It’s pledge month on the local PBS station, when they replace the regular programming with repeated begging for money, interrupted by nostalgia programming. (Lawrence Welk, anyone?)
So I started channel surfing and ended up watching several of those home remodeling programs on HGTV last week. Each program has a different premise and they all sort of blend together after a few nights of watching. But basically each of these programs involves remodeling a dated home.
I notice that they knock out a lot of interior walls on these programs. It seems everyone wants an “open concept” floor plan today. Everyone except me, that is. I don’t want people to see my kitchen from the front door. I actually like walls and not just because I need a place to hang all my pictures.
Each remodeling program on HGTV stars two attractive people with really white teeth. The program usually goes this way:
- First we tour the home. It seems to have no closets and one bathroom.
- We see the tired, dated kitchen. “It’s just so…1980,” someone laughs.
- Then the designer comes in with a laptop computer and shows the new plans.
- Next, the crew comes in with sledge hammers and crowbars for the “demo” (as in demolition) segment. Everything goes, including those load bearing interior walls.
- When we return from the commercial, we learn that the crew has installed a beam to keep the upstairs bedrooms from falling through the ceiling.
- The new kitchen must have granite countertops and stainless steel appliances.
- Hardwood floors! Yes!
- An island! We must have a great, big island in the kitchen!
Then, with time and money running out, we turn our attention to the rest of the house. In this final sprint, the hosts and crew:
- Find someplace to add a closet or two.
- Replace all the fixtures in the bathrooms.
- Paint everything in earth tones.
- Bring in some props and furniture and artwork to stage the home. (If you watch enough episodes, you’ll start recognizing the furniture.)
For the unveiling, there are flower arrangements and candles. The transformation is complete. It’s lovely!
But when you watch a string of these programs you notice something else: these houses all look the same. Didn’t I just see that kitchen two nights ago?
If these programs continue for another 10 or 15 years, will someone be laughing at these homes remodeled in 2015 because the granite and stainless is just so dated? Probably so.
Personally, I’d like to see some walls go back up. I just pray that avocado green doesn’t make a comeback.