7 design shows to help escape the winter blahs

There’s something about the thrill of a before-and-after reveal that makes it easy to lose track of time watching endless episodes of design makeover and DIY shows. Plus, now that winter is here and we’re spending more time than ever at home, it’s the perfect excuse to binge on such shows without any guilt.

Whether you’re dreaming of a future move, planning for a makeover or simply looking to escape to another locale, these design shows will keep you entertained and cozy this winter.


1. Dream Home Makeover (Netflix)

Husband and wife team Shea and Syd McGee of Studio McGee star in six episodes of this totally dreamy-yet-accessible series of design makeovers that I’ll admit to completing in one afternoon.

This show features real families looking for a total design overhaul to make their space comfortable and cozy yet timeless and put together. With a focus on functional design that maximizes the use of each space, Studio McGee delivers designs that are subtle, lived in and more than worthy of a tearful reveal.


2. Sarah Off the Grid (HGTV)

Who hasn’t dreamed about hiding away in an off-the-grid cottage or cabin on a dreary winter day? Escape (if only for a few episodes) with this aspirational home makeover show about designer Sarah Richardson’s off-the-grid home in smalltown Creemore, Ontario.

With a tight budget and deadline to finish the project, each episode shows off plenty of wallet-friendly renos that make a big impact in this 19th century home. Plus, you’ll learn more about what it takes to go off-grid while still maintaining the comforts of home. Escape with two seasons of this HGTV show.


3. HOME (Apple TV+) 

You might not have travelled recently, but you can explore other places with this nine-episode series on Apple TV+.

Each episode features a different locale and offers a behind the scenes look into innovative and interesting homes from around the world. From industrial to experimental to eclectic, each home featured is anything but ordinary. Whether it’s a 3D printed community in Mexico or a 344 square foot apartment in Hong Kong, each space is designed with purpose and pushes the boundaries of what we call home.


4. Holmes Next Generation (CTV, DIY Network)

If you’re into home décor shows, you’ve probably watched Mike Holmes rescue many homeowners from DIY disaster jobs and contractor nightmares.

In this series, Holmes welcomes his kids, Sherry and Michael, to the home reno disaster recovery team. Each episode will pull at your heartstrings with a relatable tale of home reno or DIY regret that Mike and family make right while sharing plenty of wisdom along the way. If you’ve got a big reno project in mind, keep your notebook handy while watching.


5. Stay Here (Netflix)

If you’ve ever wondered what it really takes to turn your home or rental property into a five-star money making venture check out Stay Here. In this show, real estate experts help property owners create unique vacation rentals that make sense financially. With tough love and expert advice, homeowners learn how to part with what’s not working and feature the best parts of their property.


6. Salvage Kings (HISTORY)

Before any major home décor project starts, you’ve got to do the demolition. And for some people, that’s the best part of the whole project.

On Salvage Kings, the salvage team races against the clock. looking for treasures that would otherwise be lost in major building demolitions. From classic neon signs to collectable toys or old-growth wood beams, you never know what design and décor gems they might find — and the thrill of the hunt will keep you hooked. Plus, this show is a great option for binging with family members who might be less interested in budgets or before and after reveals.


7. Making it Home with Kortney and Dave (HGTV)

Expert house flippers Kortney and Dave take on more personal makeovers in their latest home reno adventure, Making it Home with Kortney and Dave.

In this series, the duo helps homeowners transform their space into a place they can call home for the long haul. Each episode includes a mix of major design overhauls and smaller DIY projects to help give a personal touch to each homeowner’s space. No matter what project they’re tackling, Kortney and Dave go above and beyond to help homeowners create something even better than they could have imagined.


No matter your style, there’s sure to be a binge-worthy show that will keep you watching episode after episode. So go ahead: cozy up on the couch and start plotting the makeover of your dreams this winter.

— Realtor.ca