Home Renovation Shows

“Uber-unique” is the new trend!

Though home renovation shows paint fun fantasies, they do not intend to encourage the redesign of functional spaces. They do not suggest remodeling just to respond to the latest fads. Change in the way we respond to the shows is overdue. Good news. Moving forward, emulating the neighbors will no longer be a badge of honor. Instead, we will measure style by uniqueness and craftsmanship and not conformity to the latest trends. So says Los Angeles based interior designer Delta Wright in an article published by Forbes. “The “uber-unique” will shine in the upcoming decade. We will see highly crafted, unusual materials meticulously featured in furnishings and architecture”, says Miss Wright. In other words, she reports that quality of workmanship and design will replace conformity. Only then will concept of updating make sense again. ElleDesign, an internet magazine, concurs.

The influence of home renovation shows:

But how did our thought processes evolve to this point? When did we begin looking at updating residences in the same way as clothing designers expect us to view fashion? Historically, people did not consider house features to be subject to short term trends. A house is often the most expensive investment a family makes. There are many styles of high quality furniture. A wide array of designs originates from different periods of man’s history and different cultures. Some people prefer furnishings based on ornate designs first created for European aristocracy. Others prefer country pieces reminiscent of those featured in farm houses of the 1800’s. Others prefer furnishings featuring ultra contemporary minimalist designs. Few would suggest that a home furnished in a fifties Art Deco motif must be redecorated must be considered dated.

However, since the turn of the century the same logic did not seem to apply to kitchens and bathrooms. For example, about five years ago designers declared wood kitchen cabinets out of style. They ignored quality designs and craftsmanship. From that point forward, many blindly accepted their dictum and considered kitchen cabinets outdated unless they were white.

A personal story: The Influence Of Home Renovation Shows

My daughter and her husband built a magnificent home on over two acres in a very exclusive neighborhood. It features a chef’s kitchen with the finest gas appliances, finely crafted wood cabinets and high quality wood floors. The ceiling is over twenty three feet high and the counters are of the finest granite. In short, they built a dream house with a dream kitchen. Yet a short while later my daughter came to me and confessed she wished they delayed construction a few months. Had they done so, they would have installed a white kitchen. She was disappointed at failing to conform to the style which came into vogue days after the house was completed. I was astonished.

Is that the degree to which we were brainwashed by the fun to watch home renovation shows offered by HGTV? In 2003, ABC introduced the first home renovation show, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. The network successfully hosted the show until 2013 and HGTV has now revived it. The network has slotted new episodes to start running this year. As a Realtor and builder, I have always enjoyed watching the show and the plethora of copies it spawned. I have a passion for design, and new ideas and materials intrigue me. Of course, my wife has become addicted to the shows as well.

Fantasy or common sense:

But there is a difference between the fantasies home renovation shows paint and real life. Therefore, while I have a passion for design, I am even more passionate about common sense. It seems very decadent to me to destroy the magnificent work of artisans. Changing the color of kitchen cabinets to conform to a trend which will fade in a short time seems outrageous. According to ElleDesign, the white kitchen trend faded last year.

Wouldn’t the world be a better place if those who have money burn chose to decline to chase transitory trends? Would using excess fund to support charitable endeavors do more good?

Common sense wins the day. Hooray! – Andy K.


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