Love It or List It

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Love It or List It
Love it or list it Title.jpg
Genre Reality renovations, upgrading
Created by
  • Maria Armstrong
  • Catherine Fogarty
Directed by
  • Matt Hoos
  • Jeanette Diehl
Narrated by Jacqueline Hennessy
Theme music composer Lou Pomanti
Country of origin
  • Canada
  • United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 10
No. of episodes 130
Executive producer(s)
  • Maria Armstrong
  • Catherine Fogarty
Producer(s) Maria Armstrong
Location(s) Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Running time 44 minutes
Production company(s) Big Coat Productions
Original channel W Network
Original release September 8, 2008 – present
External links
Production website

Love It or List It is a Canadian home design TV show currently airing on the W Network and on OWN Canada. The show is produced by Big Coat Productions and is based in Toronto and other surrounding areas in Ontario, Canada. The show premiered as a primetime program on W Network on September 8, 2008, and has since aired on OWN Canada as well as HGTV in the United States.

In September 2014, the show began filming in the United States in North Carolina.[1]


In Love It or List It, a homeowning couple or family has to decide between keeping their newly renovated current home ("Love It") or to buy a new home and sell their current one ("List It"). This is done with the help of hosts Hilary Farr, designer, and David Visentin, Realtor. Hilary handles design and renovation on the current home, and David finds new possible homes. To begin each episode, there is an overview of the family, their history in ownership of the home, their current use of the home, and the problems they are encountering which necessitate the need for change. The couple or family present Hilary with a list of things they wish to change in their current home, and the amount of money they are providing her as the renovation budget (it is unclear if this amount includes a supplement from the television show). The couple or family then present David with a list of things that they would need in a new home, and a maximum purchase price they wish to consider. Hilary then tries to meet the couple's current home requirements by, with the help of her assistant Desta along with myriad (usually unnamed) contractors, redesigning and renovating the current home, handling all construction, as well as finishing, furnishing, and decorating (often including the family's own prior decorative items). During the renovation the family lives outside of the home, so that there can be a big "reveal" at the finish. During this time, David finds and shows the family for-sale homes which increasingly target the family's desires as refined by their feedback to David during each showing.

Often the couple or family is divided as to staying or finding new, with one or more wishing to remain in their current home and the other side wishing to move. Sometimes, all of the family members are open-minded as to what the results may bring, and don't seem to have overtly preset views on which choice will be better. But in most cases, the family or couple disagrees, with each side seemingly intransigent: one side insistent on moving, the other insistent on staying. Thus, Hilary and David will each have a "side" that is predisposed to their view, and work to win over the other partner, without losing the support of their natural ally. While the series win-total favors Hilary by slightly higher odds, it is not clear that this is due to any specific ability she has over David, since many factors tend to make "Love It" the easier and more emotional choice, e.g., not needing to move with its associated costs, not worrying about buying one home and selling another simultaneously (often requiring "bridge" loans if purchase of new precedes sale of old), not needing to change schools or routes to workplaces, the emotional power of a big-reveal of the renovation having just occurred, and the simple, inertial comfort of the human desire to resist movement or change.

Common themes and issues include, for Hilary, an inadequate budget to complete the entire request list from the homeowners. This is often caused, according to the show, by the construction crew discovery of unforeseen costs after renovation has started. Hilary and crew, led by Eddie Richardson, must pull out all the stops to give the home owners a better arranged home than before the episode to free up space, and that often causes (or exposes) other problems (if the wall is load bearing, or if there are code or safety violations, for example). This extra expense soaks up more of the couple's budget, forcing reductions from their request list, with Hilary showing the couple the problem and describing what will be cut in scenes that are typically confrontational. Follow-on shots often show the couple or family being upset with Hilary over problems which arose from their own house's inadequacies. What is not clear in the show is whether Hilary has over-promised at the show's beginning, without doing her due diligence to see if what she thinks can be done, indeed can be done, or might be fraught with extra-costs.

Common themes and issues for David, meanwhile, include the problem of keeping the couple or family in the same area. Living in the same area is almost always of importance to the homeowners, who almost always have children already in local schools. Since most homeowners on the show are living in somewhat sub-par interior homes (frequently starter-type homes), they have a toehold in a much more expensive neighborhood than they realize, and David is rarely able to find a nicely renovated or newly built home for sale in their existing neighborhood, and must show the homeowners houses farther and farther away from their preferred neighborhood in order to give them a home with more updated square-footage at what is often a budget that is little more than the value of their current home.

The above two elements - Hilary unable to grant all renovations, and David unable to find a house in the same area are the series' most frequent sources of dramatic tension.

At the end of the show, the homeowners are shown the result of Hilary's renovation work, albeit usually not meeting the complete list, but almost always eliciting the oohs and aahs of the newly wowed homeowners who almost universally express that they can hardly believe it's the same place. After seeing their renovated home, David gets his turn to show the homeowners the new value of their newly renovated home. David then demonstrates how their newly renovated home "value" places the family that much closer to affording the new home he has shown them, and he takes time to remind them of what, inevitably, Hilary was unable to accomplish, despite her having done wonderful work on what she did get done.

The homeowners then face the catchphrase questions from Hilary "Are you going to love it..." and David, "...or are you going to list it?", the couple then proceeds with their decision. Before the couple proceeds with their decision, the camera always pans between Hilary and David and goes into slow motion to increase the dramatic effect of the decision.

Presenters' statistics Seasons 1-8[edit]

Presenter Profession Wins
Farr, HilaryHilary Farr Home design 78
Visentin, DavidDavid Visentin Real estate 57

Host and crew biographies[edit]


  • Hilary Farr – Hilary Farr is a home designer from Toronto. She has lived in Australia, England, California, and New York. Farr honed her skills on properties in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, New York and Toronto. When she first moved back to Toronto, she became the first designer to "stage" properties for sale. She continues to build and design homes in the downtown core where she herself owns properties.[2]
  • David Visentin – David Visentin is a real estate agent in Southern Ontario with Country Living Realty Limited. He has been practicing since 1987.[3]

Assistant Designer[edit]

  • Desta Ostapyk – Desta is a Toronto-based designer who graduated in 2004 from the Toronto International Academy of Design and Technology in Interior Design, and has since focused on a career in the Television Industry. She first started working with Big Coat Productions during her last semester of school as an intern for HGTV's hit series My Parents House. She soon became the Design Stylist for the show.[4]


  • Eddie Richardson – Eddie Richardson is a contractor on Love It or List It who started his own family business. Richardson has also been a pro-beach volleyball player and professional bass fisherman.
  • Fergus McLaren – Fergus McLaren started up his own construction company, R-Mac Solutions, 10 years ago.

Hilary Farr victories[edit]

Families or clients who decided to love their home and stay

Seasons 1–8: 2008–14[edit]

Season 1[edit]

  • The Challenger Family 09/08/08
  • The Lederman Family 09/15/08
  • The McMinn Family 09/22/08
  • The Doudelet Family 11/11/08
  • The Singh Family 11/18/08
  • The Thompson Family 2 11/25/08
  • The Roedger Family 12/01/08
  • The Wood Family 12/02/08
  • The Turner Family 01/05/09

Season 2[edit]

  • The Mitchell Family 04/06/09
  • The Kowalik Family 06/23/09
  • The Yee Family 07/18/09
  • The McLean Family 07/18/09
  • The Adamidis Family 09/28/09
  • The Smout Family 10/05/09
  • The Bayda-McLean Family 10/26/09
  • The Nguyen Family 11/16/09
  • Ed & Martine via the Richardson Family 11/23/09
  • The Shanahan Family 11/30/09

Season 3[edit]

  • Mark and Desta 05/17/10
  • The Matthews-Rooney Family 05/31/10
  • The Symth Family 06/07/10
  • Colin & Beth 09/06/10
  • The Hung Family 09/13/10
  • The Olmstead Family 10/04/10
  • The McPherson Family 10/18/10
  • The Milne Family 10/25/10
  • The Brown Family 11/08/10

Season 4[edit]

  • The Douglas Family 03/21/11
  • The Shaver Family 03/28/11
  • The Denil Family 04/04/11
  • The Smith Family 04/25/11
  • The Cunningham Family 05/02/11
  • The Jaswal Family 05/09/11
  • The Hunt Family 09/21/11
  • The Banyay Family 09/28/11
  • The Zeleniak Family 10/12/11
  • Dan and Rich 10/19/11
  • The Bukovec Family 10/26/11
  • Sandra and Geoff 11/11/11

Season 5[edit]

  • The Pattinson Family 02/20/12
  • The Cullen Family 02/27/12
  • Sharon & Sandra 03/05/12
  • The Cartwright Family 03/26/12
  • The Sinclair Family 04/02/12
  • Joe & Linh 09/10/12
  • Matt & Kelly 09/17/12
  • Heidi & Greg 09/24/12
  • The Byrne Family 10/22/12
  • Julie & Sherry 10/29/12

Season 6[edit]

  • Donovan Family 01/9/13
  • McWilliams 04/08/13
  • Krista & Dave 04/29/13
  • Neilson family 5/6/13
  • Mishelle & Ron 06/03/13
  • Rachel and Calum 06/10/13
  • Darlene & Jade 06/17/13
  • Stephanie & Peter 06/24/13

Season 7[edit]

  • Leslie & Michael 01/08/14
  • Allison & Robert, Daily Squeeze 01/15/14
  • Katherine, Natalia & Paolo 01/22/14
  • Chelsea & Brian 01/29/14
  • Lorraine & Bob 02/05/14
  • Brent & John 02/19/14
  • Mike & Danny, Good Cop Bad Cop 02/26/14
  • Irene Marcos 03/05/14
  • Jody & Sam 04/02/14
  • The Di Palma Family (verifying)
  • Kelly & Robin 03/19/14

Season 9[edit]

  • Pam and Brad 9/15/14
  • Karine & Daphna 09/22/14
  • Christine & Rick 10/27/14
  • Trevor & Janice 11/17/14
  • Georgia & Steve 11/24/14
  • Kelly & Eric 1/5/15
  • Jamie & Greg 1/12 15
  • Jennifer & Vincent 1/19/15
  • Gary & Lauren 3/9/15
  • Shana & Jeremy 3/23/15
  • Dwayne & Hong-An 4/6/15

Total victories for Hilary: 79

David Visentin victories[edit]

Families and clients who decided to list and move into a new or better home

Season 1-8: 2008-14[edit]

Season 1[edit]

  • The Thompson Family 11/02/08
  • The Pliskat Family 12/08/08
  • The McGeachie Family 12/09/08

Season 2[edit]

  • The Tallmeister Family 04/20/09
  • The Cunniam Family, Bachelor Pad to Family Home 04/27/09
  • The Ford-Williams Family, Standing Tall 07/18/09
  • The Goddard Family 09/21/09
  • The Elliott Family 10/19/09
  • The Sproat Family 11/02/09
  • Michael & Jeffery 11/09/09
  • The Gallagher Family 12/07/09

Season 3[edit]

  • The Ethier Family 05/03/10
  • The Cira-Bagnato Family 05/10/10
  • Jim & Connie 05/24/10
  • The Ramos Family 06/14/10
  • The McKeon-Bryce Family 06/21/10
  • The Dinis Family 06/28/10
  • The Pollock-Jones Family 07/05/10
  • The Pinnock Family 07/12/10
  • The Renton Family 09/20/10
  • Mark & Alana 09/27/10
  • Kasia & Patrick 10/14/10
  • The Maharishi Family 11/01/10

Season 4[edit]

  • The O'Hara Family 03/14/11
  • The Robertson Family 04/11/11
  • The Wahl Family 04/18/11
  • The Coughlin Family 05/16/11
  • The Godoy Family 05/23/11
  • The Piccione Family 10/05/11
  • The Barrett Family 11/02/11

Season 5[edit]

  • The Fowler Family 03/12/12
  • Mary Jo & Glen 03/19/12
  • The Richardson Family 10/01/12
  • The Young Family 10/09/12
  • The Rimes Family 10/15/12
  • Niru & Alok, Urban versus Suburban 11/05/12
  • The Abbot-Brown Family, Builder's Plan Predicament 11/12/12
  • The Finlay Family 11/19/12

Season 6[edit]

  • Melissa & Oliver 4/15/13
  • Catherine & Scott 4/22/13
  • Aline & Colin 05/13/13
  • Sarena & Flare 05/20/13
  • Wendie & Dave 05/27/13
  • Siobhan & Duncan 07/01/13

Season 7[edit]

  • Jacqueline & Bevin 02/12/14
  • Sachi & Cam 03/26/14
  • Sarah & Andrew 03/12/14

Season 8[edit]

  • Danielle & Richard 09/08/14
  • Deborah and Jay 09/29/14
  • Trish & Brian 10/16/14
  • Barb & Pete 10/6/14
  • Becky & Junior 10/20/14
  • Sue & Bruce 10/28/14
  • Michael & Yjay 11/10/14
  • Delilah & Dan 12/01/14

Season 9[edit]

  • Matt & Marcy 3/16/15
  • Josmell & Carla 3/30/15

Total victories for David: 57


Other Canadian Home design shows in competition with Love It or List It include Take This House and Sell it, Colour Confidential, and Divine Design. The show took the title of W Network's Top rated Home Improvement in a reality series, the title was previously held by Take This House and Sell it for 5 years. According to the Wall Street Journal, the show and its Vancouver spinoff is one of Canada's beloved reality series.[5]

International spinoffs[edit]


Vancouver, British Columbia[edit]

According to the show's producers, "The time is right to bring the winning formula to Vancouver’s hot real estate market." Love It or List It Vancouver will showcase families in B.C.’s largest metropolitan city who are struggling with homes that no longer suit their needs. It’s up to Jillian to put a stop to the wandering eyes of our homeowners, armed with a list of “must-haves” and a design she hopes will persuade them to stay. Meanwhile, the realtor is determined to get homeowners to relocate by taking the homeowners list of “must-haves” and finding them new digs. This is very similar to the original show's format. According to the show's executive producer Maria Armstrong, "Love It or List It has been a huge success for us and we are thrilled to be taking this amazing show to the West Coast." Love It or List It Vancouver was launched during winter 2012.[6] The Show is hosted by ABC's Extreme Makeover Home Edition designer Jillian Harris and actor now realtor Todd Talbot. (The program runs on HGTV under the name "Love it or List it Too" without any mention that it's shot in Vancouver.)

United States[edit]

In November 2011, HGTV acquired distribution rights to air Love It or List It.[7]

United Kingdom[edit]

A British version of the show is now in the works, this came after Big Coat Productions and Beyond Distribution have finalized a format deal with British broadcaster Channel 4. The show is entitled Love it or List it UK and will feature British television personalities Kirstie Allsopp as Designer and Phil Spencer as Realtor.[8]

The British version is produced by Raise the Roof Productions, Andrew Jackson was named Executive Producer of the show, the series is set to debut in 2015.

International syndication[edit]

Country / Region Name Television Network Dubbing / Subtitles
Canada Love It or List It W Network English
USA Love It or List It HGTV None
Spain Tu casa a juicio Divinity (TV channel) Spanish
Brazil Ame-a ou Deixe-a Discovery Home & Health Portuguese


Behind the Scenes[edit]

  • Architect: Simon West
  • Senior Production Coordinator: Linda Johnstone
  • Construction Coordinator: David Violante
  • Construction Assistants: Chris Blinn, Adam Dalgarno, Ahren Mrowietz, Dale George
  • Design Coordinator: Kaaveh Shoman


On August 31, 2010, Love It or List It was nominated for two Gemini Awards: Best Reality Program or Series and Best Direction in a Reality Program or Series. The show is once again nominated for Best Reality Program or Series along with its competitors Dragon Dens and Cupcake Girls. When HGTV premiered the show on the network, the company states that "Love It or List It" has been the highest rating reality series, since Candice Olson's Candice Tells All.[9]

In 2012, New York Times' columnist Gail Collins noted that it was US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's favorite TV show.[10][11] According to Collins, Clinton finds the show "very calming"[12] after being interviewed about her departure from politics.[13][14][15]

In 2013, Vanna White said it was one of her favourite HGTV programs in an interview with Las Vegas Magazine.[16] Actress Julianne Moore also gave similar praise for the show in an interview with Katie Couric and the Daily Mail.[17][18]


In February 2010, Vim was advertised in four episodes of Love It or List It. Designer Hilary Farr was featured in various commercials of Vim in 2010 while competitor David Visentin was featured in an LG earth campaign in 2011. Vehicles promoted in the show include Lexus, Toyota, Volvo, and Jeep

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Big Coat Productions. Retrieved 12 December 2014
  2. ^ Host Bios; Hilary Farr
  3. ^ Host Bios; David Visentin
  4. ^ "Big Coat Productions". Big Coat Productions. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  5. ^ "W Network Announces Return of Home-grown Favourites in Fall 2013 Lineup". The Wall Street Journal. July 17, 2013. 
  6. ^ Love it or List it launches new spin off;
  7. ^ Vlessing, Etan (November 28, 2011). "HGTV Acquires Canadian Lifestyle Series 'Love It Or List It'". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  8. ^ Big Coat Productions. Retrieved 12 December 2014
  9. ^ W Network's Top Rated Show;
  10. ^ Maga, Carly (March 29, 2012). "Hillary Clinton’s favorite show is Canada’s ‘Love It Or List It’". Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  11. ^ Miller, Julie. "Hillary Clinton’s Unlikely Favorite TV Show Revealed". Vanity Fair. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Vanity Fair: Hillary Clinton's Unlikely Favorite TV Show Revealed". November 13, 2012. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Hillary Clinton likes 'Love It or List It'". Politico.Com. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Love it or list it News, Video and Gossip". Jezebel. November 11, 2012. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  15. ^ Collins, Gail (November 10, 2012). "Hillary's Next Move". The New York Times. 
  16. ^ "Q&A WITH VANNA WHITE". Las Vegas Magazine. September 13, 2013. 
  17. ^ Daily Mail (London)  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  18. ^ "Julianne Moore Opens Up About Her Family". Retrieved August 17, 2014. 

External links[edit]