11 Failed Home Makeovers on Reality TV That Will Make You Cringe

When we think of home makeovers, we picture the successful ones by HGTV – where shabby homes are transformed into state-of-the-art residences and the lucky recipients of the makeovers are jumping with joy while overwhelming tears of gratitude are streaming down their faces.

Well, unfortunately, not every family who undergoes a major home makeover receives a happy ending. Here are some of the worst home makeovers in history that have aired on reality TV, and we kid you not: none of these scenes were staged.

On BBC’s Your Home in Their Hands, people put the fate of their home in the hands of amateur interior designers, which is never a good idea. Check out these cringe-worthy episodes:

1. Pattern nightmare

Video credit: BBC

When this British couple stepped into their “new” home, they were shocked at the conflicting patterns and colours. They even asked for the designer to be “locked in a cupboard.”

2. Sketchy childish bedroom

Video credit: BBC

This was another disastrous masterpiece from an amateur designer. Not only did the parents’ bedroom look disturbingly morbid… their teenage daughter’s room was also ruined with childish sketches that were probably intended to be French-chic. Not the outcome she was expecting.

3. This home looks like something out of Little Shop of Horrors.

Oh no, did you see how the woman teared up at the end? She was choking back tears of regret while her husband tried to comfort her on camera, but everyone could tell how deeply grieved they were. On another episode of Your Home in Their Hands, the Baileys’ cosy home was deduced to a weird balance between a tropical rainforest and a Barbie play home nightmare.

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4. Too much colour

Video credit: BBC

The Geoghegans wanted colour… and was that too much to ask? Apparently not. The designers on Your Home in Their Hands injected way too much colour here. Their bedroom became a whimsical, dizzying whirl of florals, prints, and tacky plastic chandeliers! It looked like a scene out of Alice and Wonderland, and that’s not a compliment.

5. Disappointed dreams

Although the Mrs. Ahmed announced that she liked the kitchen, the suppressed emotions on her husband’s and parents’ faces were not very convincing. Anyway, when they moved into the dining room, the Ahmeds could no longer retain their disappointment. This was another failed job by the amateur designers.


Speaking of amateurs, Hildi Santo-Tomas was an interior designer on the TLC home renovation series, Trading Spaces. She’s best known for her eclectic taste in design, which made us think that she might be better off designing paintings instead of homes. How she landed a role on TV still baffles us, because her designs clearly belong in a wacko art museum. Take a look:

6. The flowery bathroom

As you can see, Hildi’s overpoweringly adoration of flowers drove her to staple 7,000 silk flowers in the bathroom of the unlucky recipients of this makeover.

Floral nightmare bathroom
Photo credit: buzzfeed

7. Beach nightmare

worst home makeover

The homeowners wanted a relaxing, beachy atmosphere. What a real professional would’ve done was install nautical-themed aesthetics and gentle colour palettes like sea blue and baby green. But not Hildi – she actually emptied barrels of sand in the room and dressed the walls with cheap, yellow and red stripes that resembled a circus tent. Oh, if she thought the faux coconut tree could help the mood, she was awfully wrong.

8. Oh, hay there and everywhere!

hay room straw walls trading spaces
Photo credit: Hooked On Houses

Yikes, yikes, yikes. What on earth was Hildi thinking?! The homeowners wanted this room to be a fun playroom for their kids, but Hildi thought it’d be a great idea to glue hay on the walls.

9. A shameless portrait

terrible home makeover - wall mosaic by hildi santo tomas
Photo credit: Hooked On Houses

As though it wasn’t bad enough to have Hildi design homes, she had to leave a staunch reminder of herself on the wall. It was supposed to be a feature wall, and Hildi was clearly thinking about featuring herself.

10. Leave Alice in Wonderland out of our homes!

Photo credit: House Beautiful

First, painting the living room black just made the entire space look dark, cramped and foreboding. Then the designers bought extra furniture by mistake and had no choice but to use it as decor and hang it upside down from the ceiling – there is no other logical reason as to why they did it. Unless they were living in an alternate universe where nothing makes sense, you know, like Wonderland.

11. The room that looked like a CSI murder scene

Photo credit: House Beautiful

This. is. not. okay.

Every ounce of the homeowers’ dream just died the moment they entered this room.

For more disastrous makeovers on Trading Spaces, watch this compilation.

Having a professional interior designer who shares your vision is extremely important. Your home is our concern. So save yourself the misery and get in touch with our talented interior designers on Kaodim today and receive free quotes after submitting your request!

written by Carissa Gan