Designing Woman Calls WaPo “Tabloid Trash”

Kelley Hundahl (left), a Cleveland Park-based decorating diva, made her debut on HGTV last weekend as a cheerful host in yet another design-on-the-cheap program, FreeStyle. In her first effort, she helped Sherri, a color-challenged suburbanite determine that a tacky red leather couch and a tacky red armoire and tacky red curtains were simply not divine. “Sherri loves color, which is fantastic,” Hundahl said on the program, with nary an eye roll in sight. “She even has a red vacuum.”

But not all shows have gone so swimmingly. Hundahl told FishBowl DC soon after her debut show that she had a terrible experience with Congressional Quarterly reporter Jill Barshay, who was chosen by producers to have a room in her Dupont Circle apartment redone on the program. Barshay, also none too happy with the experience, ultimately penned a Washington Post exposé about her experience. Barshay said that FreeStyle’s producers coaxed her into buying new furniture and also “double-stuffed” (arranged) her home in inconvenient ways.

Hundahl takes exception to Barshay’s Post piece. “A lot of her information in there was completely false,” Hundahl told us, indicating that the newspaper didn’t call to double check Barshay’s facts. “I was really disappointed in the Washington Post–it was all very tabloid trash.” (We’ll have Barshay’s response later today.)

Hundahl, who tells us that she won’t be redecorating any more journalists’ homes in her next thirteen episodes — got her break after auditioning for the network last year. Each week through year’s end, she’ll continue to try to help Washingtonians understand what it means to have style (good luck, girlfriend), and she’s already signed on to host more D.C. segments that will air next year. Tune in on Fridays at 9:30 p.m. EDT on HGTV to see which of your neighbors may garner the tackiest title of all. (Barshay’s episode is tentatively scheduled to air on Friday.)