If You Want To See Rooms That Are Always Tasteful, Well-Planned & Liveable...
I was astonished to find that IMDBs page for "Design on a Dime" has so many comments and Divine Design has/had none, especially given that DD is the best design show on HGTV. How on God's Green Earth did a show wherein a bunch of people spray-paint plywood, think maple leaves are "tropical", and glue raffia and placemats to everything (DoaD) manage to become more popular than a show wherein the end product is a space you would actually want to *live* in like Divine Design!?!? Hélas.
Maybe it is symptomatic of the US view of development wherein "kids" who should have been emancipated into adulthood at puberty are instead kept in some kind of artificial "adolescence" so that they can be both controlled as if they are the Tomoguchi pets of their bourgeois neurotic uptight and lonely parents, and made to spend 6 billion dollars each year on sheer crap like Ashley Simpson albums and paint-ball guns. Hence, the room-redo in the parent's house/prison at age 16. Plywood and spray paint are good for that maybe? Ugh.
BUT, back to real matters here... I am always seriously impressed with Candice Olsen's (hope I am spelling that right) ability to really *listen* to her clients and deliver something that surpasses all expectations. Whether it is a "High Tech" space for a young dot.com couple or a Country Kitchen for a family with 8 kids, Olsen always creates a space that is absolutely stunning. She can make Country look sophisticated and High Tech look warm, soothing and inviting. She really thinks through everything in advance -- the right materials, lighting design and impact, traffic patterns, the hierarchy of needs within the space -- and balances everything to perfection. She always has a great mix of textures, matte and reflective surfaces, she designs for "all the senses" thinking about where to put the stereo components and when might be nice for a meditative water feature, for instance. And she thinks about how actual people will fit and interact within the space. I think she is a genius who covers every base.
Olsen, it seems, is also incredibly tall. I wonder if just her phenomenological experience of space as a tall person throughout her life has led her to be acutely aware of how spaces work and this has given her the special insight reflected in all her choices. Then again, maybe she's just sensitive and smart.
I love her crew too, but especially Chico. Everyone seems to be a master at his/her craft and to enjoy working together. Together they create artificial paradises. Hence, the "Divine" half of the name, I guess.
The only show that occasionally comes close to DD on HGTV is Debbie Travis's, but she is rather hit or miss. Sometimes she does an amazing job and sometimes the end result is a little cheesy. I think Olsen and Travis are both from Canada? Interiors in general must be much more tasteful up there.
If you wish to be inspired, to see what an interior is *supposed* to look like and how it is supposed to function, and to learn some great tips that don't all include spray paint and plywood, I totally recommend Divine Design. Sorry for the rant above...it was just the only way I could explain the popularity of "Design on a Dime" to myself.
I wrote a much better review before, but then my browser crashed and I lost it, alas.
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