Yes, this is a long read, and yes it’s about the You-Know-Who’s. But it says (verifies?) everything we instinctively don’t like about the Fixer Upper effect. The #shiplap hashtags, the national obsession, the gentrification, the whitewashing (literal and figurative), the rumblings of anti-LGBTQ religious stances, the bougie-ness, the very Instagrammable-ness of it all.
And while it’s all about Waco, Texas, it’s also about our towns. (Well, Beacon, cohost J’s town, at least. How about Milton/Marlboro, Rob?) Many towns. Many downtowns in any American city. How do we improve and build even better communities for everyone who lives there? How can we all come along for the ride? Can we do that while having some personal fun and individuality in design???
BTW, we’ll get over the Gaines eventually. It’s just that they, like this article, seem to sum up a lot of the conversational threads of the middle class home/garden/shelter/real estate sphere. We’ll be back to ogling hot gardeners or obsessing over wallpaper in a hot minute.
In the October 2018 episode of Could Be Better, we try to be a little nicer, a little more helpful, and a little less judgy. But that’s no fun so we quickly devolve to our usual cocktail-fueled opinions. Though the cover of this month’s Better Homes and Gardens mag has us hopeful for autumn color–and the Halloween features are on point–our time machine has us trapped in the horrors of 1970’s design. Dark colors, spider-thin staircase railings, and ghostly-white walls play up the witchy vibes, but Rob never gets any trick-or-treaters so it’s all lost on him. J. admires another big wallpaper pattern (shocker) but can’t get past all the pom-poms. But hey, it’s just decor. Why not embrace imperfection, warts and all? Signature cocktail: The Pum-mosa, made with cava and Roundhouse Pumpkin King Cordial.
Food prep by Tim Lawton. Check out videos of our recipe tastings on our YouTube channel. Camerawork by Michael Hall. Music by Bensound.com. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook at Could Be Better Podcast.
In our September episode, we plant the seeds for fall with a new focus on decor. (Foodies, don’t worry: check out our YouTube channel for our monthly recipe tastings). Rob mixes up a signature cocktail inspired by this BH&G issue’s global flair (a Chocolate Spice martini) but J’s excited by this month’s Editor’s Letter: cue another dramatic reading!
In this Stylemaker issue, white walls reign supreme, purple is a neutral, citrine green and peacock blue are “it” shades, kitchens suffer from visual clutter, and there’s nary an “I Did It” nor a craft project in sight. Plus, we throw more shade in Waco’s general direction. Pour yourself a drink, open your magazine and join us for another intimate conversation about design trends (#tagforhate). After all, it’s just decorating. Signature cocktail: Chocolate Spice martini.
Recipes: Oat-Chia Bars, French Chocolate Mousse. All music: Bensound.com. End credits: Tim Lawton.
In our August 2018 episode, the magazine leaves us thirsty (only one beverage recipe, and it’s plain ole iced tea) so Rob creates his own signature cocktail–the Salty Be-otch–inspired by this month’s paint can lid hues. After sampling another array of excellent foods from Chef Tim, J. confesses that he forgot his magazine…and it’s all downhill from there. Before the pitchers of peach-flavored cocktails run out, we discuss hazardous ottomans, outdoor showers, the #partyboard trend that just won’t die, and monstrous ice cream. Plus, J. has a surprise crush on a featured chef. Say goodbye to your summer of regret!