How HGTV is hurting Interior Designers

Am hoping the title of this article doesn’t invoke a lot of negativity. I decided to write this commentary because myself (and most of my Designer peers) are experiencing the same thing………..Prospective clients who believe they can fully renovate their home as well as completely redecorate and furnish for a unreasonably low price point.

It seems that the Fixer Upper HGTV Show (which I personally like, don’t get me wrong), has America thinking that they can completely renovate a home including a brand new humongous kitchen with miles & miles of new countertops, gorgeous cabinets (42” high wall cabinets, of course), a big island (that the whole family can fit around), killer appliances, subway tile backsplash (without a doubt!) – in addition to a magazine photo shoot ready family room (typically with fireplace, rustic ceiling beams, beautiful lighting), serene Master Bedroom Retreat/Suite (with renovated Master Bathroom) incredible floors, STYLED TO THE MAX – with beautiful furniture and finishing touches down to the wild flowers freshly picked and standing in recycled green glassware ALL FOR $ 75,000 or something similar. UGH!!

America………this is TV. This is NOT real. There is no way that you can gut your home, do all new construction and renovate like Fixer Upper does with such beautiful results and full INTERIOR FURNISHINGS, LIGHTING, WINDOW TREATMENTS, RUGS, ACCESSORIES, FLORALS for anywhere NEAR that price!!!!!! It is getting more and more frustrating that prospective clients truly believe that you can undertake a huge project, provide all the services as well as all the items they need and be under $100,000.

Depending on your square footage, kitchen cabinets alone can cost anywhere from $15,000 to

$ 25,000+ without the countertops, appliances, hardware, etc. Never mind all the construction costs including demolition, new construction (walls, ceilings, floors), electrical, plumbing, lighting, fixtures (faucet, sink), appliances, backsplash, finishes, etc. in the other part of the home. As well as the FURNISHINGS and all the interior items. The Interior furnishings/window treatments/etc. alone and easily exceed $100,000!!!

Please know I am not saying that construction projects are all incredibly expensIive --- I’m just saying you need to be realistic and cannot think you can completely renovate and furnish your home for the prices you see on Fixer Upper. I had one consult where the homeowner wanted to gut their entire kitchen (which was a very, very large “L” shaped kitchen – lots of countertop surface as well as cabinets). They wanted a brand-new kitchen with new appliances, (2) bathrooms completely renovated, new electrical, all new lighting, new furniture in their living room & bedrooms, new window treatments in all the rooms, new rugs, new bedding, painting of the entire home, etc. I complete overhaul, when I said that the kitchen alone could cost them between $20,000 and $30,000 – I don’t think they believed me and they were very surprised.

I have read (cannot say for certain this is 100% accurate) that the Fixer Upper Show does the construction AT COST (Read More Here). So, the General Contractor works for free. If that is true, in trying to “match the Fixer Upper Pricing” you would be asking a professional to come and work on your home for weeks for free. A typical markup will be between 15% to 20% for construction costs (or more).

On the interior “staging” on Fixer Upper, I read that the homes are staged and none of the costs are included in what is shown on the show. If homeowners decide to buy the furnishings they can, otherwise it all goes back to warehouse after the filming is complete. Read more here

If you want your home to look like the TV show or a magazine, you really need to determine a budget with a Design Professional to get the results you desire.

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