Changing Rooms originally ran from 1996 to 2004 and is remembered for many things – Carol Smillie’s presenting, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen’s flair… and some truly disastrous makeover decisions.
And the good news is the iconic show is back.
The format of the show will remain the same – people swap keys and make over each other’s rooms with the help of professionals – but the cast has changed.
Carol Smillie won’t be back – something Llewelyn-Bowen is happy about.
The only returning veteran is Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, who will be joined this time by vegan creatives and founders of the design brand 2LG Studios Jordan Cluroe and Russell Whitehead, Tibby Singh replacing ‘Handy’ Andy Kane and Anna Richardson stepping into presenter duties.
As the show returns, let’s revisit some of the moments where the professionals didn’t quite get it right…
Changing Rooms disasters
From designs that the homeowners absolutely hated to cringe-worthy accidents, there truly were some of the most memorable mishaps and missteps in home makeover history.
Linda Barker’s teapot tragedy
There was no way this wouldn’t start off the list.
Changing Rooms designer Linda Barker took the lead on a house renovation and decided to construct a free-floating shelf to house a vast collection of antique teapots.
Antique teapots that the owner absolutely adored, by the by.
Free-floating shelves turned out to be – wait for it – a bad idea to support heavy, antique items. Who knew?
It turned out the shelves gave out under the weight of the teapots, bringing it all crashing down and leaving next to nothing unbroken.
The neighbours were distraught, even crying on camera, and Linda had to step in and take the wrap.
‘Barry Humphries’ Sanatorium’
In another episode, one set of neighbours decided to turn their friend’s house into an ode to Australia.
Upon seeing the room, she declares both ‘it’s Barry Humphries’ (that’s Dame Edna Everage) Sanatorium’ and ‘it’s Kylie Minogue on speed.’
Things got steadily worse as the homeowner compared the paint colour to what ‘comes out of a babies nappy’ and she pointed out that the one thing she hated about her original room hasn’t even been removed.
She wanted to get rid of her curtains and curtain rail, but, in the big Australian re-design, they somehow stayed.
The all-white living room
In another episode, a traditional living room with lovely wooden floors got dramatically turned into an all-white, futuristic-looking space.
The owner’s response?
‘I hate it. Get this mic off me.’
The ‘touch of art’ room
The designer on the episode described the end product of this room as ‘quite the statement.’
The room went from being quite a large, empty looking space with just the basics – bed, sofa, smatterings of stuff – to the sort of boudoir you might expect an Ancient Greek empress to own.
Statues made of MDF, candles and a four-poster bed was quite the renovation.
The owner couldn’t quite sum up their feelings, but their very simple ‘Good grief’ summed it up.
Changing Rooms has tested many a friendship, as one story in particular demonstrates.
Speaking to the Mirror in 2004, Sam White recounted how she fell out with her friend after taking part in the show.
The show had an effect on Sam’s relationship with her best friend Julia Parry, after she helped Changing Rooms turn her bedroom into a ‘tart’s boudoir.’
‘We didn’t speak for five months after the show went out. Now we’ll say hello if we bump into each other but I don’t think we’ll ever be really pally like we were before. I do miss her.’
Sam had told the Changing Rooms team: No bright pinks, no hearts and no fluff.
So, naturally, designer Anna Ryder Richardson painted her room pink and decorated it by displaying bras, suspender belts and frilly knickers in frames on the wall.
But the finishing touch of a red light in the window was the last straw.
Sam burst into tears when she saw their handiwork.
On the show, she said: ‘I really want to swear… I’ve got two little kids! How on earth can I fetch them in here with that on the wall? It’s just awful, absolutely awful.’
The six-part Changing Rooms reboot begins Wednesday, August 18 at 8pm on Channel 4.
Credit: Original article published here.