I Did a Thing! Talking about DIY at the New England Home Show.


You know what feels fancy and scary at the same time? At least for me? When someone from HGTV Magazine gets in touch to ask if you’d be interested in speaking…at a home show…to actual people…on the broad subject of DIY. Like, who the hell am I? Going places? Making presentations? Talking into a microphone? Wearing clothes that aren’t covered in paint and sawdust? Excuse me, nice PR lady. I think you have me confused with someone else.

But apparently she did not, and evidently neither did the folks from HGTV Magazine, nor the folks from TD Bank who also sponsored this shindig which they have termed the TD Bank Rolling Renovation. Basically what they do is set up a cute booth out of this groovy converted shipping container thing that they’ve been driving all over the country and having different people (like me!) speak out of. When such people (like me!) aren’t gabbing about stuff, the very friendly folks at TD Bank are on deck to explain how they can help finance big and small renovation projects with a home equity line of credit, which is a good thing to know about if you’re into this renovation stuff (like me!).

It wasn’t until after I’d agreed to do it that they mentioned that other speakers had included actual TV folk from HGTV and these bloggers named John and Sherry and then I excused myself to go have diarrhea in my pants.


ANYWAY! In case you have never been to a home show which I had not prior to this, they’re actually fun! There are lots and lots of people and lots and lots of companies representing lots and lots of things. After my presentations and meet-and-greets, I walked the show and ended up getting quite the education about some composite siding products, innovative advancements in cedar shake technology, and I may have been convinced to purchase this miracle doormat that promises to keep my floors less filthy. Home shows are good opportunities to find out about local companies that provide services you might be in need of, as well as talk to representatives who really know their stuff about the products they’re there to promote. Everyone working the event is super thrilled to talk to anybody who will listen, so they are literally beyond happy to answer questions and tell you all the things you want to know.



The TD Bank Rolling Renovation booth was OBVIOUSLY the most fun place to be for various reasons:

  1. I was there, so duh.
  2. You could win money just by spinning a wheel. Just spinning the wheel was fun even if you didn’t win, which I did not, but they did let me have a free pen and a teeny tiny tape measure which was almost as good.
  3. Inside the booth, you could get tips on renovating, financing options, AND enter to win MORE money by playing a jaunty game on those iPads. I like games. I like money. I like renovating. I like learning how to be less house-poor. Win-win-win-win.

So YEAH! I did the whole dress-like-a-human-and-talk-into-a-microphone-in-a-strange-place-about-a-thing-I-kind-of-know-about and it actually went well! They even asked me to take my dog and pony show on the road with them and do it again in April, so I guess I didn’t totally screw it up. Here’s a handy list of where the Rolling Renovation is headed next, in case you want to check it out! Good times!

This post is in partnership with TD Bank and HGTV Magazine!

About Daniel Kanter

Hi, I'm Daniel, and I love houses! I'm a serial renovator, DIY-er, and dog-cuddler based in Kingston, New York. Follow along as I bring my 1865 Greek Revival back to life and tackle my 30s to varying degrees of success. Welcome!

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  1. 3.7.16
    Heather H. said:

    I would love to see your review of the miracle door mat! I hate mopping, so anything that promises and delivers on less of it is something in which I’m interested!

    • 3.8.16
      bean said:

      Yes, please. What sort of doormat?

    • 3.8.16
      Daniel said:

      I haven’t even used it yet, but if it’s any good I’ll do a post! It was kind of stupid expensive ($40) for something that’s REALLY unattractive but hey…until my yard is no longer a mud pit, I can use all the help I can get!

  2. 3.7.16
    Adrien said:

    This is veeerrrry exciting!

    Are you doing the one in BK?

    Why do I always confuse DIY and DUI?

    • 3.8.16
      Daniel said:

      I’m actually not sure!! I think they’re adding a date that isn’t on the line-up yet because they haven’t confirmed a venue. I’ll update the post when I find out!

  3. 3.7.16
    CC said:

    I would have peed my pants. Public speaking makes me queasy (and give me a weak bladder -TMI? Sorry not sorry). You’d have done great though. Was it the most fun ever?

    Is Mekko the honorary pony in your dog and pony show? I’d expect Linus is too small.

    Next stop: your own TV show! x

    • 3.8.16
      Daniel said:

      Never TMI! Haha. Look where you are, this is Manhattan Nest! It was fun…kinda weird because some people want to watch the presentation but most people are there for all sorts of other stuff and just sort of stop for a second and keep walking…it’s a little like being a musician in a crowded bar.

      Mekko is definitely the pony. :)

  4. 3.7.16
    susan said:

    Are you doing the DC one?

    • 3.8.16
      Daniel said:

      No, I offered but I think they already booked somebody! Not sure who.

    • 3.8.16
      susan said:

      Rats. That’s the one I could make it to. I’d take off work to see you!

  5. 3.7.16
    Christine said:

    High five!

  6. 3.7.16
    Bonnie said:

    I am excited for you, but its also great for us your fans! You being courted by HGTV means that maybe someday soon you will get your own show! Congrats.

    • 3.8.16
      Daniel said:

      Ha! I don’t think I’m being courted, don’t get too excited! HGTV is a big thing…as I understand it, the magazine is owned by Hearst and the network is owned by Scripps, so I’m not really dealing with people on the TV side of things for this. The folks at Scripps have reached out a couple of times in the past couple of years and it never seems to go anywhere, and honestly I don’t even know if I’d want it to! But exploring possibilities…particularly ones to be, ya know, employed…seems responsible at the very least! :)

  7. 3.7.16
    Seana said:

    That’s fantastic! Don’t forget about all your faithful blog readers when you are a famous T.V. star. I looked at the tour to see if it was anywhere near me but no dice, it’s all New England, I’m a whole coast away.

  8. 3.7.16
    lisa anne said:

    I do not have cable but I would if it meant you had your own show on hgtv!

  9. 3.7.16
    Furpants said:

    Congrats! I wish you would do some west coast shows! I volunteer to drive you around, feed you and let you stay in my guest room. I predict many more wonderful things in your future!

    • 3.8.16
      Daniel said:

      Aww, thank you! Maybe they’d book me out there if they didn’t have to reimburse me for hotel accommodations, haha!

  10. 3.8.16
    Pam the Goatherd said:

    Squeeeeeeeeeeaaaaallllll!!!!! Did you get to meet John and Sherry?
    I actually learned about your blog from someone who mentioned it in a comment on the YHL blog when John and Sherry decided to quit blogging as their primary source of income. I needed another DIY blog to fill the gap that their absence created. While I would love it if you would post a bit more frequently, I am willing to put up with the dry spells in order to have really meaty posts to read and look at when you do post. I’m sitting on the edge of my seat, waiting to see what’s next at the Bluestone Cottage and the Little House of Horrors that is the Olivebridge Cottage.
    Congratulations on the HGTV/TD Bank gig. You have a lot of knowledge and experience to share with people.

    • 3.8.16
      Daniel said:

      I did not! They did a different show (I think in VA, but I might be wrong)…same gig, different time and place. Maybe we’ll cross paths someday—they seem lovely and we have some mutual friends and acquaintances but that’s about it! Thank you for the kind words about my blog—I’m glad you’re liking it even if I can’t be as prolific as YHL! I still have no idea how they did it!

  11. 3.8.16
    Luna said:

    Hmmm, I don’t know about this folks…
    At first I was like WAAAAAAAA
    But then…
    If Daniel get’s all famous and stuff he won’t have time to write the blog (I don’t know how he finds the time anyway!).
    OK call me selfish, but I want my blog posts!!
    But I am excited for you Daniel, really… no really, you deserve fame and fortune.

    • 3.8.16
      Daniel said:

      HAHA! I think we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves!! But thank you, as always! :)

  12. 3.8.16
    Sandra said:

    So when is HGTV picking up your show?

    • 3.8.16
      Daniel said:

      October 2016! Just kidding. No plans for that! :)

    • 3.17.16
      sarah said:

      you are the Bob Vila of the 21st Century !
      I used to LOVE watching his show back in the day lol

  13. 3.8.16
    Pippa said:

    I’m curious. Did you meet any of your fans?

    • 3.8.16
      Daniel said:

      A couple readers stopped to say hi, but I think it was more coincidence! I did post on instagram the day before the event, but it happened kind of last minute and I honestly didn’t know a lot about what I was doing, so I didn’t publicize a ton. When I hear confirmation about the next one (they haven’t locked down a venue yet, I guess) I’ll announce it a little better. It’s always so nice to meet people who are nice about what I do!

  14. 3.8.16
    Debbie in toronto said:

    Daniel you cool dude you!
    Tou realize the TD in TD stands for toronto dominion….welcome to toronto!

    • 3.8.16
      Daniel said:

      The first time I read that I read “Toronto Domination” and I was like…so THIS is the Canadian takeover!! Which for the record I think I would be totally fine with. :)

    • 3.9.16
      Susan said:

      Me too,

  15. 3.8.16
    gretaclark said:

    I have predicted this attention for a long time!! Charming and clever that is how I would describe your blog. Keep on going!!!

    • 3.8.16
      Daniel said:

      Thank you! I’ll take it, even on a post wherein I mention shitting my pants! :)

  16. 3.8.16
    Kate said:

    Wait, you already did it and it’s over?! Next time post info like this before it happens! I totally would have gone just to see you!

    • 3.8.16
      Daniel said:

      I know! Oddly the magazine SPECIFICALLY wanted a recap after the event rather than an announcement prior, which didn’t make sense to me either…I’ll suggest changing it for the next one. :)

  17. 3.8.16
    Lauren said:

    Which show are you doing in April?! This is, like, mega-important information you have omitted from the above post.

    • 3.8.16
      Daniel said:

      I would have included it, but I don’t even know! I don’t think it’s listed on the site yet because they haven’t confirmed a venue. When I know, I’ll probably include it at the end of a post and edit this one accordingly!

  18. 3.8.16
    Zoe said:

    Go, Daniel, Go!!!! Yay for you!!!!

  19. 3.8.16

    That is so cool! I need to go to one of these, obviously! I wish it could be one you’re speaking at, though – keep us posted if you decide to make this a regular gig!

  20. 3.8.16
    Jen said:

    “diarrhea in my pants” made me snort out loud. Thank you for brightening my day!

  21. 3.8.16
    Lori said:

    Oh, that sounds awful. But yay for stepping outside your comfort zone and trying something new! I always have such profound secondhand embarrassment for home show speakers. Here they’re earnestly doing their thing…to a sea of mostly empty chairs and a few people who were clearly looking for a place to sit down while their partner is off being distracted by shiny new gutters or hot water heater technology or whatever on the other side of the venue. But I never really thought about equating it to being a musician at a crowded bar. That really reframes it. Maybe knowing that going in made it easier to deal with / less pressure?

    That said, if I knew you were gonna be here, I’d shell out the $8 for Austin’s crappy home show one more time! (This year, the highlights were the full sized Tiny House inside the venue and a booth with ratcheting pruners and loppers.)

    And on a side note, I am amused thinking about what I would say on the broad topic of DIY. Honestly, I blame HGTV for making everything look so easy and doable, and by the time I figured out it wasn’t, it was too late…and the only way out is through! LOL

  22. 3.8.16
    Nancy said:

    YAY, Congrats for you Daniel. Conquering comfort-zone while expanding your visibility; a great 1-2 punch. DO post if you find some home gizmo that works “as advertised” outside the presentation space! I find that the magical powers of each product are often permanently disabled once you walk through the exit portal of the expo ;)

  23. 3.8.16
    kmkat said:

    And you got to be right next to the My Pillow booth! Those commercials are all over our daytime tv, probably because they are made next door in MN.

    • 3.9.16
      Mom said:

      I was born and raised in Minnesota. I see those my pillows and find them so tempting except they don’t really look that great on TV. Does anyone know if they are really any good? I use three different pillows and fight with them all night long.

  24. 3.9.16

    I’m so proud of you! I found you via Door Sixteen (another favorite blog), way back when you started! You are a wonderful writer, so it follows that you would be a wonderful speaker. Plus you really know your subject.

  25. 3.12.16
    Kelly said:

    Congratulations!! Your blog is one of my favorites (more like my absolute favorite.) I hope this opens more doors (real and figurative) for you!