we’re on tv!
“15 minutes of fame”, isn’t that how the saying goes?
For us, at Ellis Designs, 15 minutes seems a paltry amount, when we’ve had 47 minutes and 23 seconds of (almost) televised glory! “Double Your House for Half the Money” is a popular property renovation show, aired by Channel Four, where people “do what it says on the tin”, if we’re going with this theme of catch phrases. They exponentially expand homes for as little money as possible; increasing their living space and bumping up their equity.
The property renovation programme has been running since 2012 and has followed the construction of properties across the UK. We were part of one of the more recent episodes and while we didn’t take a starring role, we were instrumental to its ultimate success. “If we do say so ourselves.”
No matter how much or how little a client wishes to spend on a project, you have to get the basics spot on. Putting “carts before horses”, and all. The property was an 18th Century cottage in Kent, with the current family wanting to add bedrooms, an en suite, a bigger kitchen and raw beam character to the place, with a spend of only £150,000.
We came in, anonymously, near the beginning, where we stepped into the shoes of a previous architect who wasn’t quite as inspiring or reliable as the client had hoped. We surveyed the building and prepared proposed drawings followed by Building Regulations compliant construction drawings, which enabled the project to move forward. We added some minor design tweaks along the way, but left it at that, and didn’t even get to dip our toes into our pool of specialist designers and suppliers. “More’s the shame.”
We should throw our hands up to liking the finer things in fixtures, fittings and materials, but the premise of the show, and that the family were not utterly minted (aka limited budget!), meant corners had to be cut.
There is some truth in spending more for quality but credit to them, with only £10,000 overspend, they did it; achieving more space, more light and more period charm harmoniously incorporated into modern living for a growing family.