Home Decor

Confessions of a Home Decorating Show Addict

Trading_SpacesOk, I will admit it – I am a home decorating and renovation show addict. Any of the crasher shows (but Yard Crashers is my favorite), Flip or Flop, Fixer Upper, Property Brothers, you name it, I’ve watched it. And the question always on my mind: why, in every Love It or List It episode, do they come across insurmountable obstacles that leave major desired changes off the list when Jonathan Scott and Chip Gaines always seem to find a workaround?

If I am honest, this obsession began back in 2000 when the show Trading Spaces was first introduced. For those of you who might not be familiar with the show, two neighboring couples swapped spaces for two days. Working with a designer and carpenter (Ty Pennington was one) they changed the look of one room in each other’s home.

This was where I first came to know and love the talents of Vern Yip, Genevieve Gorder, and Laurie Hickson-Smith. It was also where I discovered the very unusual tastes of Hildi Santo-Tomas and Doug Wilson. In one episode Hildi glued hay to the walls; in another, it was feathers. I could not even imagine trying to keep those rooms clean and wondered how quickly the owners removed those “design” elements.

My sister Sue got hooked on the show too and we would often call each other after the reveal (before she moved to the west coast and a different time zone) to deconstruct the show’s activities.

Our obsession came to a head during my birthday trip to Cape Cod, mentioned in my last post. One evening after dinner, several of my entourage were sitting in the B&B’s living room chatting away. Next thing you know Sue and I begin sharing ideas on how to rearrange the furniture to improve the room’s look and overall flow. We got so into it we actually stood up with the intention of putting our ideas into motion. But at the last minute I chickened out – afraid of insulting the B&B’s owners who were a very sweet young couple. But I did rehang a picture of roses that was upside down – I could tell by looking at the stems and petals. To this day I wonder what kind of reaction our plan would have gotten the next morning at breakfast.

But my obsession has come in quite handy as I’ve worked on my own projects and it was so helpful when I staged my last home for sale.

While watching these shows and reading the magazines helps spur redecorating ideas my wallet cannot support, it is fun to live vicariously through the people featured. And there is always something we can do to improve our environment while staying on a budget. Why else would Marshall’s, TJ Maxx and Home Goods exist?

So have some fun!