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.
So, to really execute design in its highest form and making people feel joy, that's a great reward.
The hardest part of the show is saying goodbye when it's all done. It really breaks you.
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.
I'm so used to talk-show hosts just giving you a sound bite and not really being interested.
The Deep South has a completely different history, both good and bad, that is fascinating for everybody. It makes people work together who usually don't, and that sounds like a cliche in so many ways, but it actually happened... and it happened because of a beautiful idea.
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.
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.
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 think that, in comparison, New Yorkers and Northerners are so guarded.
You forget how many people watch TV until you come into a town like this. Everybody knows you, and I'm always humbled, especially when there are 500 little kids who all have their hair done like yours and want to be designers.
That's my job. To imagine harder than you can.
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.
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.
Oprah has this intense curiosity that I haven't found with any interviewer.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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'm a designer, I love it, and I haven't worked this hard to do bad work.
The birth of any show is always a rough one.
So, like I said, I will visit Jeffersonville more often because I now have a little getaway house up there.
Like I said, TLC has enough of my life. I have to keep some of it for myself.
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