Let's Really Talk About HGTV

You might be HGTV obsessed when:

  • A trip to Magnolia Market is better than going to the Super Bowl
  • You can’t help but crush on a couple of twin property brothers for their design and real estate skills
  • You know the housing market for every city in America like the back of your hand, even though you never plan to leave your town

Whenever I meet someone and they learn that I’m a designer, it is extremely common for them to ask if I love HGTV.  And the answer…..well, it’s complicated.  Let me tell you why.

The shows on HGTV are meant to entertain, and to some degree educate the viewer about DIY projects, design, decorating, real estate, and renovations.  But it really comes down to entertainment.

However, I think that most viewers truly believe what these shows are telling them.  For example, the cost of renovations.  I cannot tell you how many times I’ve watched Fixer Upper or Property Brothers and just gasped about what they say are the project budgets.  They might say that a full master bathroom renovation is $5,000.  Umm, in reality (at least in my part of the world) to get the finished product they are showing, that renovation would be $20,000+.  FOUR times as much.  

Or a brand new kitchen (that needs cabinetry, countertops, backsplash, plumbing fixtures, flooring, appliances, hardware…you get the picture)……oh, on an HGTV show, that will run you $12,000.  $12,000?  I’m sorry but that just isn’t true!  I would say at least $30,000 for that level of kitchen renovation.  It could easily be much more. 

So that sets the foundation for my love/hate relationship with the design shows on HGTV.  I love watching for design inspiration, and to see what interior trends are happening in different  parts of the world.  I love how they motivate people to tackle DIY projects and helps generate more interest in interior design.  But, I don’t love how they set up homeowners for disappointment when it comes to pricing and budgets for their own “non reality tv” projects.  So for that reason, it’s a little hard for me to watch those shows.

I’d love to hear from you - what’s your take on HGTV?  Are you just watching for the pretty before-and-afters and ignore all of the pricing/budget information?  Or do you disagree with me, and you feel that the Property Bros really can make kitchen magic happen for $3,000? Let’s talk about it.  Leave me a comment below!  

Lauren Thomas1 Comment