Design Shows

HGTV is one of my guilty pleasures. In fact, (jump in the way back time machine with me), my mom used to record shows on VHS for me to watch. I still miss Divine Design. Sigh.

I've been jonesing for some good design television and I thought I would give the show I Brake for Yard Sales a try because it has everything I adore: design, revamping, upcycling and vintage. 

I really did like the show. Lara Spencer knows her stuff. She's got a great eye for vintage finds and for design. They do some great makeovers. I like that they really show what can happen if you put some elbow grease into yard sale furniture finds.

But it's unrealistic. For example the episode "Playroom No More" takes a dining room that was being used by kids and gives it a glam gorgeous makeover for...$2,000.

Now, I can believe that all of the items were purchased for $2,000. If memory serves me right it was a dining room table, the glass for the table, dining room chairs, a credenza, a bar cart, a sofa and all of the accessories in the room. Except, there is no way that that budget included the materials to paint, the tools they used, the cost to recover the sofa, make custom drapes, have an artist draw a cherry tree on the wall and all of the other labor that it took to redo that room. There were also assistants, carpenters and handypeeps doing a lot of work. 

I totally encourage the DIY ethos, but DIY is challenging. I wrote a blog post recently titled "To DIY or Not to DIY" because sometimes you need to walk away from the glue gun. It would be great if design shows could give a realistic picture of what it takes to transform a whole room from start to finish. 

Instead of giving just the budget for the stuff pre-revamp, give the cost breakdown for the room including materials. Give a list of tools used, especially specialty tools that a regular person may not have hanging out in their home. Reveal when you've outsourced a portion of the job to an expert. Include labor costs for the design work, because that has a ton of value.

Don't even get me started on the unrealistic expectation of having a room completely redone in 3 days. I've been working on my living room for over a month now making a plan, sourcing items, fixing things and implementing the design. 

Even with those complaints I will watch the show again, because as I mentioned it has fabulous design and great DIY ideas. 

What are your favorite design shows? 

Photo credit Robert Couse-Baker

Originally published 8/5/14 

Sign Up For the Monthly Newsletter

Full of DIY Tutorials. Design Tips. And More, but never spam