Here's a short list of some of the more popular design shows out there right now. Listed from the best to the worst of the worst (in my opinion), I find most of these shows on HGTV, Style, and Bravo super helpful and inspiring.
Sarah's House - This is my absolute FAVorite design show on television right now. Sarah is smart, she is realistic with budget and timelines, and the show is really about design not drama. Sometimes I'll hear her say something that I had been thinking for months to myself. It's like having "ah-hah" moments when she confirms my design aesthetic. She also loves yellow. Which makes her amazing. She actually recently did a yellow kitchen AND bathroom in her farmhouse that were both to die for. I do NOT have the guts to do that, but I admire her so much for it!
9 by Design - Even if you hate design, you'll probably love this show if you give it a try! This high-energy family of 9 are headed up by Bob and Cortney, two self-taught designers who primarily flip houses in New York City. Their style is very different from my own, but I adore their attention to detail and contrast between old and new used in every one of their spaces.
Divine Design - Candice Olsen never disappoints. Her designs are always on point, what the customer wants and she does not deter from her own design thought process. That being said, the average design budget for a room is well over $100k. That's not just kitchens, which are obviously expensive to renovate. That's any room!!!
While we were waiting for the house to be built, I was busy looking for a rug in our living room. I saw one on Candice's shows that highlighted a beautiful silk rug and hunted it down. I thought "OK I'll splurge on this. If this rug would last me 50 years, what's a couple extra thousand dollars?". The rug was not just a couple thousand extra above my budget, though. It was tens of thousands over. When I found this out, it put quite a damper on my Divine Design admiration. It's an easy thing to say, but I honestly think that if I had her budget, I could do better. OK maybe not better, but definitely more original. I have less of a budget to spend on my entire home than she does on one room. Puts things in perspective, right?
Color Splash - I think David is an exceptional artist. He works within a realistic budget - $6500 is average for him - but what I like best about him is his willingness to take risks. What I like least is his lack of restraint and his taste level. Every once in a while I'll be watching and say out loud "oooh, tacky". But it's hit or miss with him. If he's feeling the design, it's awesome. Which is why I opened with I think David is an exceptional artist and not I think David is an exceptional designer. With a little more consistency, he would move up the ladder in my books.
Design on a Dime - I have to do it. I have to dog on this show. I'm sorry if you like it. It's pretty awful, though. First of all, they have a thousand dollars for every room. That's not a dime, that's a grand! That's a LOT!!! I'll admit, I have a bit larger of a budget for each room, but not by much. I think it's pretty realistic for the average person to NOT have a 5 or even 6 figure budget for a room makeover. Also, they say their budget is $1000, but...have you noticed they don't factor in the cost for the custom furniture they build? Or the extra materials. Hmmm. So if I hired someone to do custom built-ins, that would put the budget up 5-6k. Totally unrealistic. I feel sorry for people who watch this show and get an unrealistic expectation of what they can do for the price. I also don't think they have good taste. And that's all I'm gonna say about that.
OK one more thing. hahaha I was looking for a picture to post of their work and noticed that they don't even use their own designs on their advertisements. Yikes!!!! Maybe they know they're bad, too.
OK now I'm done. ;)