Is HGTV, Reality TV

We have to confess our guilty secret – we love watching HGTV!  The shows feature a smorgasbord of products and introduce us to new ideas and new ways of doing things.  However, these shows can be very misleading in that it is not reasonable to expect a firm to complete a kitchen renovation in two days and with a $20,000 budget.

Rob Orr, Senior editor at, points out that there are a lot of renovation elements that these shows simply don’t reveal to the viewer.  In his article on “Why Are Renovations so Cheap on HGTV?” he states, “Beyond that, big name companies like HGTV also have access to brand partnerships that allow a trade.  In exchange for using another brand’s products or services, HGTV then provides them free or discounted advertising in return.”  Read more from Rob’s article at: Why Are Renovations so Cheap on HGTV? Are They Intentionally Deceiving Us?

Heather Wojick, ASID, offers her designer take on HGTV, comparing what happens on the shows versus how real life renovators work for their clients.  She points out there is much more complexity in bringing a renovation to life to the satisfaction of a client: A Designer’s Real Life Reaction to HGTV – What’s Real and What’s Not?

Interior designer Autumn Fuchs of Fuchsia Design discusses how HGTV set up unrealistic expectations of the design process, budgets and timelines in her blog: 3 Reasons HGTV is Ruining Your Life

Granted, HGTV producers are probably cutting several weeks (at least) of taping down to a mere 30-40 minutes, so they can’t include everything.  And why shouldn’t they take advantage of deals from their business partners?  We simply wish that they would present a more real life view of how home renovations actually happen and the costs involved.  We feel bad when we have to re-educate a potential client partner about how what they want simply isn’t realistic.

In the meantime, where’s the popcorn?  Renovation Impossible is almost on!