DIY Dream Home

I am not ashamed to admit the cries of joy which I emit when I see the new series of DIY Dream Home is about to begin. This is about the only programme on television which seems to make me reorganise my life to accommodate it. The psychology of this is rather fascinating. Is it the essential New Zealand goal of home ownership? Or the many new DIY and home building tips I can learn? Or maybe the tension and trials as the couples and their teams work, cry and laugh together all in the hopes of providing a roof, usually mono-pitched, for their young children? For me it is all of the above.

This series has not failed to disappoint but there has been a distinct difference in the dynamics of the teams, compared to previous years. I always find the selection process of the blue and yellow couple fascinating. If I were to be cynical, and I have been known to be, it is important that the couples reflect the demographics of the audience so everyone has someone to relate to. Also there is a definite focus on small town New Zealand as this is where each build occurs. So this season we have two very young couples from Greymouth. In Auckland if you own your own home by 30 it is a miracle. But this season Te Ana turns 21 during filming and she has the potential to be the happy owner of  a new and very swish home before many in our fair land have even realised that Mum and Dad may not pay their bills for the rest of their lives. I hope they realise how lucky they are!

One of my only gripes about this season would be the dynamics of the design teams. Sadly the architect from the yellow team bailed early on in the process as her ideas were sidelined as the build had to be improvised when various issues arose. As anyone who has any experience with building will know, once the architect hands those plans to the builder, anything can happen. It was sad to see her go as it would have made for much more engaging television for her to remain and fight for her creative input. Also there seems to be a distinct breakdown in understanding of taste between the interior designers and their clients. Each week there seems to be a conflict or “Like hell that is going on my wall” moment, followed by tears by the designer who has to let their pride and joy fall by the wayside. At least it makes for some tension in the often very smiley homes.

Another change this season is the age of the children. Both couples have one baby under one year of age.  This does change the way the house is built and also the opportunities for cute kiddie moments as they see the rooms their parents have lovingly created. Now I would never argue that a baby is not cute, but a three year old is able to express a little more wonder and awe at their new possible pad than an immobile baby. One has to wonder whether this choice of family make up may have something to do with the budgets for the build or the time it takes to design and build one bedroom instead of three for three different kids of older ages. In the past there have been families with up to five children. This certainly adds a level of complexity but also interest to the process which is lacking this season.

Overall this season has followed the successful recipe of previous years but I feel a little jaded and am hoping that next season brings some new twists and turns. And for what it is worth, these do not include sponsored segments advertising new products under the guise of being eco-friendly. Maybe some clearer design parameters to avoid the neutrals everywhere disease and possibly a push for more creativity rather than the rather conservative West Coast look which has predominated this season. 

But DIY Dream home still has me and at 7:30pm on a Monday evening I will not be taking calls as I enjoy my DIY escapism. Dreams are free on free to air!