Nate Burkus on Oprah - Small Home Design

bud_wiFebruary 21, 2007

Did anyone watch yesterday's episode?

It was suppose to be about a woman who bought a 500sq/ft HOUSE and needed help making it look spacious and livable. They kept saying house. It was suppose to be her first home, and she had sunk every penny she had into it and had no money for decorating and fixing it up.

Where I live there really are 500sq/ft houses that were built.

It turns out that the woman had and apartment. An apartment in NEW YORK. Sure, buying an aprtment in NEW YORK is going to be expensive. This was not some sort of hard luck story about a woman with little means trying to carve out a nicer life for herself.

I thought the "redesign" that Nate did was terrible.

He covered the entire ceiling AND the walls with yards and yards of hanging fabric. Can you imagine how dusty and smelly all those yards of fabric are going to get. This was a one room apartment where one has to cook in the same room.

It looked rather garish.

They bought her all new appliances. They had custom built-ins designed for storage. Then he stuck her daybed in the middle of the room. They also reglazed her bathroom fixtures to make them look brand new and retiled the bathroom.

What was so "creative" about this?

Anyone can blow $40,000 on brand new SS appliances, reglazing, tileing and custom cherrywood cabinetry and make it look good.

There was nothing to learn from this show. No "small house" design tips.

And what he put in was not at all practical - like the sit down vanity for putting on make-up that he put in. How many women have the time to pull up a chair and sit and do their make-up. Isn't it more like, lean over the bathroom sink, use the mirror to toss on some make-up, and then fly out the door so that you don't miss the bus to get to work on time?

The cameras scanned the outside of the building where this woman's "new home" was. It looked like there were a hundred other apartments in that building. I'm sure they ALL needed new stuff for their places. Why did they pick this one woman as being so deserving to get all the new appliances and everything for her pricey NY apartment?

Anyway, the show did not have any design tips for smaller homes. Nothing learned. I guess I wasted my time setting my VCR for this episode.

Anyone else watch this show and have a different opinion?

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The only TV program I ever saw which had good ideas for decorating a small home on an "average" budget was a Canadian series called Healthy Home which once featured a studio apartment occupied by two working-class people. Using all IKEA products, the decorators set up the apt. so that each person had some privacy. I think the budget was $2000 and the transformation was worth every penny.

Some people "have to" live in expensive apartments in cities like Manhattan, Vancouver or Toronto--jobs aren't always available for young people in smaller, more affordable locations and not everyone drives a car. In very small homes (yes, an apartment can be a home) custom built-in products may be far more functional and space-saving than furniture bought at a yard sale. OK, end of rant.

We have forums like this to learn useful information that TV fantasyland won't provide.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2007 at 6:25PM
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I saw that show and I have to agree. I thought he did a terrible job. He made it so dark with that ceiling sheet. I'll bet she was looking for a place to put that bed after he left. I was impressed with some of the other furnitue which had several uses that he and Oprah were looking at in the stores. His apt looked pretty good.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2007 at 10:46PM
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I thought it looked terrible also!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 8:27PM
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I didn't see the episode but I do use a vanity chair when putting on my makeup. It's also nice for when I'm blow drying my hair. I don't currently have a vanity but I keep a bench in front of my side of the vanity with a wall mirror that pulls out with a magnifier. I use every chance I can to rest my feet.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2007 at 1:05PM
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I think he did a pretty good job, considering her apartment is only 250 sq. ft. However, I don't think the ceiling should have been covered with fabric, and I think he could have chosen a prettier fabric to cover the storage units on the walls.

His apartment is 550 sq. ft. and I think he did an excellent job with it. Overall, the show made me appreciate my 950 sq.ft. home so much more.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2007 at 7:21PM
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