Grab a cuppa Grand Designers and come on in for the fourth edition of the blog series where we follow the ups and downs of 2018’s eager participants. This week we’ll be giving you a double low down on how Kevin McCloud got on in Sheffield and Leominster. We’ll take you through the projects themselves and more importantly we’ll look at how each couple achieved their final interior look.
Both episode four’s Alex and Steph and twins Nik and Jon Daughtry from episode five were working to two of this season’s tightest budgets with no less ambitious aims. Having spent £200k on the land that Steph grew up on, Leominster’s couple were hoping to create a majestic cantilevered barn with just £250k. Nik and Jon had even more lofty goals, planning to build not one but two properties with a meagre £350k in total. The projects prove impossible to complete on their budgets, but a little creative planning and the odd cash injection mean that all four participants do eventually end up with fabulous new roofs over their heads.
Due to their cash flow status, both properties end up clad in black steel with large expanses of glass, looking austere yet sleek from the outside. Larger and cleverly placed smaller windows flood the houses with light as well as framing some of the best scenery that the surrounding landscape offers.
As with the exteriors, both episodes saw their contestants trying to cut costs without affecting their original plans for their interior aesthetics. Steph and Alex tackled their predicament by swapping out expensive design elements for cheaper imitations that provide the same overall effect and ending up with a polished look. Nik and Jon opted for a more industrial and exposed feel, saving money by leaving breezeblocks free from plaster and ply panels the only cover for walls and ceilings.
Despite their differences, all three houses feature similarly modern and bright interior design. Though the size of the houses gives them the potential to feel cold and empty, the participants’ carefully selected furniture and accessories bring enough colour and warmth to make the layouts feel cosy.
Getting the Look
Your first step to recreating a similar style is increasing the number of light sources in your home. Swapping out windows is expensive and messy, but there are other ways to achieve this. Start by strategically placing mirrors opposite existing windows to maximise natural illumination. Next add floor and table lamps at different levels to improve light throughout your home.
If you want an industrial look without replumbing and wiring your entire house, you can still create a similar feel through your furniture and accessory choices. Select copper and brass lighting fixtures, handles and accents to reflect the metals of piping. Add furniture in industrial materials such as concrete coffee tables and sideboards and steel bookcases. Where you can, leave light bulbs exposed and avoid using colour or patterns on walls – think clinical, not plush.
The polished look requires everything to be neatly finished with a home for everything and everything in its home. Pipes and wires must be thoughtfully hidden, and paintwork perfectly applied. Accessories should look clean cut and luxurious, think marble side tables and white framed art prints. Light grey also works wonderfully in this style of interior design, bringing a tasteful yet understated look especially for fabric furnishings like sofas and rugs.
There are very few homes that don’t improve with extra illumination, so this should be your first port of call for a redesign. When choosing the rest of your modern furnishing selections, decide the final look you wish to achieve. If you fancy an industrial interior go for metal accents and fittings and, where possible, keep finishes raw and neutral. The décor in a polished home style should be clean and neat, so keep wires and pipes hidden and go for more luxury looking pieces.
Did you love Sheffield’s gorgeous green sofa? Then check out our blog, Tasteful in Teal: Teal Accessories for Living Rooms to discover more ways to incorporate this stunning tone.