pick of the week

Grand De­signs

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television -

Sun­day, 7.40pm, ABC1 OK, so Kevin McCloud, pic­tured, has been walk­ing us through am­bi­tious ren­o­va­tions for 14 years now, but he never fails to sur­prise with a new pro­ject be­ing tack­led by peo­ple who ap­pear to be liv­ing in la-la land. A sur­vivor of sev­eral ren­o­va­tions, I’m in awe of any­one who takes on any­thing more chal­leng­ing than a new bath­room and dur­ing the process doesn’t stran­gle a trades­man or two. So when th­ese projects — they nearly al­ways run way over bud­get and dead­line — turn out to be a stun­ning suc­cess, I’m in­spired to have an­other go. In this episode Kevin fol­lows the Love­locks, per­fec­tion­ist Au­drey, an in­te­rior de­signer, and Jeff, a city trader, who have moved from a splen­did coun­try home to Hol­land Park in cen­tral Lon­don. They’re af­ter lots of space (didn’t they get enough in the coun­try?) and af­ter find­ing what they wanted cost £15 mil­lion they set­tled for a ground-floor stu­dio flat in a 1904 build­ing orig­i­nally con­structed as an artists’ colony. The de­sired space comes via a mul­ti­lay­ered dis­used base­ment, which adds 290sq m to the prop­erty. Money is ob­vi­ously no ob­ject yet Au­drey is coy about the pur­chase price and ren­o­va­tion bud­get. Luck­ily Jeff has given her an open cheque. Kevin guesses the to­tal cost is eas­ily sev­eral mil­lion pounds and won­ders about the re­sale value. Au­drey does, aha, fall out with the builders and has to hire again, but the Love­locks end up with a fab­u­lous show­piece. If you like liv­ing un­der­ground.

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