Expectations of Designers and Home Decor

Thank you HGTV for showing us how to have perfectly designed homes on a budget, a renovation done in a weekend and how homes should be staged. Even though Bob Villa and Norm Abram (This Old House) showed us remodeling decades ago, it was Paige Davis who made us stay in on Saturday nights to watch Trading Spaces. I wonder what she's doing now....

...a new show on Hallmark Channel

As a home buyer and seller several times (we just did our 5th move in 8 years), I have been able to empathize with the average buyer and seller.  I also was a Realtor about eight years ago and am gearing up to enter the field once again.  Having been around the block enough, once in a while I question the expectations that have become so common.

With each real estate transaction we were in, I often wondered if I was the only one (seriously?) with high expectations as a buyer and  condemning HGTV for placing those same high expectations on me as a seller.

I recently read a great article at Apartment Therapy on "reality" tv home shows. Are they real? Do they present the true blood, sweat and tears of basic staging to massive renovations? The author presented a great debate and offered tips to consider.

Several commenters, mostly designers, rightly complained that the shows do not show the realities of either scenario in real life, including real costs and time. A few other commenters (clients) chimed in that some designers were not accommodating in the customer service area. Each side has a valid point.

Have we placed too much weight upon ourselves to have the perfectly decorated home? I think I can speak for many that while we may desire it, it's more of a fantasy.  DIY projects take longer than a weekend, many of us can only afford to shop at the discount home stores and kids... KIDS... 'nough said. The only times my houses were perfect were when they were on the market and I ruled with an iron thumb!

As sellers, hubs & I did the fix-ups, every real estate agent was impressed. But as buyers, I thought, haven't these sellers EVER watched HGTV? Where's the updated bronze fixtures, the granite counter tops, the newly painted (and wallpaper-less) beige walls, the newer appliances? Don't they know what they are supposed to do according to HGTV?

Bottom line, the house shows need to be taken with a grain of salt. They stage it and script it. No, you cannot decorate an entire house in a weekend unless you have all supplies and laborers on hand. And you can't do a massive renovation in a month unless permits are in place in addition to supplies, laborers and massive  cash.

Think: navigation maps.... how many times do we hear of a person driving into a house because the map voice told them to turn right in 20 feet? We all need to keep our heads on straight. 

Clients: designers do not work for free. Designers: clients need kind communication.  Everyone should prepare for renovations to take longer than they do on tv shows than expected. And even though HGTV never comes to my area for reno shows, I still love 'em!  Here is a fellow blogger-designer's experience working with House Hunters.

What are your thoughts on this? 
Have you worked with a designer or bought or sold a house recently with visions of HGTV in your head?           

post signature


mail4rosey said...

Totally in agreement with this one, the shows make you want too much which bites when you have too little of a budget (but they are fun to watch).

As a result of those kinds of shows, we have super elegant and way too formal custom-made draperies in our otherwise very informally decorated home. It makes me laugh (but we do love our drapes). :)

Nan ~ Playful Decor said...

Oh, rosey, I think we've all made those mistakes! But as long as they last you 20yrs then it may be worth it! Who knew drapes could make you happy! :)

Karen Dawkins said...

Oh Nan,
GREAT POST!!!! It is so true. We got rid of cable about six months ago. Amazingly, when my head wasn't filled with constant "perfect home" images, I relaxed at home. I'm quite content with our somewhat be achy-somewhat English garden-somewhat boys-live-here house. I'm relaxing and LIFE. IS. GOOD (and it gives me write more time to blog!)


We bought our house shortly before the market started crashing... we decided to go with one we could renovate; got a great deal on a foreclosed house. AND yes we had ideas of grandeur, and you are SO right, it takes much longer than what is portrayed on TV.

Nan ~ Playful Decor said...

Karen, I've often thought about giving up cable, but haven't. Good for you! I don't buy magazines though! lol

Mommetime, excellent on getting a great deal! Our next project is painting the kitchens cabinets so hub found a video "how to paint your kitchen in a weekend" Seriously. I had to really convince him it would take 6 months on our time frame - it takes him 1/2 day just to find his tools!

Stacy Curran said...

I agree with everything you wrote!! What a great post...and lovely images, too

dusty katt said...

As someone who has worked in the renovation business before this is more than true:

Good + Fast = Expensive

Choose good and fast and we will postpone every other job, cancel all appointments and stay up 25-hours a day just to get your job done. But, don't expect it to be cheap.

Good + Cheap = Slow

Choose good and cheap and we will do a great job for a discounted price, but be patient until we have a free moment from paying clients.

Fast + Cheap = Inferior

Choose fast and cheap and expect an inferior job delivered on time. You truly get what you pay for.

You just can't have all three.

Nan ~ Playful Decor said...

Perfectly said, DK!

Thanks for stopping by Stacy!

Courtney G said...

I'm an old Real Estate Broker. I've been out of it awhile with this market. HGTV does cause us problems, when people watch, and think the same is true in the real world. I would say those Million Dollar listing guys are even worse for our profession. I always tried to just get things as clean as possible, if I couldn't get through on the staging part. But you end up doing a lot of work yourself, that you never really see in the end at closing day(And if you get there). You know what I mean? I'm enjoying my new business much more than Real Estate, that's for sure!

leigh said...

I loved watching Paige Davis do her thing :) They did have some bizarre make overs on that show though. Love that kitchen - wish mine looked as clean and clutter free - oh well, welcome to reality!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...