Phrases I wish I never had to hear again.


I blame popular usage of all of these phrases on House and Garden TV and all the other home “improvement” or decorating shows on TV. You know the kind of shows that end with a couple walking into a room and screaming “oh my god” as they bring their hands up to their mouths.

If you want to get mind-shatteringly plastered just choose one of these phrases and then watch any HGTV program. Each time they use the phrase take a drink of your favorite beverage. Unlikely you will still be sober as they cut away to the first commercial break.

pop of color

take it to the next level and its sibling kick it up a notch

focal point

wow factor

art piece
If you have to add the word ‘piece’ after ‘art’ then it sure isn’t art, but it probably is a piece of crap. Art is not something that happens for the sake of interior decoration. Art happens for its own reasons.

17 thoughts on “Phrases I wish I never had to hear again.

  1. Harry Tournemille August 21, 2010 / 12:18 am

    HGTV is wrought with them, yes? Another commonality worth watching for is the feigned outrage of Mike Holmes when he comes across, yet again, another sub-par bit of construction by another contractor.

    Really? This bothers you, Mike? You don't say. And now you have to gut the entire house? Well, I'll be…


  2. dpv August 21, 2010 / 12:24 am

    Even though I'm not “religious” anymore, it is still burned into my inner circuitry that to shout “oh my god” is taking the Lord's name in vain. But setting that aside, it's just plain irritating because it's so unimaginative.

    The doll in the photo? Do you mind if I turn her face into the corner? She's creepin' me out, man.

    Oh, and the carpet makes me seasick.


  3. columnist August 21, 2010 / 2:28 am

    This show, and so many like it give full throttle to the destruction of language, or the use of language without any thought. “Dumbing down”, although a cliche itself is the cause of all this low level TV.


  4. Steerforth August 21, 2010 / 5:20 am

    I'm not a great fan of “high end”, “Boho” and “retro”.


  5. Marieke August 21, 2010 / 8:02 am

    I just spent about three minutes trying to figure out what 'pop of color' is — like Coke is dark brown as opposed to Sprite which is clear?

    I guess I'm privileged never to have seen these shows.


  6. Kathleen August 21, 2010 / 12:14 pm

    Oh my goodness I was laughing out loud as I read this. Maybe this is why I periodically have to put a moratorium on watching HGTV.


  7. pickygirlfoodfilmfiction August 21, 2010 / 1:26 pm

    Hilarious and oh-so-true. I don't have cable, but at the gym, HGTV is the only thing I want to watch. Of course, in CC, it becomes really obvious.

    That room, by the way, will give me nightmares – and not just because of the doll.


  8. Pamela Terry and Edward August 21, 2010 / 2:43 pm

    I often think a pretty fabulous drinking game could be created by HGTV's use of the ubiquitous phrase….”granite countertops”.

    Also, I really detest hearing a room called, “a space”. Scheesh.


  9. Thomas at My Porch August 21, 2010 / 5:00 pm

    Harry: We always think about having Mike Holmes to protect us from the other bad contractors, but I guess I haven't really thought about what doing it right would actually cost.

    dpv: To be fair some actually do say “gosh” instead of “god”

    Columnist: And their design skills are often as insufferable as their choice of phrases.

    Steerforth: I might be guilty of the first and third but hopefully not too often.

    Marieke: pop as in burst of color

    Kathleen: sometimes it hits the spot but my tolerance of it has gone way down.

    Steve: Great link. I was actually hoping to find something similar about HGTV. There must be something funny and subversive out there.

    Pickygirl: It does make on queasy.

    Pamela Terry and Edward: But you can't say granite without saying stainless steel as well. I was actually going to include “kitchen space” as one of the phrases but I wasn't sure if it would be as well understood as the others. Apparently it would have.


  10. Margaret Evans Porter August 22, 2010 / 12:26 pm

    I'm an HGTV addict, mostly House Hunters and HH International. The most used phrase on those programmes are the house hunter saying, “I'm not in love with… (fill in the blank: laminate counters or flooring, fitted carpet, popcorn ceiling, single sink master bath.)

    Now that we've recently completed a renovation project, I keep “staging” my rooms like we're about to place it on the market which we have absolutely no intention of doing. I didn't go through all the agony and disruption just so somebody else can enjoy the results!

    I'm not in love with (oops, it's contagious) Holmes. Too painful.


  11. Daniel-Halifax August 22, 2010 / 3:49 pm

    Eish, I totally agree with you!

    Last night we were discussing this after a girl described her creation on Project Runway as “Futuristic Resort Beachwear” or some such nonsense I can't remember correctly. What does that even mean?!


  12. Ash August 22, 2010 / 4:58 pm

    As someone who watches HGTV all the time this made me laugh hysterically. I love how on the show Color Splash that guy always talks about his custom art pieces. News flash: Your custom art pieces are just a bunch of paint splashed on a canvas.


  13. Elise August 23, 2010 / 2:59 am

    That is hilarious!! And depressingly accurate!


  14. Amanda August 24, 2010 / 9:57 am

    I knew that we were watching WAY TOO MUCH HGTV when Hope used the phrase “pop of color” to explain dirty laundry on her bedroom floor.

    She also spent an afternoon strewing stuffed animals about her grandmother's house and said she was “personalizing” the room.


  15. Thomas at My Porch August 24, 2010 / 12:21 pm

    Margaret: I kind of like HH International because of the look into foreign housing markets, but the domestic one I can't tolerate much anymore. Both shows always make me realize how out of the mainstream my views are.

    Daniel: Worse than the fact that the designer used that term on PR, was the diaper outfit that she created. Yikes.

    Ash: The one thing about the Color Splash guy is that I have seen on occasion that he actual has some skill with an artistic paint brush. But on that show it never approaches being “art”.

    Elise: Yet we keep watching.

    Amanda: Both of your stories are hilarious. It is amazing what kids pick up.


  16. sarahsbooks August 24, 2010 / 6:48 pm

    “…clean lines…”

    The phrase that haunts me from the years when I had cable, yearned for a house, and watched far too much HGTV. Everything “good” and “modern” had “clean lines.”


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