If you’re familiar with the articles we write here at TV Goodness then you know we often cover Hallmark Channel and its various themed movies and original series.
Well, we recently visited the set of Hallmark’s family-friendly talk show, Home & Family. Hosts Mark Steines and Debbie Matenopoulos gave the writers and reporters in attendance a tour of the beautiful home that serves as the H&F set.
Debbie Matenopoulos: You will not find another show in Hollywood quite like this one. We truly are all family. We really get along. I know, it’s shocking, but it’s true. This cast really does love one another and I think it comes across on television. What you see is what you get 52 weeks, five days a week, and that’s the only [talk] show in America that has new programming every single week.
Mark Steines: We want to try to give people a place to go to get away from just what’s happening in the press day in and day out.
Matenopoulos: I always say this is like hanging out with your friends and I mean it. This isn’t take two. This is live-to-tape. You will see us mess up often like you do in real life when you’re trying to speak and the words don’t come out right. Well, it happens a lot on this show. Words are hard.
One of our favorite tour highlights: sampling celebrity chef Scott Conant‘s rigatoni bolognese (FYI: we’re still dreaming about this dish).
Conant, who’s a frequent judge on Food Network’s Chopped and owns restaurants in L.A., Phoenix, Las Vegas and New York, was a guest on the show’s first episode of its sixth season.
Scott Conant: It’s important to break down the nuances of why we make the decisions we make as chefs. [Home & Family] really try to get into tips and how to make it a little bit better and the reasons why we make the decisions that we make.
Steines and Matenopoulos also introduced us to the various family members tasked with the job of passing on their expert knowledge in their respective fields:
Lifestyle Expert Kym Douglas
Matenopoulos: Kym is our lifestyle expert, our beauty expert. She also has been on a gazillion shows over the years. Anytime you turn on the television you see her face at one point or another. On Ellen a lot, by the way. But this is her favorite place ever.
Kym Douglas: Â I do the lifestyle here and it’s so much fun because we do it right here in a house so it’s so easy to do. And actually today I’m going to be showing all of our audience how to do…you know we all love our coffee in the morning. We have to be here really early. And you like to wake up your system. I’m gonna show you how to wake up your face.
Garden expert Shirley Bovshow
Matenopoulos: Shirley has a very successful landscaping business. She comes and plays with us and we’re very lucky.
Steines: She just loves this stuff. I’ve never seen anybody with the depth of knowledge. You are so rooted — no, that’s bad (everyone groans). Pretty much anything that I kill, she brings back to life, with a green thumb.
Shirley Bovshow: One of my jobs on the show is to reach out to the audience who would wish to be a good gardener, who want to have fresh herbs from their own home to cook with. Because that’s really what grounds the family. So my job is to make it seem easy and simple. And what I really love, that makes this show a little bit different, is that we actually have a house. I can actually dig in the ground. Can you imagine? I’m not in a stuffy studio.
Animal Rescue Expert Larissa Wohl
Larissa Wohl: I have been doing television and rescue work for about ten years now. I foster a lot of animals, dogs…
Matenopoulos: Tell them how many.
Steines: How many? Get it out.
Matenopoulos: Over 40.
Wohl: Dozens. Not at once, though! Not at once, I promise. I think the most I’ve had at once is six. But I do a lot of work in the shelter system and I turned my house here in L.A. into a foster haven of sorts. And this season we’re gonna really make a big push for rescue efforts, nationwide, not just here in L.A. We’re going to be doing an adoptable animal every single day on the show. Some will be live here on the set, some will be Facetime’d with rescues and shelters across the country and that way everybody, no matter where they live, knows there are amazing animals waiting for them.
Happy (this little fella just so happened to be visiting)
Wohl: Happy is the Hallmark dog, you may have seen him in his big breakout role, Love at the Shore this summer on Hallmark. He was a rescue, a real rags to riches story, found on the streets of L.A., and is now just a therapy dogs for kids at the Ronald McDonald homes and he just spreads happiness wherever he goes.
Family Member Matt Iseman
Matt Iseman: What I love is when we pull things from our lives. You wouldn’t know it from looking at me but my health isn’t as good as it could be. I have rheumatoid arthritis.Â Obviously the family’s a group of all different backgrounds. It’s fun to bring things we’re facing in our life be it my health issues or problems at home and come find the solutions and genuinely learn from each other and hopefully get to eat delicious things.
DIY Experts Paige Hemmis and Ken WingardÂ
Pagie Hemmis: You might remember me from Extreme Makeover: Home Edition where we built houses. So I kinda bring that building here, I’m doing the building part of this.
Ken Wingard: She does all the butch stuff and I do all the girly stuff.
Hemmis: But it works! Typically I’m in a tool belt and that’s where I’m happiest.
Matenopoulos: We actually added together the number of DIYs that have been made on this show and how many were there?
Wingard: We had to do the math.
Hemmis: It’s 2,634.
Wingard: It’s two a day, five days a week, 52 weeks a year, for five years now (both Wingard and Hemmis have been on since season one).
Hemmis: And that’s not including if guests come on and do their own DIY.
Fashion and Lifestyle Experts Lawrence Zarian and Ali Fedotowsky-Manno
Ali Fedotowsky-Manno: I’m joining the show as a lifestyle expert. I’m going to be doing a bunch of lifestyle segments. I’m a mom to a 14-month baby girl named Molly so I’ll be doing a lot of things celebrating babies and motherhood and fashion and cooking and just everything playing off my lifestyle blog.
Lawrence Zarian: The thing that we love about the show the most and the thing that we get the best response is, to me, we do the show for our viewer. And the thing that I love is when a viewer will ask me a fashion question and the thing that I get to do is I get to go out and personally shop for that woman. And then many times we get to Skype with the viewer and then show what the transition is and how she can make her life better.
Matenopoulos: And send them the clothes.
Zarian: And send them the clothes.
Lifestyle and DIY Expert Maria Provenzano (she’s stationed in the Christmas Corner section of the set)
Maria Provenzano: I actually started as a blogger, my website is From Scratch with Maria and then I was fortunate to make an appearance three years ago and I’ve been here ever since, as a DIYer and I do stuff in the kitchen. I’m a mom so I love doing kids’ crafts as well and I really love to do crafts that people can watch and look at it and know that they can do it at home, too.
Matenopoulos: As you can see, we’ve stepped into Christmas. We always have a Christmas Corner. This Christmas Corner will change from time to time. Today Maria is making a Christmas train that will stay until it’s time to keep changing it up and it’s pretty impressive.
Steines: One of the things I think that Maria is different â€” because we’ve got lifestyle, lifestyle, lifestyle â€” one of the differences, the nuances are, Maria does it more from a mom’s point of view., stuff you can do with your children. You know, that perspective versus Ken and Paige that are looking at how you can upgrade your house, how to do bigger projects that maybe need a little more muscle behind it.
Family Member/Fashion DIYer Orly Shani
Matenopoulos: Orly Shani, who honestly is the DIY Fashionista. Lawrence [Zarian] can dress people and make them look great. Orly can take a Chanel dress or skirt or shoe â€” I’m getting chills just talking about it â€” she takes something that is so expensive and she makes it from scratch for like $30 or less.
Orly Shani: And that’s the whole thing. This show is about creating a one-of-a-kind life for yourself and taking ownership and making things look and feel exactly like you want. I take a ton of inspiration from fashion that is out in the world. That not only some celebrities and high-end designers are doing, but some stuff that’s just readily available that everybody wants.
Home & Family airs weekday mornings at 10/9c on Hallmark Channel.
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