Grand Designs Host Kevin McCloud Reveals The 1 Thing Homeowners Get Wrong When Decorating Their Homes

We caught up with the designer ahead of Grand Designs Live.
Kevin McCloud

Starting way back in 1999, Grand Designs is a real staple in British homemaker TV, especially for those of us who love nothing more than judging people’s huge life choices while we sit in our pyjamas at home with no actual input on the outcome whatsoever.

Host Kevin McCloud has been there for the entire journey and has witnessed a whole wealth of homes — from lighthouses to shipping containers — and when we caught up with the host recently, ahead of Grand Designs Live, we thought who better to speak to about our own homes and how we decorate them?

Obviously, we can’t all live in the fantastical kind of homes built on Grand Designs but ultimately, we can learn from how they have been built and decorated.

What you should keep in mind when decorating a home

When I asked him this, I expected to hear about certain fittings, the way the light hits our most commonly used rooms, the best kind of shelves to use in narrow hallways, that kind of thing.

Instead, Kevin’s message was much more simple than that: stop comparing.

Kevin said that people wanting their homes to look like somebody else’s is something he’s “never understood”.

He added: “As I get older, I get more comfortable in my own physical skin but also in the skin of the building I live in, the car that I drive and the room that I’m in.

“I think the art of [designing a home] is editing your life in such a way that it’s still yours, and not somebody else’s.”

As we spoke, Kevin looked around his home office and said: “There’s an empty plant pot over there, there’s a television on the floor which has been unplugged for three years. There’s my desk and a sofa bed over there.

“It’s a bit of a mess. There’s an Ikea cushion and the sofa bed is actually from John Lewis, the table is from sellers at Grand Designs Live and the lamps from Scandi.”

He added also that the chair he was sitting on, a leather desk chair, was actually found in a skip (!).

He explained that all of this, the mismatched furniture, the trinkets, the chair found in a skip, is his life.

He added that if you feel you need to emulate exactly what you see in a catalogue, this isn’t true to who you are, “it’s not authentic.”

Summarising, he said that when it comes to designing your home, the trick is to “figure out who you are.”

“It’s not your showroom, it’s not your business, it’s your home.”

So simple!


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