Saturday, May 17, 2008

Would You Let HGTV Do Your Room?

I watch all the decor TV shows. I started with the BBC Changing Rooms years ago, fascinated by the idea of friends, relatives, or neighbors decorating a room for one another. Later it came to the USA as Trading Spaces. Of course the best shows were the ones when the people cried for hating the room that had been re-done under the auspices of a "designer" with the input of their friends.
I know one person who did Trading Spaces. She is a young gay woman professional. She was paired up with her woman boss who had just bought a home. They got asked to do this because they were administrative executives in the hotel were the Trading Spaces crew stayed when they did a program in this particular city. The home owner did not really know anyone in the city, being a recent transplant. She didn't know her neighbors, but I guess she knocked on the door, and invited them to be on the show. Perfect strangers were about to trade spaces.
The designers, were a woman doing the hotel gal's place, and a raving queen doing the very straight couple's place. The location of the city plays a part, and the city is New Orleans. The houses were trad shot gun style houses. The room being done was the living room. Hotel gal fared okay. She got a nice modage look (vintage and modern). The other couple really loved their trad house, and asked that it not be taken too far off of that path. The queen demurred, and upholstered everyhthing in an ecclesiastical hideous print, trying to hone in on the spiritual ambiance New Orleans invokes. He also hung crazy sail shape fabric on the ceilings. It was ugly, and the couple wanted to beat his ass. Hotel gal and the couple never spoke to one another again as neighbors, and she moved on after Katrina.

The wall color is off in this shot
The actual taupe-y paint color is called Cookie Crumb

I always thought it would be neat to get some free and new stuff courtesy of a TV show. But as I thought about which of my friends or relatives I would want to do any of my rooms over on a measly budget (usually between $1K - $3K), I couldn't think of anyone, except my friend Michael Pelkey who is a professional, and who riffs ideas with me anyway, and has given me so many lovely hostess gifts for my home over the years, that I don't need a TV show to pair us up. We were never separated at birth.

The room you are looking at, was done in 2005 by HGTV for a YOUNG couple, in their first house.
I mean the brocade damask furniture, and shiny pillow fabric is so maw maw for crying out loud. And though I love a good bargain at TJ Max, Stein Mart, Marshalls et al, using so much stuff that looks like it came from there is just not being a design professional, it's being a lazy shopper.
The inspiration is the painting, which the lady of the house did.
The designer was given $3K to do the open plan living and dining room.
Three years later the lady of the house gets sad when she goes into this room. On the show she cried, and thought she was happy, mainly moved by the whole experience of being on TV and getting $3K worth of free stuff.
Given that trends change, even in such a short time, do you think this room looks pulled together for a young couple?
The dilemma is that the hubs thinks it's not practical to mess with a room done by a professional, with perfectly good free stuff in it. He thinks it's blasphemy, like since a pro did it, it must be good. He doesn't understand the deep repercussions of living in a room you hate, or living with a woman who hates that room.
Right now she is asking for tips, low cost tips, to fix the HGTV mess.
Paint color and drapes must stay. Ditto for wall to wall carpet. Furniture must stay.
Painting is not up for discussion or critique (so as not to hurt her feelings), and it stays.
If you'd like to help out go to Sneaky Chic HERE
I have applied to HGTV for various shows. The big catch is that for any of the good ones, like Candace Olson (whose work is very good), or a bath or kitchen re-do, you have to chip in the money. Sometimes those renovations cost from $20K - $50K. What's the point? If I had that kind of dough, I'd get my own professional help. I don't really need to be on TV, I just need free stuff.
I think the unhappy camper should post this room on HGTV's Rate My Space as a room she did, and see how many stars it gets, and what the comments would render. Then I'd forward the hot mess to HGTV, not that they care anyway. But maybe it would make her feel better.
And please answer my question: would you let a TV show do your room over?

And thanks to Sneaky Chic for letting me post her pictures.


Carole said...

No! As in hell no!!! Because I have no desire to go to prison, which is exactly where I would be after viewing my room and killing the designer.

Love your blog.


Carole said...

Let me amend that, the only designer that I would trust is Candace Olson.


visual vamp said...

Well at least you'd make it a very pretty prison room...