HGTV’s Egypt Sherrod sees the profit in sweat

Egypt Sherrod is a master at wising up the first-time home flippers who appear on her Atlanta-based HGTV show, “Flipping Virgins.”

Sherrod reserves her tough love for such “lazy bones” flippers who bristle at her DIY sweat equity formula. She holds nervous hands and offers earthy encouragement wrapped in real-world tutoring — all cushioned by her trademark hugs.

Sherrod began flipping homes in her early 20s. She’s also hosted HGTV’s “Property Virgins” and the channel’s 2016 White House Christmas special.

We reached Sherrod while she was vacationing in Florida with husband Mike Jackson and their youngest daughter, Kendall.

Flippers are sometimes criticized for a cookie-cutter approach to home redesign. How do you avoid such homogenization?


The secret to bringing old homes, old girls back to life if you will, is taking your time. We’re also pushing against the norm and saying everything doesn’t have to be dark. We’re doing floors in a classic gray, weathered gray or even white — bleaching the woods.

Do you think subway tile will ever go out of style?

I don’t know if it will go out of style, but I do see that it’s starting to be overused. I’ve been doing a lot of chevron design with subway tile in the kitchen. It’s the same material for the same cost.

Can the casual eye discern the difference between a $5 glass doorknob and a $50 crystal one?

I visit a lot of consignment shops and surplus stores and can almost get crystal doorknobs for the same price as glass. I have a whole stash in my basement. Buyers care what it looks like and feels like versus whether or not it’s the real thing: Does it give me the emotion that I want from this house?

Not everyone’s into sweat equity.

My mom wanted to re-vamp her kitchen, and we were looking at high-end tile. I said, “Mom, you and I can get down here and do it ourselves.” And she said, “No, you can do it yourself!” and I did. I knocked it out in a matter of hours. You can get the same look. I saved her about $3,200.

Have you been hewing to Pantone’s 2017 color, greenery — a sort of blanched asparagus?

I don’t live by it, but I get inspiration from it, so that very color’s in my kitchen. The color that speaks to my soul right now is blush. You can put blush with midnight blue and it’s moody. You can put it with gray and it’s soft. To me, it’s a neutral.

Do you ever pay full price for anything?

Honestly, you gotta enjoy life a little bit. I pay full price for my vacations because I want to make sure my family stays in high-quality places; we’re creating memories. And I definitely pay full price for my food. I don’t want any discount food.

How do you counsel first-time flippers who just aren’t getting it?

I give them the straight truth, which is, there’s a lot on the line here, and you stand to lose money … if you make the wrong decision and don’t listen to what I’m telling you. And then I hug it out with them. They take the blow better when they know it’s given with love.


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