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!
Kitchen, 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.
The 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.
This 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.
The 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!
The 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.
The 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!
This 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.
The 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.
This 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 HGTV.com.