The Best Home Shows Of 2021

It's Friday night. PJs are on, wine is poured, snacks are prepped. Lights: off. Pillows: fluffed. TV: turned to a home design or renovation show. For many people, that scene is a frequent one. Just look at the numbers! As reported by Bloomberg, HGTV was named the third most-watched cable network in 2016, coming in ahead of even CNN, and, as per the HGTV show list, a majority of the network's programming is related to home design, renovation, and real estate. But why are home shows so popular? "Renovation shows combine two very relevant topics to most people... overwhelming aesthetic inspiration and the know how to do it successfully," Chip Wade, a consultant for Liberty Mutual Insurance and a DIY pro, told Apartment Therapy. In other words, people like home shows because they offer inspiration for what their homes could be. Makes sense.

With a long lineup of new 2021 home shows as evidence, this expert knows what he's talking about. But with so many new shows coming out, it can be tough to tell which ones are worth watching. This list of the best home shows of 2021 is here to help.

Home Again with the Fords on HGTV

Home Again with the Fords, which premiered on HGTV on Feb. 2, 2021, follows Leanne and Steve Ford of Restored by the Fords as they head to Pittsburgh for some hometown renovations. "People all over the country are now returning to the places they grew up. And what a wonderful place to be," Leanne told HGTV, as reported by House Beautiful. "It truly is a privilege to help people come home again, and to create a space they love." The new reality show depicts Steve, a licensed contractor, and Leanne, an interior designer, updating old, rundown, or otherwise forgotten homes. But they're not turning these drab houses into cookie-cutter HGTV designs — they're renovating them in ways that respect the past and honor the original flair of the home. 

And that is what makes Home Again with the Fords one of the best home shows of 2021. Take the premiere episode as an example. As per a recap from Pittsburgh City Paper, the Fords' first renovation was a farmhouse on the brink. But instead of painting everything white and stripping it of charm, they honored its character and even used the owner's vibrant paintings as inspiration. 

Home Town: Ben's Workshop on Discovery+

Ben Napier is no stranger to home shows, as he and his wife, Erin, are the stars of the HGTV hit Home Town. But now, he has his own spinoff: Home Town: Ben's Workshop on Discovery+. The burly southerner was always working on some kind of carpentry project on Home Town, and the fans wanted more. Napier told Today, "Every time our show would air, people would be live-tweeting and would say, 'Ben needs to create a woodworking show.' Every time I saw one of those tweets, I would retweet it and tag the networks." All the tweeting paid off! On his new spinoff, he invites celebrity guests to his carpentry workshop where they chat and build a piece that is donated to charity upon completion (via Today). 

Fans can expect to see celebs like tennis pro Martina Navratilova and country singer Chris Lane on the show, but it's not the big names that makes Home Town: Ben's Workshop one of the best home shows of 2021. It's its unique combination of talk show and DIY advice. As Napier joked to Today, "I'm describing it as The New Yankee Workshop meets Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee."

Frozen in Time on Discovery+

Frozen in Time, which premiered on Discovery+ on Jan. 4, 2021, follows Maureen McCormick of The Brady Bunch fame and designer Dan Vickery as they give homes that have been frozen in time a modern makeover. While it's super fun to see the crazy time-warps that are these Southern California homes (think carpeted kitchens straight out of 1972), what makes this series one of the best home shows of 2021 are the homeowners and their history with their houses. "You can see [the homes' owners] getting excited, then scared, then excited and scared again," McCormick shared, as reported by the New York Post. "It can be a rollercoaster ride for them." She went on to add that the remodels are "so personal" to the homeowners because there's usually a reason why they bought that house. They often just want to hold onto that feeling and those happy memories. 

Take the home from the premiere episode as an example. According to a recap from People, the hosts updated the house with modern features, but they created certain elements that honored the history and original design of the home, such as a vibrant blue color-blocked bathroom inspired by Twiggy's 1960s dresses and an art piece made from the home's original cabinets.

Self-Made Mansion on HGTV

HGTV is no stranger to real estate shows, from House Hunters and all its many, many spin-offs to Property Brothers and Love it or List It, just to name a few. So, out of that long list, why is HGTV's real estate show Self-Made Mansions worth a viewer's time? The show's host, Clinton Kelly of What Not to Wear and The Chew, tells it best. "Self-Made Mansions is about people who have invented something, or maybe they're just entrepreneurs," the TV personality told Forbes. "They've thrown their entire lives into their idea, and have hit it big. Now, they're able to buy the house of their dreams." Kelly also admitted to Forbes that the show's title isn't exactly accurate, saying that the homes on the show are just "nice houses that 'self-made' people bought," and that fans should "focus on the 'self-made' part" as that "was the fun of it." 

And it really is fun. People love Self-Made Mansions, with fans tweeting such praise as "You can't go wrong watching #SelfMadeMansions on #hgtv," noting, "Seeing small business owners talk about how they got started and buying a home as a reward."

The best upcoming 2021 home shows to look out for

The year 2020 set the world upside down, but it also inspired viewers to desire more meaningful, original, and connective content. People don't want more of the same anymore — they want something new, exciting, and significant. "We've locked in a solid lineup of creative, innovative and entertaining programming to inspire people who want to reimagine their homes," Jane Latman, the president of HGTV, said in a Discovery press release. "This is just the beginning. We're ... looking for imaginative real estate, renovation and design experts who are pushing the envelope with their distinct points of view." 

There are many upcoming 2021 home shows that are going to be just as meaningful and innovative as what's currently available, according to HGTV. Like Fresh Starter, a series that will depict designer couple Austin Coleman and Raisa Kuddus helping young clients create fabulous starter homes. Inside Out, on the other hand, is a competition show that will feature both interior and landscape designers. And Life Under Renovation will follow families as they go through the hardships and triumphs of home renovation. It's safe to say that the best is yet to come.