Last night was the premiere of Million Dollar Decorators, which follows five top-tier LA decorators as they design the homes of the rich and famous. You've probably heard of the decorators, all of whom are featured regularly in shelter magazines and blogs: Mary McDonald, Kathryn Ireland, Jeffrey Alan Marks, Martyn Lawrence Bullard and Nathan Turner. The personalities are huge, the egos are huger, and the budgets are basically irrelevant in their enormity. What did you think, hilarious window onto the world of dream budgets and decorating divas, or depressing caricature that reveals too little of the process and profession of design?
I am on the fence. Watching last night, I kept cringing, lamenting the possibility of the design profession being sullied by these over the top characterizations of decorators who seem to think that the price they command is commensurate with their importance. But over the course of the show I found myself softening. The personalities are certainly outrageous, but I they are also mostly self-aware — they take themselves very seriously as professionals, and every design decision is obviously life-or-death, but otherwise, they have a sense of humor about themselves that is pretty appealing. Plus, there promises to be more insight into the design process as well as some seriously hot real estate porn in future episodes.
My favorite and/or most horrified moments included the following:
Client: "We're getting divorced, and we decided to sell the house." Mary McDonald: "What do you mean? And you're not keeping — I love this house! Can't you keep it?" Mary McDonald, to the camera: "This is a total tragedy, because it's my house!"
Martyn Lawrence Bullard mistaking Timothy Oulton's Gonzalez chair (which bears a striking resemblance to Mies van der Rohe's Barcelona chair) for an Eames chair.
Nathan Turner, to the other decorators: "Glad that we all love guacamole. We all have THAT in common."
Kathryn Ireland's entire life (both my favorite and my most horrified moments).
Jeffrey Alan Marks doing a spot-on, loving(?) impression of Martyn Lawrence Bullard's husky purr, "Dahling, I'm in Morocco, sorry!"
In the end, I kind of can't wait for next week.
What do you think? Will you be watching?