I come to you this week from Home Improvement Central.
OK, so it's no where near major renovation action. And I'm not personally doing the work. But it's going on just to my left. And it's all because of HGTV.
You simply can't watch the Home & Garden network without wanting to start peeling things, painting things and refurbishing things. Because after seeing the stunning beauty of every home in its "after" stage featured on the various shows on the channel, nothing in your own house ever could look up to par.
In fact, even the new stuff starts to look a little shabby.
A favorite HGTV show right now is "Bang for Your Buck." A designer and a real-estate agent walk through three remodels of the same room in three different homes -- a basement, a kitchen, a master suite -- and go about praising some of the function and décor choices, then denigrating others.
It can get catty sometimes, but the two "experts" almost always find the bulk of the renovations to be positive.
It's a kinder, gentler home-decorating answer to "What Not to Wear."
At the end, the real-estate agent runs down how much the homeowners can expect to recoup on their investments. Money paid out for the renovations can be anywhere from $30,000 to $100,000, depending on the rooms. Some owners might expect to get 60 percent back upon selling their homes, some 75 percent, some all, if not more of what they spent.
Frankly, if I were going to put even $10,000 into anything, there better be some kind of moneymaking at the end of the rainbow.
So, no, my current home projects are not on any "Bang for Your Buck" level. And even if they were, no way any of those "experts" would be invited to critique the choices made.
After spending thousands and thousands of dollars, the "Buck" participants get to hear comments along the lines of: "What were they thinking with that granite?"
"That custom (fill in the expensive blank) is a white elephant in the room."
"This is a huge mistake."
The homeowners listen to the lambasting on national TV, then live with their new -- clearly not up to snuff -- rooms, knowing all the flaws the experts found.
If it were my gobs and gobs of money and taste choices, I would want nothing but sycophantic praise from everyone, whether they meant it or not. Do not come in and talk about where it went wrong. That would be the only thing I'd see, the only focus every time I walked into the room, no matter how gorgeous everything else around it might be.
It's tough talk, but the folks on the show know what they're getting themselves into. I'll stick with little projects and keep them off television.
But, please, anyone who does come in and notices my decorating choices, say something nice -- whether you mean it or not.
Reach Scene editor Pat Clark at email@example.com.