Former Shows & Episodes

Renovation Bootcamp ™

Robin Siegerman

Renovation Bootcamp – These Fireplaces Are Sizziling Haute

When someone says the words, “electric fireplace” do you conjure up an image of a tacky, hardware store box with tin foil and a red, rotating light bulb inside? Well, get that image out of your head! Crummy looking electric fireplaces are a thing of the past! With technology and style changes, electric fireplaces are beautiful as well as practical. They can be a source of heat in the room that costs just pennies a day to operate and in a condo where you can’t have a chimney or an open flame, an electric fireplace is a great option to add warmth and atmosphere to any room in your home. Tune in as host Robin Siegerman talks to Jeanne Grier of Stylish Fireplaces, who will give us an idea of what options are available and some surprising price information.

On Tip from the Trenches, you’ll learn all about Cambria Quartz material from Linda Leatherdale, VP of Business Development at Cambria Canada. Be prepared to be wowed by the number of patterns available and all the ways you can use this dazzling material. Not just for counter tops, you can use it just about anywhere for anything!

Renovation Bootcamp – Emmy Award Winner Steve Thomas Joins Forces with Habitat For Humanity

Host Robin Siegerman is thrilled to welcome her guest, Emmy Award winner Steve Thomas to the show! Throughout his TV career as host for 13 years of This Old House on PBS followed by a hosting stint on Renovation Nation on the Discovery Channel, Steve has been a vocal advocate for sustainable renovations and building. Now, by joining forces with Habitat for Humanity International, Steve is adding his voice to the growing chorus of concern over the state of housing for much of the population of the world by raising awareness and funds for Habitat homes all over the globe.

Steve talks about his experience in Kenya with Habitat, and the amazing project they completed there which allowed the organization to reach an impressive milestone in their history. He describes how decent, affordable housing elevates productivity and morale in communities all over the world, once devastated by violence, natural disasters and desperate poverty. Many politicians argue that building homes for those who need them is unaffordable, but Steve believes that we can’t afford not to. And with the guiding principle of Habitat for Humanity being “A hand up, not a hand out”, the model is attainable by communities everywhere.

Habitat can always use volunteers to help build homes, but even if you’re not prepared to put on a hard hat or swing a hammer, you can join the growing movement by listening to Steve and Robin talk about how to achieve affordable, decent homes for all and how communities can aspire to and accomplish true sustainability. Inspiring and motivational, you don’t want to miss a word of this episode of Renovation Bootcamp™!

Renovation Bootcamp – What’s Up With Blogs?

In the last few years the number of blogs on the web have exploded and it seems everyone and his dog has one. The early blogs were online journals, often with stream of consciousness content, leaving the reader wondering…what the…???

But in only a few short years, blogs have become a major source of information in just about every industry, and interior design is no exception. Design blogs have a huge influence on consumers and vendors, and surprisingly, they influence other designers, too. But how does a blog actually evolve and what’s involved in putting one together that’s on trend and current? Host Robin Siegerman picks the brain of Jennifer Mehditash, Editor of the interior design blog, Dec-a-porter to take you through the process and at the same time gives you a sneak peek into Pantone’s color of the year….it may surprise you!

On Tips from the Trenches, Derek Sambora of EcoSimplista talks about green sustainable flooring and reveals one of his all time, favorite eco friendly flooring types, which…well…floors our host! Derek gives you some tips on how to know what’s really green and what’s just green washing.

Orange and green? Sounds like a winning combo! Tune in!

Renovation Bootcamp – Magic Carpet Ride

Have you ever gone looking for an area rug and not been sure whether it was going to be the right size or whether the colors were going to suit your room or whether you really needed to spend THAT much money?  Join host Robin Siegerman when she talks to Alan Pourvakil a true rug expert, from W Studio in Toronto.  After listening to this episode, we guarantee all of your rug-related questions will be answered!

Throughout his 23 years in the carpet business, Alan Pourvakil has traveled the world looking for the best quality carpets, the most beautiful patterns, and has literally seen millions of examples of one of the world’s oldest crafts–the art of rug making.  Alan shares which fibres are going to stand up best to the wear and tear of your family life, what you should never do with your rugs, and how to figure out what size rug you really need.  By the end, you’ll be a rug expert too, knowing all the insider secrets: Right down to what breed of sheep has the best wool for a rug and how every last detail–even the animal’s diet–can determine the quality of the finished product, and why a synthetic carpet might be cheaper to buy but is a ba-a-a-ad idea in the long run.

And in the Tip from the Trenches segment, you’ll find out where you can get every piece of information you need about your plumbing fixture and faucet selection right from your mobile device so you never pick the wrong one again. Donna Church from Kohler will tell you how it all works.

From the kitchen and bathroom, to the living room and every other room in the house, tune in for interesting, practical information you can use to fix up your home.

Be there!

Renovation Bootcamp – Help For Hoarders

Everyone has a messy house from time to time and many people have stuff they know they should get rid of but for some reason they just can’t let go. But if you want to renovate your house, clearing out the debris is a must-do before any of the work can start. But have you ever had the private fear that your tendencies toward hoarding are actually a disorder? Does the mess affect the way you function in your home?

Most people, if they want to renovate badly enough, can gather the will to spend the time it takes to clean up and clear out. But for hoarders, there are much deeper factors at work. How do you recognize if you or someone you love has crossed the line from slob to hoarder? Host Robin Siegerman chats with Dr. Marla Deibler, a clinical psychologist and founder of The Center for Emotional Health who has been featured on A&E’s show, Hoarders, says that hoarding is in the spectrum of OCD disorders and gives us the hallmarks of what to look for and how to treat it. “It’s not a case of getting treatment and affecting a cure,” says Dr. Deibler. “These people will have a constant battle, but it can be done if they want to be helped”.

On Tip from the Trenches, find out what lighting products Philips has available now that will have you running to your nearest store to snap them up when the old, familiar incandescent light bulbs are officially phased out. You won’t be forced to put up with inadequate fluorescents that are dim and take too long to get to full power. And the old bulbs are one thing you won’t have to hoard when you see these fabulous replacements! These will kill any thought of a black market in incandescents (don’t be a bulb-runner!) as they have a great quality of light, they last so long you may have to will them to your kids, and they’ll save you a wad of cash in the long run. This show will light up your life in more ways than one. Tune in and turn on!

Renovation Bootcamp – Creativity On Speed

Ever toyed with the idea of being an interior designer?  Wonder if you have what it takes to do the décor for a client’s home? The road to a creative field is not always as straight forward as you might think!  Host Robin Siegerman interviews Shawna Starkman of SandStar Designs on how her humble student beginnings eventually led her to become the go-to gal for music video set designs and more!

Even creative people can get in a rut from time to time, finding it tough to come up with unique solutions for every project. But early in her career as a set designer for music videos Shawna Starkman found that she didn’t have the luxury of suffering from a creative block! These jobs are done on the fly in completely strange cities for big-ego directors who demand the moon but will settle for the stars.

From early aspirations as an actor/singer/dancer, then back to film school, to working on music videos with some of the most famous artists in the music business to using pink, bullet-proof glass in a kids’ room, the road to the interior design profession was an action-packed whirlwind that played like a game show on steroids for Shawna! Join in as Robin gets the back-stage scoop from Shawna Starkman on just what it’s like to be a jet-setting set designer, how it’s the ultimate test of a creative brain, and what it could possibly have in common with designing someone’s home.

And in Tip from the Trenches segment Robin discovers a cool new product to help you tile any wall in half the time of conventional methods–with much less mess!–when she talks to Rob Madore, Project Manager of BonderaTileMatSet.  This is an episode you won’t want to miss, not even for a second.  Tune in for the fun!

Renovation Bootcamp – Feng Shui – Real, Divine or Both?

Feng Shui practitioners claim that arranging your home according to the principles of Feng Shui can clear blocked energy and help with everything from losing weight, to fixing your relationship or making more money. Host Robin Siegerman a self-proclaimed skeptic says: “I believe in things I can see and touch. It’s very hard for me to believe that moving a piece of furniture can bring you lots more money, because if it was that easy, I’d be on a beach sipping a Mai Tai right now!”

Then along comes Feng Shui practitioner Linda Binns. Robin throws down the gauntlet and challenges Linda to try to change her mind (fully assuming that wouldn’t happen). Robin’s expectations of bells, chanting and woo-woo-wands are expertly dealt with when Linda cites actual, real-life examples of how the principles of Feng Shui have helped her clients with startling results! Linda’s good-natured and practical approach is compelling, but Robin isn’t yet willing to concede her position, so she makes a surprising suggestion and promises to bring proof back to her listeners!

But to keep things grounded, in Robin’s Tip of the Week, Paul Grothouse gives us the scoop on wood counter tops.  They look great, but are they really that practical…?  Are they reliable?  Will the wood swell if near a sink?  Are mildew and germs still an issue with these counters?  And what technological advances have been made to protect the wood–and our investments!–from the elements?  Paul and Robin look at the myths and facts surrounding these fascinating counter tops, and the surprising ways that wood can be used that you would never have imagined!

From demystifying Feng Shui to defining “VOC,” this episode has got it all!

It seems there are more things in heaven and earth than we can envision and two of them are on Renovation Bootcamp!  Tune in!

Renovation Bootcamp – Color Dilemmas

How do you choose what color to paint the walls in your home? Are you afraid of making a mistake and then having to live with a result you hate? Is there some kind of system or tool that could take the fear factor out of it? Host Robin Siegerman chats with Susan Jamieson of Bridget Beari Designs who reveals the inside scoop behind a new line of paint and the system she developed for picking and combining colors like the pros! You can find her 76 custom colors at Fine Paints of Europe and hear the very usual way she has of naming each shade!

But hold on! Just when you thought it was safe to pick a paint color that you love, along comes designer Judson Rothschild of Rothschild Interiors who has some controversial opinions and decrees that the only acceptable shade of paint for your walls is a version of white and don’t even THINK about using draperies or family photos as part of your décor because all they do is cause clutter that results in panic and anxiety! After personally suffering panic and anxiety attacks in his 30’s, he wrote the book Snap Out Of It! A Quck Guide To Overcoming Panic and Anxiety and applies the principles to the job sites.

“No wonder people are confused about how to successfully decorate their homes when even the pros disagree!” says Robin Siegerman. How on earth do you decide what to do? Robin gives you tips on how to approach it and what to look and ask if you do want to work with a designer or decorator.

Three renovation experts enter today’s show–who will leave unscathed?  It’s the most exciting, most controversial Renovation Bootcamp yet!  You’re not going to want to miss one second of this sizzling new show!

Renovation Bootcamp – Let There Be Light!

Did you know that poor lighting can cause headaches, eye strain, and chronic muscle problems?  With an aging population, good lighting for our homes is more important than ever.  However, the familiar incandescent light bulb is scheduled for extinction by 2012 across North America.  What will we do…?  Host Robin Siegerman welcomes a very special guest–lighting designer James Bedell–to this informative episode of Renovation Bootcamp!  James explains the pending legislation, what it means, why it’s being brought in, and what our options will be once it becomes the law of the land.

As the author of the forthcoming book Losing Edison: Beautiful, Sustainable Lighting at Home, James Bedell is positioning himself as a lighting expert at the forefront of the lighting “war” ahead!  James is here to answer all of your most prevalent lighting questions: Are we going to be stuck with yucky fluorescent bulbs that look like a mechanical version of a soft-serve ice-cream cone and emit a sickly grey/blue light that’s barely bright enough to read by? Are we going to have to throw away every lamp in the house to accommodate LED bulbs? Does the new law mean we’ll have to stockpile the light bulbs that we know and love before they’re gone for good? And what’s so bad about the light bulbs we own now, anyway?

“I think people are a little confused…thanks to the media,” explains James Bedell of the upcoming law change.  “No one really wants to buy [these bulbs] until they’re forced to,” Robin Siegerman says.  But does this change in lighting legislation have to be horrendous?  James offers Renovation Bootcamp listeners the manufacturer names of some excellent alternative light sources that you can buy without going on a hunting expedition.

“It will be a very, very exciting market two years from now,” promises James Bedell.  Are YOU ready for the Light Revolution…?  Tune in!

Renovation Bootcamp – Can An Interior Designer Save You Money Or Time Or Both?

The popular myth is that interior designers only work with very high end clients and movie stars. Some do, but there are many who can help people with more modest budgets, but it’s important to understand what their role is and what the costs are before you begin. You may be surprised by some of the advice from guest Kimberley Seldon–a veteran designer, TV personality, and Editor-in-Chief of Dabble Magazine–when she dishes about behind-the-scenes secrets of working with a designer.  Host Robin Siegerman, the “Renovation Drill Sergeant,” isn’t afraid to ask Kimberley the tough questions: What’s really going on? What can you expect when starting a new design project?  And do designers really thrust their own taste onto their unwitting clients?

Host Robin Siegerman starts off the show with her “Tip of the Week!”  Thinking of starting a renovation project?  You’ve bought all your materials and enlisted some help, but there might be one last thing you’re forgetting: A building permit.  How do you know when you actually need a building permit? What are they? How do you get one?  What kind of trouble will you get in without one? Robin has all the answers you’re looking for!

Kimberley Seldon joins Robin to answer questions and dispel common myths about interior designers.  Will designers go out of their way to find you the lowest price?  How long does it take to gather materials (in Canada VS. the United States)?  How has the economy changed the “lead times” for ordering fabrics and prints?

Robin and Kimberley discuss the hush-hush topic of hourly rates (and how those rates effect you!) and describe how years of experience add up to speed and efficiency when working in your home.  “You get faster, you get smarter, you get sharper…all those things,” says Kimberley Sheldon of her personal experience as an interior designer over the years.

Throughout this episode, you’ll learn everything you ever wanted to know about interior designers–as well as how to set your budget for when it’s your turn to have your very own home renovation.  Tune in!