Meredith Grabham. Photo courtesy of TLC.

It’s winter in Dallas. There are no icicles or fluffy snow banks, but there’s definitely a nip in the air. The streets of Preston Hollow are mostly vacant. Stroller in tow, Meredith Grabham, seven months pregnant, waddles about in search of her family’s dream home. For weeks, Meredith had approached neighbors from Snow White to Midway with a sweet smile and a simple request: “Do you want to sell your home?”

As odd as the question may seem, Grabham was completely serious. Her Preston Hollow home of five years was too small for the growing family, so her husband issued her a challenge: if you want a bigger house, find someone who’ll sell you one. So, she did. With persistence and sweet baked goods, Grabham found someone willing to sell her a home that she and her husband could bulldoze, so they could build a new one from scratch.

The same approach Grabham took to real estate can be seen in her home design. In every quirky centerpiece and painting, Grabham’s strong personality rings: If she likes it, she’s got to have it.

Grabham’s home and distinct design aesthetic were recently featured on TLC’s newest series “Four Houses,” a show where four homeowners critique and score each other’s homes based on originality, style and livability. In the end, the best home receives $10,000 and a spread in Better Homes and Gardens.

Grabham came up short in the competition, but not without leaving an impression about her personal ideas on design. Grabham’s largest impression came in the form of a golden rhino sculpture by Sergio Bustamante atop her dining room table, a sculpture which left the other contestants a bit stunned. But to Grabham, the rhino is a stamp of her personal style.

As an abstract artist and interior designer, Grabham designed a home that mixes vintage with modern and anything that catches her eye. Her quirky rhino and other art pieces punctuate her ideas of design, “If you get to the point that you know what you like, anything you’ll choose goes together.”

Grabham designs by her own rules and she “hate[s] the idea that everything has to match.” Even with her blunt opinions, Grabham still maintains southern manners when she’s in someone else’s home. The show’s “the harsher, the better” motto should have been effortless for Grabham, but when it came time for the criticisms, her southern instincts took over.

“I just could not be rude and mean. Growing up in the south, I was taught say something nice or not say anything at all.”

However, within the five days of 15-hour shoots, Grabham found a way to be opinionated and still obey her mother. When the show aired July 16, Grabham maintained her true personality while spreading the Grabham gospel of home design. Watch clips from the show here.

Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Preston Hollow.