If you’re an HGTV or DIY Network fanatic, you must understand that the channel didn’t blossom out of nowhere. Long ago, Bob Vila and This Old House laid the groundwork for DIY as entertainment. Vila, who has spent his career helping people upgrade their homes (and lives), went on to present similar offshoot series, Bob Vila’s Home Again, Bob Vila, and Restore America with Bob Vila. His latest efforts include tackling the online world with his webisode pilot series Building Green. We’re lucky to say he’s the star of this week’s Friday Five.

Friday Five with Bob Vila in architecture  Category

1. Florida Gardens
I grew up with a small front and back yard in Miami that my father tended. I helped and eventually as a teenager, I did most of the work. I’ve always loved the tropical landscape.

Friday Five with Bob Vila in architecture  Category

2. Cars
I’ve been lucky with cars. My first was an MGA, and I’ve owned a classic E-type. The Mercedes in the picture was bought new in ’68 by my in-laws.

Friday Five with Bob Vila in architecture  Category

3. Great Wine
I learned a little about wines when I lived in Europe in the early ’70s. I learned even more from my late father-in-law, Joe King, who was generous with his excellent cellar.

Friday Five with Bob Vila in architecture  Category

4. Italian Design
Italian-made clothing lasts a long time, and the tailoring is comfortable and elegant. I remember the wardrobe mistress at the Today show handing me back my Brioni jacket after she’d pressed it, saying, “Bob, that blazer don’t owe you nothin’.”

Friday Five with Bob Vila in architecture  Category

5. The Sea
Growing up in Miami and Havana, the sea was always within sight. The two years I lived in Germany deprived me of that closeness. Since then, I’ve never lived too far from the shore.