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Why HGTV and I can Never Be Friends.
Out with shades of gray and starkest white. Out with shelves of backward books. Out with rocks on countertops. In with cozy and friendly.
See this kitchen? I would DIE for this kitchen. I could move into it and never throw away a thing. Everyone else might look at this kitchen and silently scream “Demo time!” Not me.
This is the kitchen the House Hunters interviewers would show potential buyers to make sure their first instinct would be to tear it all down. “Oh. My. God! That kitchen has to go!”
H.H: Congratulations! Let’s go find you a house.
When the demo crew comes in with their steel-toed boots and sledgehammers, I would try to stop them (For god’s sake, what are you doing? Sacrilege! Out! Out!!), but if they insisted everything had to go, I’d beg the guys with trucks to do a delicate tear-down and move everything, and I mean everything, to my new house after I’d moved out of this house. (Which also has a corny kitchen. See below.) I would take everything, right down to the sweet, mismatched pictures above that amazing stove. (Even the red dish drainer, making it two for me since it’s exactly like the one in my dishwasher-free kitchen now.)
And once it was installed, I would only want to be friends with people who didn’t sniff as if something stunk when they walked in, but instead couldn’t wait to sit at that little wooden table and schmooze with me. They would look around in awe, even if it weren’t the first time, and see something they hadn’t seen before. And they would be enchanted all over again.
Inevitably, they would say, “My grandmother had one of these,” and I would bite my tongue to keep from saying, “Of course she did. Every dime store sold them.” But I would make note that they’d noticed that their grandmother had one. And they would be invited back again.
If the Seafoam Green paint got chipped, I would paint it all Seafoam Green again. And go looking for more things to paint Seafoam Green. Because I love that color. And it’s not gray.
I would protect that black and white tile countertop with my life. I would happily clean the grout, because it’s grout and it will need cleaning.
There would always be a window over the sink so when I’m doing dishes I can look out and dream about how happy I am, now that I have my new old kitchen.
It’s nothing like my own kitchen, which, in its own way, would be someone’s idea of a tear-down…
But the bones are similar. They’re both full of old stuff and there’s enough red in there to keep me happy.
And if you look behind the banana bowl, you’ll see my bottom cupboards are painted…
But back to HGTV, that hated network I absolutely have to watch. Some of you may remember that I’ve written about them before. I said this back then:
I watch it because it’s like watching a drama from another world. “House Hunters from Oz”. Who lives like that? Where do those young people get all that money? Why aren’t there more divorces?
Plus, it’s fun. I love that they all know they’re on camera and they feel forced to drag out their puny but hilarious acting skills. (“Now that’s what I’M talkin’ about!”)
I love that they’ve created a whole new homeowners lexicon: “upscale”, “price point”, “deal-breaker”, “curb appeal”, “man cave”, “bonus room”, “en suite”, and so on.
I did a numbered list of reasons why we’ll never mesh, me and House Hunters. It starts like this: (Remember, though, this is just me. You’ve seen my kitchen.)
1. I hate granite counter tops. They’re ugly, food looks gross on them, they echo, and the breakage on those super-hard surfaces increases the irritation factor in the kitchen by at least a thousand percent.
2. I hate stainless steel appliances. They only look good the few seconds after you’ve wiped them down, they cost an outrageous bundle, and they don’t function any differently from those old-fashioned white appliances.
3. I have no use for walk-in closets. Unless I could turn them into bedrooms.
Since then, I’ve added a few more irritations:
GRAY PAINT EVERYWHERE.
White paint everywhere.
Modern, modernish, modernest, and ultra-modern.
Forget about red. Or orange. Or rust. Or even green. No Autumn tones. Can’t have them, don’t even ask. (Blue is okay if it’s the right blue.)
Books are only good for decoration. HGTV loves Spines IN, a line-up of what looks like empty pages.
Everyone I’ve polled (Of course I have) hates this idea, too, yet it lives on in HGTVland, because HGTV isn’t real. It’s a figment of someone’s delusional idea of trendy—it’s their job, in fact, to invent what’s trendy.
Right now, it’s stark and bland and white and gray and rock hard and luxurious.
And, it should be noted, so outrageously out of my price range it’s yet another reason I should never go there. A single house on HGTV can cost more than I could make in 10 lifetimes, and still those potential buyers complain. It makes me crazy, but what do I do?
It’s research now, this thing I have with that network. I have to prove that only a teeny percentage of us would even want to live like that. (Even if I had the money, I’d still go cozy. I don’t want to live in a place that echoes or that has so many rooms I won’t ever visit half of them.)
So what is this? Do real people buy those places? Do you know any of them? Are you one of them?
If you’re hating me now after reading this, did you know there’s a website for casting on HGTV? Here it is:
And did you know they have a show now called “Ugliest House in America”? The stars of the show are weird people who laugh their fool heads off while making fun of someone’s house before they demolish it to bring it up to HGTV’s consistent standards of bland sameness. It’s disgusting, but again…that’s just me.
(Yes, I do have knotty pine but no, I’m not signing up.)
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