Trouble with Fast TV Interior Design Turnaround

I don't get much of a chance to watch TV, but I do hear a lot of people talking about interior design and decorating makeover programs. They tell me it is so glamorous and looks like so much fun! How amazing the designers are and can change a room with so little money in such a short time!!

So I have watched a few and I don't know about you, but I would like to visit the TV makeover rooms a week or even a month later to see what is still standing.

The speed and the shortcuts they take are not conducive to good design. Imagine what a loss to us all it the Pantheon, in Athens, had been whipped up with a glue gun in one hour!! It would definitely not still be here today. Probably not really a good example but you can see where I am coming from.

Successful design and decoration comes from good planning, having a realistic budget, and using professional qualified contractors. Then your interior design or decorating project will stand the test of time!

These TV programs set unrealistic goals that any real designer could never meet. Therefore when a client comes to you they expect things to happen instantly, and guess what? It is not the way the design process works. You and your client have to work through a planning process of design, then ensure that your plans suit the budget you have allocated, then you need to engage the correct contractors, source the materials to arrive when you need them and watch every thing as it goes along to make sure that everyone is working together and they have interpreted your designs correctly. This definitely does not happen in one hour!

I have been an interior designer for fourteen years now and I am yet to pick up a paint brush, demolish a chimney or sit at a sewing machine for my client! So why do they show designers getting down and dirty! It just seems crazy to portray a consultant in such a way. Call me a snob, but I believe that these "reality" TV interior design makeover shows have undermined our profession, and created unrealistic expectations for project budgets and time frames. They have made people more aware of their personal environments which is a positive step but do little else to promote our cause.

So I'll be back to not watching these TV shows, but I am sure that the general consumerist public, ready for a quick fix, will still sign on to the glue gun brigade!

Comments

Irina B. said…
God! You can't even imagine for haw long I was waiting for such an oppinion! Yes, the consumer must be very happy when seeing such great changes in such a short time. But us, the ones who want to become interior designers, feel scared about these images. I feel very confortable now, that I know my oppinion is confirmed by designers with great expertise. I really disagree with those shows. They are a great source of income for televisions, but they really influence the consumers' perceptions about interior designers in a negative way.
Shimra said…
Hear hear, you hit the nail on the head. What false expectations are created and we who are dedicated to deliver quality are the ones now at the end of this. With customers wanting lots of changes for nothing and all to be done yesterday... I do wonder sometimes how to deal with this effectively. Any ideas?
Anonymous said…
After reading about the television decorating shows. Is it possible that these shows could be edited to show the makeover in an hour. I too agree that it's no way a designer can do this in in an hour.
Anonymous said…
The TV makeover shows are a mixed blessing.

I agree that potential clients now have false expectations & think they can achieve everything in an hour on a shoestring budget.

But 10 years ago before the advent of so-called Lifestyle TV, many fewer people would call out an interior designer. There was, and still is a degree of inverted snobbery (maybe a British phenomenon?) that will cause some people to reject the notion of an interior designer. Maybe the populist TV is breaking down this barrier?

Sadly after a 10 year TV boom the life style genre is really scraping the barrel for ideas. The one TV programme that stands out in the UK is called "Grand Designs" and this is about big distinctive projects, rather than 1 hour make-overs.

all the best
Bronia

Bronia Suszczenia is co-founder and Creative Director of Yorkshire interior design company Art from the Start Ltd based in York, England.

Popular posts from this blog

You are worth something

You are Paid for your Attention to Detail in Design

Savor the Moment at the End