Here’s my guilty secret. I love property porn. By that I mean I love watching property shows, I love pawing over the adverts in Latest Homes each week, I love fantasy shopping for a new home that varies with my mood and financial realism. I even love playing a spot of fantasy re-modelling with my current abode, adding a turret here and a roof garden there in my mind’s eye. I’m no Kirstie Allsopp and have yet to be let loose on a wall with a sledge hammer, but that’s not to say the idea doesn’t tickle some part of my mind with possible glee. So when I heard that a new show was coming my way called Make My Home Bigger, it was almost as if the makers had heard me having a six-year-old strop at the unfairness of only having the one bathroom. Intrigued? Yes, I was.
Make My Home Bigger, hosted by the lovely Jonnie Irwin, is taking note of those people who have found their ideal home in its ideal location but could do with a bit more space. Charmingly, the first project our Jonnie covers is in Brighton. Katherine and Michael, or Kath and Mick as their friends call them, live in a converted power station and thanks to four years (these things don’t happen overnight people) of questioning, cajoling and doggedly pursuing – the couple have now got both ownership of the empty space above their apartment and planning permission to convert it. It’s massive. The same footprint as their rather smart pad below, and they’re in the enviable position of not needing to create as many rooms as possible from it. Insert your own huge grin here to match mine at the prospect of a lush open bedroom with walk-in closets and the most impressive bathroom you’ll find this side of Homes Of The Rich And Famous.
“…the most impressive bathroom you’ll find this side of Homes Of The Rich And Famous”
I may be over egging the pudding here, but I don’t think so.
Anyway, they’re also going to cut into their existing living area creating a mezzanine living space with a trés high ceiling and lots of lovely space and light. The other new rooms, although not able to have windows added due to it upsetting the ‘symmetry’ of the building, get their natural light delivered first class down the six sky lights Kath and Mick are having installed. And they’ve got a budget of £50k. And they’ve just got married in Jamaica. And they’re just about to go off on their honeymoon to the Maldives for two weeks, so they’ll be away when all of the major works are being done to their home. Ever get the feeling these two have got it made but might like to swap lives with the rest of us on a rotation basis so we all get a go?
Actually, it’s not all flowers and diamonds in paradise as Kath gets seriously ill, which I wouldn’t wish upon anyone. And the rest… well, that’s the reason you might like to watch the show, to see how it progresses – the peaks and troughs and compromises of a home changing its shape.
At only half an hour Make My Home Bigger doesn’t go into the same kind of detail as Grand Designs, and to be fair it doesn’t need to. It’s sort of doing the job of both property and make-over programmes in one, prompting the same result both genres generate – a second look at your own home. That turret I want might not be seen as a structurally sound addition to a terraced flat, but other things could be. And if not to my home, then to those I visit. Which would also be a lot easier on my pocket. I’m a visionary, darlink – not a banker!
Make My Home Bigger, Home, Monday 7 May