We've talked here before about the reality of home makeover shows.
How too much happens for the good of the television viewing audience and not enough for the people giving up their time, home, and personal secrets. Our Los Angeles friends in the "business" work hard to turnover an entire room makeover in a day or two with young designers, hunky carpenters and 40 production assistants walking through your personal life and with disregard for your stuff. We've heard rumors that parts of the houses get neglected while others become stashing locales. All this so the editors can whip together that wonderful "after" shot full of organized design, artfully placed books, and carefully chosen mementos.
Well, we discovered a home makeover headache for one unlucky participant and the Baltimore Sun wrote about it.
"When James Buechler volunteered for the Style Network's Clean House, a show that clears the clutter from your home, he got more - actually, less - than he expected.
He did get new furniture, paint and organization in his Sparrows Point house, which he said he is mostly pleased with. But much of the makeover stopped where the cameras did, leaving parts of walls without color, a hallway half-tiled and a lot of nicks and dents from the 50-person crew."
Buechler, according to the Baltimore Sun, says the crew left with more than nicks and dents. The crew soiled his carpets, and bailed following the shoot, not hauling away trash and storage tubs. They abandoned plywood in the staging area in his backyard, hid furniture and tossed his old mattress into the garage. In short, he claims they left the home so topsy-turvy, he could not find his socks and underwear.
We shared this article with three friends who have worked extensively in the reality tv makeover business. One didn't mind sharing a quote, but didn't want to be named:
"John, these homeowners are turning their keys and their most valuable possessions over to a bunch of strangers who stick you in a hotel. They go through everything and turn your home upside down. It's no wonder this family can't find their underwear."
"Many homeowners on these makeover shows can be a real pain. They get thousands of dollars worth of of free furniture and accessories not to mention all the free labor to pull it together. They can get very greedy and see deep pockets when the producers come knocking. The fact that the Baltimore Sun quoted the garage sale was the largest sale in Clean House history makes me wonder who's issue this really is."
"Having worked in tv, you realize very quickly it's not about the homeowner; it's about the tv program and the audience. I can see why this homeowner is unhappy. If my home were left in a shambles, I'd be upset too. If the production company has the budget to employ a 50-person crew during taping, they should have the integrity and the money to leave the property in decent shape when the episode is finished."
What do you think?
Maryland Homeowner Unhappy With Clean House - Baltimore Sun, by Meredith Cohn
Images courtesy Baltimore Sun and Barbara Haddock Taylor and Chiaki Kawajiri
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