Weekend indulgences: Watching Grand Designs UK

It’s kinda become a favourite weekend activity of ours i.e. watching episodes of Grand Designs together. 

Grand Designs is a British television series presented Kevin McCloud that features various homebuilding projects. It’s been around for over 10 years but it’s only recently that we found out about it when we stumbled upon an episode on Starhub’s BBC Lifestyle channel (432). Each episode features one project from the design/planning phase to completion (if the project is completed, but not all are!).

So why do we like it? For me, it’s both inspirational (if it’s a good episode) yet bittersweet. Inspirational cos it’s nice to follow the homeowner’s journeys as they embark on building their dream homes, and seeing their happiness when the project is completed. You know how you can see people’s faces light up when they talk about their passions or happy things? You can actually see the ‘light’ in the faces/eyes of some of the homeowners when they are interviewed by Kevin McCloud after they have moved into their new dream homes and describe how excited they are to go home and/or how their lives have changed.

And it’s bittersweet cos as inspired as we both feel, building our version of ‘grand designs’ in Singapore is probably close to impossible given the price/costs of a landed property. Plus… without the kind of wide spaces and lush views that the UK homeowners have, I’m guessing that achieving the same effortless beauty from the gorgeousness of the land around the new homes is nearly impossible.

Anyway, I thought to share some of my favourite episodes/homes so far. Hope you enjoy them too. (Unfortunately couldn’t find them in HD format)

In no particular order:

“A 21st Century Answer to the Roman Villa: Revisited” – Season 10, Episode 11 (revisited from series 5)

“Six years after his first visit, Kevin returns to see how the O’Hare’s fared with their split-level home cascading down a practically vertical hillside in Belfast.”

My thoughts: Gorgeous. I can just imagine staying in the house and being really happy. Love the big garden too.

“The Scandinavian House” – Season 10, Episode 6

“Following Kathryn Tyler as she designs and builds her Scandinavian-inspired eco house in Falmouth.”

My thoughts: Simple, unpretentious and under-budget. Another project that I can imagine staying in.

“The Modest Home: Revisited” – Season 13, Episode 11 (from series 10)

“Six years ago Lucie Fairweather and Nat McBride began to build an affordable eco home in Woodbridge for themselves and their two young children. However, their journey was to be about more than bricks and mortar. Just before they got started, Nat discovered he had cancer, and after just a few months he passed away. Lucie decided to carry on with the project Nat had devised. Kevin McCloud returns to find out just how life has moved on for Lucie and to discover whether her wonderful and striking house has become part of the landscape.”

My thoughts: A bit smaller than what I would like, but otherwise I like the simple design. Rather touching too and I think the architect did such a fantastic job. Unfortunately couldn’t find the re-visit episode in Season 13, so here is the Season 10 one. By the way, this house is one of Kevin McCloud’s favourite too. You can see the list here: click to read.

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