Friday, July 17, 2015

Design TV

Do TV design shows help you or hinder you?

With all the television programs out there, Interior Design is all the rage these days.

While I love the decorating shows as much as the next guy, they can sometimes be a little misleading.

For example, if you have ever watched HGTV's Property Brothers, you would be led to believe that Jonathan does all the designing of the decor and furnishings. He is the host of the show, and obviously can do grout and do construction, but have you noticed that his clothing never gets dirty? His job is to look good on camera and host the show while a team of many skilled folks you never see do a lot of the work in the background.

 If one man could look that good, renovate an entire house and do all the interior design that quick, well, he would be downright superhuman. The truth is that many of the design shows are hosted by the celebrity who has skills for sure, but they often have a local design firm behind the scenes actually doing the project that you wouldn't necessarily know about. All the photos in this post are from projects done on various HGTV shows. You can look them up on

Sometimes design shows give credit to these firms, sometimes they don't. Some shows use homeowner contributions to pay for things, some don't. I'm sure there are agreements and contracts involved that I know nothing about, and certainly the level of involvement of the host varies from show to show depending on what they do and what the network wants to portray.

Design shows can certainly inspire us to make our own plans and dream about what we want our homes to be like. On the other hand, you the viewer don't always see the hard work and time that it takes many people behind the scenes who are making those designs a reality. You also don't see the costs that a real life project might incur because on rooms are often staged to promote a certain vendor or product, like Wayfair or Lumber Liquidators, etc.

Joanna Gaines of Fixer Upper even says in the Q and A on her blog that the homes seen in the shows are staged for the reveal and it's up to the homeowner whether or not to buy the furnishings.

Let's face it: TV Shows are ultimately about making good television. If you want to watch actual real life on TV at a real pace you might want to stick to Championship Golf or The Joy of Painting.

Even though I know it's not totally realistic, I still love to watch the shows and be inspired. I often put design shows on in the background to motivate me get my bum off the couch and start doing something.

My favorite design shows highlight the actual design process start to finish. I love to watch a project come together step by step, but they must not have mass appeal because they all get the 5:30 am spots right after the all night infomercials. No problem for me thanks to DVR.

What do you think about design shows?  Are they motivating or discouraging?


No comments:

Post a Comment