Brand New House on a Budget

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A talented interior designer is challenged to do a huge home makeover on the tiniest budget, using clever styling tricks, bargain hunting and upcycling to transform drab houses into beautiful family homes.

Want design perfection but think you can’t afford it? This show is stacked with great tips to reinvigorate tired décor and fix those DIY disasters. In the UK, the queen of interior design, Linda Barker, demonstrates what amazing results can be achieved with a budget of just £5k. From families who spend so much time helping others they forget to help themselves, to couples who simply never get round to decluttering and redecorating, this show delivers fantastic value makeovers. Scouring reclamation yards, trawling local thrift stores and installing much-needed storage, the designer breathes brilliant new life into rundown rooms.

Episode 1

Sam, Mervyn and daughter Dannika live in a house of half-finished DIY disasters, from unplastered stud walls to wiring that is literally shocking. The family’s excuse for not renovating their home is that they’re always off helping others before helping themselves…time then for Linda to come to the rescue.

Unfortunately, plans to upgrade the kitchen go serious wrong with a series of disasters, from dodgy carcasses, ill-fitting doors and problems encountered when bricking up a doorway. The rising costs in this room put Linda’s budget makeover in real doubt, leaving her with little money for renovating the living room, bedroom and shower room.

With no money to play with Linda is forced to invent quirky design features, including a mix-and-match tiled splash-back, decorating a feature wall in bright blue paint and a storage system made of old suitcases, that push Sam and Mervyn’s ideas of acceptable interior design to the limit.

Linda also finds herself scavenging the streets for rubbish to up-cycle, including a pile of discarded bricks and church pews destined for firewood, and she has must Sam to a second-hand store to buy items for the home rather than the high street where Sam would prefer. Can the house makeover get completed for the five thousand pound budget? And will Sam and Mervyn like the result?

Episode 2

For six years now single mum Sarah and her son Horatio, have lived in their three bed Victorian terraced house in Walthamstow, north London, but despite good intentions to do the place up she still describes living there as like they ‘haven’t even unpacked yet’. Her boy’s toys are piled high in every room, but she’s just as bad. A self-confessed charity shop-aholic, she’s the queen of clutter, describing her approach to buying furniture and nik-naks as ‘if I see something I like I just buy it’. Beyond the mess, the house is in desperate need of renovating with crumbling plasterwork, half-hanging wallpaper and a kitchen that barely functions…in other words the perfect challenge for Linda.

With the help of Sarah and her sister Deborah, Linda sets out to completely refit the kitchen, revamp the bedroom, rejuvenate the living room and refresh the bathroom…and all for just five thousand pounds of Sarah’s money. Through scavenging in skips, scouring nearby reclamation yards and trawling the local thrift stores Linda and her team are able to make a series of unique, stunning designs that breathe new life into the tire, rundown wreck, from an eye-catching storage system to a novel reinterpretation of retro lampshades.

But Linda’s tight budget comes under pressure when dodgy wiring is discovered in the kitchen, and her bedroom designs get thrown into doubt when Sarah refuses to go along with Linda’s unusual plans for a reclaimed headboard. After an inspirational visit to a vintage neon sign collectors’ warehouse Linda comes up with a bold lighting feature for the bedroom, but will it be enough to save the day and result in a total home makeover that everyone is happy with?

Episode 3

Self-confessed DIY avoiders, Sean and Caroline Clegg, live in a house that’s littered with unfinished jobs and outdated, dull decor. They moved into the three bedroom semi-detached house seven years ago with their eldest son Jack and big plans to transform it into their dream family home. But a year after moving in Sean and Caroline’s next son Harry came along and another year later they welcomed twins, Tom and Freddie. All this meant family life took over, and the house got left stuck in a timewarp. The kitchen and bathroom haven’t been touched since the eighties and are desperately crying out to be completely overhauled. Their sitting and dining room currently functions as a den for the boys at one end and a more grown up dining area at the other. Caroline and Sean’s bedroom is the stuff of nightmares.

With Caroline being the queen of high street shopping can Linda convince her there’s no place like home for second-hand furniture? Will Linda’s unconventional ideas for decorating the living room ever win Caroline round? And can she bring out Sean’s inner interior designer with some bright ideas for the master bedroom?

With a long list of design demands Linda faces her biggest challenge yet.  With a wall coming down in the kitchen, dodgy plumbing in the bathroom and Linda pushing Sean and Caroline way out of their comfort zone with her bold, daring ideas will this mammoth makeover come in on budget?