Bad Builders Bang to Rights has just aired on ITV1, where I was the ‘on screen’ Designer. I have been so flattered about the comments and interest from the rooms, especially for the last episode, that I decided to create a post about the makeover . The premise of the show is that presenter Dom Littlewood confronts the bad builders who have essentially ruined homeowners lives, and this is where I come in. In just two weeks myself and my design team (Jack, Eleanor, Sian and Polly) and build team (Chris, Leigh and Mike) work around the clock to create a home that the owners have always dreamt of. Below are some before and after shots along with images of the finished rooms.
It is true when I say that this renovation was the toughest challenge of my career. When Chris and I first did a recce of the house, we were both certain that it couldn’t be completed in the timescale we had, we even went back to production and told them so. Amazingly, Chris managed to bring some more tradesmen on site and myself, along with my design team, worked around the clock to make it happen, it was a real challenge and almost didn’t happen, the house was only rendered a few hours before we filmed the Reveal!
The kitchen was the biggest challenge as the layout that Emily wanted just didn’t work. She originally had two sets of french doors along one wall making it impossible run units along two walls. I stayed up until the early hours trying to reconfigure the space to create a contemporary room that delivered on her brief of; a breakfast bar, a place for her and Art to sit and space to prep food. In the end I proposed that she removed the second set of french doors and instead replaced them with a window (image above) this allowed me run units along both walls giving her the peninsula and breakfast bar she so desperately wanted – she loved it (thankfully!)
Emily’s bedroom needed a huge amount of work doing to it. For some reason, the previous builder had used breeze blocks to make the original window smaller? Chris and I had no idea why he would have dome this, especially as this was the master bedroom and had the best views in the house. We got to work on this as soon as we could and knocked the breeze blocks out to let the light floor back in.
I knew that Emily wanted a soft and muted palette and so the obvious paint to choose was Farrow and Ball. I stuck to similar tones with the soft furnishings and created interest with pattern texture mixing furs, velvet and linen, all with their own unique designs. Task lighting was introduced with an over-sized anglepoise and similar colored curtains were used to create an unobtrusive frame to the french doors, which allowed you to take in the view of the garden. Living room paint is Pavilion Grey by Farrow & Ball.
The dining room was one of my favourite rooms to design as once the bookshelf was built, it all started to come together. We hunted high and low for a unique dining table and eventually Polly found one in Brighton with chairs to match. I also sourced this reclaimed fire surround which I fell in love with, the only thing we didn’t have time to do was install the woodburner but I am hoping that Emily can do this at a later stage. The look and feel I wanted to achieve was boho/vintage vibe mixed with a dramatic paint backdrop.
The arched shelving system was a special commission that our joiner, Mike Cooper, made. I think he did an incredible job. I deliberated for ages on how far into the room the shelves should come and in the end, settled on 70cm, this was enough to separate the two rooms and define the dining room space but still allowed the downstairs area to feel open plan.
As I mentioned the kitchen space was my biggest challenge as it was 2m x 8m long and even though I could create two walls for my run of units, I still had to link the small dining area to the rest of the kitchen. As the width of the kitchen was so narrow you couldn’t have units on both walls, instead I ran units half way down and then used small storage systems to visually link the space.
I knew that Emily like natural and reclaimed materials, hence the introduction of the herb stand and mesh metal holders; perfect for light items such as postcards or recipes. We loved the herb stand as it’s so stylish and functional. Try Rocket St George for both items
The curtains an blinds were all made using the same sheer linen fabric from Villa Nova. The very talented Hole in The Wall worked so hard to make them all! I decided on Roman blinds for the kitchen and dining room and 4 panels of lined curtains for the living room.
The beautiful pictures below were by More Than Words. We took 50 words that were personal the family and then created 3 pictures as a keepsake.
Lots of people have asked where the kitchen tiles were from, they are the Arabesque Hana light collection from Johnson -Tiles