Kirsty McLuckie: Going overboard with home makeovers
Had I the budget – and the type of house that merited it – I would love nothing more than to pore over swatches and mood boards to reimagine the concept of my home.
I’d come up with statement walls and bold textiles, and commission bespoke items to reflect our family’s personality and lifestyle – alas, it is beyond my means.
It is a nice thought, though. We’ve all spent far too many hours in our own homes in the last two years, and the whole nation appears to be undergoing something of a decorating craze.
So much so, that there is a long waiting list for most tradespeople and, added to this, there are difficulties in the supply chain for some materials.
For many then, any redecoration will fall to ourselves and whether it is because of budgetary constraints, shortage of materials, or an interest in sustainability, upcycling is one of the biggest current trends.
Pinterest is full of project ideas, Facebook bombards us with videos of cool crafts and type in “upcycling” on YouTube and you’ll find instructions for making everything from wall clocks out of old vinyl records – sacrilege! – to a coffee table from a vintage pine door.
In light of the renewed collective enthusiasm for such projects, perhaps it is no surprise that Changing Rooms is back.
The makeover TV show was last a hit in the 1990s but now, the nation’s saviour, it would seem, is Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, still in his trademark leather trousers and neckerchief after all these years.
And he’s armed with sheets of MDF, a staple gun and the drive to impose his ideas for a room often in direct opposition to the requests of the homeowner.
It is easy to laugh at Changing Rooms’ finished designs. There is always a sense of loucheness which is not entirely all about Laurence himself, coupled with bonkers ideas done on a shoestring, which look as if they will fall apart the very moment the TV crew packs up and leaves.
And while interiors specialists in the real world will take inspiration from lots of sources, not least the owners’ tastes, it is to be hoped that only those wanting to make entertaining TV would insist on sticking so steadfastly to a theme for each room, particularly one which has no bearing on the owners’ lives, the style of house or the location.
The first two victims of the new series ended up with a drag queen-style bedroom complete with wall art made of hair, and a lounge re-imagined as an Indian fantasia, with a peacock swing seat as a centrepiece. This was in a two-up, two-down terrace in Swansea.
All of which got me thinking, as I have a mind to give the kitchen a bit of a revamp. I had envisaged the overall theme of the room to be cooking, and, err, eating.
But inspired by Laurence, perhaps I should go for something a bit more adventurous. A Vatican Baroque art theme or decor reminiscent of the Cuban Missile Crisis perhaps.
I’m open to suggestions – answers on a postcard…
- Kirsty McLuckie is property editor at The Scotsman