How did you get casted on HGTV Star? Once the casting agency posted the announcement on Craigslist , Facebook, and Online – I got an onslaught of emails from my clients, my Facebook friend Trina, and my older brother. His was the funniest – It was simply entitled “Here’s your chance!” with a link to the add. – needless to say, I went to the audition.
What was the worst thing about being gone so long? Leaving. Once I got there, and met my cast-mates I was cool. But it was saying goodbye to my son and my husband who started balling at the Milwaukee airport, felt kinda like someone ripping my heart out of my chest. To add some comic relief to the situation I remember saying to him – “Its okay, just like in the movies they will probably kill me off somewhere in the middle of the movie!”
What did you win? Well a whole new life! I got the opportunity to compete in the Olympics of interior design & decorating, national exposure, and a contract for my own television show. Yes – I am also getting paid for being a TV host.
Me with my Friend and Producer Liz
Where would you be shooting? Are you moving? With MERIA, the embarrassing rooms were found in various locations in Los Angeles and Minneapolis. I am having a very bsy summer traveling and shooting the show. Chicagoland will remain my home base.
Are you still designing while embarking on your new TV Career? YES!!! My design doors are still open and taking in new clients. I mainly work in Chicago, but I have had more inquires to design homes in the Atlanta and New York areas. I am in the process of hiring more staff to support my growing design firm.
Here are some highlights from my interview with my interview with Liz Gray of HGTV:
Fresh off her HGTV Star win, I chatted with our newest host about the best and worst parts of the grueling competition, what it felt like to win and what you’ll see on her new show, Most Embarrassing Rooms in America, coming to HGTV this fall.
HGTV Star Season 8 Winner Tiffany Brooks
It’s been a crazy ride for you on HGTV Star! What was the most difficult thing about the competition? The most difficult thing about the competition was the time. The viewers — and I was one of them — think “What’s wrong with this designer? Why didn’t they do this?” Time and resources play a huge role in the show. It’s like that unseen character.
What was your favorite moment on the set that we didn’t see on TV? After they called time in the loft challenge and we were in the vans headed home, our story producers kept calling Brooks “Boris.” Brooks just sat there with this crazy look on his face, not answering any questions. Anne and Jeribai and I just feel into this pit of laughter. It went on for at least half an hour.
How did you feel going into the finale? At that point I was just like, I’ve made it this far. I still didn’t believe that it was possible for me to win. I was still able to dream and be responsible and not be nervous about anything. When I heard it was in Palm Springs, I was like, it’s a mini-vacation!
Did you leave your finale suite wishing you’d done something different, or were you happy with the design? I loved it. I loved the art installation, I loved the fireplace. It was completely me.
What was your first reaction to winning HGTV Star? I kind of froze for a minute, and then started thinking,”Oh my God, they just said Tiffany. I have to respond, I have to do something.” So it was like my brain having a conversation with my body. I could not react quick enough. I was still stunned that they said my name.
And the moment happened so quickly — Vern was staring straight at us for like 5 minutes, and then all of the sudden out of nowhere, they said “Tiffany.” We started the Champagne toast, and the other contestants came over. They were screaming, they were crying, they were emotional over the fact that I had won. It really felt like these people were in my corner, and the win started to feel a little more real.
Tiffany Brooks’ Winning HGTV Star Moment
What was first thing you did when you got home after the show? I slept. I of course said hi to my husband and gave my son the longest hug I could give him, but then I slept.
Tell us about your new show, Most Embarassing Rooms in America. The new show is fabulous. You’re going to see some places that were truly hideous, and homeowners that were truly embarrassed. We got to fix that for them.
What was your favorite part of filming Most Embarrassing Rooms? The show’s carpenter Jeff Devlin and I hit it off like we have known each other for years. The relationship that you’re going to see through the TV is real.
Carpenter Jeff Devlin With HGTV Star Tiffany Brooks
Can you share some of your favorite makeovers from the show? Hands-down, my two favorites are the midcentury modern living room makeover and the kitchen makeover, which is the premiere. [For the kitchen makeover,] the “before” home was just amazing. It had roosters everywhere. I called it “Cock-a-Doodle-Don’t,” which might end up being the episode title.
Before: Dated Country Kitchen
And the after was such a transformation!
After: Modern, Rustic Kitchen
Here’s the breakfast nook in the open kitchen and dining space…
Salvaged Wood Breakfast Nook
…and a clutter-hiding, distressed barn door camo-ing a closet.
A Sliding Barn Door Covers Hidden Storage
Like what you see? Most Embarrassing Rooms in America premieres on Saturday, September 21 at 2pm/1c.
Do you have a question for me? I would love to answer it!
Stay Blessed All!
Your Chicago Interior Designer/HGTV Star Winner