Dana King | DIY Design Doesn’t Mean Do it BY Yourself

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Dana King and I have never actually met in person, though I have known her for nearly a decade.  Three years ago, she wrote in Dare, Dream, Do that she was going to start a vlog because it was her dream to produce a real reality tv show about interior design.  Now on the cusp of realizing that dream, Dana needs feedback about her idea and her demo tape — and where better than here?  After you read and watch, will you share your thoughts?

As a professional designer I receive distress calls nearly everyday: “Help, I need a paint color for my bedroom; help, my husband and I can’t agree on a new sofa; help, we need a new kitchen…etc.


For most folks I can provide the service they need. For others who can’t afford professional services or who want to do it themselves, how do they get help?

The solution is in the same tool I use as a professional — the power of teamwork. Collaboration is key. I rely on a team for the work I do, so why shouldn’t the homemaker – that includes guys too — who is trying to hang photos or rearrange furniture? Simple decorating tasks seem daunting to many, but are easier and a lot more fun when done in a group.

I am here to tell you, do-it-yourself doesn’t mean do-it-BY-yourself!

Stop the madness!

Truth is, decorating is a contact sport. We need a team to tackle our design dilemmas!

How many of you have taken friends shopping for clothes to get their opinions or just to make it more fun? Why not invite them in your home and ask the same questions about your interiors: how does this look? How can I make it better?

For over five years a group of women in St. Louis have been doing just that with my guidance and mentoring. I don’t give them ideas; I simply put them in a room and focus their attention towards making the space beautiful and functional. The results are amazing!

We call ourselves designHop, because each month we “hop” on over to someone’s home to makeover an interior space. Over the last five years we have done everything from hanging photos and decorating mantles to, in recent years, as the group’s confidence has grown, whole room makeovers!

The designHop originals caught the attention of the media and they have been featured on television and in the newspaper. Their enthusiasm is infectious and other groups have formed.

Now we want to share what we do with a larger audience. We have prepared a pilot television show! Whitney knows this has been my dream for many years to feature the designHop group on TV.

Design Hop Sizzle Reel from Color Red Media on Vimeo.

It’s been hard making the time between our day jobs. The designHop gals and I along with a talented producer and masterful videographer and other supportive friends have dedicated many unpaid hours for the last fifteen months across two cities to make this happen. And now we are closer to realizing our goal. We are presenting our pilot to a small significant network on the 19th.

Unlike other decorating shows, ours is not a “trading spaces”, rather it’s staying in your space, using the resources you have. No designer shows up at the door with hunky handymen, asks you to leave and then showers you with gifts of furniture and flat screen TVs.

How many people will be that lucky? Or unlucky, if you consider you are giving your space wholesale to another to decorate without your input. I don’t even do that as a professional!

The point is we have it within ourselves to create our own group of decorating divas – maybe even have our own hunky handymen! We can end the anxiety of many who find creating beautiful and functional living spaces an overwhelming task.

We think our designHop is real reality. We show how the power of neighborhood: friends, colleagues, the PTO, your church…can make a difference to beautify living spaces.

We hope this real-reality reality decorating show can make it in front of a large audience. We believe our group of everyday stay-at-home and working moms, among them: lawyers, teachers, nurses, scientists…etc. can start a decorating movement to inspire others, if they are given a chance to shine.

We invite you to see our sizzle reel…and tell us what you think about the possibilities this show offers.

Can you share why the network should consider our show?

How does it compare to other decorating shows?

Do you like the look of our show?

What are your ideas to make it the best it can be?

What if our pitch is rebuffed by the network, then what? Where do we go next and why?

Finally in addition to comments on D to D, we invite you to “like” our Facebook page– https://www.facebook.com/DesignHop  — and share the designHop love with your friends. You may also visit our website: www.designhop.com to learn how to start your own group.

Follow us to find out where to catch our next episode!

Thank you Dare to Dream community for supporting our dream!


This is Whitney again — thank you!

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