Carmine Sabatella was always very fond of the programming that HGTV put on in the past.
In fact, he loved the platform, often finding inspiration from the shows.
It’s not too far-fetched that the real estate agent and interior designer would want his own show on the network.
Sabatella is coming off the first season of “Inside Out,” which is available on demand on rebroadcasts.
“This show as a bucket list item of mine,” he says. “I wasn’t sure how it would come to fruition. But it was serendipitous how it happened.
“Inside Out,” follows home renovations featuring Sabatella and Mike Pyle. The two begrudgingly agree on one thing – a beautifully updated home requires great design indoors and out.
Sabatella, a real estate agent and interior designer, and Pyle, a landscape designer, each pitch their design plans to clients. The budget is set, so the pair must be persuasive to score a bigger chunk of the dollars to either max out the interiors or make the most of the outdoor spruce up.
More money for Sabatella will mean clients get all they want and more for their home’s interior, while extra cash for Pyle will give the property wow-factor curb appeal and major outdoor living perks.
No matter who gets the majority of the renovation budget, both the interior and exterior will get a stunning transformation.
Sabatella enjoys working with homes built before the 1960s.
“I don’t love ultramodern homes,” he says. “When you buy a house that was built in 1918 and it’s still standing, that’s a testament to how they built houses back then. In California, we have termites, and termites don’t like old houses because the wood was sustainable and well treated. There’s a big difference in those homes.”
Sabatella says undertaking a home renovation project is exciting, yet overwhelming.
He says working with Pyle on the show has built their professional relationship even more.
“Of course, we don’t agree on everything and see a project from two different views,” he says. “It was important for us to show that despite the difficulty of home renovations, there is always a fix.”
Sabatella’s journey to interior designer has been full of long roads.
Growing up in a traditional Italian family household who was known for their work in the world of restaurants, Sabatella took to the family business at a young age and opened his first restaurant with his father right after graduating from university.
Following the success of his first restaurant, he then built and designed from the ground up his own cocktail bar and lounge in Pasadena, California.
After outgrowing his love for restaurants, he dedicated his time to another passion of his, interior design and renovations.
“Between the restaurant and the cocktail lounge, I ran them for 15 years,” he says. “It had run its course.”
Sabatella taught himself about plant selection and learned which zones were best for which plants.
“I never got a degree in design, but the talent was something I was born with,” he says. “I had a knack for design of spaces. I did wardrobe design. When I was in my early 30s, I redesigned my restaurant. I knew there was a next step in my career.”
After friends and colleagues saw his work with his own bar and his family’s restaurant, Sabatella began getting hired as an interior designer and renovator through contacts he had made over his previous career.
This had held him to open his own company, CS Domains, as well as The Sabatella Group which handles the real estate side of the business.
“I pride myself on a very eclectic design style, and I love to combine the new and the old,” he says. “What drives the comfort is the energy flow. It’s the feeling of when you walk in the door and I try to salvage windows, doors or hardware. If there’s anything that is original, I take a look at it and try to salvage it.”
Sabatella says having “Inside Out” is another platform to educate an audience – on a bigger scale.
“What we wanted to do with the show is to encourage the viewers to do home renovation projects,” he says. “It’s overwhelming for sure, but in the end, the results are beautiful.”
With so much on his plate, Sabatella uses his home as a sanctuary.
A self-described “gym junkie,” he loves to travel with his family and unplug from the world.
“We have a house in Palm Desert that we love,” he says. “We go out there as much as we can. I create calmness in my home with use of colors. There’s a pool and we utilized all the elements of nature. This is where I sit back, mediate and decompress.”