TV Review: ‘Rate My Space’

Written By: Kathy Price-Robinson - Jul• 04•08

Angelo SurmelisI’ve watched several episodes of “Rate My Space” with Angelo Surmelis on HGTV and I’m quite impressed.

Here’s how it works: The homeowners who are the subjects of each episode have gone onto the Rate My Space website, posted photos of a room that needs help, and made a plea for help. Typically they can’t figure out which color to paint the walls, what kind of furniture to buy, what kind of look and feeling they want. Or if they know the feeling, they can’t figure out how to get that.

At the end of the show, of course, the design dilemma will be solved. But how they get there is what’s unique about the show.

Even though Angelo is the real thing, a real designer (see his website), he doesn’t tell the people what to do according to his tastes.

Rather, the homeowners go onto the Rate My Space site and browse through the thousands of photos homeowners have posted there and other homeowners have rated.

The subjects of the show find three “inspiration rooms” that they love, and Angelo uses those rooms to direct the renovation.

I know, I know, it’s confusing. I’d already been on the Rate My Space site a long time ago, and checked out the highest and lowest rated rooms. Still, I was confused about the concept. Even after watching a few shows (admittedly while doing something else as well, like blogging, talking to my husband or playing with my dog), I kept thinking: What exactly is going on?

Still, I was attracted to the tone of the show, the beauty of the finished rooms and the (sometimes tearful) reactions of the homeowners.

Here’s what I like about the show:

• Angelo is very respectful by nature. He’s not there to look cool or be outrageous. He’s there to help these people create a space that’s just right for them. He uses phrases like “Would you consider . . .” and “How would you feel about . . . .” After so much frenetic energy on other shows, it’s refreshing.

• The homeowners are not selling or flipping their homes. They love their homes and are looking for help to make their lives better, not to make money or get rid of the house.

• The three inspiration rooms are from homes all across the country, and the crew takes a camera to those homes and lets those homeowners tell us why they decorated like that. And they and the subjects of the show get to have a little video meeting and talk to each other.

• While the inspiration rooms are all very beautiful, Angelo doesn’t try to mimic those elements exactly. For instance, the couple on the show I watched tonight loved a big stone fireplace they saw on Rate My Space website. Angelo didn’t try to match the stone exactly, or the mantle, but used that as an inspiration for a different type of stone and mantle that are more appropriate for the couple’s room.

And when it’s all done, the homeowners say things like: “You really listened to what we wanted” and “It’s all us.”

For those who like shows where rooms are decorated for pennies, this will be a disappointment as there’s not a big focus on money, though the cost is revealed at the end.

All in all, it’s a quality show that teaches us how to be inspired by rooms we love and then bring those elements, colors and aura into our own homes.

Your thoughts?

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One Comment

  1. Thanks for the kind words about RMS!!! Maybe we’ll be at your house someday!
    ~Jared Walker Dostie
    http://www.jaredwalkerdostie.com

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