Friday, November 02, 2007

Do not let that woman near my house!

So, has anybody seen the program Debbie Travis’ Facelift? It’s one of those home makeover shows where the homeowner takes off for a few days and this Debbie person comes in and does a makeover on several rooms of the house.

I don’t know if the problem is that I have some excessively firm ideas about what I like and dislike, or if this woman’s taste and design sensibilities are just disgracefully bad.

I’ve disagreed with a number of her choices over the last couple of weeks, but today’s show just freaked me out. I agree that the house needed some redecorating, but the end result was nothing short of hideous. More than anything, the room just needed some unification of theme and colour…it did not deserve to be savaged.

The lounge walls were replastered with tinted plaster…not a bad idea in itself…but in an overwhelming raspberry pink? Despite the fact that her children said the homeowner liked most all colours except hot pink, that’s what those walls were plastered. Then the beautiful red Persian rug was taken up and replaced with vulgar orange carpet tiles. There was a fireplace with a traditional white surround which was ripped out and replaced with dreadful black painted fake wood. The high ceiling was visually brought down by the installation of faux beams, ruining the lofty airiness of the space. The homeowner had amassed an eclectic collection of exotic furniture pieces, including some graceful carved teak benches that, with cushions, functioned as sofas. They were replaced with low, cheap, backless Indonesian chairs that looked like large footstools. I cannot imagine being able to sit down and relax on those things, for even though cushions had been provided, there was nothing for back support. Ugly brown curtains drooping morosely to the sides of the windows added an appropriately moribund finish to the room.

The kitchen started out as one of those dead-boring spaces of white appliances and white melamine cupboards. The walls were a bright sunny yellow and trimmed in white. While the kitchen did need a change, painting half of it turquoise and the other half a dirty yellow, then trimming the countertop edges with a cheap, tacky metal trim strip reminiscent of a 50s-era greasy spoon, was a less-than-optimal choice. The kitchen island that was added was a nice touch, but the top was varnished wood (edged with that shoddy aluminium strip)…in a wet space that is regularly used by three children…talk about a high maintenance addition! Then, as a final touch, the homeowner was gifted with a new refrigerator…with the door opening the wrong way! For someone whose business it is to mind the details, Miss Debbie sure dropped the ball on that one. Ultimately, the kitchen came out looking badly dated and sadly in need of a makeover.

I have to say, if that woman came into my house and replaced my oriental rugs with tacky carpet tiles, painted my lounge eye-watering pink, replaced furniture I had carefully chosen over the years with cheap Indonesian imports, and ripped out my traditional style wood fireplace surround and replaced it with cheap imitation wood, I would probably just sit down and cry the moment I saw it. “Oh no!” I would moan, “Oh no, how could you?” And God help her if she declared my gorgeous black granite kitchen counters to be passé and then proceeded to replace them with something kitschy…she would not survive to pass judgment on another ill-fated homeowner.

Keep that woman away from my house!

1 comment:

  1. I wonder at times, how people can turn their homes and lives over to virtual strangers. It's scary! Who's to say their 'taste' will sync with yours?

    Write on!


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