Some have said that Matt and Shari helped build Home and Garden Network. It’s true, they were the very first show to air on HGTV when they switched on December 31st, 1994. The show Shari and Matt developed, room by room, is the longest running decorating show in history, at nearly 14 years. Shown in 90 million homes across the country and internationally, is it any wonder that Matt and Shari hour long specials were some of HGTV’s highest rated programs?
Specials, or one hour long shows highlighting a particular topic, are one of Matt and Shari’s specialties! Over the past 14 years, they have developed, written, created projects for and performed over a dozen specials. They range in content from holidays and seasonal material and projects to visits to special places like The Biltmore, Williamsburg, New England, Texas and more!
room by room:
After 3 years in development and 14 years running, room by room deserves a little explanation. Conceived by Shari around 1989, the full show idea didn’t become reality until she met Matt at a Sherwin Williams sales meeting in 1991. They did work together on the show concept for nearly 3 years before HGTV even existed. It did become a live show for a while and you can read about it below, called The Look of Home. Once HGTV saw the pilot for room by room, they were convinced it earned a place on their network and it ran as the very first show on day one of HGTV, December 31st, 1994.
Room by room was the first show of its type in television history. No other decorating program started with a real situation in a real person’s home. No one had ever taken a viewer through the steps of a decorating project, showing the details along the way and then ending with a finished room. This concept, repeated every week, allowed the viewer to learn the process and begin to apply it to their own home.
The results were phenomenal. Fans of all ages came swarming to room by room and to HGTV. Fan mail was overwhelming, requests for personal appearances were non stop, and Matt and Shari were embedded in the hearts and minds of people all over the country.
All it took was the desire to teach people that they could change their surroundings and at the same time transform their lives. There is nothing more powerful than personal pride, and that is a guaranteed bi-product of interior design.
Room by room started it all, nationally, but they still go back further with their first show, “The Look of Home” which aired on a local cable access channel in Cleveland in 1992.