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Listen, we all enjoy watching shows with spectacular homes that are taken to the next level with really creative designs. But let’s be honest about what we find more interesting: the lives of designers. There’s a reason people loved the drama that unfolded at the time fixer above‘Chip and Joanna Gaines’ marriage broke up and when jeff lewis would erupt in subordinates Flip out it made for good reality TV. So what will we see in a new Netflix series where a married couple runs their own design company?

opening shot: Lots of shots of high end real estate in Miami. “Miami is a designer’s dream,” says Ray Jimenez.

The essentials: Ray and his wife Eilyn Jimenez are both interior designers and each own their own design company. Her aesthetic is minimalist modern and his is more colorful and bold but still with an eye on modern furniture and furnishings. Both work in the high-end market, designing homes worth millions.

Eilyn works with a former NFL player who wants a modern yet masculine aesthetic in their home. One of her big design features was a metal wine cellar over a marble fireplace, which her father, as a contractor, had to repair when he started warping. She also had pillars installed to enclose a metal staircase. A problem; The customer lives in the house and sees everything going on. When he calls to say he’s coming home early from a trip to Europe, Eilyn and her staff have to pull themselves together.

Ray has separated from his business partner and is starting his own business; The two share time with the former company’s employees, and Ray hopes they’ll both join his company full-time. One of his projects involves a couple who want their bleak-looking, modern home to be cozy and fun, and they only have the weekend to come up with a plan.

In their personal lives, both consider their companies their children and both take their time. But Ray’s large Dominican family is pushing her to have children, something Eilyn resents, even if she seems good-naturedly ripping them off at a family dinner. They also bought a house which they tore down except for the stud farms so they can remodel and move their dogs in.

Design Miami
Photo: Netflix

What shows will it remind you of? There are countless other design and home improvement shows that feature couples, such as: fixer above. Of course, not all couples make it on these shows, as in fixer above.

Our opinion: If you’re in the mood to check out tons of real estate and design porn, then Design Miami is the show for you. The first episode introduces us to the Jimenezes, establishes their individual aesthetics, and shows why they each have their own companies instead of working together. We also see the employee situation with everyone. Otherwise, there are lots of customer interviews, shots of Eilyn’s office being renovated, and plenty of before/after or before/in work shots.

It’s all pretty generic stuff… until bits of her private life creep in. The issue of children is a major bone of contention between Ray and Eilyn; Ray says he’s ready, but Eilyn insists – rightly so – that she shouldn’t be forced to have children until she’s ready. And given her zest for action, her love of design, and her ambition to grow her company, it’s pretty clear she’s not ready, and perhaps won’t be any time soon. During an interview segment, the two address the baby issue, and it’s one of the few parts of the first episode that felt authentic.

As much as we want to see glittery houses and interior designs, that hasn’t driven reality shows like this; It is a chaotic personal life or a conflict between employer and employee. In upcoming season one attractions, we might see some of the latter with Ray, and there might be some client mishegas. However, it really does feel like this show will set itself apart by either seeing Ray and Eilyn compete head-to-head for a big client, exploring their conflict over expanding their family, or both.

gender and skin: Lots of real estate and design porn.

farewell shot: As the Jimenezes pass the South Beach clubs, Eilyn gets a call that her client is returning early from Europe. So it seems that date night ends early too.

sleeping star: Ray’s family’s taunts about him and Eilyn not having children are not overbearing, but still have an impact on them. Eilyn is particularly annoyed, even though she looks like she’s taking it easy.

Most pilot line: As he walks down Ocean Drive in South Beach, Ray talks about how great it is that all of the Art Deco architecture has been preserved there. Not only does it sound scripted, it certainly doesn’t sound like the most romantic date night talk.

Our appeal: SKIP IT. if Design Miami starts to show more of Ray and Eilyn’s personal lives and marital issues along with the real estate and design stuff it might be watchable. But right now there’s too much of the latter and too little of the former to make the show interesting.

Joel Keller (@joelkeller) writes about food, entertainment, parenting and technology, but he doesn’t fool himself: He’s a TV junkie. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Slate, Salon,, VanityFair.comFast Company and elsewhere.

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