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, Raleigh–Durham, North Carolina, United States
Running time 44 minutes
Production company(s) Big Coat Productions
Original network 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 HGTV, 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 buying a new home and selling their current one ("List It"). This is done with the help of hosts Hilary Farr, designer, who handles renovation of the current home; and David Visentin, realtor, who presents 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 that they are willing to budget for renovation work. The couple or family then present David with a list of things that they request 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 redesigning and renovating the current home. With the help of contractors and her assistant Desta, Hilary manages construction, finishing, furnishing, and decorating (often making use of the family's existing decorative items). The family is not allowed to live in the home while renovations are being done; though they are shown visiting the site periodically to check in on progress. While the renovation team works on the current home, David presents the family for-sale homes, and takes into account their feedback to find increasingly more accurate options.

Often the homeowners are shown as being divided on whether to keep their home, with one individual wishing to stay in the current home and the other wishing to move. Hilary and David are shown to have a competitive dynamic, and each hope to win over both homeowners. 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: 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 the renovation having just occurred, and the comfortable human desire to resist movement or change.

Common challenges faced by Hilary are an inadequate budget to complete the entire request list from the homeowners, often due to discovery of unforeseen costs after renovation has started. Hilary and her crew, led by Eddie Richardson, must give the homeowners a better arranged home than before; and construction often reveals problems (such as code or safety violations, necessity of moving pipe work or reframing load-bearing walls, etc.) that eat away at the allotted budget and reduce the number of renovations that Hilary is ultimately able to provide.

Common issues for David, meanwhile, include the problem of keeping the homeowners in their desired neighborhood; often wanting to live within the same school district or near family members. Since many homeowners on the show are living in "starter" homes, they have a toehold in a much more expensive neighborhood than they realize; and David must either show the homeowners houses farther away from their preferred neighborhood in order to meet the budget; or exceed their budget in order to meet all requests and stay within the desired locality.

At the end of the show, the homeowners are shown the result of Hilary's renovation work, and David reveals the increased value of their renovated home. David then demonstrates how the improved value of their current home places the homeowners closer to affording the new home he has shown them; and reminds them of any perks of the new home that may not have been accomplished by renovation alone. At this stage the couple proceeds with their decision.

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

  • Desta Ostapyk (Canadian episodes) – 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]


  • Eric Eremita (North Carolina episodes) – General contractor and designer Eric Eremita was selected to be the one and only general contractor on HGTV's "Love It or List It" U.S. version, after HGTV network took notice of him when he competed in its "Brother vs. Brother" reality show.
  • Eddie Richardson (Canadian episodes) – Eddie Richardson was 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 (Canadian episodes) – Fergus McLaren started up his own construction company, R-Mac Solutions, 10 years ago.

Presenters' statistics[edit]

Presenter Profession Wins
Farr, HilaryHilary Farr Home design 85 (58.6%)
Visentin, DavidDavid Visentin Real estate 60 (41.4%)

Hilary Farr victories, Seasons 1–9: 2008–15[edit]

Families or clients who decided to love their home and stay.

Season 1

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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 8

  • 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

Season 9

  • Gary & Lauren 3/9/15
  • Shana & Jeremy 3/23/15
  • Dwayne & Hong-An 4/6/15
  • Thomas & Sarah 6/15/15
  • Dave & Sonya 6/29/15
  • Shannon & Mason 9/21/15
  • Nathan & Anne 9/28/15
  • Kim & Tyler 10/12/15
  • Ryan & Sara 10/19 15
  • Brian & Sara 10 /29/15
  • Cole & Ashley 11/2/15
  • Amanda & Grif 11/23/15
  • Anna & Andrew 12/7/15

Total victories for Hilary: 85

David Visentin victories, Season 1–9: 2008–15[edit]

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

Season 1

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

Season 2

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

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

Season 8

  • Danielle & Richard 09/08/14
  • Deborah and Jay 09/29/14
  • Barb & Pete 10/6/14
  • Trish & Brian 10/13/14
  • Becky & Junior 10/20/14
  • Sue & Bruce 10/28/14
  • Michael & Yjay 11/10/14
  • Delilah & Dan 12/01/14

Season 9

  • Matt & Marcy 3/16/15
  • Josmell & Carla 3/30/15
  • Greg & Rodolfo 6/01/15
  • Nevada & Kevin 6/8/15
  • Marty & Shannon 6/22/15
  • Lashawn & Lola 10/26/15
  • Sam & Valerie 11/9/15
  • Deanna & Sully 11/16/15
  • Emilee & Jody

Total victories for David: 60


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 five 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]


Ontario and British Columbia, Canada

In August 2015 Corus Entertainment’s W Network announced the start of production on a new spin-off of the hit franchise Love It or List It. Produced by Big Coat Productions, in association with W Network, Love It or List It Vacation Homes (13×60) features a series of unique vacation homes and breath-taking vistas in and around Ontario and British Columbia. Hosts, designer Dan Vickery (HGTV’sDesign Star) and realtor Elisa Goldhawke will face off against each other, armed with their list of “must-haves” to sway the vacation homeowners final decision to either keep their renovated property or sell. Production begins on Love It or List It Vacation Homes at the end of August and the series is scheduled to air in Spring 2016 on W Network.

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 came after Big Coat Productions and Beyond Distribution finalized a format deal with British broadcaster Channel 4. The show is entitled Love it or List It UK and features British television personalities Kirstie Allsopp as designer and Phil Spencer as realtor.[8] The British version, which debuted in 2015, is produced by Raise the Roof Productions. Andrew Jackson was named executive producer of the show. Love It or List It UK began airing on Canada's W Network in October 2015. A second series was commissioned to air in 2016.[9]

International syndication[edit]

Country / Region Name Television Network Dubbing / Subtitles
Australia Love It or List It Lifestyle Home English
Canada Love It or List It W Network English
USA Love It or List It HGTV None
Spain Tu casa a juicio Divinity Spanish
Brazil Ame-a ou Deixe-a Discovery Home & Health Portuguese
Norway Bolighjelpen TV 2 (Norway) Norwegian


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.[10]

In 2012, New York Times' columnist Gail Collins noted that it was US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's favorite TV show.[11][12] According to Collins, Clinton finds the show "very calming"[13] after being interviewed about her departure from politics.[14][15][16]

In 2013, Vanna White from Wheel of Fortune has said it was one of her favourite HGTV programs in an interview with Las Vegas Magazine.[17] Actress Julianne Moore also gave similar praise for the show in an interview with Katie Couric and the Daily Mail.[18][19]


In April 2016, the homeowners who participated in a 2015 Love It or List It episode filed suit against production company Big Coat TV, as well as the North Carolina contractor who the show hired to do the renovations on their home. The couple alleges that the renovation funds that they provided were not properly disbursed, and that the work on their home was done to a substandard quality.[20] Moreover, the lawsuit states that the television personalities on the show do not play an active role in the renovation process, and that they were not shown homes on the market by any licensed North Carolina real estate agent. Big Coat TV has commented that they "do intend to vigorously defend what [they] consider to be false allegations."[21]

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. ^ "Kirstie and Phil's Love It or List It will return for a second series:Channel 4 orders six more episodes of the show to air in 2016". Digital Spy. 2 June 2015. Retrieved 14 March 2016. 
  10. ^ W Network's Top Rated Show;
  11. ^ Maga, Carly (March 29, 2012). "Hillary Clinton's favorite show is Canada's 'Love It Or List It'". Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  12. ^ Miller, Julie. "Hillary Clinton's Unlikely Favorite TV Show Revealed". Vanity Fair. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Vanity Fair: Hillary Clinton's Unlikely Favorite TV Show Revealed". November 13, 2012. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Hillary Clinton likes 'Love It or List It'". Politico.Com. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Love it or list it News, Video and Gossip". Jezebel. November 11, 2012. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  16. ^ Collins, Gail (November 10, 2012). "Hillary's Next Move". The New York Times. 
  17. ^ "Q&A WITH VANNA WHITE". Las Vegas Magazine. September 13, 2013. 
  18. ^ Daily Mail. London  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  19. ^ "Julianne Moore Opens Up About Her Family". Retrieved August 17, 2014. 
  20. ^ CNN, Lisa Respers France. "'Love It or List It' homeowners file suit". CNN. Retrieved 2016-05-03. 
  21. ^ "'Love It Or List It' homeowners sue over Raleigh renovation". miamiherald. Retrieved 2016-05-03. 

External links[edit]