OT but does anyone else think "Million Dollar Rooms" is obscene?

jgoppSeptember 11, 2012

Not that I'm not a large homeowner in my own situation. But I am watching the show right now, and the amount of sheer excess seems horrible to me. 25,000sq foot homes or larger with 'multi million dollar rooms' dedicated to pleasure seems absolutely ridiculous to me. I don't know if it is just me, but sometimes I feel like luxury can go way too far. I guess if you have the money, you can spend it anyway you'd like, but I just think that there is a limit to home luxury without being obscene.

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Money doesn't buy good taste, nor good sense.

I have a hard time with it, too, simply due to the unnecessary-ness of it all.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 12:23AM
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I've never seen a whole show, but I've flipped past it. The thing I find fascinating about it is how few of those spaces seem pretty to me. Not that there's anything technically wrong with any of them, but you'd think with unlimited resources there would be so much more right with all of them. I joke with my siblings that huge homes are for families that don't like each other.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 12:32AM
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    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 12:41AM
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I've only seen bits and pieces of that show when DH is doing his usual channel surfing. I've thought the same thing as EAM. The rooms I saw were not attractive. The money was spent on ugly, garish, hideous things upon which I wouldn't spend $10. Money seems to have spent on expensive items just because they were expensive. What I couldn't do with one-quarter of the money spent on one of those room to improve my little 2,000 sq ft house. Men need to show off the size of their...well...you know. :)

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 12:57AM
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CEFreeman: I agree that money can't buy taste and it usually never does. To me it's just nuts how many interior designers are willing to just throw styling into the wind for cash.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 2:22AM
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I agree, including that money doesn't buy taste, and most of these houses really are garish and over the top. I'm also surprised how many owners are willing to be on the show. They must have egos the size of Texas. Or really low self-esteem. Or both.

And Carter is a handsome man, but he sucks up to these people way too much.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 3:14AM
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I saw one show where they had a "million dollar kichen." It was modern and black. They said the appliances were worth "well over $200K." I added it up at UMRP and it was just under $70k.

But I prefer this show than watching yet another mediocre $20K-$30K kitchen renovation with mediocre appliances,mediocre cabinets, and perhaps tile or sink that is way too expensive considering the budget allocation for the rest of the kitchen.

I get that most of the tv audience is considering a kitchen reno in that range. But some have higher budgets and some of us like to dream. At least 1 in 5 Kitchen Crashers,I Hate My Kitchen,Kitchen Cousins etc should be an $80k-200k kitchen.

Back to the point. Not obscene. Like Cinemax after 11 pm. If you don't like it then don't watch.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 5:48AM
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I've seen part of one show. What struck me most about the show, besides the total excess, was the focus on how much each aspect of the space cost. It was all about how much was spent. I switched the channel.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 7:20AM
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I breezed past it last night while channel surfing after returning home from my daughter's highschool Open House. Those bathrooms were god awful. Seriously god awful. I had a similar reaction to Candy Spelling's show about her home. Here was a woman with vast resources and she was collecting Beanie Babies????? If I see a show about an amazingly gorgeous home on the water, I can feel that old twin-headed monster of Jealousy and Envy snarling. Not when I see horror like I saw last night that. Ugh.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 8:40AM
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I haven't seen this show. May have to check it out.

My oldest brother is retired from one of the large investment companies and met a lot of true millionaires.

He always said that you would be surprised how many of them did not look like millionaires or live like millionaires.

One of his favorite phrases was " shirt sleeves to shirt sleeves in three generations".

Perhaps this is the generation spending all the wealth.

Here is a link that might be useful: Inheriting wisdom

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 9:26AM
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I've watched parts. The first word that comes to my mind is: TACKY. Yuck, not how I would spend that kind of money if I had it!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 9:28AM
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I don't know that obscene is really the right word, to me.

It would be obscene if the $1M were stolen, needed for something else, or if they used slave labor or something. But I knew a woman who would spend $1000 on a blouse and wear it a couple of times, and it would probably be like me spending $80 on a shirt and wearing it a couple times. But she also gave more to charity than I give.

Now VULGAR is another matter. If you read Architectural Digest or some of the other upper tier design magazines, you are probably seeing $1M rooms put in that category by art work or specific rugs, pieces of furniture and lighting, in combination. (And a certain amount of Vulgar was in Architectural Digest's mission statement anyway, when Paige Rense was at the helm)--but AD is not vulgar enough to list the prices.

The rooms on $1M Rooms are vulgar by their content, often, but mostly because the owner is standing their talking about how much they paid for it, and talking about money in that way is something I was raised to believe is a low class, tasteless thing to do.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 9:58AM
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Just the idea of such a show makes me queasy in the stomach.

On the other hand, yesterday I was looking at the web page of an architect dh has done work for in the past. The houses were incredibly beautiful. The architect uses a lot of handcrafted details (woodwork and metalwork) in the houses. I look at the rooms and I think of the number of people with specialized skills that were supported by the construction. The houses are like museums devoted to art forms at risk of becoming extinct.

Million-dollar rooms that are solely showcases of someone's wealth don't interest me at all.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 10:13AM
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palimpsest, you hit the nail on the head.
I couldn't figure out what had me fighting a frown. Fighting and losing.

Vulgar is a very appropriate word. I can't imagine anyone who was raised appropriately being on that show, simply because, one doesn't talk about it! My grandma and mom would be rolling. Grandma in the grave, and mama her eyes, very privately. Because one does not do that, either. HAHAHAHAHAHAH

I hadn't thought about the ugly aspect, but I also agree there! Occasionally there'll be a really neat sculpture, or goodness knows, a view to die for. But other than that, it's rather "eh".

I haven't decided what I think about the real estate agents, or in one case on one show, a caretaker of a library "touring" (what's the difference between that and showing off?) the house. No owners in site and not mentioned by name.

The library show was interesting, because it's collection had become a world-wide center for certain type of education with colleges and universities. Now that's something to be proud of. And, to me, a collection of books happening to be held in gorgeous dark wood bookshelves with comfy chairs and good lighting is to die for. :)

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 10:39AM
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1M spent on a room is better for the economy than 1M sitting in the bank. Yeah it's crazy, but somebody who spends 1M on furniture probably wasn't torn between giving it to homeless shelters vs buying a silk rug.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 11:10AM
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Tacky and vulgar beyond bearing, so I don't watch. Anybody been to Hearst Castle? In his day Hearst was probably like these owners. He imported half of Europe to install in his "castle," but what did it get him? In each area there are marvelous things (love that pool!), but each room is a hodge podge of stuff that just comes off as garish and ... vulgar. Huntington managed to do better at his place.

The opposite, but oddly related, side of this is parsimony. We're staying at our neighbor's house for a couple of days while our house is being de-termited. Our houses are at the below-half-way point of middle class, but still and all, comfortable. We're both retired, he from the military and us from education. Our neighbor has done very well with his investments, so his net worth is quite nice. His house is filled with things bought on clearance at WalMart. Every single thing. They (he used to be part of a "they") added on a sunroom a few years ago. It's just a shell with the least expensive windows and blinds available, and the lowest priced carpet in the store. The hinges on the kitchen cabinets are sagging from age and the laminate counters coming apart. The toilet had a broken part which we had replaced (he's off on a trip). It's kind of sad. Vulgarly flaunting wealth is one thing, and being a miser is another; both are undesirable.

P.S. A few years ago when his not-officially-ex was visiting, I took her to my nail place for a manicure and pedicure as a Christmas surprise. She was overwhelmed. She'd never been "allowed" to have her nails done. $36, only $12 if you just want a manicure, no extras, but it had never been "allowed."

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 1:00PM
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God bless her for becoming an "ex". Probably opened a whole 'nother world for her.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 1:37PM
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I'm wondering, when is the "garden" coming back to HGTV? Or are they going to change it to HTV? Or maybe HHTV for House Hunters??? :)

I saw about five minutes of this 'big homes' show and I was not impressed. If I had that much money, I would do a lot of other things, besides using it that way...like buying more land! Or helping the homeless, donating to Haiti, sending bright, local kids to college, etc.

Not that I have any problem with people spending their money any way they like...but if society had more of a 'frown' with this kind of spending, maybe we could encourage more useful spending.

I do NOT believe in the government or anyone else telling you that you MUST spend a certain way...but I would encourage people to think more about others, when they look at a $200,000 appliance package :)

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 1:56PM
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I have not seen it, but just based on the title I can understand why it's seen as vulgar, tasteless, and frankly unimaginative to spend & flaunt money that way.

The decline of HGTV is one of the reasons we cancelled cable. The only thing I can't get online that I could get on cable was HGTV, but the programming is SO poor quality that I couldn't see spending even $12/mo to have it available.

I remember when I could watch it for 2-3 hours while folding laundry and ironing on a weekend. It was a great way to spend snowy or rainy Saturday afternoons, now it's just wall to wall House Hunters & other lousy shows ... like this one probably is.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 3:13PM
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They do give to charity and they do it a lot. They often single handedly prop up many things that the rest of us enjoy such as local museums, shelters, lunch programs, art and drama. I just figure they are giving someone a job by building and maintaining their massive pile. I love/view everyone equally and do not worry what they have as opposed to what I have, it's none of my business. I do not judge. Not all of these homes are in the US that I have seen. With the way things are going, I was wondering though what will happen to these places, they will probably just be torn down someday since no one will be able to buy them.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 3:19PM
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I gave up turning on those HGTV "specials" because the rooms are typically about "wow, do you see this one?" instead of good design. They clearly want people to overall feel superior rather than envious. Not my schtick either way.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 3:51PM
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YES! This show makes me sick...why can't HGTV keep to shows on how normal people live. The people who live in those houses, probably do not sit and watch HTGV.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 4:07PM
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While I haven't seen the show in question I do agree with the general thoughts about it.
Oh, and HGTV will probably be renamed HRTV (home real-estate tv)
I too miss the good ol' days of it when I could watch for hours as EngineerChic said...sigh...

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 5:37PM
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The really high end shows like Million Dollar Rooms and Selling LA/New York, etc. are really boring to me. What I enjoy is seeing what can be done with a real people-type house, especially on a budget. I notice that This Old House has gone back to basics--it was turning into This Old Mansion, and I think their DIY audience tuned out.
What I'd really like is for Christine to have her own series--I love the way you do everything unconventionally, Christine!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 6:01PM
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Oh, and HGTV will probably be renamed HRTV (home real-estate tv)

About 13 years ago we visited Sidney, Australia and took the harbor cruise. Sidney harbor is fascinating from a geological and historical point of view and I was really looking forward to hearing about it. What did we get? The guide pointed out every expensive house you could see from the water. Some of them even belonged to movie stars! Sounded like the tour was being conducted by a real estate agent.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 6:36PM
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>The guide pointed out every expensive house you could see from the water. Some of them even belonged to movie stars!

Well, that's the nature of the waterfront cruise business. I used to live in Miami and a friend of mine had an old waterfront home on one of the islands in the bay that had recently become popular with the rich and famous. If we were outside when the tour boats came by it was always amusing to hear which celebs they'd announce we were that day. We'd just smile and wave back to everyone and no doubt they all went home and told their friends about the famous people they'd seen.

I don't understand how anyone can watch anything on HGTV anymore.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 7:00PM
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It's not an accident that the houses of today's super-rich are so vulgar, while the great houses of say, the Gilded Age or the High Victorian era or 18th century British country estates remain magnificent works of architecture. Those who build and create and envision are naturally drawn to things that endure, whatever their other flaws. Those who skim and steal and scheme have desires no different from a coke dealer in his crib.

Yes, these houses are vulgar, but yes, they are also obscene. Just because there are rich in every age does not mean they are the same kind of rich, or got their money the same way.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 7:05PM
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I too am turned off by the constant emphasis on the prices of everything, but it's probably because of the premise of the show: million dollar rooms. Many are ugly and tacky, but some are beautiful. Most of the homes are shown by someone other than the owners, though I am starting to see more owners. I watch it out of interest to see what's out there beyond the $30,000 kitchen. It's a form of escapism; why watch something on TV that's just like what you can get in your house?

To those judging, consider you're only seeing what they've spent, not what they earn or how much they give to charities as a percentage of their income. Think about this: is $300,000 too much for a car? A $30,000/yr household drives a $30,000 Accord, 100% of annual income; a $30M/yr household does not drive a $30M car, they drive $100-300K cars, 1% of their annual income. Or the first household may own a $100K house, 3333% of annual income, where the second household may own a $30M house, only 100% of annual income.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 7:54PM
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Despising the wealthy solely because they are wealthy and for no other reason is one of the last socially acceptable prejudices in the United States.

Just because someone is vulgar doesn't mean they made their money by illegal, unethical or exploitative methods, and a drug dealer or human trafficker might have exquisite taste.

As far as the Victorians go, the Victorian era was a lousy time to be poor or working class in many ways. Poverty was considered a character flaw: if you were impoverished, it was your fault. The lowest level clerk or servant might get no more "salary" than permission to sleep on the floor someplace. A bootboy might not even officially get meals--he might only be allowed to eat off the dirty dinner plates before they were washed.

I am not bothered by the price tag, I am bothered by the attitude about it. But Americans seem to be both fascinated and repelled by "other". On another channel, you get your own media attention by being obnoxious white trash.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 8:25PM
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A fool and his money are soon parted.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 8:44PM
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Despising the wealthy solely because they are wealthy and for no other reason is one of the last socially acceptable prejudices in the United States.

I wouldn't know about that.

I would know about the fact that my business makes me deeply acquainted with the current economy of the U.S., and the massively vast trove of data that definitively describe the current wealthy class beyond the realm of opinion.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 9:27PM
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I think it DOES all come down to personal judgement like almost everything else in life. Defining something as obscene, not in the sexual realm, but moral, can also go along with the famous "I know it when I see it" quote out of the Supreme Court. It's not that it's wrong to spend money - lots and lots of money, but in an age when so many are SUFFERING, and everyday brings more news about the income gap, perhaps it is obscene (morally repugnant) to rub in how much disposable income you have to spend on a toilet when others have lost the room that housed the toilet - perhaps by no fault of theirs. It's not wrong to spend your own money, of course not, but if you're aware of all the "fun facts" about this world, perhaps keep the tab to yourself.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 9:55PM
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I find it even more intriguing that people with that bad of taste are able to find designers who are able to bring their "visions" to life without having them sign a release form saying they are never to mention they were involved in said vision.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 10:42PM
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