A Starter Kit for Becoming an Interior Design Expert

Let these binge-worthy TV shows inspire you to transform your home.

'Rock the Block' | Photo courtesy of discovery+
'Rock the Block' | Photo courtesy of discovery+

Over the past couple of years, with theaters, restaurants, and international travel off the table (and social gatherings relegated to nostalgic yore), an emphasis on home life has become the new normal for many. Maybe there’s just something about being advised to stay at home that suddenly makes us all want to reexamine our living spaces. Nowadays, whether you’re looking to conjure a sense of hygge, create a new at-home office for remote work, or simply rearrange your living room, there’s never been a better time to daydream about becoming an interior design expert.

Fortunately, you needn’t graduate from Parsons School of Design or become an aesthetic influencer to achieve your design dreams, thanks to some handy, inspiring shows on discovery+. Convenient for curious creatives, the streaming service has a few different design-themed shows, each with their own distinct vibe and style. These are sure to scratch your artistic itch and teach you how to rejuvenate, refresh, and restructure the environment around you in ways that even those of us who aren’t Nate Berkus can understand. 

'Home Town' | Photo courtesy of discovery+

Home Town (2016–)

Another big change of pace for many Americans over the past couple of years is the relocation to smaller towns and the increased time spent in close quarters with family members—particularly spouses. We can all take inspiration from Erin and Ben Napier, the husband-and-wife team from the show Home Town, based in Laurel, Mississippi. The premise for a heartwarming series is all here: bucolic, small-town vibes, relatable and engaging camaraderie between the married hosts, the satisfaction of seeing construction come together, and, most importantly, the motivation the show provides to update our own homes.

The Napiers’ hometown of Laurel, Mississippi, is so quaint and charming on its own that we’d gladly just stare at pictures of the town and be totally content. Though they’re certainly home renovation pros, the couple works together and provides tips and ideas in ways that aren’t intimidating, confusing, or unattainable. Rather, as they revitalize historic homes, their friendly banter and palpable love for small-town living comes through as sincere and inspiring. The pair uses each others’ skill sets—Erin’s penchant for interior design and Ben’s handiwork—to achieve optimal #couplegoals, which are sure to motivate you and your spouse to start refurbishing houses in your own town. Or, you know, at least learn how to make modern updates to your home that preserve its historic integrity while also making needed updates for comfort and functionality.
 

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'Remix My Space with Marsai Martin' | Photo courtesy of discovery+

If you’re searching for the next great binge, look no further than discovery+ to whet your appetite. As the definitive nonfiction subscription streaming service, it has everything you need for great family fun—and so much more. Take the show Remix My Space with Marsai Martin, for example. Using Martin’s passion for interior design, the actor and producer surprises unsuspecting teens with one-of-a-kind bedroom makeovers—transforming them from ordinary spaces into dream rooms.

Rock the Block (2019–)

America loves an uplifting competition show—you know, the kind that is more heartfelt and less cutthroat. For interior designers, Rock the Block is that satisfying series wherein a roster of seasoned designers, including Mike Holmes, Tiffany Brooks, and the aforementioned Nate Berkus, are tasked with renovating four blank-slate homes from scratch. The kicker? Their budget is tight ($225,000) and their timeline is even tighter (six weeks!). All homes being renovated are on the same suburban block, providing a unique opportunity for these competitors to showcase their own signature aesthetic. In the end, the pair of designers who earn the biggest appraisal gets quite possibly the coolest prize in television history: a street named after them.

Hosted by the always-charming Ty Pennington, along with a rotating panel of guest judges, the series is the perfect mix of high-stakes competition and encouraging energy. The fact that everyone is on the same page, working within the same parameters and on identical homes, makes it feel fair and exciting without any of the nefarious backstabbing of other competition shows. Will the series equip you with the skills to renovate a suburban home from scratch? Probably not. Will it teach you tangible ideas from some of the best design experts in the game? You bet. Even if you don’t wind up with a street named in your honor, you’ll feel like a winner after you walk away motivated to channel your own interior designer and give your own home a refresh. 

Remix My Space with Marsai Martin (2022–)

Easily one of the most unique, fun, and straight-up delightful interior design shows out there right now is Remix My Space with Marsai Martin, a show with a charismatic host and a flair for flashy bedroom makeovers. Hosted by Marsai Martin, the actor and producer who you may know from Black-ish fame, the stylish and upbeat designer brings a Pimp My Ride energy to the show—but instead of blinging out tire rims, she’s overhauling teenagers’ bedrooms, transforming them into stunning spaces that any adult would envy.

The format of the eight-episode series is fun and dynamic, with Martin showing up to surprise and reward unsuspecting altruistic teens—those who have made positive contributions to their communities—by giving their bedrooms a serious glow up. Leaning on her interior design passions and skills, Martin and her dexterous, adventurous team (including carpenter Joanie Sprague and designer Tiffany Thompson) set out to rebrand adolescent bedrooms into customized dream rooms bursting with color, funky furnishings, and more amenities than a boutique hotel. In addition to being heartwarming entertainment, Remix My Space with Marsai Martin is the type of show that’s sure to inspire you to give back to your community, while also instilling ideas for how to make quirky, creative tweaks to your own bedroom spaces, regardless of your age. 

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