After spending some of my vacation time off watching HGTV, I was thinking how often I talk to the TV during these shows. While I think there is some real talent, & yes I love Chip and JoJo, it is a show. Not only that, it is a show in Waco, Texas. As a designer that works in California, while I don’t mind the occasional reference from clients to things they have seen on TV, I am here to tell you how much of what we see is not the reality of a custom built home, or remodel project, & how much certainly does not apply in our area. Even the shows from this area don’t give you the real picture & here are just a few reasons why you can’t believe everything you see on TV.
1.) Prefab cabs are quick & cost effective but there are limitations, fillers, & unless you have a great installer, you may not be happy. They are not the same as custom cabinets & probably are not the best long term investment.
2.) Concrete counters are high maintenance & are not cheap, you most likely will not be happy with them unless you understand how rustic they will look in a very short while. They scratch & stain, even if you seal them.
3.) Your wood floors can't be stained or painted, for the love of Pete don't paint a checkerboard on them! Most wood flooring in So Cal is engineered, they are prefinished with urethane or aluminum oxide. We don’t have raised foundations homes here often, & when I have run across them, the wood subfloor is not in good shape & new flooring is a huge improvement.
4.) You should not install your own shower tile, waterproofing is important! There are just some things you must hire a qualified professional to do, & this is one of them.
5.) Floating wood shelves offer little real kitchen storage. Look, I appreciate the clean, neat beauty of this, but… it is just that, a beauty element! The shelves need to be neat, & organized, the dishes should be coordinated & the upper shelves are hard to reach too. Additionally, unless your home or kitchen are very large, you likely need the real world storage.
6.) Trade & labor pricing in your area is not “as seen on tv”. Different areas have different standards of labor, unions, & insurance requirements that all impact the labor pricing in your area.
7.) All of the new furniture, art & accessories are not part of the budget & don't usually stay after the show airs. I am sure if everyone saw the budget for all of Jojo’s lovely furniture they would be shocked, but I agree it makes the reveal so much better. We just want people to understand the real value of all of that furniture, and hardwork that has gone into staging the home.
8.) Your GC is not a designer, sure the Property brothers guy is awesome, but that's not your guy. Do yourself & your GC a favor, hire a designer to guide you thru the process, answer questions, and make sure you know all of the pros and cons of the various products and finishes you are considering for your home.
A good quality built home, with nice finishes, professionally installed to meet or exceed industry standards is a beautiful thing and gives you good peace of mind! So go ahead, enjoy watching HGTV, but just like the Real Housewives of the OC is not a real depiction of the life of any wives & moms I have known my whole life in the OC, take it for what it is worth….Inspiration and Entertainment.
k. smith interiors
“design your life”