A Pumpkin Spiced Response

Congressional Quarterly reporter Jill Barshay has responded to a few questions from FishbowlDC regarding designer Kelley Hundahl’s complaints about Barshay’s recent WaPo decorating show exposé.

In reporting her piece, Barshay told us she did call HGTV (the station’s response is clearly printed in the article). “I think that’s an indication that both I and the Washington Post sincerely aimed to check our facts,” says Barshay. “If there is an error, I would ask the Post to print a correction. I take such accusations very seriously. For example, in an earlier draft, I thought the candles were persimmon. I double checked and noticed that the sticker on the bottom said, ‘pumpkin spice.’ I requested that the copy be corrected.”

“My overall comment is that my article was not intended to criticize Kelley, but to poke fun (lightly) at the whole premise of a free makeover,” says Barshay. “Come on, who really has gorgeous pillows hiding in their basement that perfectly match the sofa? And it never occurs to these homeowners, until the decorator visits, that these pillows should actually be used in a room?”

Barshay also told us that she bought Hundahl a Starbucks gift card after the decorating disaster — and even sent her a thank you note. “Why?” Barshay asks. “Probably out of guilt. (I have chronic guilt issues — probably something to do with Jewish upbringing.) I felt terrible for criticizing Kelley’s décor plan during the day and I wanted to express my gratitude to her for all the time she spent on my place.”

She says she’d do the Hundahl’s FreeStyle program again “in a heartbeat” and says she’d love for Extreme Makeover Home Edition to one day visit her place.

We second that notion — for us, that is.