This blog chronicles my life as I try to balance healthy lifestyle habits with my husband's penchant for pizza rolls and my daughter's desire to watch iCarly 8 hours a day. It contains a mostly humorous, kind, and somewhat spiritual look at everyday life and the people who live it.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Basically, you have bad taste

I love HGTV. With the exception of American Idol, the only shows on my TiVO are from HGTV. I will watch almost any show on HGTV with one exception: Rate My Space. Rate My Space is a show where people post pictures of their houses on HGTV's website and then other people vote on how much they like the rooms. If you get a low enough score, you may qualify for a visit from designer Angelo Surmelis who will then transform your room. I have noticed that the people who are chosen face a real dilemma when it comes to how to respond to the honor of having the worst rated room on the website. Do they appear humble and grateful that someone will finally pull them from their decorating misery or do they appear slightly embarrassed and angry that their space was rated so poorly? Usually the woman looks pretty excited, I mean after all, she's getting new furniture!, but the man frequently looks offended and shell shocked. I get it -- if I put up one of the rooms that Steve and I had painted, furnished, and accessorized and then told Steve that the rest of America thought we had no style -- he'd be a little offended and shell shocked too.

Let's just assume for a moment, however, that these style-challenged individuals (SCIs) are grateful for this dubious honor. They then have to humiliate themselves further by choosing 3 inspiration rooms from other Rate My Space website participants who were rated much higher and therefore given 'Expert' status. Then, while Angelo looks on lovingly, the SCIs ask the 'Experts' how they could possibly have achieved their look without the help of a designer and a network-funded-budget. The 'Experts' always grind the knife in a little further by saying things like 'Oh, we just moved in 2 weeks ago and since I work 12 hours a day I had to pull this look off with only 3 hours of work time and the spare change found in the couch. It looks great though, doesn't it?' Good lucky copying me.'

Phase 1: it's time for the makeover to begin. The room is cleared, the carpenter's tent is opened and Angelo begins giving his insults-masking-as-tips to the SCIs. 'You always want to choose a color palette for the room before you begin decorating. Your room didn't look pulled together because you had too many different colors competing with each other.' Translation: you have bad taste.

Phase 2: the SCIs lose control of how their home will look. The SCIs look doubtfully at the paint colors Angelo has chosen, look disappointed when the see how cheap the construction of their new media cabinet is going to be, and look horrified when they see the patterns on the new furniture/curtains Angelo proposes to put in the room. Gamely, they paint, work with the carpenter, and laugh at Angelo's jokes.

Phase 3: the Reveal. This is where we really get to see who can act and who is just too disappointed to put on their game face. I would love to know the amount of editing that must be done to turn "How could you completely ignore my personal style and likes and dislikes and throw together this poorly constructed-cheap-MDF crap?" into "Wow! I love it!" My favorites are the people who are honest and say things like "I don't even know what to say!" Angelo always beams especially proudly at those folks.

Now I am all about personal responsibility. If you are willing to post pictures of your home on a website to be rated, well, you better be willing to accept whatever rating you get. Still, the whole concept seems a little harsh.

I have been rating a lot of spaces lately. The MLS of homes for sale is really nothing more than a big Rate My Space website, except you only win big if you have the highest rating, rather than the lowest. I have seen a lot of homes occupied by SCIs. I won't be showing up at their doors with my checkbook anytime soon, but hey, there's always hope: maybe they'll get Angelo.


Sarah said...

I actually like the show and think that Angelo and his team do a wonderful job. As far as I can tell, since it is a more extensive and pricier makeover, they have never used mdf. I do agree that sometimes the people rating your space can be a bit harsh. Best, Sarah.

Jules LT said...

I agree with Sarah. I actually like the show. I do think that the RMS web site gets a bit too full of well, I'll just save that comment. I think Angelo does a wonderful job trying to incorporate the homeowner's style, the inspirational homeowner's and then his expertise. Even though some of the finished products may not always be my style, they are beautiful and seem to be right for the lucky people getting the makeover. it's one of my favorites on HGTV and these days, there aren't many. My two cents. JLT