Michael C. Moloney is a decorator and television personality who makes regular appearances on the reality television series Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. He has also appeared regularly on the show Clean House on the Style Network. Before working on as an interior designer, Moloney spent 10 years in the fashion industry.
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Hi guys, Michael Moloney here. I'm a design expert (you probably know me best from my 9 years on EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME EDITION) and I did an AMA a few months ago.
I'm back to talk holiday decorating and Christmas lights timed to the premiere of the second season of The Great Christmas Light Fight
on ABC on Monday 12/8 at 8 PM / 7 central.
I'll be LIVE TWEETING during the show on Monday 12/8!
I'll also be on NIGHTLINE tonight with my co-host Sabrina Soto, talking about the Great Christmas Light Fight with previews of what's to come.
Ask me anything about holiday decor or in general! Victoria's helping me out today. It's time to celebrate!
Thank you guys so much for chatting with me today! I'll be live-tweeting both of the shows. Wishing all of you and your families the best holidays. Now get out there and make your homes look awesome!
Hi Michael - big fan of the show. My question's a two-parter.
Wondering if you still get teary eyed when you see the families' reaction to seeing the new improved home?
Would you be willing to give my place a few tips? :)
1) That never gets old. I cry at repeats.
2) Well, a couple strands of lights is the easiest, cheapest way to cheer up a place and add that festive feeling. If you don't have a tree, string them around the room or on a window. If you're on a budget, hit the Dollar stores, they've got great stuff to keep it cheerful. Any kind of container you have that's glass - you can fill with ornaments, pinecones, I just did one with sand, and sea shells, and Christmas lights - any clear containers you can add seasonal elements and lights to do a cheap, cheerful display. And then also, just stick with one color - if it's red, or green, or both, keep hitting the same color over and over. The more you see of that color, the more pulled-together it will feel.
Are you a fan of Kristen Wiig?
Oddly enough, yes, and I just saw her on the Christmas repeat of SNL and she was awesome! Bridesmaids is definitely in my top 10 list.
Why does it seem like most of the people in my town hiring themselves out to hang Christmas lights are meth heads?
I would not have a meth head hang lights on my house, it sounds like a liability. But seriously, for The Great Christmas Light Fight, most of the people on the show are families who do all the decorating themselves, which is obviously better than having to hire someone else to do it!
If you don't mind, a bit regional specific question here. What are your thoughts on the Dyker Heights Christmas Lights in Brooklyn and do you have a favorite of them?
I'm not familiar with them. I haven't had the opportunity to see those yet. But I love traveling around the country, there is so much to see, that hopefully this show will go on for years! I love me some Brooklyn.
My xmas lights have died already. how can i replace them without taking off the ornaments?
It depends if they have the little ones or the screw-in bulbs. If you have C-7s - the screw-in bulbs - screw out the broken ones.
Otherwise, you can cut them off with scissors (after unplugging them!) and then get new lights and string those on around your ornaments.
That way you can replace them easily!
can xmas LEDs be repurposed for off-season lighting or are those different types of LEDs?
Absolutely. They can be used year-round. Doesn't matter if it's only one kind of LED - I would say LEDS are versatile. You want to be color-appropriate for the holidays - you don't want to put up red & green lights for the summer. But you can certainly use them, no problem. As a matter of fact, LEDs will last several times longer than traditional Christmas lights. AND if one goes out, they don't all go out!
I couldn't agree more.
Haha! That's funny.
fake or real tree?
I'm a real tree guy but there are incredible imitation trees now that have been molded from real trees but - I mean - I'm all about the real tree, and the smell, and going to the lot, picking it out- there's a whole tradition of that. I don't feel like a tree from a box has the same feeling, but for some people, it makes a lot of sense. Like on the show, anytime you cover something in lights & ornaments, it looks beautiful anyway!
Hi Michael! Thanks for doing this AMA :) What was your favorite house on the show (and why?)?
Oh my goodness... that's a tough question, because by the time I see them - there are 4 houses in each episode, and they are the best out of HUNDREDS of applications - so they are SO good, they really have to stand out. I can't tell you my favorite, cuz that'll give away the winner - BUT I can have favorites in several categories!
In "old school traditional christmas," in "high tech modern" and in "funky edgy quirky."
So you'll have to tune in to see who my absolute favorite was!
What is the biggest, most over the top design you've ever done?
Oh my gosh, well... probably for the Millennium in 2000. I covered my entire store in disco balls that were spinning -on the roof, outside, inside- and I'm sure it could be seen from space. It was just this giant, silver shiny celebration of the new Millennium. They were disco balls, and I would always go ALL OUT on my stores. One year I covered my entire store in red tape, had all red displays, threw a party with a red carpet... I love to hit at theme and follow it through. And I kinda do things over the top. I know Christmas really well. I've done charity home tours, and I love the themes and helping blow people away to win - which, of course, I always did...
What was the hardest house you've built on the show?
Oh my gosh, um... that's SO tough. The first one that comes to mind is the house in Florida, for a gal named Carrie Pruett, and she was a single woman who adopted like 5 kids whose parents passed away. And we built this outrageous house that was centered around a gigantic pond with bridges over it, and it was just serene, and beautiful, and spa-like. But i mean, we built over 200 homes... it's impossible to pick
And as an unrelated followup, did you ever want to be the one to say Move That Bus?
You know, I always felt that was Ty's job and he did a great job doing that. But I was a part of something pretty awesome for 9 years, so I have no regrets. And people yell it at me ALL THE TIME. I always hear "move that bus!" when they don't know who I am but they recognize my face.
Do ornaments make okay gifts? (i.e. Baby's first christmas)
Absolutely. And I think if you're going to give an ornament on a gift, make sure to customize it to the person. If they have hobbies or interests - try to make it special to them, as opposed to a traditional basic ornament. I love it because my mother and I give each other ornaments each year - and what she does is take india ink and a fine quill and she writes our names and the year she gave it on the bottom of the ornament on a paper slip, so you know who it was from and what year it was given.