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Two-day, $2,000 room makeover not reality

Behind the scenes of home-improvement TV shows

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 of the contradictions and false expectations of some of these phenomenally popular reality home-improvement shows. 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 experience or imagination to come up with on their own. If 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 building a simple bookshelf, that is indeed possible to do in two days with $2,000 -- but not by the average homeowner. The kind of accelerated pace depicted on these shows requires that absolutely everything has bee...

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