Design can have such a positive impact on the way people live and on their relationships and moods.
And the relationships that happen become so intense, deep, involved and complex and really hard to say goodbye to. The hardest part of the show is saying goodbye when it's all done. It really breaks you.
The hardest part of the show is saying goodbye when it's all done. It really breaks you.
So, to really execute design in its highest form and making people feel joy, that's a great reward.
I had the idea for the show like a year and a half, two years ago. And it was all about the things that I didn't like about TV. I was trying to create a positive solution for it. And it actually worked.
That was always my frustration with so many of these shows, because design is not an ambush... it's a relationship. You have to know how people move and live and work to be able to design for them.
So, like I said, I will visit Jeffersonville more often because I now have a little getaway house up there.
The birth of any show is always a rough one.
There's a big difference between decorators and designers and the training is very different.
But instead of that stuff you get relationships with people and neighbors that you would never get in a city. People in small towns are a lot more open.
I think we typically, as Northerners, stereotype what the South is in so many negative ways. We kind of forget all the beautiful things that they contribute to make this country a country.
I'm opening a store at the end of the month in the New York meatpacking district. I'm launching a line of bedding this summer, and I am writing a book that will be out next January.
It's not about doing over the living room of someone who has bad taste in color. This is about restoring historic buildings and instilling pride in a community, which can be done through designing new public spaces and social gathering spots.
Oprah has this intense curiosity that I haven't found with any interviewer.
We worked out a lot of bugs and figured out who was working and who wasn't and how this beast functions. It was a lot bigger than we actually thought, and now we have a well-run ship where it feels I can actually have time to imagine and not just stress out about everything.
Like I said, TLC has enough of my life. I have to keep some of it for myself.
I'm so used to talk-show hosts just giving you a sound bite and not really being interested.
You need to have a home to go back to, whether it's a hotel room or a barn. It's only home when he's there.
That's my job. To imagine harder than you can.
Being on Oprah? You realize that there are a couple of types of audience members. There are like the cult people in the audience who are just crying before she gets on. And then there are the people who are playing it cool. I definitely was somewhere in the middle.
I think taking design out of the studio and really having a relationship with the people that you're making it for really convinced me of how powerful a thing design is. It's not just an aesthetic decoration.
I think that, in comparison, New Yorkers and Northerners are so guarded.
It's about the power of design and the power of the human spirit. It's above paying anybody to do something stupid for money like reality television does - like ambushing people.
I will not do work that isn't done well or right. Stuff happens - things break, contractors don't come through - but I don't want to be responsible for not doing something correctly.
I'm a designer, I love it, and I haven't worked this hard to do bad work.
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