This Hoover family took a chance and applied to be on the hit show “House Hunters.” After being chosen for an episode, their adventure began.
It was a long shot, but she filled out the application anyway. Natalie Horne and her family were watching HGTV’s House Hunters, one of their favorite shows, when she had the idea of sharing their personal house search with America. “I looked at Brad and said, ‘We could do this show. How fun would that be?’ So, I went online and filled out an application.”
Natalie, a Hoover native, says she wrote “quirky” responses to the questions in an effort to stand out. Three days later, she got an email back from a producer, who said the Horne family sounded like a “good fit for the show.” Then, they had to complete a six-month audition process, including video submissions, before they were chosen for the show.
Their episode – dubbed “Chandeliers in Alabama” for Natalie’s love of shiny, sparkly things – was filmed over a five-day period in June 2017.
When the Hornes found out they could choose their own realtor for the show, they immediately asked their real-life real estate agent and good friend, Kate Giffin, if she would do it.
“I was like, ‘You’ve got to do this for me,’” Horne says with a laugh. “She said, ‘I’ll do it for you. I don’t think I would do it for anybody else.”
Giffin was game for the project, which was as memorable when the cameras were rolling as when they weren’t.
“I thought the process of filming and what all goes into creating scenes was really interesting,” Giffin says. “The days were actually quite long with the ‘action’ taking up a small portion of the day. Setting up, sound check, working through the upcoming scene and what we needed to express in each one took up most of our time with the actual filming part being quite short.”
As is the protocol for House Hunters episodes, the Hornes toured several prospective homes, discussed the characteristics of each home they liked or disliked, and announced they had chosen a townhome in Ross Bridge’s Village Center at the end of the episode.
“We chose something that we weren’t even in the market for,” Horne says. “It had everything I wanted and that Brad wanted.”
Brad, who works in property management, wanted a home with the potential for long-term improvement projects. Natalie wanted something with pizzazz. They got both.
The Hornes spent the majority of New Year’s Day, the day their House Hunters episode aired, watching and talking about it with family and friends that tuned in.
“There were lots and lots of takes,” Giffin says. “We had fun with it and there were lots of laughs and poking at each other to dramatize it.”
“It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Natalie says.
Right off the second-floor landing, the living room is a comfortable space the Hornes use every day to catch up with each other and watch TV.
Natalie wanted an open-concept home, and the second floor of their new home offers that. The living room, dining room and kitchen flow seamlessly together, with no walls separating the spaces. The Hornes have plans to install a farmhouse sink; otherwise, the kitchen is exactly what they wanted. “I love the subway tiles,” Natalie says of the mirror tiles that add the sparkle and shine she likes.
One of the chandeliers Natalie enhanced with colored crystals and glass hangs in the foyer, where everyone that walks into the house can see it. “I’m pretty girly,” Natalie says. “I love sequins and rhinestones. I wanted chandeliers.” Natalie is a professional singer, so the family’s piano is decorated with vintage microphones.
The Hornes’ 10-year-old daughter, Daisy, has a spacious bedroom on the third level of the house.
Their 13-year-old son, Kemp, has his own space on the first floor of the house.
Natalie wanted everyone in the family to have his or her own room and bathroom. They also ended up with their own levels. “We have three levels,” she says. “Daisy has the top, Brad and I have the middle and Kemp has the bottom.”
The master bathroom meets Natalie’s wish for a soaking tub and Brad’s wish for a walk-in shower, for which he had his own name during the House Hunters filming.
“I wanted a soaking tub with a chandelier hanging over it. He wanted a ‘standalone shower,’ not a tub-shower combo,” Natalie says with a laugh. “He kept calling it a ‘standalone shower.’ Even our director hash-tagged a standalone shower.”
The most special part of the second-level powder room is the light fixture, which was a gift from the Hornes’ realtor, Kate Giffin.
When the weather is nice, the Hornes sit on their rooftop patio, a space just off the third level of the home that affords them a beautiful view of the neighborhood.
The upstairs den provides the family with more space to use for relaxing, watching TV or visiting with friends that have come over.
BEHIND THE SCENES
Builder: Signature Homes
Realtor: Kate Giffin with Remax Advantage
Custom Headboard, Mirrored Backsplash, Chandelier Installation and Other Décor: Brad and Natalie Horne