I’ve been watching HGTV lately, on the treadmill, working off the blogging. I’m trying to keep an open mind… because I would do so much of the stuff differently … but, I have to note some of the things that have been driving me crazy as I see them repeated on so many shows:
- When the homeowners say they need a toddler-friendly family room — they mean it. Real storage that allows you to literally pull the stuff out, then shove it away, easily. Or, a real space — right off the kitchen — that you can open and close the door on. Honestly, HGTV needs to get childless 20-somethings away from families altogether, they don’t understand. The toys-rule period lasts about 11 years, and a real solution must be found or you live in chaos.
- A family friendly sofa is not upholstered in light beige ultrasuede. There is a reason for all those plaid sofas – they hide the dirt really well. Figure out a solution.
- When you remake a room – and see that the current design is centered on TV-watching, deal with it. America watches TV. A lot. Make family room seating truly comfortable and TV-centered. A sectional on the diagonal from the TV is great. No more than 8′-9′ from the screen. (Today’s show had the couch about 18′ feet away – ridiculous.) Nix the big center coffee table – we are gonna sprawl on the floor. Put a big comfy rug or wall to wall carpeting underneath. If the Mr. and Mrs. want a TV in the bedroom – design for it. And in the family room, for gosh sakes, give the Mr. a big comfy chair already. Ask most men, and the only thing they want is a big TV and a really comfortable chair.
- Flat screen TVs positioned high above the fireplace – ridiculous. See #3.
- Itty bitty window seats under windows to the left and right of fireplaces – do not make for extra seating for guests. No one is ever going to sit there – give your guests real chairs for gosh sakes. Better to do built-in storage in these spots.
- Little wrought-iron sconces with candles in them are also ridiculous, except for near bathtubs, where they are also likely to never be used.
HGTV can be a real inspiration… but way too often, at least from my perspective, their designers make it pretty — but pretty disfunctional, too. Honestly, I tend to have the same bias. My husband actually has been very influential in helping me to better understand, and work to execute, design solutions that do both. If it’s a toss up: Functionality first.