Are reality TV home makeovers real?

Some things possible, but not everything

Q: When I watch those TV reality shows about room makeovers, I wonder if there is anything "real" about them. Can you really do a complete makeover in two days with $2,000? – Gayle K. A: Yes and no – and therein lies the problem with some of these phenomenally popular reality home improvement shows such as "Trading Spaces." On the positive side, these shows can provide viewers with a tremendous wealth of information and ideas for redoing rooms that they might not have the carpentry experience or the design background to come up with on their own. If, for example, you're looking to give a complete new look to a bedroom through the addition of some interesting new paint colors, new window coverings, some moldings, the revamping of some existing furniture and maybe the construction of a simple bookshelf, that is indeed possible to do in two days with $2,000. On the other side, it's almost certainly not possible for the average homeowner. First, there's the time element. ...