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Spaces takes irreverent look at decorating

Erica Wasser interviewsErica Wasser interviews celebrity designer Thom Felicia on her Spaces program, “INspaces with Erika Storm Wasser.”
NEW YORK - You wouldn't expect this on a home and garden show: A mother, referring to her son's living quarters and music studio in the basement of her home, says, "It doesn't look like a studio. It looks like a damn mess."
     OK, the mother's first generation Sicilian, the son calls her "Ma," the home is in Queens, and the 23-year-old has been living in her basement for seven years.
     But it's an example of the mild profanity and irreverence scattered through a new series of home, design and otherwise fun series launched online by the Digital Broadcasting Group called Spaces, the company's home and design channel on You Tube (
     Spaces officially debuted in April as part of YouTube's original channel initiative. It's an ongoing series of short, energetic shows that include "I Live with My Mom" (above), "Offbeat Space," "Profiles in Design," "Your Place Is a Deal Breaker," and a soon to be released series called "INspaces with Erika Storm Wasser." Spaces also is loaded with humor that's not to be taken seriously. In a segment on the spring market, host Wasser describes High Point as "the home of Chick-fil-A, childhood obesity and the High Point Market." In one segment opening, Wasser struggles to open a wine bottle; in another, a case is delivered while she's delivering her intro.
     The company describes Spaces as "a far cry from your typical DIY or renovation programs," offering "a documentary-style glimpse into the lives of homes of urban and suburban sophisticates, celebrities and people within the art, fashion, architecture and design world."
      "To us, Spaces reflects our company vision of what home and design program on the Web should be: inspirational, educational and highly addicting," said DBG Chief Creative Officer Richard Gomes. "We have a passion for storytelling and big screen values at DBG, and I think viewers will appreciate the high quality, fresh content they'll see uploaded to the Spaces channel every week."
     The Spaces content so far seems like MTV for the design world - youthful, urban, at times eccentric. Most of the videos are just a few minutes long.
     In an episode of "Your Place Is a Deal Breaker," the show makes over the apartment of a young urbanite whose centerpiece of design is a large picture of President Obama, which bugs his significant other. In another, a guy's girlfriend can't stand all the tiger paraphernalia he has scattered around. The end result for both is a design makeover that is pleasing to all.
     Wasser said there's no particular target audience for Spaces.
     "Honestly, we target anyone interested in design," she said. That includes design enthusiasts, people looking for inspiration and guidance, and design professionals. She said some shows will be for pure entertainment.
     Here's a brief description of some of some of the shows on the Spaces' roster:
     "Your Place Is a Deal Breaker," about couples who have partners who have unacceptable living spaces that might tear their relationships apart - or at least give them pause about moving in together.
     "Offbeat Spaces," a weekly docu-series with visits to amazingly tiny apartments, offices and spaces to show how much can be done with so little with the right amount of imagination and creative design.
     "Profiles in Design," a weekly show filled with short biographies about some standout interior designers, their work and impact on the industry at large.
     "I Live with My Mom," a makeover show hosted by Tracy Metro, which visits rooms of grown children who've moved      back into their old rooms, which are in need of updating.
     "INspaces with Erika Storm Wasser," a variety show of sorts with one of the first segments to air called "Wine with Wasser," in which she sits down, opens a bottle of wine and talks design. Early guests include designer Thom Filicia and J. Alexander Martin, co-founder and owner of clothing specialist FUBU.

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