Spaces in Cyberspace
Laura Emery, Field Editor
Long gone are the days of having to pay
top-dollar to get a design consultant to come peruse your pad and offer
design tips, or throw lavish parties just to show off your precisely primped
home space or remodeling project.
Forget feedback from family and friends
— homeowners are now going online and inviting complete strangers to weigh
Frazzled homeowners and amateur
designers alike are flocking to the World Wide Web for a different kind of
decorating experience — seeking objective comments from an anonymous mix
of designer wannabes, average decorators with good intentions, and even the
Hundreds of thousands of people are
posting pictures of their favorite rooms on home-design Web sites and other
such forums, hoping that others will love the designs, too. Others are using
the audience (anonymous people only identified by creative screen names) as
a way to make difficult design decisions, and to get brutal honesty.
Thousands of people view these pictures
and offer comments, suggestions, and sometimes criticism. But for those
seeking honest opinions on the design merit of your space, this is the
perfect consortium. Once comments have been given, it’s up to the poster
as to whether to take the design to the next level.
“Those window treatments scream
grandma,” a complete stranger might weigh in objectively. On the other
hand, viewers can also be generous with their accolades: “This is
absolutely gorgeous! I love everything about this room! You are an
The posted room styles are as diverse as
the design aesthetic of those who anonymously browse, rating rooms and
posting comments. One thing is certain, however — everyone has an opinion,
and is often more than willing to share it.
rate my space
Rate My Space (RMS), managed by
HGTV.com, has been called the “American Idol” of home décor. The Web
site has logged more than 18 million page views in the last month alone and
currently has more than 158,445 members who have posted photos of their
decorating projects. In addition to the growing online forum, the network
has recognized the increasing popularity of this new dimension to the design
world — and now airs a television show designed around the Rate My Space
concept — Rate My Space: The Show. On the show, HGTV designer Angelo
Surmelis comes to the rescue of a low-rated room from the Rate My Space
community, turning it into a five-star hit using inspiration rooms (also
from the RMS community). To be considered for Rate My Space: The Show, all
you have to do is post pictures of your room or rooms on the Web site.
On Rate My Space, there is a category
for just about every design project — bedrooms, living rooms, home
exteriors, garages, gardens, bathrooms, dorm rooms, kids’ rooms, baby
nurseries, patios, pools, porches, and yards. Designer rooms are great, but
if you want to check out average-home design broken down into highest
ratings, most viewed, and most recent, this is the place to go. You can also
type in specific keywords for the colors or styles you want to view.
Or post a room you’re proud of, and
await the public’s verdict. Can’t decide which bedding looks better with
your window treatments? The Rate My Space community would love to help you
make that decision.