Tapping into America’s national obsession with home-makeover shows, IKEA has announced an open call for anyone who desperately needs a design makeover. Part reality show, part infomercial, the IKEA Home Tour Series has been showcasing the company’s crack team of design experts transforming ugly rooms across America over the past few years.
This year, the “Home Tour Squad,” as the special design unit is called, will service the US northeast region. Design-challenged homeowners in Philadelphia, New York, New Jersey, Washington DC, and Boston can now apply for a free makeover by making a short video telling IKEA what they want to do with their problem room. IKEA will cover cost of the furniture.
This video gives tips on how to prepare a winning application.
“Decorating can be daunting to most people for a variety of different reasons—from lack of design expertise to time or financial constraints—but we believe every American deserves a home that looks good, works well and is friendly to their wallet,” says the series’s project manager, Kerri Homsher. “The IKEA Home Tour was created to inspire consumers and help them realize that they can easily and affordably update their living spaces to reflect their personal needs and tastes.”
The Home Tour Series is shot and produced by actual IKEA employees, who take a break from the store duties to give at-home makeovers. Home Tour Squad team manager Rocky Brewer says traveling the country over the past two years has made him realize exactly how many Americans feel clueless when it comes to home interiors. “What I learned is that there are common challenges. One of those challenges is that [American homeowners] feel kinda stuck and don’t know how to move forward,” he says.
Over 189 episodes published on IKEA’s YouTube channel, Brewer and his team give tips on transforming spaces like a shoddy man cave, a disorganized crafts room, a lackluster mother-in-law suite, and, of course, many cramped apartments. IKEA says that their Home Tour Series videos have garnered 71 million views to date.
Brewer, who also leads the kitchen design department at IKEA’s Portland, Oregon store, has one universal tip to empower befuddled home decorators: Think of your goals before the décor. “If people would just evaluate how they want to use an area, they can really make a space for themselves that works,” he explains. “By prioritizing, you can go through and say ‘these are three main things I want to do in here,’ and then you can find the best pieces to make that happen.”