Here it is, June
Topic: Living Despite Chemistry
I discovered that I received HGTV by accident; it's not the sort of channel I would gravitate towards. I'm not a foodie [thanks in advance, I know there's a food channel], and I only rent, so the offerings are tantamount to porn. It's a figurative comparison, mind.
The two Scotsmen, Justin and Colin, who do How Not To Decorate, are hilarious. They did a house job for an incredibly irritating woman in Hemel Hempstead who was 30 years old, giggled like a schoolgirl and often stuck out her tongue as she did, loved trolls, My Little Ponys and a steady diet of the colour pink. She had no door on her bathroom, and that room was acidly referred to as having an "open plan." I still can't figure out how the guys got the job because she seemed so excited about the place.
"Few bits and pieces that could be looked at..." she said.
She nearly wept when they told her that the carnival-size troll collection had to go.
She also had 5 evil purse-size dogs who routinely peed and shat everywhere they could. One of them had a snapping problem. There were also fish and birds and a cat was seen roaming around.
"Jesus, will you look at that! It's the size of a Mars bar. It's a Guinness records size turd. Did that wee dog really produce that?"
This woman wanted fur-like carpets.
I hadn't laughed this hard in ages.
After the initial secret mockery was over, the fellows designed a fresh new look for her place and included some of her favourite things in less offensive forms, like two small sheets of troll wallpaper that had to be custom made. They wanted to redo her kitchen like a 50s diner and give her a big honking, pink American fridge. You see? They're not judging.
She loved what they did and no sooner had her nasty little dogs come back from the spa but one of them peed on the new snow white rug. You may have met a pet owner who thinks this kind of behaviour is cute. I've had somebody's cat pee in my suitcase and all they could say was Gee, I don't think they were happy. I thought the cat should've been pistol-whippped.
We meet the woman's boyfriend at the unveiling of the fresh new apartment and boy, he doesn't say much. Likely doesn't get much opportunity, and bless 'im, if he wasn't wearing a pink La Coste shirt, but he didn't look particularly happy, about anything, really. I never did catch what she did for a living.
The upshot was, that only a scant few weeks after this decorating extravaganza she was at it again and filled up the area in front of the fireplace with her My Little Ponys. Justin and Colin were apoloplectic and shouted at the update video, suggesting that the dolls be burned! March those bloody things into the fireplace! In the background, the dogs were sleeping peacefully on a pee stained fur-like carpet.
Debbie Travis knows her decorating, too, although I have taken exception to some of her wild, abstract ideas on the Painted House program. I like the Facelift show.
Often, in Facelift, it is the offspring who initiate the makeover; sometimes the partner is involved, too, and the impetus is the snapping feeling you get after living with something appalling for years on end with no end in sight. Christ almighty, the things you see on Facelift. Typically, it's mountains of clutter, shite that just can't be parted with, or way too much kitsch on display that it makes your eyes water. The people who live in these conditions are for the most part, quite reasonable seeming people. They don't look weird at all until you set foot in their house.
Travis and her team of experts get 3 days to put things right and the results are often spectacular, simply beautiful, cool, and the recipients are grateful and amazed by the transformation. See, was it so hard?
Mike Holmes, in Holmes on Homes, is the guy who fixes what other contractors have botched, bit like the Avenger of Shoddy Workmanship. He really takes it personally when people have paid loads of good money for crappy work especially when the corner cutting might have resulted in, say, the dwelling burning to the ground. He's a big guy and passionate about his work. You wouldn't want to piss him off.
Houses renovated with improperly installed insulation and inadequate structural support are just the beginning of the many crimes that Holmes encounters. He keeps a cool face but you can tell he'd like to kill the previous contractor out of principle.
His team of specialists also have a limited amount of time to rectify the domestic horrors of the jobs they take on, bit like running a marathon, I guess. It all looks fabulous when they're done and Holmes often includes extras that the owner hadn't even thought of, making the unveiling seem like Christmas day to some folk.
Holmes explains rationale for various tasks, and you always feel a bit more knowledgeable about some aspect of dwelling ownership.
Perhaps they could rename this category of shows from Home Improvement to Schadenfreude Haus, because really, it's like watching disaster areas come back to life. Viewing the homes in their pre-renovation state makes you feel so much better about the dust bunnies and assorted problems in one's own space.
Posted by Jetta
at 12:21 PM PDT
Updated: Tuesday, 6 June 2006 12:48 PM PDT