60 Minute Makeover

12 10 2012

60 Minute Make-over is one of my guilty pleasures.

It is an interior design series shown daily on ITV1. Unsuspecting homeowners are nominated by friends and family to have their home made over without their knowledge. Although the team of decorators and handymen are allowed to clear the house and remove the old furniture and carpets before the clock starts ticking, all painting, decorating and dressing must be done within the 60 minute time slot suggested in the programs name. The designer will usually focus on three sometimes four rooms in the house and occasionally transform outdoor spaces like gardens and balconies as well. The value of the makeovers seems to be in the region of £5000 per room but no labour costs are added and the person receiving the makeover pays nothing.

I love this show and watch it obsessively during the school holidays. It is amazing to watch how the designers transform homes, making the most of the style/period of the house, maximising the space and capturing the personal tastes and preferences of the people who live there.

Of course they don’t always get it right and on these occassions it is very amusing watching people gush with enthusiasm at their first glance of their “traditional” raspberry and turquoise kitchen, painted out period ceiling beams or Andy Warhol inspired art work of their children.

But the fantasy is that the second I own my own property my friends and family will nominate me for a 60 minute makeover that will transform my house into the beautiful home I am so desperate to live in. Unfortunately I would need to A/ Buy a home and B/ Have a hard luck story.

In the good old days homeowners contacted the program themselves and discussed their likes and dislikes with the designer. Now you have to rely on someone in your life who is prepared to go to painstaking lengths to nominate you, decide which rooms are most in need of a new lease of life and presumably measure/photograph them for the designer without your knowledge, press you for info about your design preferences (or how else would they know that you want a feature wall or that you have a love of the French Colonial Style), decide on which items are valuable or carry enough sentimental value to warrant a “keep me” sticker, organise for you to be entertained for the day of the makeover itself and pick up a paintbrush themselves and actually participate in the process. Not only that but based on the episodes I have been engrossed in since I broke up from school on 22nd July your friend has to identify the reasons that you deserve a makeover.

Only certain types of people seem to qualify and when their friends and family are questioned about why a makeover is needed and deserved the answer always starts with the same sentiment “He/she has had a really hard year”. Other clichés that also make a regular appearance are as follows:

“He works full time and has no time to decorate.”

“Money is really tight”

“She brought up her children all by herself”

“She will do anything for anyone else”

Please! Can’t these people just say “I love [INSERT NAME HERE] but their house is so hideous that I can’t bear to spend any time there as it stands and I have no motivation to do it up myself”?  All reality TV shows seem to love the hard luck story and I have no doubt that many of these people would prefer not to have the worst experiences of their lives broadcast on television just so they can avoid decorating.

Many people work full time, it’s a recession so of course money is tight, children are a choice and as a parent you are expected to bring them up and most people WILL do almost anything for good friends and family – that’s why they are friends.

Should I ever be lucky enough to be nominated for a makeover I thought it would be best to ensure that my friends and family would know what I would want from this process and of course, my interior design preferences.

Firstly: When you are asked why I deserve a makeover simply say that you love me and want to do something nice for me. I often have bad times like everyone else on the planet  but nothing noteworthy enough to report on a national Television program.

Secondly: Should you be given a choice my favourite two designers on the show are Derek Taylor and John Amabile.

Thirdly: When you are offered a “Keep Me” sticker, just assume that everything other than my photographs can go.

Fourthly: You need to know things I couldn’t live with:

Style: Shabby Chic, Colonial, Art Deco, Retro, 50’s Diner, Bedroom that belongs in a hotel

Colours: I am fairly flexible but would loathe anything that is bubblegum pink, and am not keen on red, I am a little nervous of pastel greens and blues which seem cold.

Art: pictures of shoes, floral patterns, wallpaper with pictures of plates and chandeliers on it, Andy Warhol Art, animals.

Maybe my dream will come true one day but until them I will continue watching every chance I get and if all else failsmy husband and I have a great friend who is handy with a paintbrush.

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