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The DIY conformists

Television's domestic makeover shows can't resolve the tension between individuality and comformity

By Kathryn Hughes   March 2000

If you’re in the habit of watching television before 9pm, then you may be feeling a bit queasy about how unstable the world has become. This spring’s schedule continues to be dominated by programmes whose organising assumption is that everything is on the point of turning into something else. Before your eyes the teams from Changing Rooms, Ground Force, Home Front and Better Homes promise to transform your habitual surroundings beyond all recognition. An inoffensive magnolia kitchen morphs into an American diner; a sedate herbaceous border makes way for a Lake District-style rock feature; a teenager’s bedroom is transformed into…

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