19 May 2017

Grand Designs: A Refreshing "New" Home Design Show

I first heard about Grand Designs from the Young House Love Has A Podcast hosted by John and Sherry Petersik a couple of weeks ago. It's new to us here in the U.S. but in the U.K. many seasons have aired. I checked it out and have to say I binged all the episodes within two weeks...I realize that's not really binging in the "didn't leave my house for three days until I'd watched every episode" context, but for someone who is quite busy, I got through them pretty quickly.
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Here are the reasons I really like this show:

1) The host and writer, Kevin McCloud is completely likable. There is nothing annoying to him. He is curious, kind, generous, and asks the right and often obvious questions viewers want to know. He makes the show better in every way.

2) The homebuilders are dreamers and risk takers. No one is whining about granite countertops and stainless steels appliances here. (Little HGTV joke.) The homebuilders on this show are doing remarkable things and sometimes it works out and sometimes there are some major disasters and yet they all make it work the best they can. Some of the biggest doubters are often family members.

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3) Every story doesn't wrap up perfectly every time. Sometimes the homeowners run out of money and the homes don't get all glamorously and magically finished. There are disagreements between spouses and mother nature certainly has taken her toll in a few episodes. But there is still a warm, hopeful, upbeat feeling to the show.

4) There is always an element of attempting the impossible in each episode. These builders are really trying to do new things and envision new ways of doing things.

5) There are some amazing homes features. Some are very expensive and some are not. But they are all very unique.

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6) You get some great lessons on architecture. This show is more about building the house than furnishing the house. You can learn a lot about different building techniques and materials. You do get to see the decorated or at least partially decorated house at the end but there isn't a lot of time spent on the furnishing aspect.

7) The build locations are often unbelievably beautiful spots all over Great Britain. If you like lush, green meadows and ocean cliffs, you'll definitely get that here.

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I thought initially that there were two seasons available on Netflix, but later noticed that it's episodes that bounce around between the many seasons that have been made of the show.  Hopefully at some point Netflix will add more episodes of Grand Designs and perhaps put them into chronological order. Most of the episodes featured right now are from 2009-2012. So there is a lot of talk about "the bad economy" and situations that now seem to have been a long time ago now. But those elements don't take anything away from the enjoyment of the show.

I'm recommending this show! If you check it out I'd love to hear what you think. Leave a comment below or comment on other social media. Happy viewing.

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