Is anyone else out there as in love with Kevin McCloud and Grand Designs as I am? I bought Mr Kitty the 7 series box set for Christmas and since then we have been greedily devouring episodes every night. We’re currently on series 4 and running through episodes fast. I have already seen many of them – they feel like old friends – but others are new and provide hours of entertainment and inspiration.
I love the creativity in the designs, the inspiration and thoughtfulness, the aspirations of the home builders, but most of all I love the passion that people have for interesting design and well-crafted finishes. Yes, some people are slightly mad (read: completely insane) regarding their quest to have the perfect house, but that just makes them even more compelling viewing. I love his questioning and probing about the designs, the pithy remarks about design principles or ability of the owners to build their dream creations on time and budget.
The houses featured are anything but your standard, run of the mill boxes that go up around our suburbs on a daily, if not hourly, basis. Like the house next to us which looks like the back half –made of ugly grey unrendered brick – will remain unpainted. Kevin would be aghast and scathing in his criticism. I’m seriously thinking of writing them a cheque just to paint that wall so that I don’t have to look at its hideousness for the next 20 years.
Contrary to project home builders, the owners and builders on Grand Designs often incorporate sound fundamentals and often environmentally friendly design principles into their houses; they respect and appreciate their location and have a real sense of timeliness and heritage. Or timelessness in some cases. And most of all, they reflect the lives of the people that live in them rather that providing a generic space to shelter.
Building a house for most people is a dream, a chance to put all of their ideas, love and creativity into one project that they will continue to live with and cherish for years to come. A chance to leave something innovative and inspirational for future generations. Although I don’t deny it’s a challenge – one most people might believe is beyond them – I think the one thing that Grand Designs tells us is that ordinary people can come up with some of the most extraordinary houses and dwellings. You don’t have to be an architect to have a vision.
As for our Grand Design, well, it’s coming along. Mr Kitty assures me that the plans will be into council by my birthday at the beginning of February. Approximately one year after he originally said they would be. But who’s counting? I’ve been adding to my folio of ideas though. Miss Kitty has some interesting interiors planned, that’s for sure. And some of the inspiration has indeed been provided by the fabulous Kevin. For better or worse we are investing our hearts and souls into this house and are excited by the journey ahead of us.
Image from tvscoop.tv.