Monday, November 23, 2015

As Seen on TV: Down to Earth and KUTV 2's Fresh Living Partner Together

"We want our set to feel like home and our viewers to feel like part of the conversation." --Melanie Kennedy, KUTV Fresh Living producer

This was just one of the wishes on the producers' list when it came to defining the direction of the new set of Fresh Living, their popular 3:30 pm program hosted by Casey Scott and Debbie Worthen. Being the number one lifestyle program in its market, they felt it was time for a set makeover—time for a look that reflects the show's status. They also wanted a set that represents what the program is about—something fresh and on trend that's also attainable and inviting. They were very clear about wanting a look that the show's loyal viewers could re-create at home. An environment that changed with the seasons and showcased items that are currently available for purchase right here in Utah. Items that won't cost viewers an arm and a leg to obtain. 

The answer to such a wish list: Down to Earth. Known for its style and approachable price points, this Gardner Village shop had just what the producers were after, so they made a few calls and put things in motion. 

The Process
How does one go about re-doing an entire TV set? The same way you'd approach a home re-design with Down to Earth, actually. In fact, the store offers in-home consultations and treats each client with the same attention to detail, even if you don't happen to produce a hit show from your home. Here's how idea becomes reality. 

Step 1: Meeting of the Minds
First, Melanie Kennedy and fellow Fresh Living producer, Richard Archuleta, met with Down to Earth designers, Michelle Meacham and Michael Roberts. It was during this time that the designers got an idea of the look the show wanted and the environment they had to work with. Here are a few of the before shots:

Step 2: Set to Sketch
Following the set visit, Michael sat down and sketched ideas he had in mind for the show. 

Step 3: Find a Springboard
This step is the one that puts the ideas in motion. It's finding that one special piece that drives the selection of everything else. This is an awesome tip to file away as you think about your own home updates. Look for an inspiration item and let it be your decorating guide. For the set of Fresh Living, that initial piece was this striking painting. 

Its combination of gold, cream, brown and navy guided the rest of the choices for the entire space. "Once you have an inspiration item in place, the rest of the room will generally come together with ease," said Michael. 

Step 4: In-store Staging
With sketches in hand and a color scheme in mind, the Down to Earth staff went to work selecting possible pieces and placing them on mocked-up set area right in their store. They wanted to make sure things worked before returning to the KUTV 2 studio. They're definitely a thorough bunch!

Step 5: Ice that Cake
"The accessories are like the icing on the cake," said Michael when describing Down to Earth's part of the set design process. Once the show had beautiful flooring, installed by Pro Floors of Utah, and new paint put on the walls, Down to Earth came in and brought the updated space to life with its furniture and accent elements. 

What a difference a floor makes. Here's the before and after. 

First, the big pieces were brought in. The sofas and chairs, tables, and shelving added structure to the empty space.

It was definitely a group effort. Here, show producers Richard and Melanie are moving the furniture. 

Down to Earth designers Michael and Michelle made sure everything was on the level. 

Step 6: Step Back to Assess
It was very much a trial and error process. The designers would place items, step back to review the placement, move things, step back again, and so on and so forth until they felt things were just as they should be. 

Step 7: A Splash of Seasonality
Fresh Living aims to inspire you seasonally as the year progresses, so you'll want to keep your eye on the attractive accent items added to the set with each new season—items you'll be able to find at Down to Earth. Here, Michael brings a little winter beauty to the scene. 

Step 8: Sit Back and Celebrate a Job Well Done
After a few meetings of the minds, some sketch work, in-store staging, and hard on-set work, the dream of an updated Fresh Living came to be. 

"I have high expectations, and they blew my mind," Melanie said.

Pro Tips
Want your own mind blown? Here are a few tips to apply to your surroundings when adding decorative updates. 

1. Let a piece you LOVE guide your choices and bring the room together cohesively. 

2. Select accessories in various shapes, heights and sizes to add interest.

3. Find ways to add interesting textures to your space.

4. When wanting to incorporate trends, accessorizing is the way to go. These smaller embellishments (throw pillows, vases, decorative items, etc.) will make your space feel current but are easy to replace when the time comes to update again. 

5. Don't be afraid to shake things up. This table runner was placed in a bunched fashion, giving the surfaces a more lively feel than if it had been placed in a straight, flat manner. 

6. Measure twice, hang once. 

7. Don't forget the fluff. Squished or droopy accent pillows will only drag a space down. Keep them looking lively by fluffing often. The secret to the fluff—a good karate chop! Hit the pillow in its center for an ideal shape (and a little stress relief). 

The Reveal 
See the outcome for yourself. The big reveal was today at 3:30 MST on channel 2. The Down to Earth designers were on set, discussing the process. See the segment on the Fresh Living website and check out the set every weekday at 3:30.  

Down to Earth in Your Home
Looking for a new home 'do? Let your friends at Down to Earth help. Whether you're seeking the answer to a few questions or desire a complete in-home consultation, their crew is ready to help you. Michael said the main goal of all of their designers is to give you the space you love. Trends and personal tastes aside, doing exactly what you love is exactly what they love. So let KUTV inspire you to do a little re-set of your own. 

Megan Hoeppner

P.S. Don't forget to enter our Celebrations by Modern Display $25 gift certificate giveaway. The contest closes Monday, Nov. 23. A winner will be announced next Wednesday, Dec. 2 on our blog. Good luck! 

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