Green Building

HGTV Green Home 2010: What Do You Think?


I like to think of myself as a pretty huge fangirl for HGTV’s Green Home. Every year, I wait with eager anticipation to see where the home will be, how it will be laid out and decorated and what will be green about it. This year, I hate to say it, but I find myself a little disappointed. So much so, that I hesitated to post about it for about a week after the entry period for the home began. Take a look at these photos of the home along with my observations.


Living room, complete with sustainable furnishings, including a coffee table that I admit I am in love with!

HGTVGreenHome-kitchenKitchen, with bright red composite countertop. In this case, I hope “composite” means Vertrazzo, Ice Stone or some other material that incorporates recycled glass. It looks to be, but I’m not certain.

HGTVGreenHome-diningThe dining area (not really a room), which seems to have too many chairs squeezed around a table that is too small for them. I love the table, which looks to be made of reclaimed wood, but smaller scale chairs probably would’ve worked better, maybe with two at the ends instead of three on each side.

HGTVGreenHome-sittingThis sitting room at the top of the stairs leads into the master bedroom. I’m honestly not sure how functional it is, though it is nicely decorated.

HGTVGreenHome-masterThe master bedroom, which is one of just two bedrooms in the home. I’m not sure why the bed is on wheels, but I actually love how the four posters are tapered from bottom to top and how the bed and nightstands fit perfectly in that nook. The dark carpet makes the room feel a little heavy, but other than that, I really like the overall look. That patterned chair is fabulous!

HGTVGreenHome-masterbathThe master bathroom is bright and airy, and the two framed mirrors over the vanity really give the room a little added character. I’m not sure how I feel about the tile in the shower, but it seems to fit the overall style of the home.

HGTVGreenHome-kidsroom2The second bedroom/kids room, which seems to be lacking a closet. I’m not sure how that one slipped by the builders, but a bedroom with room to sleep two kids definitely needs a closet. It’s also a little hard to tell in this photo, but if you look in the top center of the photo, you’ll see a white shelving unit with towels on it. That is the sink area which leads into the bathroom. Having the sink separate from the tub and toilet is not a new concept, but having them SO open the room seems like a mess waiting to happen, especially in a room with children. Overall though, the colors in the room are bright and fun, and you already know how I feel about that gorgeous recycled magazine mirror above the orange chair!

HGTVGreenHome-towerThis room sits atop the tower you can see in the exterior photo. This room feels redundant with the sitting room outside the master. It is staged with a desk, but doesn’t feel at all functional as an office. I would’ve liked to see at least one of these used as a true office space, at least with a computer and some storage. I do love the views from the room though, along with the Angela Adams rug and the glass topped desk that makes the tiny space feel a little larger than it really is.

HGTVGreenHome-porchThe outdoor spaces are where I feel the home does best. This huge front porch looks incredibly comfortable and inviting — the type of space that would make you want to invite the neighbors over. More seating would’ve been nice, but the deep step down to the yard makes for a nice place to sit too.

HGTVGreenHome-outdoor1This back yard patio is gorgeous, and beautifully functional. The outdoor kitchen can be completely hidden by the sliding doors you see on the right. I wonder whether that meets fire code (I know it wouldn’t in Georgia, where you must barbecue at least 10 feet from any building), but it sure does look nice.

Here are my thoughts, in summary: The issues I have with the home have a lot less to do with the decor than with the floor plan. When it comes to decorating, you can’t please everyone. While I probably would’ve made some different choices, the overall aesthetic feels true to the style of the home, and most, if not all, of the furnishings are sustainable in one way or another. Designer Linda Woodrum clearly had a plan for each room, and those plans were well-executed. I can appreciate this effort even if I don’t necessarily like the style of the decor.

However, how practical is a barely 2-bedroom home in this day and age? I say “barely” because the kids’ bedroom doesn’t even appear to have a closet. The floor plan feels disjointed and unfinished. The square footage of the master sitting room and tower could’ve served a better purpose, like a third bedroom (WITH a closet) or as I mentioned above, even an office space. Wasted space doesn’t fit with the idea of a green home. The home is large, to be sure, but if it can only accommodate a family of 3 (maybe 4 if the kids share a room), with no room for even the occasional guest, it feels like it’s large without purpose. It seems like a lot of square footage to heat and cool for such a small family (worse if it’s intended for a single couple). In other words, while the home is green at face value, it just doesn’t feel practical or functional as an everyday home. It feels more like a vacation home, and in general, owning a second home isn’t a very green thing to do.

There’s also the issue of why HGTV insists on giving away an SUV with its green home every year. To be fair, I understand that GMC is a major sponsor that contributes the giveaway vehicle every year, and the Terrain DOES have better fuel economy than any of GMC’s hybrids. But it’s still an SUV to go along with a green home apparently intended for a very small family. The two concepts just don’t mesh.

Still, I love the spirit of the HGTV Green Home Giveaway in that it gets millions of people excited about sustainability and proves that style doesn’t have to be an afterthought when going green.

So what do you think of this year’s Green Home? Will you enter the giveaway? You can view photos, videos and tours of each room, at Green Home central at

About Author

I am a graphic designer by trade who has a strong passion for interior design and doing what we can to protect the environment. This blog and my other site, Green & Gorgeous, are my ways of giving back to the Earth.


  • Joy~R3FitShow
    April 26, 2010 at 10:08 am

    I love all the looks, especially the tower one!

  • Christine
    April 26, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Regardless of what’s inside the home, the home itself was built for the specific purpose of being given away in a sweepstakes. What’s green about that? Shouldn’t they have given away a preexisting home with snazzy green modifications made to it?

    • jennae
      April 26, 2010 at 10:33 am

      Christine, that’s a great point. I would love to see them do that for a future green homes, particularly given the fact that the current real estate market has left lots of homes unsold.

  • Condo Blues
    April 26, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    I like they’ve scaled the green home down in size, but I’m befuddled with their space planning. The tower room really had the potential to be something specular, I’d like to see it as a Master Bedroom,, instead of an after thought. One thing I do like about the decor that it doesn’t scream I AM GREEN! Like the first Green home they gave away. I want my friends and family to first see that my home is inviting and stylish and THEN notice that some of my more interesting elements have a green story to tell.

    • jennae
      April 26, 2010 at 3:44 pm

      @Condo Blues: I agree with you on all counts. Scaling the home down is a great idea, but removing necessary rooms is not. What is UP with that sitting room outside the master? The whole house really just seems like a space planning nightmare. And I also definitely love the fact that all the furnishings look fresh and sophisticated, and it would be hard to tell they’re green at first glance.

      One of my favorite sayings is that green isn’t a style. You can make ANY style home or decor more sustainable if you’re willing to try 🙂

      • Jeanne Lambert
        April 26, 2010 at 4:55 pm

        I toured the home last week on the first day they opened it to tours. I thought the cottage was beautiful! The home is located in PineHills, MA, a self encapsulated community near Cape Cod. I am not sure the % within the PineHills community, but much of it is an over 55 community. Therefore, in keeping a small footprint in keeping it green, I believe that was the decision behind keeping it a two bedroom… empty nesters, or a vacation cottage.

        I was told during the tour that HGTV wanted the builder to keep the children’s bedroom “open” so it would be able to be shown on TV. In the area with the sink, there are poles for hanging clothes while you’re there ‘visiting’. This is not meant to be a permanent, child’s room.

        I’m not sure whey you all have such an issue with the sitting area outside the master. This was a perfect space to watch a little TV before going to bed (or let your spouse watch it, while you close the door and go to sleep), or to just sit and read a book after the beach.

        The tower room was very small and only had enough space for a chaise and this small desk, but the breeze that came through those windows was magical and will be greatly appreciated during the summer months. Again — no work in this house — just relax and enjoy the grandkids for a weekend at a time.

        The chairs at the dining table were used because they could be taken outside easily — they will spend most of their time on the porch………

        All I can say, is I’ve been registering every day to win this charming, cheerful cottage. I don’t think this builder made any mistakes in the floor plan given the footprint requirements. It uses minimal lot coverage to preserves more than twice the lot for open space. When you drive around Pine Hills, you appreciate that part of it’s beauty.


        Let me first say

        • jennae
          April 26, 2010 at 5:22 pm

          @Jeanne I can definitely understand how seeing it in person could change my perspective on the home, but I also think several of the things you mention sort of bring home the point I was making. I think if the idea was to keep it as a home for empty nesters, particular in the over 55 age range, why not make it a ranch instead of a three-story home with stairs to climb. The footprint is rather large, I think, for a home meant for one or two people. Also, why stage the kids’ room as such if it is not meant to be used as a permanent room? Why not stage it as a guest room? And if it is intended to be used as a vacation home, then it defeats the whole purpose of being a truly “green” home.

          The overall issue here is that the home was clearly designed with a very specific demographic in mind, yet staged to bring in the maximum number of entrants. I imagine a winner who has 2 or 3 kids would be very disappointed that they can’t use the space very effectively.

          Still, I do think it is a beautiful home. I just think it could have been planned better.

  • Lori Z.
    April 26, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    I agree with everything you said! I found myself thinking, well if you have two young kids this is fine, but when they need space, this will have to be changed! The layout is just too strange. I think that the observation tower could be a bedroom and the wheels on things like the bookshelf or bed are to make things more functional.

  • Hilary
    April 28, 2010 at 12:30 am

    I really love the exterior of this property!
    Is it already time to head over and start submitting to win!?

  • Zippy
    April 28, 2010 at 11:01 am

    I love both the exterior and interior on this one. I live around the corner from last year’s green house (2009 – in Tradition) and it’s so disappointing to see what’s happened to it. They build these homes beautifully, but the price is outrageous which means that the winners can not live there because of the taxes and upkeep. The one near me has become an overgrown eyesore. It’s such a shame.

    I guess that’s what comes from building a $700,000 house in a neighborhood where they can’t give the homes away for $120,000.

    • Christy in Georgia
      May 27, 2010 at 8:46 pm

      Zippy! I am thankful you posted. Are you referring to the Green Home in HH? My husband and I loved that home. It is with regret that I hear it is in disaster.

  • Sheena
    April 29, 2010 at 3:29 am

    Everything’s so white. What’s up with that? And only 2 bedrooms? If I won, I’d be on cloud 9, so let me shut up.


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