What Only True Fans Know About HGTV's Debra Salmoni

Debra Salmoni is an interior designer whom you may recognize from her work alongside Scott McGillivray on HGTV's "Scott's Vacation House Rules" and "Scott's Own Vacation House." In an interview from April 2023, before the release of "Scott's Vacation House Rules" Season 4, Salmoni described how the two of them have " a really great synergy" when they collaborate, in part due to their different skill sets (via Global News). McGillivray is a contractor and real estate agent, so when Salmoni has big design ideas for the rental properties they renovate, McGillivray can determine if those ideas are doable and cost-effective. The two of them also have fun on set.

However, Salmoni's design work extends past what she does on HGTV. She also founded her own design company called Debra Lillian Design. One thing that true fans will know is that Salmoni finds a lot of inspiration for her designs in the global traveling she has done.

Debra Salmoni did not start her career as a designer

Another thing that only true fans will know is that Debra Salmoni went to college for marketing. Despite knowing that interior design was her true calling, the city she grew up in did not have much of a design market. She has said that interior design felt like " a really unattainable dream " (via HGTV). She worked in marketing for a while, but she eventually found her way to her career in design. She started at Timothy Johnson Design before founding her design company. Creating a successful design career helped Salmoni get the gig for "Scott's Vacation House Rules."

A direct message on Instagram is actually how Salmoni got the inquiry to work on the show. A makeup artist that worked with her husband passed her name to a casting director looking for a designer, and the casting director messaged Salmoni out of the blue. However, Salmoni almost missed the opportunity!

"And I thought it was spam," Salmoni told TV, Eh? "They followed up a few times. And then, finally, I replied, 'Is this serious?' We had a conversation, and it went really, really well ... Within six weeks, I was on TV, filming with Scott [McGillivray]. I'd never done television before. No desire to be on television. It's really serendipitous."

Sustainability impacts Salmoni's home design work

Debra Salmoni is passionate about sustainability and works to include environmental-friendly features in the houses she designs. In addition to recommending people thrift furniture pieces instead of buying new, she helps them add sustainable tools like solar panels to their houses. Salmoni told HGTV, "I work very closely with homeowners to make sure we select the best and most affordable options that also don't have a negative impact on the environment." In that same interview, Salmoni mentions that homeowners can make sustainable upgrades one at a time to save money, adding, "Once you have the right bones, becoming more sustainable just gets easier and easier." Even if you cannot make major green changes to your home, there are small things you can do to fight climate change. 

Salmoni is not the only member of her family who has found their way in front of TV cameras. Dave Salmoni, Debra's husband, is an animal trainer and TV host who has worked on shows such as "Into the Pride" and "Big, Small & Deadly." He has even ventured into the world of home renovation himself as a host on "Game of Homes." The Salmonis got married in 2015. They now have two children.