Hilary Farr is ready to impart her Tough Love once again. ET’s Rachel Smith spoke to the HGTV star ahead of the premiere of season 2 of Tough Love With Hilary Farr, and she revealed how she balances being tough and showing love when renovating families’ homes.
“There is the love that goes with the tough. We’re always trying to balance that in our own lives, but there is an element of trust that is built in, so I can hammer in my wisdom that I’ve accumulated over all these years, which is not always taken,” Farr told ET. “… It’s an interesting dynamic, walking that line.”
When she goes into a renovation, Farr noted that “it’s not about just decluttering, it’s about why that has happened and how it can paralyze people.”
“That is a big issue for a lot of us,” she said. “It’s all about fixing the function, because the four walls could be as perfect as this, but if it’s not working with the dynamic of the family, we’ve got to figure out why is that and what is it that’s missing that’s going to be the glue that is going to make this happen.”
Farr’s signature sass made her a fan favorite on Love It or List It, but it was a serious situation at home that inspired her latest HGTV show.
“The genesis of Tough Love was having a very, very close person who developed cancer. We were living together and it was a really difficult thing to manage,” Farr said. “I realized there are so many people who are going through this and how difficult it must be. Love It or List It has competition in it, it has edge to it, and it’s really about will they love it, won’t they. This was about solving problems that are real problems within a family and then the design follows.”
One of the “extraordinary” stories fans will see this season is that of a couple who took in their teenage niece and nephew when war broke out in the teens’ native Ukraine.
“The dynamic of these two families trying to work together when the parents of this wonderful young girl, who was only 16 at the time, and brother who was 18, knowing that their parents were in danger, their father had to fight, and they suddenly came to a home with people that they sort of knew, but not really, a culture that wasn’t there’s,” Farr, who got emotional while filming the episode, told ET. “She was just 16, and she’d been through a pandemic, and then this. It tore me apart. That was incredibly emotional and satisfying, because we did really solve the big issues within that house to make it work.”
It’s not just the families she renovates for that become fans of the designer. Celebrities are quick to express their love of both her and her work as well.
“Here’s the thing with celebrity fans: it amazes me every time I hear that they’re a fan. It surprises me,” Farr admitted. “The very first fan we had… I think it was in our first season when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State and she said this was her favorite show, mostly because, I think for her, it was a fantasy. You have a problem, you go through everything there is to try and solve the problem, and there’s a happy ending. We would all like in life, right?”
Tough Love With Hilary Farr airs Mondays on HGTV.