Tele­vi­sion por­tray­als are skewed

Home - Santa Fe Real Estate Guide - - ARTFULLIVINGBYDESIGN - LISA SAMUEL

With the new­found pop­u­lar­ity of Net­flix, it is safe to say that a wide va­ri­ety of peo­ple spend their down time binge-watch­ing tele­vi­sion shows. In the past few years there has been a steady in­crease of view­ers in­ter­ested in in­te­rior-de­sign-re­lated pro­grams. It is easy to be­lieve that real­ity shows cap­ture un­scripted, real-life events in or­der to ed­u­cate a ma­jor­ity of peo­ple about the life­styles of oth­ers, but as view­ers we need to be con­scious of the edited an­gle of the cam­era.

If you look at the tele­vi­sion in­dus­try froma busi­ness per­spec­tive, it is un­der­stand­able why a pro­ducer is not go­ing to film an in­te­rior-de­sign show about draw­ing floor plans and fol­low­ing safety codes. Pro­duc­ers are look­ing for prof­itable en­ter­tain­ment. The ma­jor­ity of the time, they will cast an at­trac­tive de­signer and film the flashy parts of the de­sign process in­stead of the cru­cial con­struc­tive plan­ning. The ma­jor­ity of shows are on a lim­ited time sched­ule and have roughly 40 min­utes to cap­ture a ren­o­va­tion from start to fin­ish. This film­ing process de­val­ues the job of the de­signer and cheap­ens the nec­es­sary months of thor­ough plan­ning and re­search.

Most in­te­rior-de­sign shows fol­low five easy steps: as­sess client’s needs, de­sign space, ren­o­vate, ac­ces­sorize, and re­veal to client. This five-step process over­sim­pli­fies the de­signer’s job and re­moves the client from the de­sign process. Usu­ally the clients are in­te­grated in the plan­ning of the space so they can help the de­signer cap­ture their style and cre­ate a place they will en­joy.

On ren­o­va­tion-re­lated shows, the de­sign­ers usu­ally do a small as­sess­ment of the clients’ needs and come back the next day with a de­sign plan that they in­stantly ap­prove. This would rarely hap­pen. It takes much longer than a day to draw an in­tri­cate, ac­cu­rate and cre­ative de­sign plan and have it be ap­proved by the client im­medi- ately with­out any changes.

Dur­ing the ren­o­va­tion stage on tele­vi­sion, the de­signer usu­ally helps bust down some­walls and­maybe puts in some tile, but no­body sees the floor plans and el­e­va­tions of the house, and it is highly un­likely a de­signer would be part of the con­struc­tion crew. Then the TV de­signer dec­o­rates the space in less than a few hours with fur­ni­ture that co­in­ci­dently ar­rived on the same day, never mind back or­ders or lengthy pro­duc­tion times. This process is fast and pretty in­ac­cu­rate, which makes in­te­rior de­sign­ers seem like mag­i­cal dec­o­ra­tors and not ed­u­cated pro­fes­sion­als.

From what is viewed on tele­vi­sion, be­ing an in­te­rior de­signer might seem easy, but in­te­rior-de­sign tele­vi­sion needs to ex­pose more of the real­ity of the job. With a few changes, th­ese shows could be re­ally ef­fec­tive and help de­sign­ers earn the same re­spect as ar­chi­tects. In­te­rior-de­sign TV has cre­ated a space for de­sign­ers to col­lab­o­rate, learn and share their work with the world. Now it needs to align with real­ity.

Lisa Samuel ASID, IIDA, is a Santa Fe na­tive and prin­ci­pal of Samuel De­sign Group, lo­cated in the heart of down­town Santa Fe. She is an award-win­ning in­te­rior de­signer known for cre­at­ing unique in­te­ri­ors im­bued with warmth and el­e­gance. Lisa (info@ samuelde­sign­ is pas­sion­ate about good de­sign that sup­ports well-be­ing.

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