One of my favourite programmes on British TV is Location, Location, Location and a big part of the show's appeal is its presenters, Phil Spencer and Kirstie Allsopp, who are always so knowledgeable and charming. I'm sure their friendly, light-hearted banter helps to make the property show a hit. So, when I heard about a new series presented by Kirstie Allsopp, I had high hopes that it would be another show not to miss.
Unfortunately, the series called Kirstie's Homemade Home, got off to a very disappointing start. The premise of the series is that Kirstie is going to show how she transformed an old dilapidated house in Devon (that's been unoccupied for nearly 40 years) into a home (her holiday home). And not just that but Kirstie explained that everything in the house would be either produced locally, found or created by her personally.
Well, I thought I was going to see things like painting and wall-papering and practical advice but there was none of that. Instead, we watched Kirstie as she learned how to throw a pot and blow glass so she could put her very own hand-made items on her dresser in her kitchen. Yeah, right. What about the cost of the lessons and the materials and the time to take the lessons? This is not something everyone is going to do and certainly not the first thing I think of when I'm decorating a house.
Kirstie also showed how we can drive around (in all our spare time!) and look for a skip (the British word for a dumpster) that might contain something useful for our home. Oh, and don't forget to bring along a pair of heavy duty rubber gloves like Kirstie made a point of mentioning she forgot because then she had to gingerly dig around in the skips until she found a big mirror that she was obviously delighted to find because she went to ask the owner (another bit of advice she offered) permission before loading it into the back of her car which conveniently for Kirstie, is a Range Rover so she has plenty of space for all her treasures she finds in her skip raids. I mean, really?
This is meant to be useful advice and teach us how to make a "homemade" home? Personally, if I'm looking for a bargain and something a bit different, I go to charity shops and/or jumble (rummage) sales. It's still like going on a bit of a treasure hunt but doesn't involve driving all over the place and then digging through bits of who-knows-what in a skip. Perhaps, if I just happened to see something I really liked that was in a skip, while I was out and about anyway, I might approach the owner and ask about it but I wouldn't make a special trip to look in skips. Would you?
She also visited Cath Kidston (yes, the Cath Kidston, the owner of the business selling vintage styled fabrics and dishes) and showed us her own parent's house which is a huge, gorgeous mansion but then it would be because Kirstie casually admitted that her mother is an interior designer.
I have to say that I found the whole show very irritating and ridiculous. I thought we would be watching Kirstie renovate an old house, not watching her make pottery and blow glass! And was she serious about the huge letters spelling WOW on her kitchen wall or was that a joke?
I really do like Kirstie and I love the idea behind this show but I can only hope that the next part of this five-part series is not as impractical as I thought the first part was.
Kirstie's Homemade Home is on channel 4, Thursdays at 8:00 pm. It's worth noting that the website offers more practical advice (lots of useful how to guides) than the show does. You can also find out how to rent Kirstie's home (the house featured on Channel 4's Kirstie's Homemade Home) - Meadow Gate - for a holiday. If you missed the show, you can watch it via Channel 4 Catch-Up. Did you watch the show? Did you enjoy it or did you think it was silly (as I did)?