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
Starring Hilary Farr (2008-)
David Visentin (2008-)
Narrated by Jacqueline Hennessy
Theme music composer Lou Pomanti
Country of origin Canada
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 7
No. of episodes 120
Executive producer(s) Maria Armstrong, Catherine Fogarty
Producer(s) Maria Armstrong
Location(s) Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Running time 60 Minutes
Production company(s) Big Coat Productions
Original channel W Network
OWN Canada
Original airing 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 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 1-7[edit]

Presenter Profession Wins
Farr, HilaryHilary Farr Home design 76
Visentin, DavidDavid Visentin Real estate 49

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.[1]
  • David Visentin – David Visentin is a real estate agent in Southern Ontario with Country Living Realty Limited. He has been practicing since 1987.[2]

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.[3]


  • 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 1–7: 2008–14[edit]

Season 1[edit]

  • The Challenger Family
  • The Lederman Family
  • The Doudelet Family
  • The Singh Family
  • The Thompson Family 2
  • The Wood Family
  • The Roedger Family
  • The McMinn Family
  • The Moredick Family

Season 2[edit]

  • The Turner Family
  • The Preston Family
  • The Mitchell Family
  • The Kowalik Family
  • The Yee Family
  • The McLean Family
  • The Adamidis Family
  • The Smount Family
  • The Bayda-McLean Family

Season 3[edit]

  • The Nguyen Family
  • Ed and Martine via The Richardson Family
  • The Shanahan Family
  • Mark and Desta
  • The Matthews-Rooney Family
  • The Symth Family
  • Colin and Beth

Season 4[edit]

  • The Hung Family
  • The Olmstead Family
  • The McPherson Family
  • The Milne Family
  • The Brown Family
  • The Douglas Family
  • The Shaver Family
  • The Denil Family
  • The Smith-Baumfeld Family
  • The Cunningham Family
  • The Jaswal Family
  • The Hunt Family
  • The Banyay Family
  • The Zeleniak Family
  • Dan and Rich
  • The Bukovec Family
  • Sandra and Geoff

Season 5[edit]

  • The Pattinson Family
  • The Cullen Family
  • Sharon and Sandra
  • The Cartwright Family
  • The Sinclair Family
  • Joe and Linh
  • Matt and Kelly
  • Heidi and Greg
  • The Byrne Family
  • Julie and Sherry
  • The McWilliams Family
  • Ron and Mishelle
  • The Neilson Family
  • Peter and Stephanie
  • Jade and Darlene
  • Dave and Krista
  • Calum and Rachel, Make Room For 2 More
  • Dave and Wendie

Season 6[edit]

  • Leslie and Michael
  • Allison and Robert, Daily Squeeze
  • Katherine and Natalia
  • Brian and Andrea
  • Chelsea and Brian
  • The Donovan Family
  • Brent and John
  • Mike and Danny, Good Cop Bad Cop
  • Irene and Marcos
  • Jody and Sam
  • Stephanie and Peter
  • The Neilson Family (Aaron & Danielle)
  • The Di Palma Family

Season 7[edit]

  • Kelly and Robin
  • Brent & John
  • Bob and Lorraine
  • Irene & Marcos "Four Things!"

Total victories for Hilary: 76

David Visentin victories[edit]

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

Season 1-7: 2008-14[edit]

Season 1[edit]

  • The McGeachie Family
  • The Thompson Family
  • The Pliskat Family

Season 2[edit]

  • The Tallmeister Family
  • The Cunniam Family, Bachelor Pad to Family Home
  • The Ford-Williams Family, Standing Tall
  • The Goddard Family
  • The Elliott Family
  • The Sproat Family

Season 3[edit]

  • Michael and Jeffrey
  • The Gallagher Family
  • The Ethier Family
  • The Cira-Bagnato Family
  • Jim and Connie
  • The Ramos Family
  • The McKeon-Bryce Family
  • The Dinis Family
  • The Pollock-Jones Family
  • The Pinnock Family
  • The Renton Family
  • Mark and Alana
  • Patrick and Kasia
  • The Maharishi Family

Season 4[edit]

  • The O'Hara Family
  • The Robertson Family
  • The Wahl Family
  • The Coughlan Family
  • The Godoy Family
  • The Piccione Family
  • The Barrett Family
  • The Fowler Family
  • Mary Jo and Glen

Season 5[edit]

  • The Richardson Family
  • The Young Family
  • The Rimes Family
  • Niru and Alok, Urban versus Suburban
  • The Abbot-Brown Family, Builder's Plan Predicament
  • The Finlay Family
  • Colin and Aline
  • Melissa and Oliver

Season 6[edit]

  • Bevin and Jacqueline
  • Sarah and Andrew
  • Sachi and Cam
  • Siobhan and Duncan
  • Aline & Colin
  • Catherine and Scott
  • Sarena and Flare

Season 7[edit]

  • Sarah & Andrew

Total victories for David: 49


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.[4]

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.[5] 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.[6]

International syndication[edit]

Country / Region Name Television Network Dubbing / Subtitles
Canada Love It or List It W Network
OWN Canada (The Oprah Winfrey Network Canada)
USA Love It or List It OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network
Spain Tu casa a juicio Divinity (TV channel) Spanish


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.[7]

In 2012, New York Times' columnist Gail Collins noted that it was US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's favourite TV show.[8][9] according to the U.S secretary of state, Clinton finds the show "very calming"[10] after being interviewed about her departure from politics.[11][12][13]

In 2013, Vanna White said it was one of her favourite HGTV programs in an interview with Las Vegas Magazine.[14] Actress Julianne Moore also gave similar praise for the show in an interview with Katie Couric and the Daily Mail.[15][16]


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

External links[edit]