Goodbye, HGTV

Published on Tue, 04/28/2015 - 2:01pm

I need to stop watching HGTV. Even when viewed in small doses, the shows give me too many ideas. After watching an episode of shows like Fixer Upper, I am ready to roll up my sleeves and tackle the next project. The room transformations they reveal on TV make my heart beat fast because I love DIY: painting, decorating, and making our house the home we love. I also value saving money and keeping home improvement costs low by repurposing materials and doing the work ourselves.

I enjoy dreaming up ideas and seeing them come to reality. The only problem is, I cannot do all the DIY projects I dream up truly by myself. I’m the idea person and the painter. While I’m a willing helper, inevitably the heavy lifting and power-tool-operating most projects require lands on my husband’s shoulders. That’s why it’s in my best interest to run all of my ideas by him before jumping into something new.

But, unfortunately, there have been quite a few times in our marriage that I didn’t do that. Often, our home improvement projects go like this: I get an idea for a cosmetic change. I run the idea by Jordan. We agree it’s something we could do some day, but decide it’s best to wait because DIY projects have a tendency to snowball. Then, I wait. And the longer I wait, and the more excited I get to start, the more convinced I become that I can do most of the project myself. Next, I watch a little HGTV and before you know it, I have jumped headfirst into yet another home improvement project—in addition to the one I started last week.

For instance, I had my sights set on updating our kitchen backsplash. It’s a dated laminate so, for a fresh look, I decided to give it a coat of paint. The project was cost-effective, husband-approved, and absolutely something I could do all by myself. But when I got to the area just above our kitchen sink, I noticed that the laminate had bowed out from moisture. I painted over it and tried to move on. Yet, the imperfection continued to bother me.

A few days later, our little girls were napping, the house was quiet, and I was standing in the kitchen looking at the bowed laminate backsplash. What if I tore off the laminate and replaced the backsplash with beadboard? I love beadboard! It will look great in our farmhouse, plus we have a couple sheets in the basement left over from another project. I measured the backsplash then ran downstairs to make sure we had enough beadboard to make the switch. We did. So, I ran back upstairs, grabbed a small crowbar, and within ten minutes, I had removed the entire bowed-laminate sheet from above the kitchen sink, exposing the plaster behind.

While I cleared debris, regret came over me. Why didn’t I talk to Jordan first? That night when he got home, I faintheartedly showed him what I had done and repented with the words, “I’m an impulsive DIYer and I’m never watching HGTV again.”

Thankfully, Jordan was not upset, and that evening he came to my DIY rescue. Jordan cut the beadboard to length and cut out holes for the outlets, and I painted the board. As we installed the new backsplash above the kitchen sink a few days later, I was relieved that the project worked out so well. I lucked out this time: The project didn’t snowball the way many home improvement projects do, and I love the way it turned out. Now, the real question is: Will I really stop watching HGTV?