionsUnderstandably, TV designers accounted for the most sought-after category of home makeover dream teams, with 67 percent of respondents naming this type of celebrity as their top pick. Even outside of these fantasy rankings, small-screen interior designers hold a special place in Americans’ hearts. These types of TV shows tend to have an extremely loyal following: One recent article about the revival of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” called the upcoming reboot “the best news for home décor enthusiasts everywhere.” On the whole, viewers’ appetites for real estate reality shows are far from slowing down. Famous TV personalities were the second-most popular pick, even if their fame had nothing to do with interior design. People are notorious for trusting celebrities implicitly even if their advice is blatantly wrong—so who could put it past us to place our home in an unqualified celebrity’s hands as long as we like them as a person? Meanwhile, men were much more likely than women to hand off their renovation to a famous athlete or actor, while women were partial to TV designers and personalities. The two genders’ opinions converged most when it came to musicians.
Fawning over favoritesIt’s a fact: Humans are fascinated by celebrities. For some, this interest can even border on obsession. One study found that one-third of people exhibited “borderline-pathological levels” of “Celebrity Worship Syndrome,” including fixations on one particular celebrity. Think Justin Bieber and his “Beliebers.” It should come as no shock, then, that many of our respondents’ chosen celebrity dream teams were singled out for reasons like attraction and a desire to meet them. In the case of movie star and muscle man Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, beloved by many for his oft-heartwarming and wholesome nature, wanting to meet him was the main driver behind people’s choice to have him overhaul their home. Meanwhile, celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Scarlett Johansson were singled out for their attractiveness. Respondents placed Drew and Jonathan Scott at the top of their lists for several reasons, such as the belief they would do a good job with the project, as well as simply being a fan. Meanwhile, our surveyed population most frequently chose “Fixer Upper” stars Chip and Joanna Gaines based on an appreciation for their home’s decor—their very own fixer-upper-turned-farmhouse-chic oasis.
To each their ownSkim just one interior design magazine, and you’ll come face to face with dozens of ways to outfit a single room. For our respondents, though, clean lines and sleek surfaces were the keys to their home decor hearts. Modern design was, by far, the most coveted dream home decorating style, with nearly half of our surveyed population naming this design as their preference. Along gender lines, men revealed a particular affinity for modern vibes compared to women, at 53.7 percent versus 42.7 percent. When it came to farmhouse and rustic home decor, the second- and third-most popular styles overall, women were more on board with these trends than men. Now, while the terms “rustic” and “farmhouse” may have you picturing bales of hay and denim-upholstered pillows, the reality is quite the contrary: This type of interior design can actually look incredibly fresh and vibrant when done correctly, defined by unique accents like sliding barn doors, mixed metals, and cozy bench-style seating.
The Scotts and Gaineses were neck and neck for the title of our respondents’ most-watched home makeover show, but it was the “Property Brothers” who took home the gold in the end. Hold on to your hats, superfans: Yet another TV show featuring the Scott duo is on its way to HGTV. Stay tuned for “Property Brothers: Forever Home,” coming May 2019. Meanwhile, “Love It or List It,” hosted by Hilary Farr and David Visentin was the third-most popular program, followed by Ty Pennington’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”
Trust the pros
While some of our respondents were willing to hand their home over to a musician, athlete, or a movie star, the bulk of them were most enthusiastic about the interior design TV celebrities they know and love. Chip and Joanna Gaines, along with “Property Brothers” Jonathan and Drew, made frequent appearances as first- and second-place picks. Renovation expert Ty Pennington was another frequent top three contender. Just ask our respondents: The experts know best. While we can’t promise you a TV star, Porch can help you find your very own home renovation dream team in no time at all. From carpet cleaning to HVAC installation, you’re sure to find the pro you’re looking for. Visit Porch to browse our renovation and design articles, hire an expert, consult a project-specific cost guide, and so much more.
Methodology and limitations
To collect the data represented in the above study, a survey was conducted using the Mechanical Turk Service from Amazon. There were 1,001 total respondents: 469 men and 532 women. All data presented in the study above rely on self-reporting. There can be many issues with self-reported data, such as telescoping and exaggeration. To ensure respondents paid attention instead of answering randomly, an attention check was added. Respondents were asked to select up to five celebrities from a list of 70, which was sourced from the top-earning celebrities as well as those with the most social media followers, with the addition of a text box to write in a celebrity we might not have included.
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