HGTV’s 2009 Dream Home is in California’s wine country

HGTV 2009 Dream Home Kitchen
HGTV 2009 Dream Home Kitchen
HGTV 2009 Dream Home Kitchen

This is the thirteenth dream home that HGTV has built and this year, it’s in Sonoma Country part of California’s famous wine country.

For those of you unfamiliar with Home & Garden Television’s (aka. HGTV) dream home, it’s a once-in-a-year event where the network partners with building suppliers, furnishing vendors, developers and even car manufacturers to build a “dream home” in a “dream location”. Then begins months of marketing through TV episodes and web advertising promoting the network and all the vendors that have provided the various materials and furnishings in the home.

The hook for viewers?

Well, one element of excitement is that after this entire marketing extravaganza, the dream home is given away to a lucky winner of their “Dream Home” sweepstakes. Everyone is entitled to enter the contest once a day…thus driving more traffic to their HGTV website.

Another hook is that the information provided regarding the latest materials, design trends and lifestyles are, well, really useful. It’s a great snapshot for a busy person to understand what are some of the hot trends in properties.

This year’s dream home is in Sonoma county which is located about 30 miles from San Francisco. Boasting more than 250 award-winning wineries, 21 golf courses, 20 spas, incredible farmer’s markets, delectable eateries and 76 miles of breath-taking coastlines while still maintaining the charm of a small town makes it’s claim as a “dream location” beyond dispute.

The dream home this year is a Victorian farmhouse around 3,000+ square feet. I found the architecture charming with the large wrap around porch. However, I am partial to nice stone detailing on the exterior of houses. This one is all white which on such a large house, I thought made it look a little bland.

The inside foyer is nice and central opening into three other rooms. There is still a formal dining and living room which are still important in such a large home, but which I know less and less people are really using.

The kitchen was huge, consistent with the general trend that people are spending more time in the kitchen area as “the heart of the home”. I was not crazy with the counter tops which Clint, who was sitting beside me asked why were not natural stone but instead a SileStone quartz. I noted it was probably because they could get a sponsorship from Cosentino (manufacturers of this stuff). No one is the sole supplier of a natural stone such as granite for example.

I was astonished in such a large home there was no home theater (by Clint’s standards) and no reasonable-sized wine cellar. These may be excessive in a normal home but this is a “dream” home.

HGTV Dream Home Study Room
HGTV Dream Home Study Room

My least favorite room is the study room. This was completely impractical, the wine closet was terrible having windows in the doors letting in ample light to damage the stored wine and don’t get me started on the weird clock creation made by the designer in clear plastic. Had I seen the latter at a garage sale for a penny, I would not have gotten it.

Ok, maybe I am getting overly critical. If I went to a friend’s house and this was it, I would absolutely be impressed and love it. Just highlighting some of the issues I had as I didn’t want to spend this entire entry gushing praises.

To check out this home and to enter in the giveaway contest, go to: HGTV Dream Home Central

First floor plan. You can see the kitchen is very large and opens into the family room.
First floor plan. You can see the kitchen is very large and opens into the family room.
A trend that has been growing is having a spectacular master bedroom. People are really looking for that retreat feel.
A trend that has been growing is having a spectacular master bedroom. People are really looking for that retreat feel.

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  • GalinNorthernCal

    Loni – How refreshing to read an actual critique of this HGTV Dream Home 2009. I've perused the blogs on HGTV website and even tried to post my comments, only to be censured… not enough oohs and aahs evidently. Frankly, this house misses on so many levels that it is hard to know where to begin, but mainly, its design is far more appropriate for Charlotte, NC rather than Sonoma, CA. I find it sad that true Northern California values – such as sustainability, green design, form and function – were not even considered in this process. Later I found out that the head interior designer is actually from NC… The home is fussy, frilly, impractical for a family, and has some very bizarre design ideas. Dual use laundry + office space, dotted with photos of children on the folding tables; the study with its "wall of wine" rather than a wall of bookshelves. The interior is disjointed with its passe white slipper chairs, blue walls and black leather sofas… Outside, the lack of drought resistant landscaping is a serious miss in our CA climate, and I wonder who will sit outside in 100+ degree heat without a trellis or even an umbrella overhead. I could go on. It breaks my heart that HGTV sold out to a local developer and abandoned any notion of good design.

  • Loni Kao Stark

    I find your comments very refreshing and you bring up excellent points which I also agree with. <br />
    <br />
    Don't like the frilly look either. Would have preferred the use of reclaimed woods, a more rustic, earthy feel. <br />
    <br />
    I do think they should have introduced green design. It's not only the responsible thing to do but in California, with the high utility costs, energy efficiency and lower bills is also a dream come true. However, I suspect that this may have overlapped too much with another one of HGTV's initiatives…there 2009 HGTV Green Home. <br />
    <br />
    Floorplans for the &quot;green home&quot; are located here: <a href="http://www.hgtv.com/home/floor-plan-for-hgtv-green-home-2009/pictures/index.html&quot; target="_blank"><a href="http://www.hgtv.com/home/floor-plan-for-hgtv-gree…</a>" target="_blank">http://www.hgtv.com/home/floor-plan-for-hgtv-gree…</a></a> <br />
    Announcement of it was made Nov 3: <a href="http://blog.hgtv.com/greenhome/2008/11/03/its-announcement-time/&quot; target="_blank"><a href="http://blog.hgtv.com/greenhome/2008/11/03/its-ann…</a>" target="_blank">http://blog.hgtv.com/greenhome/2008/11/03/its-ann…</a></a> <br />
    I think they figured they had to segment the market. I do think green design should permeate mainstream home building dialog. Hopefully one day &quot;green home design&quot; will be analogous to just plain &quot;home design&quot;. <br />
    <br />
    Your comment has sparked me to add some additional things I find strange looking at the floor plan:<br />
    <br />
    – where is the storage/pantry area?<br />
    – to your point, office should have bookshelf, wine cellar should be close to kitchen & dining room

  • GalinNorthernCal

    Loni – How refreshing to read an actual critique of this HGTV Dream Home 2009. I’ve perused the blogs on HGTV website and even tried to post my comments, only to be censured… not enough oohs and aahs evidently. Frankly, this house misses on so many levels that it is hard to know where to begin, but mainly, its design is far more appropriate for Charlotte, NC rather than Sonoma, CA. I find it sad that true Northern California values – such as sustainability, green design, form and function – were not even considered in this process. Later I found out that the head interior designer is actually from NC… The home is fussy, frilly, impractical for a family, and has some very bizarre design ideas. Dual use laundry + office space, dotted with photos of children on the folding tables; the study with its “wall of wine” rather than a wall of bookshelves. The interior is disjointed with its passe white slipper chairs, blue walls and black leather sofas… Outside, the lack of drought resistant landscaping is a serious miss in our CA climate, and I wonder who will sit outside in 100+ degree heat without a trellis or even an umbrella overhead. I could go on. It breaks my heart that HGTV sold out to a local developer and abandoned any notion of good design.

  • GalinNorthernCal

    Loni – How refreshing to read an actual critique of this HGTV Dream Home 2009. I’ve perused the blogs on HGTV website and even tried to post my comments, only to be censured… not enough oohs and aahs evidently. Frankly, this house misses on so many levels that it is hard to know where to begin, but mainly, its design is far more appropriate for Charlotte, NC rather than Sonoma, CA. I find it sad that true Northern California values – such as sustainability, green design, form and function – were not even considered in this process. Later I found out that the head interior designer is actually from NC… The home is fussy, frilly, impractical for a family, and has some very bizarre design ideas. Dual use laundry + office space, dotted with photos of children on the folding tables; the study with its “wall of wine” rather than a wall of bookshelves. The interior is disjointed with its passe white slipper chairs, blue walls and black leather sofas… Outside, the lack of drought resistant landscaping is a serious miss in our CA climate, and I wonder who will sit outside in 100+ degree heat without a trellis or even an umbrella overhead. I could go on. It breaks my heart that HGTV sold out to a local developer and abandoned any notion of good design.

  • Loni Kao Stark

    I find your comments very refreshing and you bring up excellent points which I also agree with.

    Don’t like the frilly look either. Would have preferred the use of reclaimed woods, a more rustic, earthy feel.

    I do think they should have introduced green design. It’s not only the responsible thing to do but in California, with the high utility costs, energy efficiency and lower bills is also a dream come true. However, I suspect that this may have overlapped too much with another one of HGTV’s initiatives…there 2009 HGTV Green Home.

    Floorplans for the “green home” are located here: http://www.hgtv.com/home/floor-plan-for-hgtv-green-home-2009/pictures/index.html

    Announcement of it was made Nov 3: http://blog.hgtv.com/greenhome/2008/11/03/its-announcement-time/

    I think they figured they had to segment the market. I do think green design should permeate mainstream home building dialog. Hopefully one day “green home design” will be analogous to just plain “home design”.

    Your comment has sparked me to add some additional things I find strange looking at the floor plan:

    – where is the storage/pantry area?
    – to your point, office should have bookshelf, wine cellar should be close to kitchen & dining room

  • Loni Kao Stark

    I find your comments very refreshing and you bring up excellent points which I also agree with.

    Don’t like the frilly look either. Would have preferred the use of reclaimed woods, a more rustic, earthy feel.

    I do think they should have introduced green design. It’s not only the responsible thing to do but in California, with the high utility costs, energy efficiency and lower bills is also a dream come true. However, I suspect that this may have overlapped too much with another one of HGTV’s initiatives…there 2009 HGTV Green Home.

    Floorplans for the “green home” are located here: http://www.hgtv.com/home/floor-plan-for-hgtv-green-home-2009/pictures/index.html

    Announcement of it was made Nov 3: http://blog.hgtv.com/greenhome/2008/11/03/its-announcement-time/

    I think they figured they had to segment the market. I do think green design should permeate mainstream home building dialog. Hopefully one day “green home design” will be analogous to just plain “home design”.

    Your comment has sparked me to add some additional things I find strange looking at the floor plan:

    – where is the storage/pantry area?
    – to your point, office should have bookshelf, wine cellar should be close to kitchen & dining room

  • Loni Kao Stark

    Forgot to mention one interesting factoid in this entry. Most winners of the dream home actually end up selling it. <br />
    <br />
    Some because of the tax consequences, they need to sell the home to pay off the tax liability. For others, the maintenance costs are beyond their means.<br />
    <br />
    It is still a fantastic prize to win, just not completely rosy.

  • Loni Kao Stark

    Forgot to mention one interesting factoid in this entry. Most winners of the dream home actually end up selling it.

    Some because of the tax consequences, they need to sell the home to pay off the tax liability. For others, the maintenance costs are beyond their means.

    It is still a fantastic prize to win, just not completely rosy.

  • Loni Kao Stark

    Forgot to mention one interesting factoid in this entry. Most winners of the dream home actually end up selling it.

    Some because of the tax consequences, they need to sell the home to pay off the tax liability. For others, the maintenance costs are beyond their means.

    It is still a fantastic prize to win, just not completely rosy.

  • maryann angulo

    THANKS FOR THE OPPERTUNITY TO ENTER YOUR CONTEST THE HOME IS BEYOND BEAUTY IF I WERE CHOOSEN I WOULD MOVE THERE MY HUSBAND WORKS FOR THE GALLO WINERY AS A DISTRICT MANAGER FOR OVER 11 YRS THIS WOULD BE OUR DREAM FOR MANY REASONS ONE BECAUSE WE RENT. AND THE MOST IMPORTANT OUR SON 6 YRS OLD WITH CEREBAL PALSY HYPOTONIA AND BLIND IN HIS LEFT EYE WOULD HAVE MANY OPPERTUNITIES. WE ALSO HAVE TWO DAUGHTERS ONE IS PREPING FOR COLLEGE. ANY HOW AGAIN IF CHOSEN MY HUSBAND COULD GET A TRANSFER HE HAS GONE TO SONOMA AND LOVED IT VERY MUCH I ONLY GOT TO SEE PHOTOS WE ARE A HARD WORKING LOVING FAMILY PLEASE CONSIDER US FOR A NEW START. THANK YOU MARYANN ANGULO

  • maryann angulo

    THANKS FOR THE OPPERTUNITY TO ENTER YOUR CONTEST THE HOME IS BEYOND BEAUTY IF I WERE CHOOSEN I WOULD MOVE THERE MY HUSBAND WORKS FOR THE GALLO WINERY AS A DISTRICT MANAGER FOR OVER 11 YRS THIS WOULD BE OUR DREAM FOR MANY REASONS ONE BECAUSE WE RENT. AND THE MOST IMPORTANT OUR SON 6 YRS OLD WITH CEREBAL PALSY HYPOTONIA AND BLIND IN HIS LEFT EYE WOULD HAVE MANY OPPERTUNITIES. WE ALSO HAVE TWO DAUGHTERS ONE IS PREPING FOR COLLEGE. ANY HOW AGAIN IF CHOSEN MY HUSBAND COULD GET A TRANSFER HE HAS GONE TO SONOMA AND LOVED IT VERY MUCH I ONLY GOT TO SEE PHOTOS WE ARE A HARD WORKING LOVING FAMILY PLEASE CONSIDER US FOR A NEW START. THANK YOU MARYANN ANGULO

  • maryann angulo

    THANKS FOR THE OPPERTUNITY TO ENTER YOUR CONTEST THE HOME IS BEYOND BEAUTY IF I WERE CHOOSEN I WOULD MOVE THERE MY HUSBAND WORKS FOR THE GALLO WINERY AS A DISTRICT MANAGER FOR OVER 11 YRS THIS WOULD BE OUR DREAM FOR MANY REASONS ONE BECAUSE WE RENT. AND THE MOST IMPORTANT OUR SON 6 YRS OLD WITH CEREBAL PALSY HYPOTONIA AND BLIND IN HIS LEFT EYE WOULD HAVE MANY OPPERTUNITIES. WE ALSO HAVE TWO DAUGHTERS ONE IS PREPING FOR COLLEGE. ANY HOW AGAIN IF CHOSEN MY HUSBAND COULD GET A TRANSFER HE HAS GONE TO SONOMA AND LOVED IT VERY MUCH I ONLY GOT TO SEE PHOTOS WE ARE A HARD WORKING LOVING FAMILY PLEASE CONSIDER US FOR A NEW START. THANK YOU MARYANN ANGULO

  • maryann angulo

    JUST WANTED TO SAY HELLO AND COMMENT ON THIS HOME I THINK IT HAS ALOT OF CRAFTSMANSHIP AND DETAILS YOU JUST GOT TO LOOK CLOSELY AND APPRICIATE. IT MAY NOT FIT TO EVERYONES DECOR TASTE OR OPINION BUT I THINK ITS GREAT AND HOLDS SO MUCH BEAUTY AND THANK GOD FOR PEOPLE LIKE THE HGTV TEAM TO GIVE US THE OPPERTUNITY TO WIN SOMETHING SO BIG! SO THUMBS UP TO HGTV KEEP UP THE HARD WORK GUYS I LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING MORE OF YOUR UPCOMING WORK , THE TRUE VALUE OF THIS HOME IS NOT IN THE COST DECOR ETC. BUT HOW YOU WILL IMPACT SOMEONES LIFE.

  • maryann angulo

    JUST WANTED TO SAY HELLO AND COMMENT ON THIS HOME I THINK IT HAS ALOT OF CRAFTSMANSHIP AND DETAILS YOU JUST GOT TO LOOK CLOSELY AND APPRICIATE. IT MAY NOT FIT TO EVERYONES DECOR TASTE OR OPINION BUT I THINK ITS GREAT AND HOLDS SO MUCH BEAUTY AND THANK GOD FOR PEOPLE LIKE THE HGTV TEAM TO GIVE US THE OPPERTUNITY TO WIN SOMETHING SO BIG! SO THUMBS UP TO HGTV KEEP UP THE HARD WORK GUYS I LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING MORE OF YOUR UPCOMING WORK , THE TRUE VALUE OF THIS HOME IS NOT IN THE COST DECOR ETC. BUT HOW YOU WILL IMPACT SOMEONES LIFE.

  • maryann angulo

    JUST WANTED TO SAY HELLO AND COMMENT ON THIS HOME I THINK IT HAS ALOT OF CRAFTSMANSHIP AND DETAILS YOU JUST GOT TO LOOK CLOSELY AND APPRICIATE. IT MAY NOT FIT TO EVERYONES DECOR TASTE OR OPINION BUT I THINK ITS GREAT AND HOLDS SO MUCH BEAUTY AND THANK GOD FOR PEOPLE LIKE THE HGTV TEAM TO GIVE US THE OPPERTUNITY TO WIN SOMETHING SO BIG! SO THUMBS UP TO HGTV KEEP UP THE HARD WORK GUYS I LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING MORE OF YOUR UPCOMING WORK , THE TRUE VALUE OF THIS HOME IS NOT IN THE COST DECOR ETC. BUT HOW YOU WILL IMPACT SOMEONES LIFE.

  • Vicki

    This is a beautiful, well decorated house but I see problems in the layout. The family room is oriented in a very confining way and there's no good way to set up a home theater system unless the tv is installed over the fireplace: but then how do you hide the wires and subwoofer? How do you watch from the kitchen unless you keep the current arrangement which has one sofa's back to the tv? With a price tag of 1.8 mil the house should have a game room. In fact the house value is inflated by 100%. I'm glad that they've used an old idea of the underground cistern fed by the roof. The raised planter beds and vineyard are a nice touch. The patio is good but there's no patio cover! (It gets over 100 degrees sometimes during the summer.) Most of all, the taxes on this one will probably force the winner to sell the house and buy another.

  • Vicki

    This is a beautiful, well decorated house but I see problems in the layout. The family room is oriented in a very confining way and there’s no good way to set up a home theater system unless the tv is installed over the fireplace: but then how do you hide the wires and subwoofer? How do you watch from the kitchen unless you keep the current arrangement which has one sofa’s back to the tv? With a price tag of 1.8 mil the house should have a game room. In fact the house value is inflated by 100%. I’m glad that they’ve used an old idea of the underground cistern fed by the roof. The raised planter beds and vineyard are a nice touch. The patio is good but there’s no patio cover! (It gets over 100 degrees sometimes during the summer.) Most of all, the taxes on this one will probably force the winner to sell the house and buy another.

  • Vicki

    This is a beautiful, well decorated house but I see problems in the layout. The family room is oriented in a very confining way and there’s no good way to set up a home theater system unless the tv is installed over the fireplace: but then how do you hide the wires and subwoofer? How do you watch from the kitchen unless you keep the current arrangement which has one sofa’s back to the tv? With a price tag of 1.8 mil the house should have a game room. In fact the house value is inflated by 100%. I’m glad that they’ve used an old idea of the underground cistern fed by the roof. The raised planter beds and vineyard are a nice touch. The patio is good but there’s no patio cover! (It gets over 100 degrees sometimes during the summer.) Most of all, the taxes on this one will probably force the winner to sell the house and buy another.

  • Russ

    Their houses are money pits. Overloaded with 'decorative' woodwork &amp; decks – they all rot away &amp; need repair.. constantly. Why no 21st century modern stuff..? I hate old, I wouldn't drive a 1909 car.. why live 'old fashioned' ??<br />
    <br />
    How about this sorta home: <a href="http://www.trendir.com/house-design/desert_homes/&quot; target="_blank"><a href="http://www.trendir.com/house-design/desert_homes/</a>&quot; target="_blank">http://www.trendir.com/house-design/desert_homes/</a></a&gt; <br />
    <a href="http://www.trendir.com/house-design/ubercool-german-treehouse.html&quot; target="_blank"><a href="http://www.trendir.com/house-design/ubercool-germ…</a>" target="_blank">http://www.trendir.com/house-design/ubercool-germ…</a></a> &lt;– main site..<br />
    <br />
    I think a house is to shelter, bring quiet &amp; restful conditions, and enjoy private outdoor areas, also, why not a central atrium-courtyard..?

  • Russ

    Their houses are money pits. Overloaded with ‘decorative’ woodwork & decks – they all rot away & need repair.. constantly. Why no 21st century modern stuff..? I hate old, I wouldn’t drive a 1909 car.. why live ‘old fashioned’ ??

    How about this sorta home: http://www.trendir.com/house-design/desert_homes/

    http://www.trendir.com/house-design/ubercool-german-treehouse.html <– main site..

    I think a house is to shelter, bring quiet & restful conditions, and enjoy private outdoor areas, also, why not a central atrium-courtyard..?

  • Russ

    Their houses are money pits. Overloaded with ‘decorative’ woodwork & decks – they all rot away & need repair.. constantly. Why no 21st century modern stuff..? I hate old, I wouldn’t drive a 1909 car.. why live ‘old fashioned’ ??

    How about this sorta home: http://www.trendir.com/house-design/desert_homes/

    http://www.trendir.com/house-design/ubercool-german-treehouse.html <– main site..

    I think a house is to shelter, bring quiet & restful conditions, and enjoy private outdoor areas, also, why not a central atrium-courtyard..?

  • Modern Sofas

    The floor plan looks good.