Tuesday, March 18, 2008
HGTV Rate My Space Real Rooms By Real People: Confessions Of A Love Hate Relationship
New to the show and tell world on line, I stumbled upon HGTV Rate My Space on their web site. It is basically a place where you can post as many photos as you like of your home. Professionals, wannabes, and home decorators are all welcome. The only criteria is that the comments be civil, and the rooms appropriate. More on that later.
Last November I ventured in, as I always do - with energy, lots of energy. Armed with my SONY Cyber Shot camera, I started taking pictures. What fun!
Several lifetimes ago I made my living in the design world. I changed careers, and retired from that line of work. You can take the designer off the project, but...
Being visually over active, I continue to style my house.
Staying in touch with some of my fellow professionals still working can make me wistful. What if I hadn't given it all up for my health, a man I love, and tango?
So here's RMS (as the participants call it) beckoning.
Not being a cookie cutter kind of gal, my spaces invited low ratings and comments.
You can rate a space once, giving it one to five stars, five stars being the best. Frequent viewings can also bestow the honor of prime placement on the site. People vie for five stars and top placement.
A dedicated group, well, a clique of sorts, seems to always be on line viewing, rating, and commenting. You soon get to know them all in a chummy coffee klatch kind of way.
They make newcomers pay their dues with tough comments and low stars.
Most of them are women. And I must say most control the bitch slapping. But it is great when some kooky room gets them all riled up. One guy with a smart mouth was the cock in the hen house for awhile, but he got drummed out of the corp, and sadly quit. Somehow if you hang in there, they accept you, and you become friends, like pen pals that can all read the same letter at once.
They don't like nude art. Especially nude gay art. They complain and the space gets ejected. Oh yeah, HGTV is a Big Brother and a space can vanish for no apparent reason.
Most of the rooms are hideous. But the real people decorating them are so sincere in their pride and accomplishment, it is hard to be mean. A few gems do emerge.
If you look at all the talent doing decor blogs, you would think everyone is visually aware, astute, and able to make a good looking room for Domino Magazine.
Most of the USA is afraid. Afraid of color. Afraid of being different. Making a room that looks like Pottery Barn or Rooms To Go gets high marks and lots of stars. Matching bedding as in the type in the horrendous bed-in-a-bag is the only way to go. Granite counter tops rule. Fat ass couches abound. The sectional is the most rad solution to furniture placement.
I have 38 postings at RMS (and took heat for that too), and often think about deleting them all. Some of the comments got me off my ass, and shook my little world up. Just like they think that everyone is like them, I thought they would all be like the visual vamps out there. It was a shock to get bitch slapped.
I did change a few things for the better. Like get off RMS. But like a little candy sneak thief, I steal a moment there once in awhile, not signing in, no ratings, and not even viewing my own RMS site. The same type of rooms are always there, and the same comments said over and over again. It was disheartening.
I posted a space today. I could care less about the ratings or number of views. I checked in a few hours after I posted, and there they all are, all the regulars, welcoming me with some stars and comments. I felt good for their attention, for taking time to look in and say hello.
I will share some real spaces done by real people from time to time, well, just to keep it real, well at least a different kind of real.