How HGTV's 'Design at Your Door' Puts the Participants in the Spotlight
With the coronavirus pandemic pressing pause on gatherings of large groups, HGTV has had to put renovation shows on hold. What audiences usually see—including professionals visiting homes, experts being brought in to help redesign, and meetings to discuss house plans—do not meet social distancing guidelines. Plus, the crew adds even more risk.
In new series Design at Your Door, HGTV has found an alternative that allows them to keep up their work and spice up homes from a distance. The series premiered on June 11, and right away, it was easy to see that this is no typical HGTV show.
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First of all, communications between the families and designers were done fully over Zoom. The self-recorded video clips put off a more casual, conversational, and laid-back vibe. While this is rare, the biggest difference between Design at Your Door and other programs is that the families chosen to participate are running the show.
Because of the distancing requirements, there is no physical assistance allowed. All renovations are done by the families in their own homes.
So, where do the experts come in? Some favorites of the network’s professional designers are matched with a family of their choosing, and, after getting a virtual home tour and hearing about what the participants want to change, they help out by sending packages to their doorstep containing everything they need. They are on-call for advice and verbal assistance, but physically, the families are on their own.
The first episode starts with My Lottery Dream Home’s David Bromstad surprising John and Kelly, an Austin couple, over Zoom. He learns that the couple has had a tough past few years, and they give him a house tour. The “problem room” is revealed: the room where their two sons, Cooper and Griffin, sleep. David decides he is going to make the room into a kids' sanctuary.
Then, Grace Mitchell from One of a Kind meets Santa Clarita couple Angie and Nick. Their house, which holds their family of five, lacks a space for everyone to share, as well as a place for alone time. At the time, there was a tent in their garage where they would go to relax. Grace plans to redesign their living room to accommodate more family time in an area that they feel is their own.
The couples receive dozens of boxes on their doorstep and begin the unboxing. To prepare, the designers show them an online blueprint of their bedrooms.
Then, it was time to see the families get to work. They self-record their processes of painting, building, and working together. David even incorporates John and Kelly’s young kids into the work by allowing them to tie-dye their pillowcases. Once all the work is complete, the families have a virtual “big reveal” for their designers.
The do-it-yourself renovations were a success. Angie and Nick updated their living room to become more their style and accommodate their large family more easily, and John and Kelly were able to modernize Cooper and Griffin’s room to include their favorite colors and toys.
Although it takes a different approach than most HGTV shows, Design at Your Door is successful in showing the power of teamwork and that just about anybody can successfully renovate their home. However, it doesn’t hurt to have input from professional designers, of course.
Design at Your Door, Thursdays, 9/8c, HGTV