What we CAN learn from HGTV.

25 min read Today we are going a little more positive in our HGTV exploration. Because it is SO FUN to look at other people’s homes.

OK, so I spend a lot of time warning Mid-Century homeowners off of getting their ideas and advice from general shelter media. A lot of it is just not for us. But that doesn’t mean there is nothing we can learn from HGTV.

Home improvement shows (and magazines, and social media) give us lots of chances to look at other peoples homes. And to observe those people looking at lots of different homes. And even have the occasional good Mid-Century design idea. (It happens!)

Let’s talk about what we can learn from HGTV.

Because it really can be a wonderful window into the wider world of home improvement.

What can we learn from HGTV?

How people relate to each other

HGTV is one giant reality TV show.

With LOTS of interpersonal dynamics. And it can be more than just fun to watch people as they get or give advice home improvement and home selection.  It can be instructive! 

You get to watch body language, listen for tone, and observe partner dynamics like listening and bullying. Or see good listening or bad bullying at play between the homeowners and the teams that are supposedly working for them.

Sometimes that’s easier to see on the screen than it is to spot in your own life. 

Keep your eyes peeled. This can help you think about the kind of dynamics you want to create and require in your own process.

Different values for “home”

And, some of the best shows offer a chance to see homes we might otherwise never see. 

Homes in other parts of America and from around the world. International house hunting shows, in particular,  normalize different expectations.

And that’s SO helpful.  Because you, my beautiful mid mod remodeler, likely have expectations that are very different from many other home improvers in the US.

Watching HGTV can help remind us that there isn’t the only one way to live happily in homes.

(Some) good Design Inspo

Plus, there is the occasional ActuallyGoodIdeaTM.  Sometimes you can spot some genuinely good detail or strategy or supply line short cut.  And apply it to your own remodel! 

Although if you’re really looking to get inspired … I’d recommend that you start by checking out the personal instagram accounts of fellow Mid Mod homeowners. Here’s a great place to get started: Where to steal great MCM style. 

So … Have some fun watching HGTV

So you take your recreational daily dose of shelter media – of HGTV shows, or Netflix, or YouTube examples, make sure that you are noticing when the people you’re watching are making choices that seem aligned with their own values and when they’re not. And use that observation to help you plan a remodel that’s going to be best for you and for your house.

But remember to filter what you take in!

Mid-century home lovers need to pay some specific attention to the type of advice we’re getting and make sure that it is explicitly for us as in the people who are talking to us are talking about mid-century style.

So, as you indulge in HGTV and other shelter media, think about balancing your “media diet”.

Tailor your mid-century home … don’t Transform it!

Much of what mid-century lovers want runs very contrary to the notions that we see on HGTV.

You’re likely not looking for the biggest possible change to your house. You’re just looking for it to suit you and your life better. 

And we often get the message from home improvement media that bigger is better, more is better. Bigger, cars, bigger, meals, bigger buckets of popcorn at the movie theater, longer movies. And sure some big things are good. Some long movies are great.

But I want to push back on this notion.

Sometimes bigger is just more expensive. And even if it might be more cost-effective per dollar spent, still more overall. But I think there’s also an argument to be made for essentialism. Particularly when we think about the fact that in a remodel, everything costs.

Tailoring is all about finding the perfect fit. Not about being too tight too small by the way, but just being the right size.

The goal should be not just a change it, but to tailor it to the life you want to live in the house, both now, and in perpetuity.

A few reasons to be wary of HGTV

The comparison game makes us feel worse

Done wrong, HGTV culture can make us all feel worse about our homes (worried we are doing remodeling wrong, and overexposing us to overly grandiose options).

Shelter media exists to sell you things

The people running it are there to make media (sell ads) not promote design. So we always need to ask: “who is telling me this and why do they want me to believe it?”

Most HGTV advice doesn’t apply to MCM homes

Their best advice is too universal anyway. Advice meant to apply to every home and every region ends up applying to none. Certainly very little of it is aimed at you, Mid Mod Remodeler, trying to make great choices for your mid-century home.

It’s too often starting from scratch.

Most HGTV and shelter media is giving you advice about how to add character to a building that doesn’t have it – it is essentially all about starting from a clean slate.

They take this approach EVEN when the house they start from DOES have good original features. This is one reason the so often want to paint the existing brick, stone, panelling, woodwork etc WHITE. It’s a literal blank canvas.

They are all about that before/after photo

The biggest driver for any reno show or influencer on social media is the speedy and dramatic transformation. They want to show you how the change they are making is SO BIG. SO DRAMATIC. SO SURPRISING.

But you … just want your home to work. So while sometimes you want a big transformation, other times you just need a little tweak. Follow that kind of advice with caution!

How to learn from HGTV, properly

So you take your recreational daily dose of shelter media – of HGTV shows, or Netflix, or YouTube examples, make sure that you are noticing when the people you’re watching are making choices that seem aligned with their own values and when they’re not. And use that observation to help you plan a remodel that’s going to be best for you and for your house.

Ultimately, a regret proof or model is one that will last, because you love everything about it. It’s one that makes you feel like you spent every dollar well. In spite of the difficult moments and challenging conversations, it’s something you know you needed to do and you’re glad you did it.

And that kind of process only comes from a project built on the foundations of confidence, self-knowledge, and having taken the time to reflect on what matters most to you, and then focus your energy and your dollars on those things.

Start on the tailoring right now!

In today’s episode I’m encouraging you to jump into home improvement and make some quick change to your home that will help you feel better about it. And get inspired to make bigger plans. Here are a few suggestions for where to start!

Twelve Quick Fixes: Fun and easy home update ideas you can try right now!

  1. Install a new mid-century style mailbox.
  2. Find a fun mid-century floor or table lamp.
  3. Add a freestanding butcher block or other piece of furniture to your kitchen. 
  4. Take off some or all of the upper cabinet doors to make your kitchen feel bigger.
  5. Solve a problem with a purchase – get a key tray, shelf or bench to improve your entry experience. 
  6. Look at your house and remove one thing. Make your house a little more minimalist. Take off that crown molding!
  7. Paint something (not your brick, stone or unpainted wood!). Paint a changeable surface a fun color that you love. 
  8. Maybe paint your storm door the same color as your front door?
  9. Find yourself some mid-century living room decoration.
  10. Install simple modern or vintage mcm storage shelves in your home office. 
  11. Look for some fun you can have with area rugs!
  12. Do something to improve the area that’s been bugging you or your partner most.

In Today’s Episode You’ll Hear:

  • Why HGTV might not be all bad. 
  • How to use HGTV and mainstream shelter media to your advantage. 
  • Where to find more mid-century friendly inspiration. 

Listen Now On 

Apple | Google |  Spotify


And you can always…

Read the Full Episode Transcript

So I know I’ve spent the last 12 episodes warning you off of HGTV, and the whole ecosystem of shelter media, we’ve talked about the dangers of getting your advice from people who are paid to sell you things of getting sucked into the reality TV drama of couples fighting over every detail instead of what actually matters to them. And the constant pressure to tack the latest trend onto your home, regardless of your preferences or your home’s style. Plus the perniciousness of the before and after photo driven design culture, always pushing you towards the biggest change in your home rather than asking you what it really needs to work.

However, I don’t actually believe that HGTV is all bad. So let’s wrap up this season by talking about what we can learn from HGTV and the way that it shows us other people’s homes and design processes. It does give a window into the world of remodeling to people who’ve never tried it before.

It can occasionally have some really fun design inspiration for mid-century homes if you watch carefully, and if you’re willing to read between the lines, there’s actually a lot of practical good that you can get from it a lot you can learn from HGTV about what to do and what not to do for your mid-century home. Hey there, welcome back to mid mind remodel. This is the show about updating MCM homes helping you match a mid-century home to your modern life. I’m your host Della Hansmann architect and mid-century ranch enthusiast, you’re listening to Episode 1613.

Of course, there are a lot of other places to look for great inspiration, education and just amusement around mid-century home updates than just trusting your fate to what you can learn from HGTV. And I would certainly prefer you default to sources that are a little more mid mod focused to begin with. So I want to make this super easy for you. And that’s why I have already pulled together an easy download with everything you need to get started, grab my must have mid-century ranch resources list today.

By the way, when I first put this together, it had 56 articles, books, magazines, product suppliers and people you should follow to check out and over the years, I’ve added and added an add to it. I think it’s now weighing in at well over 100 Honestly, I can’t remember the count and I’m not gonna manually count to 100 right now. But don’t worry. This is not heavy homework. It’s a handy searchable list broken down into categories.

My favorite books on history on design on architects and movements, a TV and movie watch list my favorite magazines to subscribe to blogs and Instagram accounts to follow a starter guide for suppliers for furniture, a tile source guide and even a list of common mid-century house hazards to watch out for. So grab the list at mid mod dash midwest.com/resources or head straight over to the show notes page on my website at Big mod dash midwest.com/ 1613.

So this is the conclusion of our HDTV season or our anti HGTV season. And next season, I have a new theme in mind. And that theme is very non themed. It’s answering questions that I have gotten from you, listeners, students, clients, followers on Instagram about mid-century homes and how to make good choices for them. So I’ve already had so many questions submitted and many of them some tend to around the same themes again and again. So I will answer both some of our most frequently asked questions that come up again and again, as well as some of the unusual ones that just seemed fun to me to chat about in podcast form starting next week. But it’s not too late to ask your question.

I do not have 13 episodes gamed out and locked in in my head right now. So pop over to the show notes page, and use the form there to share your pressing mid-century home update question. I’d love to know what’s on your mind holding you back making you curious? Or just whatever you’re wondering about. Before we get into today’s theme of what we can learn from HGTV and what we can really learn from looking into other people’s homes in general. The answer, by the way, is so much if we go about it the right way. I do want to do two things. I want to call back to the beginning of this season, the first episode in January, when I talked about all the things that are dangerous for us to learn from HGTV things that you should keep in mind.

The first is that, in general, shelter media culture is almost designed to and certainly does make us all feel worse. Sometimes. It’s all about getting us worried about what we’re doing wrong. And it over exposes us to overly grandiose, expensive, extravagant options that aren’t even what we really need or want.

But we see them enough and we start to feel like they’re what we should do. The people who are running it are not bad people, but they are in the business of selling ads and to sell ads. They will sometimes promote design decisions that are not best for the people they’re selling to their best for the people they’re selling for. So all advice we take when we learn from HGTV should come with a very large grain of salt who is telling me this and why do they want me to believe Have it or to sell it to me.

In general, their advice is often to universal anyway, they’re trying to give advice to everyone. And it was once the cable TV audience now it’s anyone who can tune into the internet anywhere in the world. And that’s never going to be able to give us specific advice for what it’s like to have a mid-century home in a certain state of repair in a certain region of America.

It’s also not going to speak to your personal experience as a single homeowner or a young family or a retiree hoping to make your forever home a little more longevity focused. So when we get general nationalized media advice, it’s never going to be as specific to us as we need it to. And it also, partly for that reason, is almost always about starting from a blank canvas and adding design interest. Even when the house isn’t a blank canvas. This is why they tend to Begin by painting all the original features white, blank canvas, the biggest driver in all of HGTV and shelter media is going to be the speedy and dramatic transformation. That’s not necessarily what should be driving us.

So to counteract these things, and to be able to get the good out to learn from HGTV keep this metaphor in mind, I’ve been getting a lot of thought lately to the idea of tailoring your house to suit your life. Now, you’ve heard me use this term before, I’ve talked about this a lot. And I throw it around. And it just sort of feels very in line with the way that I think about a great remodel, it’s counter to the notions that we are to learn from HGTV, because it’s not looking for the biggest change in your house, you’re looking for something that will suit you fit you. But I was mulling this over a little bit this weekend.

And I took the metaphor a little too far. And I just kind of couldn’t find the bottom of it, I really wasn’t enjoying it. So here’s the thing. Tailoring your house is a great way to think about what you’re doing about what most of the people who are listening to this podcast need what most of the people that come to me, as an architect are asking for they’re asking for their house to work better for their life. And when we remind ourselves that we are in the process of tailoring, it’s a great way to push back on a lot of the messaging we get that we learned from HGTV and just from the world in general, that bigger is better big changes or better.

Bigger objects, bigger cars, bigger meals, bigger buckets of popcorn at the movie theater, longer movies, all of these things more is good. And sure some long movies are great, some bigger things work better. But there’s also an argument to be made for essentialism, particularly when we think about the fact that everything we do in remodeling costs dollars and those dollars come from, you know, our labor and time. I think it’s very common for my fellow designers and for most contractors to try to ensure that their clients will be happy with the ultimate result by making sure it’s as big as possible. They will also often suggest a trade off of quantity over quality, because they want people to feel like they’ve gotten value for the work that’s done. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that things are going to turn out the best.

So I want to push back on this notion and say that if you have to pay for everything, bigger, square footage, stupid footage in your house is not necessarily better. Even if it’s more cost effective per square foot, it could still end up calling you costing you more dollars overall. Whereas tailoring is all about finding the perfect fit. Not about being too tight, necessarily too small. But just being the right size. You could choose to have your clothing tailored to be more gently roomy, more flattering with room to vendor arms when your elbows reach from the shoulder and still look good. You can tailor clothing to add pockets where there were none. Hi clever storage solutions and my metaphor.

And tailor isn’t necessarily about tearing an existing garment apart and starting over. It’s about keeping the things that work that complicated original buttoned placket for example, and tweaking what doesn’t have length. We as mid mod remodelers can definitely borrow some useful lessons from the mesh metaphor of tailoring and from the wider fashion concept. So much of the advice we get in Home Improvement media and shelter media. What we learned from HGTV is that we need to make our homes look different, buy more perhaps cheaper materials, install it quickly tear out something original and replace it with something fresh, new pre manufactured, rather than working a little harder to prepare what’s there. This is essentially the remodeling equivalent of fast fashion.

And I think we’re all becoming savvy consumers enough in order to recognize that fast fashion doesn’t really benefit us any more than it benefits the wider world which is to say it’s bad for us and bad for the planet. So whether the transitions you need to make in your home are small tweaks to make something work a new doorway a new window to add a little extra light, borrowed space from one room to another a new paint color or a restored flooring material or whether the changes you’re hoping to make our transformation and adding whole space, finishing a basement pushing out an owner suite.

Our goal should be not just to change it, but to tailor it to the life you want to live in the house, both now and in perpetuity the life you can see yourself getting to. By the way, one more way that the tailoring metaphor really works is that for a lot of us moving into mid-century homes, we’re not buying new, we’re buying vintage.

And we definitely want to take advantage of that glory of cloth, the beautiful details, the little button plackets, like I said earlier, and the fit might not be perfect. Plus, it might need some repair, maybe a new lighting, maybe, maybe added pockets. Yes, ladies. So let’s think about what needs to happen to take something old, and make it new, make it work better for us than it ever could, and still have some of that essential quality, those details that a new object, a new piece of fashion, a new house, just couldn’t. So with all of that caveat out of the way, let’s talk about what we can learn from HGTV from looking outwards to the world as we focus.

You know, this is true not just of television, not just of magazines, but our collective Zillow obsession. I mean, this has become, there was an SNL sketch about it, there are a bunch of fun Instagram accounts that are just sort of scoping out weird houses on Zillow, it can be so fun to look at other people’s homes. So what we want to do is, yeah, keep doing that it’s recreational, sometimes it’s even helpful, but we just think about what is what are we taking in what is our remodeling media diet, I do recommend, by the way, if you like, learning from other people’s homes, that you also learn from some explicitly pro mid-century folks.

And for that, I’m going to point you to a past episode, go check out Episode 1202, where to steal your mid-century inspiration. And that really talks about how to find influencers, magazine people, particularly how to use Instagram to find people who are going through a process like you might be and are sharing some of them both the shiny, pretty, here’s how it looks now that I’ve done photos, but also the sweat and the grit and the busted up concrete and that oh my god, I found asbestos on to this floor kind of process. When we look at shelter media, it’s not all bad. But we do as mid-century home lovers need to pay attention to the type of advice we’re getting and make sure that it is explicitly for us. For people with mid-century style.

That it is correct for us that the people who are saying the word mid-century actually know what they’re talking about and like and enjoyment century design, and that it’s good advice based on people wanting us you the listener, taking it in to feel confident and empowered to make long term choices for your home, not just pushing trends and clicks.

So as we are thinking about what we see what we can learn from HGTV both explicitly and implicitly, use your own judgment, the idea that success the end result isn’t necessarily going to show us the wobbles, the budget woes, the compromises the late nights, most of the things we see in shelter media, either condense the timeline or have built in advantages of timeline, economies of scale, practicalities of people all lined up and ready to fall like dominoes dominoes that we don’t have as regular individual homeowners.

But I think there’s still some fun to be had in watching it and and treating it like you want to if you’d like to watch reality TV. Sometimes you can really recognize the types the tropes, the people that you recognize your coworker, your neighbor, that person you once knew as a kid. But you also know that it’s all blown up that these people are to a certain extent acting that they’re putting up a front that they’re a little larger than life. And it’s the same when we watch not all shelter media, not all HGTV shows are created equal. One of the favorite shows within our mid mod remodel mid Midwest community is Rebecca and her partner, love to watch the House Hunters shows House Hunters, regular and House Hunters International especially.

These are really fun. By the way, if you ever interact with mid Midwest in any capacity, you will meet Rebecca our amazing ops lead, and she will be a delight to work with. She’s also a delight to get reports from about what she’s been seeing on HGTV. So at our meeting last week, we were talking about this before we got down to our sort of to do list and what was important we were just chit chatting what we’ve been up to. And it’s really fun to watch what’s going on and sort of see how, particularly in an international bass show how both Americans abroad and people moving from one country to another have to have their expectations stretched by the social conventions and the typical qualities of houses that they encounter in other places.

It’s also really helpful to see people’s preferences can be personal, carry this inside of you internalize this, this we can learn from HGTV, what one person likes another person dislikes. And that’s a great validation to yourself that what you value doesn’t need to be what’s typical, and what’s talked about as important to everyone else. It’s really interesting to to see that you can study not just the houses, but the types of people that show up on these shows, you can see that some people are more persuasive, some people are more pushy, some people are going to default to their own assumptions about you rather than listening.

And it might be easier if you watch a couple being bullied by their contractor or the design lead on a show, to see that pattern and recognize it and think that person is using pressure tactics that are just not necessary. That person is not listening, that designer, that contractor is shoving their own agenda here. And they’re not hearing the anxieties, the questions of the couple, or the person that they’re talking to, it’s sometimes easier to recognize that dynamic outside of yourself, and see it magnified by the big personalities of TV shows.

And then hopefully, you can apply that to your own life, when you are talking to a contractor or to a designer, I hope it’s never me, I make it my goal, not to be pushy, and to be a good listener. But it can happen that as you’re talking to a supplier, a designer, a contractor, they’re too grounded in their own perspective. And they’re not listening to what you’re saying.

They don’t believe you mean what you say they don’t believe you want to keep that original feature. And if you’ve watched enough people, unfortunately get pushed around or pushed back on being pushed around in a home remodeling show, it might give you a little bit more of a ground to stand on to say, No, this is me, and this is my preference, and I stand by it. So I think it can be really something we can learn from HGTV and other shelter media is what are those interpersonal dynamics?

Watch the body language, listen for the tone. Listen for when part one partner is a good listener and the other is sort of steamrolling. All of this observation can help you think about your own relationship dynamics, not just within your partnership, but with all the people you work with and what you want out of that. The explicit benefit, the thing we’re supposed to learn from HGTV is beauty inspiration. And that can actually happen too. Sometimes we spot details in these shows that are so much fun. The thing we were talking about at our regular weekly team meeting last Tuesday was a house that was sort of Japanese mid-century inspired in Geneva in Europe, not Geneva in Illinois.

And there was this spigot, a water spigot under the stairs, and they couldn’t figure out what that was until the realtor who was showing them the House said, oh, yeah, there must have been a koi pond here, under the open staircase in this Japanese inspired mid-century house. Fantastic. Then they mentioned that that was a detail they had seen in other places. This space, the pond under a stair is not, I would not argue that it’s common. But it is thing you can see in a certain type of 60s mod, international inspired, playful, mid-century house. So as we look at these things, we can really have a lot of fun.

And when we look at houses in other countries, we can see how our expectations of size and amenities and appliances and historic considerations really shift. So all of the House Hunters International shows the Caribbean life, the Mediterranean life, the Spanish, Spain, Italy, France, they reset our American expectations for scale and size. And they have people from all over not always Americans trying to relocate to Europe, but just people coming from one country to another. And they’re surprised at how small or large certain things are. really change things up.

Another thing Rebecca shared at that meeting was how funny it is or how interesting it is how curious it is when people look for houses in Spain. And they’re really frustrated because there’s no private outdoor space and a house in a typical Spanish house. Because in that city, at least, people just expected when you want to go outside, you go to the plaza, it’s a social thing to be outside. And that’s the thing we need to adjust our expectations about Americans are very used to having a private outside space, our yard, usually our front yard and our back yard, depending on where you are in the country and what your things are.

So it’s really helpful, I think, not just to normalize what people do in other places, but to normalize the fact that other people live fully developed happy familial lives in a whole bunch of different arrangements and scales. And that lets us kind of broaden our expectations for what is possible. The converse of that what we can learn, unfortunately, from HGTV is sameness. If you watch too many shows about new markets in the US you’re going to see that a house in Atlanta house in Texas, a house in Des Moines all feel the same.

It’s really about how homogenous houses have become particularly in the sort of to bigness and every possible amenity jammed in but no real design sensibility brought to it. So it’s useful to weigh our own expectations against that, rather than taking what we see what we should learn from HGTV is not what’s normal. It’s what’s normalized. And then we can make our own assessments. It’s also really helpful to watch people change their mind, to hear them come onto the show, introduce themselves and talk about what they are going to do and not going to do what their deal breakers are, and then see how learning a little more working through what’s available can really change their expectations.

People can say it has to be this neighborhood, no fixer uppers, and then may walk into a particular house that just has an amazing vibe. And suddenly they’re willing to figure out a remodel, they want to do it here in this house. So it’s a reminder that you should work on your own priorities, get grounded in what you want, and also be willing to be flexible.

Think about bringing in new information and taking in adjustments as you go through time. Oh, one more thing I wanted to say is that like a reality TV show, which all of these shows in some way are, it’s helpful to think about the tropes that we’ll see. There’s a lot again, we’ve talked in a previous episode about how a lot of shelter media wants us to feel like everything between a couple is and needs to be a fight. And it’s really frustrating sometimes to watch couples fight on shows like this and cast people as problems. But some of the people who are cast as the biggest problems are like a Disney villain, you know, they’re okay, killing Dalmatians. Not good.

But we tend to sort of demonize certain people who just want to stand up for their own needs. We see a lot of the bullying that I talked to my clients about, trying to help them avoid when they work with contractors. And again, it’s easier to see it in the world than it is to sometimes recognize it when it’s happening to you. It’s easy to be made to feel like you yourself are unreasonable.

But when you can see someone else just saying no, I feel uncomfortable with gas stoves and I don’t want one and then be told by the realtor. But gas stoves are better. So I’m only going to show you houses but gas stoves, madness, just listen to that woman, if she had said she must have a gas stove, I would think she was making a mistake. But I would still listen to her for reference.

So look at the people read their personalities, read their body language, call your own shots and make your own judgment about what you can really learn from HGTV as you watch these shows pull together. Yeah.It’s always frustrating when you see that sort of cropped haired golf playing Boomer guy who will in the first five minutes of the show, say grumbly. Something about his partner being high maintenance. I question what is really the problem in that dynamic.

Speaking of maintenance, by the way, this is something that almost never comes up on this kind of show. When you watch people look at houses, they’re looking at, oh, doesn’t have quartz counters and doesn’t have an open plan. But they rarely ask questions like has the wiring been updated. It’s always really fun when that narrative is a burden. It’s really fun when you see one or both paths of a couple who are house hunting, asking about things like has the wiring been updated? Can I see the inspection report that sort of thing. So ultimately, a regret prefer model one that will last because you love everything about it. One that makes you feel like you’ve spent every dollar well.

Even if it was the most fun thing in the world, it’s something you know you needed and you’re glad you did it. That kind of process only comes from a project built on the foundations of confidence, self knowledge, and haven’t taken the time to reflect on what matters most to you, then to focus your energy and your dollars on those things.

So go ahead and take your recreational daily dose of shelter media, learn from HGTV shows or Netflix or YouTube examples. But make sure that you are noticing when the people you’re watching are making choices that seem aligned with their own values and when they’re not. And then use that observation to help you plan a remodel that’s going to be what’s best for you and for your house. So this wraps up our anti HGTV season. And I’m glad we got to go out on a positive note.

There are things we can learn from HGTV and shows like it and things that will benefit you in your home improvement process. But for the most part, I hope that what you’ve taken away from the season is to take all the advice you see on the internet on social media on TV with a large grain of salt, perhaps greater than daily recommended dose of salt. Use the metaphor the way you want to. I will always return you to the concept from the beginning of the season that any type of national media distribution network means we’re offering advice so general as to be almost useless for folks who have needs a specific as yours and mine mid-century appropriate choices for mid-century houses.

When we’re talking about national trends, as if the build date and the family size and the style preferences in the part of the country. makes no difference. All of those things are so important. And these shows often use examples of one house in front of them to extrapolate to everything. So all I want is for you to be a more canny observer than that. But of course, if you’re interested in home improvement, you’re probably interested in Home Improvement media, it’s a great way to get advice about practical planning how to add more, the bottom line for the season, and for this entire podcast is to listen to yourself, listen to your house, decide on and then stick to your version of mid-century style.

And from there, you really can’t go wrong. And then there’s a whole lot you can learn while you watch a whole lot of HGTV. So just to reiterate that point, today’s pep talk is going to be that if there’s one thing you could do, to make the most valuable use of your time, more than anything else you could do at the start of a remodel planning process, it’s make sure you’re clear on your internal communications about what’s most important in your home improvement plans.

This might seem kind of obvious, but when I have a conversation with a couple interested in hiring Midwest to do a master plan for their mid-century home, it’s about 5050. Usually whether both partners are equally invested and familiar with the masterplan method and with me, or whether one of them has been listening obsessively to the podcast, and the other is just coming along for the ride, hey, I’ve got this great idea, we should check it out. Let’s talk to Della.

By the way, both situations are just fine and have resulted in some great conversations, great design outcomes, given a little bit of time to make sure we’ve got everybody’s buy in, and everyone’s on the same page. But here’s the thing, when I get on the horn with a couple who have both been equally invested in this process, they’ve been chewing over the idea of changes to their house for a while they’ve been getting all their ducks in a row collaborating on the process of getting ready to call. I’m still surprised, although I shouldn’t be by how often, I ask a question that gives them a real moment of surprise with each other. When I asked them both separately, what is the most irritating part of your house right now?

What’s the top of your wish list? The first thing you want to get tackled, regardless of staging the thing you just wish we could fix. So often, the two people I’m talking to couples who live with each other day by day and have been working in collaboration on thinking about how they want to make this remodel happen, are surprised by each other’s answers.

If they answer for each other, they’re often incorrect about that most irritating daily life needs to be fixed priority. Now, it’s not a problem. When this comes up in our get to know you conversation. In fact, it’s great, we clear the air, I learned something about each of them their communication style, what’s going on in their lives. And we proceed from there, they learn something about each other. But you could skip waiting to have a discovery call with me and have this conversation with your partner today. Just ask.

And by the way, do leave room for this answer to change over time. So I’m going to leave this conversation out there for you put it into your day while you’re driving somewhere, you’re tidying up in the kitchen, you’re getting everyone to head out for the day, it can be casual, or do it in a more calm moment while chilling with a comfort beverage in the evening. So then, let’s let this conversation just ask, what’s the thing that bugs you most about our house right now? What would you change first, if you could snap your fingers and change anything? Let’s let that lead us right into our quick fix for the week. Why don’t you try to do something to improve that area, that place that’s been bugging you, or that place that’s been bugging your partner most.

Now I’m not talking about instantly remodel it that takes master planning not a big design improvement, not something expensive. But let’s just patch the problem to turn down that simmering annoyance level a little bit. If clutter is piling up in the wrong spot, a small investment in storage furniture, even something somewhat impermanent that you could maybe reuse in another spot or giveaway when your bigger remodel plans are done.

Now, what you need to fix and how you solve that problem is going to be as personal as unique as the problem itself. And I’ve been giving you small quick suggestions all season for how you can make little improvements in your house. So I bet you can put your thinking cap on now and come up with something.

What can you do this weekend to remove from the house? Some small irritation? Can I make a too small kitchen feel bigger by taking off cabinet doors? Can I create a space for dinner prep conversations by sticking a chair in a corner even if it kind of cuts off circulation traffic a little bit if there’s a wall in your house that has painted a horrible color or has some awful material on it, thanks to the previous owner and you’ve just been living with it because you know you’re going to be remodeling that space in the next year.

Stop waiting, get a can of paint this weekend and make that horrible color go away. Take Action, make one small change if you can and tie it to your specific frustration, just make a change. Anyway, pick an item off the list of quick fixes I’ve suggested so far this season. I’ve got 12 of them. And I’ll put them in the show notes. So you can easily scan through and select one, and then make that change happen right now, this weekend this month, make a change, so you can feel a little bit better about your house right now. All right, that’s it for this show. That’s it for this episode. That’s it for this season. Find the transcript and the links to the list and the resources list on the other things I’ve mentioned in the show notes at mid mod dash midwest.com/ 1613.

And remember, next week on the podcast, we’ll be switching into our questions answered season and I’m looking forward to answering maybe your question, I might answer it, because someone else has asked it and you didn’t even but if you want to be sure that we get to the question that’s been driving you most of the wall about your house, ask it, I might get your question answered in the next 13 episodes.

Have a great week. And if you go ahead and make a change like I’ve suggested you should let me know in social media, send me a DM on Instagram with a picture of the area and the change you made to fix it or just tell me what it was. If you don’t want to share a picture. That’s fine. Alright, happy Thursday and good luck making a change to make your house even better.

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