Friday 9 November 2012

Thoughts on Kirstie's Vintage Home - plus Stitch it for Christmas Giveaway Winners

So, did you watch Kirstie's Vintage Home last night?

When her "Homemade Home" series first started, I rather loved it - especially the bits showing talented, skilled craftspeople making amazing things (glassblowing! stained glass making! knitting!).

I wrote in my blog post about it at the time, that... The program is trying to sell that whole "make your house a home" thing, advertising handmade things as a way of adding character and a truly personal touch, which is aesthetically very refreshing after so many years of being sold clean, white, modern, chic and also a welcome change after a decade of "quick fix" DIY shows packed with MDF and stapleguns... and that You get to see how much work and real skill goes into making handmade things, and their value and specialness is prized. This isn't a show that says "and you can make one at home for 50p!" but recommends serious workshops and craft courses and suggests commissioning pieces from craftspeople in your area.

Then series two came out in which instead of doing up her own (holiday) home, Kirstie was helping couples create their own "homemade home" and the title of my review probably gives away my feelings about it: Kirstie' Homemade Hmmm. I found the crafting featured in the show a lot less impressive, the makeover format pretty standard and the shift from "look at this amazing handmade special thing made with skill" to "look how easy and cheap this is to make!" a bit disappointing. BUT it was still great to see crafting (and talented crafters) on the telly and I think the "real people decorating their real homes" angle made it perhaps feel a bit more relevant/accessible to the target viewer than "Kirstie Allsop makes her holiday cottage look nice"?

And I think I feel the same way about Kirstie's Vintage Home, which appears to be Kirstie's Homemade Home all over again just with an added emphasis on retro styling. She helps a couple redecorate, they meet some crafters and make some things, she takes them shopping and gives them tips on buying second hand stuff... but this series they say the word "vintage" a lot (often when they just mean "retro") and use words like "upcycling".

I did quite like the finished makeover (though I wondered where they were going to put all their stuff as that living room looked a little low on storage!), I rather loved the screenprinted sideboard (though I'm not sure that painting a bit of perfectly nice furniture really counts as "upcycling"!!) and it was fun to spot some Mini Moderns wallpaper pop up and to see Lisa Comfort's appearance on the show (I'll be reviewing her book later this month so it was interesting to see her "in person" if you know what I mean). But still. Hmm.

I'm probably going to watch the whole series, as I'm interested to see which other crafts & crafters they feature, how the "vintage" makeover turns out each week and whether a "Keep Calm and Carry On" poster ever makes an appearance! Did you watch last night's show? What did you think? And will you be watching the rest of the series?

P.S. Also, today's the day to pick the winners of the copies of Stitch it for Christmas

The winners are...
K2 who said... "Very cute. I just love the look of redwork embroidery"

and AnitaS who said... "I love this book and bought it for a friend. But I like to have it for myself"


Unknown said...

Totally agree! And 1 blanket box for toys? We had to build a conservatory!!!!!

Charlotte said...

I did watch it, and I shouted at the telly a lot (mainly about the quilting that wasn't exactly conventional). I'm not sure if I'll bother with the rest of the series, to be honest. I'm a bit disappointed.

Sheila said...

I watched it too, and liked it more than the last series, but i still like the first one best. I wondered if it was just because the 60s isn't my favourite style, hopefully it gets better!

Karen Creftor said...

I've been a little more disappointed with each series tbh.

Tell a lie~ this series shows more potential than 'Kirstie's Homemade Britain' .Kirstie has gone from a complete novice to a 'master craftsperson' in a couple of years(???) Doesn't do those who dedicate their lives to their craft justice.

Most of the changes were new buys and a spot of tidying up and where did all their stuff go?? All those lovely books just disppeared.

Smacks a bit of cashing in on the success (has anyone seen Kirstie's range of crockery in M&S?) rather than staying with the genuine message of the first series (and the short Christmas series).

Oh and one more thing...since when did it take £39pm fabric to make a memory quilt? I thought they were made with fabrics from things that brought back memories and by their nature are upcycled?

Rant over ;)
~Kaz x

Deborah said...

I recorded it and watched it today, bit disappointed with it all, but loved the blue birdcage wallpaper :) not keen on the 60s styling, hopefully it will get better. Have a great weekend sweetie

Bee happy x

Anonymous said...

I only caught the last 10/15 mins but quite liked it - the first series is the best still. I feel like the latest two are essentially the usual home decoration programmes, but with a handmade aesthetic; I think if you try to forget about it as less of a craft show and more as a property show it makes more sense.

inka said...

Where I can watch this show? I have Sky so I guess it has to be somewhere on my tv :P

inka said...

Ok, found it! ;)
Google is an amazing helper ;)

Carina said...

I watched it. Against my better judgment! And I won't be watching the rest of the series.

As someone else said - Kirstie going from novice to 'master craftsperson' in what seems like the blink of an eye... is rather disconcerting and doesn't give an accurate impression of how much time it actually takes to become good at something (or indeed, mastering it). And I doubt that she is anywhere near good at any of the crafts, she seems like a busy lady who probably doesn't have the time for it...

What really bothered me, though, is how she was doing the voice over explaining how the different techniques are done - and making it sound like it's a breeze, to boot! I think it's a real shame to have a show that supposedly focuses on craft, and craftspeople especially, but not let those people explain their own craft/technique.

To me, it feels like it's a complete simplification of craft. But then, I don't think that serious crafters and/or craftspeople are the actual target audience for this show. The target is probably more people who want to be able to show their friends a lovely individual vintage/retro upcycled/crafty thing they've found...

Hmm. Yes. Not a fan. ;-)

Helen said...

Glad I'm not the only one who was disappointed. I liked the last series but this as you say is more like a standard makeover show. And I thought exactly the same as someone else who commented here - how are they going to fit their daughter's toys into just one blanket box?! They'll soon be drowning in a sea of multicoloured plastic.

Bugs and Fishes said...

Thanks for all your comments, everyone!

Katherine - haha!! :)

As a crafter I would love to see more of a focus (as in the first series) on how great craft is & showcasing some top notch craftspeople and quality crafts, but I am okay with a makeover show that just has crafty elements (a little bit of crafting is better than none, right??).

BUT thinking about it more, I think a large part of the problem is that the makeover element and the craft element are not always very well combined so the crafty segments feel a bit "tacked on" to the rest of the show - e.g. those concrete lights which were neither esp vintage nor something people could try making at home.

I am interested to see how they continue to combine the craft + vintage + makeover elements of this show and if they can manage to do it successfully or not!

Crafty Helen said...

Wouldn't both of the homes so far have looked much better simply from a good tidy/clear-out and a lick of paint? The vintage element appears to be an 'add-on' to a run of the mill makeover show.

alex said...

I thought it was very pretty(i loved the mood board parts where the audience is taken through the plans for the new stuff!), and i really liked the transformation element of redoing those rooms with beautiful vintage furniture! however i found it quite badly edited and as a result i wasnt totally sure what was going on half the time! they rushed through it all and tried to fit far too much into the show....

Also i agree with Karen, thought the quilt wasn't really done well, where was the 'memory' element of it?


Bugs and Fishes said...

Crafty Helen - Yup, I quite agree about the tidy & lick of paint! The vintage element definitely feels bolted on to a standard makeover format... though I have to say I found a couple of the later episodes more enjoyable & successful than the first one.

Alex - They definitely tried to squeeze a lot of different things into one show. But like you I LOVED the mood boards, I thought they were so well done, and the show does make me want to invest in some nice vintage furniture, in spite of the mixed feelings I have about the show as a whole!