Sabrina loves to DIY design on a dime and at 22 she bought her first home at an auction, remodelled it on her own and blogged her way through it. She loves flowers, her dog Piper and gummy candies and has the prettiest Instagram account to boot! Read on to find out 23 fun facts about Sabrina Smelko, the new co-host of Save My Reno.
What was your first job?
I worked at my home town library from ages 14 to 20 carting around books and organizing them back on the shelves. I still remember that the dewey decimal classification for books in the 600’s were all craft and design related. And it always blew my mind just how many Sue Grafton books there were!
What’s your dream vacation?
Although I’m Italian, I have never been to Italy, so I’d love to spend some time visiting my family in the North before lounging on the coast with good wine, great food and no plans.
What are your favourite pizza toppings?
I’m a classic Hawaiian gal, but there’s a time and place for spicy sausage, pepperoni and sweet and hot peppers.
Cats or dogs?
I grew up with a slew of silly felines, but since I’ve had a pup of my own, my vote is for dogs.
What was the last thing you bought for your home?
A giant four foot, green tin letter “S”.
Coffee or tea?
Jasmine green tea (but almond milk lattes take a close second).
What’s your favourite ’90s jam/band or artist?
Ace of Base “All That She Wants.”
Sweet or salty?
Salty all the way. Chips, please!
How did you feel the first day of shooting for Home to Win?
It was a whirlwind! Finally getting to meet all of the people I grew up watching on TV was so bizarre, but everyone made me feel so at home and welcome. Gabbing with Mia, Tiffany, and Brian, to name a few, over jerk chicken drumsticks at lunch was pretty dope.
If you could have any career, what would you do?
I’d own a big flower farm and apiary.
What’s your favourite holiday?
I love Thanksgiving! Apple crisp, turkey, and a Canadian autumn? Can’t go wrong. Also, it’s the only time where winter is almost something to look forward to!
What’s a guilty pleasure that would surprise your fans?
Any chewy, gummy candy! Licorice, Haribo golden bears, Pull n’ Peels. I know it’s awful, but it’s also awful to deprive yourself, right?!
What’s your favourite season and why?
Spring and summer! I love being able to leave my windows open to enjoy the sound of birds singing. All winter I dream of gardening in the backyard while Piper runs around and chews sticks.
What’s your favourite way to relax?
Watching a Netflix series on my sofa with popcorn, white wine, my pup, and my better half.
Favourite room reno/design you’ve ever done?
Other than renovating and designing my own home (I was my hardest and easiest client at the same time), I loved being able to work on the renovation of the entire main floor of an old row house in The Beaches. From the kitchen and dining room, to the powder room, living area and entry, it was a huge team effort that resulted in a gorgeous, liveable and functional family home.
Least favourite trend in design?
Tile-to-wood inlay flooring transitions. Just not a fan!
Biggest mistake you see in homes?
It’s really important to listen to your home-consider its history, bones, and building style– and respect how those living in it function day-to-day. Don’t arbitrarily force a design you saw and fell for online to a space without considering the house at large – and more importantly, those living under its roof. It takes some extra care and thought, but it’s always worth it in the long run.
Next big trend in home design?
Dark, moody, and muddied colours will rule, as will style eclecticism. I also foresee a shift away from gallery walls and towards large statement art pieces and murals. And in line with our love of escapism and influenced by the tiny home movement, I think homes new and old will be tweaked to include cozy nooks to tuck away into to nap, or escape in a good book.
Favourite part of the holiday season?
Chilling with my family and enjoying my mom and Nona’s cooking.
Who’s your HGTV celebrity crush?
Jillian Harris is a cutie patootie. I’ve been a fan since The Bachelor!
Who has the best hair on HGTV?
Sebastian Clovis! Have you seen those locks when they’re free flowing?!
Do you have a signature dish or entertaining trick for parties?
I love entertaining and having people over for dinner parties. My go-to recipe is my spicy sausage and rapini orecchiette with a white wine sauce, tons of parm, and a fresh garden salad. I like to serve family-style with all the food, cutlery and anything else you might need (napkins, lemon slices, extra glasses, a decanter of water–or better yet–wine) in the center of the table so people can just help themselves. The key is making people feel comfortable and at home.
What’s the hardest part of days on set?
The waiting. I’m a run-before-I-walk type lass, so patience is not my strongest trait! Or to put a different spin on it, I’m just super-efficient (?).