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Is HGTV Losing Its Design Edge? Here’s what viewers think.

Over the years, HGTV has undergone a noticeable transformation, leaving many viewers feeling disconnected from the network’s original design-focused programming. Here’s a breakdown of why viewers are growing dissatisfied and what they’re demanding in return.

1. Lack of Authentic Designers

Viewers express frustration over the prevalence of TV and social media personalities masquerading as designers. The shift away from genuine design expertise towards entertainment-centric personas like the Property Brothers has left a void in educational content.

2. Call for True Design Education

Many viewers long for a return to the days of shows like “Design on a Dime” and “Divine Design,” where real interior design principles were taught. They crave programming featuring designers with formal education and a deep understanding of architectural styles and design theory.

3. Desire for Diversity in Design

There’s a call for diversity in design styles and expertise. While designers like Nate and Jeremiah bring a specific aesthetic, viewers want to see shows covering maximalism, art deco, and other niche design styles, each led by specialists in their respective fields.

4. Neglected Garden and Outdoor Spaces

HGTV’s neglect of the “Garden” aspect of its name hasn’t gone unnoticed. Viewers are yearning for shows that focus on landscaping and outdoor design, from creating container gardens to crafting inviting outdoor spaces on a budget.

5. Yearning for Educational Content

Instead of superficial makeovers and family-centric content, viewers want educational programming. They seek shows that delve into the intricacies of design, explaining concepts like space planning, color theory, and pattern matching in depth.

6. Preference for Realism Over Drama

There’s a desire for shows that offer realistic design solutions and cost breakdowns, rather than staged drama and self-promotion. Viewers want to know where materials are sourced and how they can replicate designs within their own budgets.

7. Nostalgia for Classic Design Shows

Nostalgia plays a significant role in viewers’ dissatisfaction. They reminisce about classic HGTV shows like “Room by Room” and “Decorating Cents,” which offered practical design advice and featured relatable projects.

8. Frustration with Formulaic Content

Viewers are tired of the formulaic nature of many HGTV shows, where the same storyline of a couple renovating a home is repeated ad nauseam. They crave variety in storytelling and setups to keep the content fresh and engaging.

9. Yearning for Personalized Spaces

There’s a longing for homes with personality, where design choices reflect the individuality of the homeowners rather than conforming to generic trends. Viewers want to see more unique architectural features and personalized design elements.

10. Seeking International Perspectives

Some viewers express interest in seeing international designers working on diverse projects worldwide. They’re drawn to shows like “Britain’s Grand Designs” and crave similar programming that explores design trends and innovations from around the globe.

In conclusion, HGTV faces mounting pressure to reevaluate its programming lineup and return to its roots as a source of educational and inspirational design content. By prioritizing genuine expertise, diversity in design styles, and a renewed focus on educational value, the network can regain the trust and loyalty of its disillusioned audience.

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