Could Be Better

Could Be Better

Hosts Rob Conlon and J. Dewey, two friends from New York's Hudson Valley, have a mutual love and appreciation for Better Homes & Gardens magazine. In this podcast, they pour drinks and spill the tea about what they really think about the latest issue. It's queer eye for the home decor magazine. If you’re a fan of witty banter about interior design magazines, LGBTQ issues, gardening, baking, parenting and home decor ...you may want to listen to something else. But if you’re the type who flips through a design magazine and thinks “where did they hide all the clutter?” then you’re in our tribe. OK, even if you aren’t that type, you should listen and subscribe anyway, because your home and your garden can always be a little bit better than your neighbors'...and your best friend's. Please note that this show is not endorsed by or affiliated with Better Homes & Gardens magazine or its publishing company. We’re just big fans. Subscribe today on your favorite podcast platform for a monthly dose of cocktails and banter (plus special mini-episodes here and there). Cheers! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Episodes

December 20, 2020 42 min
This is it, folks! Could Be Better is winding to a close after three years. In this bonus episode, Rob and J. say farewell, reminisce about some favorite moments, and share their final advice on home decor. Who will deride all-white interiors and Magnolia now? Who knows but we are sure someone will. Thanks to the thousands who have tuned in over the years, special thanks to the designers and magazine editors who supported us, and t...
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In our final regular episode, we are all about Christmas. And spending all your remaining moments between now and Christmas crafting your handmade decor. At least, that’s what the magazine seems to be saying. No more worries about free time or boredom! You won’t have a moment to spare. Whether you go mad for plaid, feel fine with pine, or you’re down with brown, we’ve got you covered. (Especially the brown…there’s a lot of it.) Rob...
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November 1, 2020 58 min
It’s November again, Thanksgiving (arguably the best holiday for food of the year) is approaching, and you’re wondering what design trend to highlight on your family table. Spoiler alert: it’s dowdiness. How to turn a negative into a positive? Pretend it’s cool! You could also throwback things (like the Throwback feature, which is back, sorta) to a trend you embraced a loooonng time ago, like the one we highlight as our “last page....
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October 4, 2020 49 min
For our October 2020 episode, we go full-on Halloween and revel in the autumnal palettes of the season. We sip apple cider-based cocktails and gush over the “not too spooky” handmade projects in the October issue of Better Homes and Gardens–and, shocker, J. admits to liking these crafts! There are very few tags for hate, so the editors either did a good job or we drank the pumpkin-flavored Kool-Aid. We talk Halloween candy favorite...
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September 4, 2020 13 min
Welcome to a special episode of Could Be Better! In the September issue of Better Homes and Gardens, they featured rainbow-hued items as a trend in decor. (A little late for Pride month, but whatev.) That led us to a discussion about Pride flags, and the current debate between the traditional six-color Pride flag and more inclusive versions–the Philadelphia Pride flag, the Progress flag, et al. Here’s our full conversation about ra...
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August 30, 2020 55 min
September is here, if you can believe it! In this month's episode, we discuss how the magazine celebrates gay pride a few months late, railroad stripes, and how to project joy throughout your life. It may have been PROject joy in the mag but we've turned it into ProJECT Joy. Which we kind of fail at by lamenting more white walls and even (maybe) having a falling out over plans for J.'s upcoming kitchen reno. Oh, the dra...
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August 3, 2020 59 min
It’s August 2020 and we’re back with another fact-filled episode of Could Be Better! Do you know what the watermelon emoji means? Do you know what color makes Rob go ga-ga for paint can lids? Can you guess what culinary tip J. has been keeping from Rob for years? What is the kids’ favorite song and parents’ least-favorite song? Find out the answers to all of these puzzlers in our August episode! Plus: more hot male gardeners, pickl...
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It’s a summer surprise: not one but TWO episodes of Could Be Better! In Part Two of our July 2020 episode, we talk with award-winning interior designer, real estate expert and podcast host Paul Trudel-Payne. He hosts the awesome In Your Mind podcast, which we’ll be on in a few weeks. We review a section of the July 2020 issue of Better Homes and Gardens with him, talking paint can lids, the color green, Southwestern style, and some...
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July 4, 2020 47 min
It's July, it's summertime, and after months of quarantine/shelter in place/safer at home you deserve a little treat--so we're bringing you TWO episodes for July. In Part One, we do our usual schtick and go through the magazine offering up our unsolicited opinions (spoiler alert: there are tags for hate and tags for love). In Part Two, hear our conversation with our very first guest, Paul Trudel-Payne, an actual award-w...
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June 6, 2020 58 min
This month is LGBTQ+ Pride Month, and it’s “How To Decorate Your Patio” time again! Despite the pandemic and protest marches, we are still here doing what we do: obsessing over a home shelter/food/crafting magazine as if it were the end-all, be-all of American experience. But we know we are not saving the world, and that this is all just design. If it makes you happy–and you are privileged enough to have a home to decorate, mor...
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April 26, 2020 54 min
In our May 2020 episode, we are still under a "Safer At Home" mandate in our home state of New York and so we recorded this episode via Zoom video conference once again. We each make our own signature cocktail: J. does a classic vodka gimlet, partially inspired by the lemon curd tart on the cover of the May 2020 issue of Better Homes and Gardens, while Rob pulls a recipe for ginger punch from the mag's new Stylemaker co...
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April 3, 2020 58 min
In this month's episode, Rob and J. are on lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic of course--so we recorded this by a socially distant Zoom meeting. Thus we have two signature cocktails: a classic Mary Pickford for Rob, inspired by the Throwback feature, and J. created a "Social Distance" cocktail, a modified Greyhound. It's the color issue packed with lots of practical, hands-on tips for fixing up the home you...
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March 13, 2020 59 min
In our March 2020 episode, we discuss the latest trends in home design. Or the latest popular things that are about to be overexposed. At least the houseplants are paper this time. Another plus: lots of green and nary a pink! Rob invents a Dark & Bootchie cocktail inspired by the “give up alcohol” article (as if), and Chef Tim gets sour with the Lemon Tiramisu from the recipe section. Also: caning, ferns, a Queer Eye-adjacent a...
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February 7, 2020 59 min
On this month’s episode of Could Be Better, we indulge in some speech therapy practice as J. heads towards recovery from a brain hemorrhage. Can you say “editor’s letter” without blending the sounds together? We warm up with a ginger-liqueur cider but say “tag for hate” on another outdoor entertaining suggestion. We’re in for the chocolate spice cake skewers, though. There’s a lot of food in the February issue but we do have paint ...
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January 12, 2020 59 min
In this episode, we field a few pressing (not really) questions from readers (not really, the editors did that) instead of the usual “New Year, New Me” features. This month we have lots of dark paint colors instead of the usual white, including a purple/blue that Rob tags for love and J. tags for hate. Yet paint can lids are in scarce supply. We range from tips on cleaning (when should I clean?) to tips on landscaping (native plant...
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December 7, 2019 53 min
It's December once again and we're in the holiday spirit...and into the holiday spirits with Rob's family recipe for egg nog. We have a few glasses and dish up our opinions on the latest issue of BH&G. There's a lot of Christmas and not many of our usual features, like I Did It or paint can lids. Instead we get lots of snow-white rooms warmed by holiday colors, even some non-traditional hues which is nice. Tag f...
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August 1, 2019 59 min

We're in the summer doldrums (but savoring them) so we're going shirtless for this episode! Why not enjoy a few stone fruit margaritas (inspired by the August issue's articles on peaches and plums, and how to throw an ice cream social) and hang out topless with your cohost?

This month, we dive into beekeeping and hot beekeepers (new fetish alert!), why you should invest in your laundry room, and OCD pantry organization. ...

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July 1, 2019 59 min
In our July 2019 episode, we have a summer surprise! Special guest host Bob Brink fills in for Rob while he recuperates from a solstice cold. Bob, who also happens to be J.’s husband, is a fine wine buyer and hospitality expert. He’s also not a regular BHG magazine reader, but you know what, sometimes an honest outside opinion is refreshing…like the Sandy Bottom, a watermelon-flavored signature cocktail. We talk frankly about hot d...
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June 13, 2019 58 min
t's LGBTQ Pride Month and Rob and J. search desperately for some signs of gay life in this month's magazine. Though there's little to be found on the pages, there's plenty of love at the bottom of their cocktail glasses (thanks to the strawberry basil smash cocktails, lifted from the recipe section). J. explains why this episode was delayed and shares a very painful housing-related memory. Rob gets tongue-tied over ...
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May 3, 2019 60 min
In this episode: Deception! Lies! Big baskets! Secrets revealed! But even those might be another deception. As Rob pours Kentucky Derby mint juleps made gayer with lavender and berries, J. digs up memories of a childhood dinner gone horribly wrong. (This is the Food Issue, after all.) We discuss what charities really want (NOT your #KonMari non-joyful items), what no one wants (Grandma’s silver trays), an instant classic color sche...
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