While on our honeymoon, my husband and I were treated to cable packages that included more than just your basic home-town channels. While I know that many people live their daily lives with upwards of two hundred or three hundred channels from which to pick, we have thirteen, and two of those are Spanish stations (I speak Spanish as well as a toddler, my husband not at all), and one is a college station. It was a novelty to have so many channels at our fingertips.
We didn't submerge ourselves in TV—there were more fun things to do!—but we did sample a few channels, mainly HGTV. I now have a yearning to be on Property Virgins, to redecorate my entire house, and to start landscaping even though I live in a yardless apartment.
But with some time and space between me and the home improvement/decorating shows, I was struck by a possible bizarre potential side effect of such popular networks as HGTV: Is it possible for everyone to be adopting the same general decorating tastes?
On the surface, this question seems ridiculous. Of course everyone's going to have their own style, choose their own art, pick their own wall colors, and add their own nicknacks. But even on the few shows we watched, I was struck by how these vastly different participants (with different personalities, priorities, monetary status, and regional location) decorated the home they finally moved into so similarly—focal walls (or ceiling) with a bold color (especially a shade of red), a large piece of art or two and several smaller pieces, a wooden minimalist coffee table with a few carefully arranged items and always a floral vase, designer throw pillows on the couch, and minimalist decor around the outskirts of the room.
There's a possibility that I'm only noticing this decade's decorating trend, that watching these shows opened my eyes to what's "in" now. But isn't there also a possibility that with more people than ever watching all the same home decorating shows and mimicking them, that we're all going to end up with the same cookie-cutter taste?