Nearly every room in my home looks as if it’s been lifted from the “before” frame in an HGTV show: Sheets in disarray. Aggressively mismatched colors. Picture frames askew. It’s as if a small tornado had swept through my apartment. I’m afraid I’m in no position to summon the will to redecorate, nor, really, can I scrounge up the money to do so.
Well, I’m in luck. I’m in one of the four metro areas that IKEA’s Home Tour Squad will be visiting beginning this fall for the fourth installment of its Home Tour series, announced earlier this week. IKEA's Home Tour, if you're unfamiliar, is an online docuseries that features the “Home Tour Squad,” a team of five design experts in pinstripe polos, transforming bland, cluttered interiors across America into domestic marvels.
The spirit of the series is appealingly democratic, acknowledging that not all Americans may have the capital to remodel rooms themselves. "Decorating can be daunting to most people for a variety of different reasons—from lack of design expertise to time or financial constraints,” Kerri Homsher, IKEA Home Tour project manager, said in a statement. “But we believe every American deserves a home that looks good, works well, and is friendly to their wallet.”
Past episodes of the series, which launched in 2014, are widely available on IKEA’s YouTube channel. Episodes are rarely longer than five minutes, and each hews to a similar arc: We’re introduced to an untidy room somewhere in America, and the Squad, mildly horrified, then strategizes around how to best reinvigorate the bland, feckless space with IKEA products.
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Episodes for the fourth season are set to go live in February of next year, and this season will be limited to the East Coast. To apply, you simply need to select a room in your home that needs a revamp; write a short essay outlining your aspirations for your space; and upload a video, three minutes or shorter (and shot in landscape!) that showcases your home, your personality, and why your room's in dire need of a facelift. The application dates for each metro area are as follows:
Philadelphia: August 23 – September 24
New York/New Jersey: October 9 – November 12
Washington, D.C.: January 1 – February 4
Boston: February 26 – April 1
Need pointers on how to craft a standout application? Take a look at the video above, and apply here. I’m jazzed they’re coming to New York. Wish me luck.
Mayukh Sen is a James Beard Award-winning food and culture writer in New York. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Bon Appetit, and elsewhere. He won a 2018 James Beard Award in Journalism for his profile of Princess Pamela published on Food52.