Beacher Cynthia Zamaria and her Bracken Avenue home recently appeared in an episode of the HGTV program Four Houses Canada. When all was said and done, her three fellow competitors decided that hers was the top home in the fun competition, which allows four homeowners – with wildly varying taste – to compare each other’s homes and decorating taste, then lets the group vote for the best style. The winner gets $1,000 and a future photo spread in Style At Home Magazine.
Zamaria’s friend sent in photos of her home when she saw the casting call on TV, and next thing she knew, the crew were filming three strangers judging her home in April. Saying yes to the show took a bit of convincing from family and friends, however.
“Believe it or not I’m a pretty private person, so to display yourself on national television took a little bit of prompting,” she said.
After filming began, she quickly warmed up to the process, as well as to her competition.
“It was great for me because I was first, so after that I could relax a little bit,” she said. “There was great chemistry. We just had fun, and we’re still in touch with each other now.”
Now that she’s won her episode, her kids have become her biggest fans.
“My children were so proud and so enthusiastic. I call my son my little P.R. agent – he’s on Facebook telling all his friends to watch the show,” said Zamaria.
The other homes in her episode were in the west end, Forest Hill and Corktown. Although she appreciated aspects of the other homes, she isn’t about to redesign her own from scratch.
“I think I’m always getting ideas from everywhere, and certainly my fellow homeowners had great beautiful homes in their own right. I’m not sure I’m going to infuse my house with the same kind of colour that Barbara has, but maybe some leopard print,” she said.
Zamaria was so inspired by the process that she has decided to embark with her own design venture, and recently secured her first client in the East End. As far as advice for budding design lovers, she said everyone can have a great home by enjoying what they have – and if it’s neat and organized, all the better.
“Clean is not a four-letter word,” she said.
View the episode online at hgtv.ca/fourhousescanada/episodes, and click on ‘Cynthia, Scott, Charlene and Barbara’.