Once upon a time, all home makeover shows were frantic with excruciating deadlines such as one hour, one day, and one week where a mix of handy men, unwitting friends, neighbours, and flamboyant designers transformed bedrooms and dining rooms into Louis Quinze boudoirs with PVA glue, glitter, disco balls, and dodgy paint jobs.
Thankfully we have moved on to an altogether more serene phase in television make over shows and today we see some interesting resurrections (or up cycling as it is known) of furniture, vintage fixings and fabrics and an enthusiasm to get hands dirty and make do and mend. This fits with the zeitgeist of the age where everyone is feeling the pinch of these austerity years.
Kirstie Allsopp of “Location, Location, Location” fame has stepped into the breech with a crusade to warm the hearts of crafty types and interior enthusiasts everywhere with a television programme called Kirstie’s Vintage Home on Channel 4. Each programme sees Kirstie casting her eye over the homes of various couples and families to sort out the hodge podge collection of clutter, flat pack furniture and other eye sore interior features. She then proceeds to come up with some interior solutions and designs that result in some good old-fashioned hands on making and crafting with a few trips to the flea market and antique shop to transform the living space a la Kirstie with vintage touches and retro chic.
While some of the crafting tools may not be found in the average workbox or even toolbox (think concrete block lamps and heavy power tools), other crafts to transform your life simply need a needle, fabric, wool and thread plus some elbow grease and jolly hard work. Patchwork quilting never goes out of style and there were some beautiful examples shown in the series.
It is always compelling viewing to see inside other people’s homes and even more so to pick up handy tips for décor or to gain a new spin on something old. For those who are short of time there are some quick make over tips that can effect something unusual and different in a few hours or a weekend, while other tasks are a true labour of love.
Some of the up cycling that took place in recent programmes included everything from dip dyeing wicker chairs, changing wedding veils and net curtains into canopies for over the bed, and distressing and painting vintage finds. Each time on Kirstie’s Vintage Home new people are invited to Kirstie’s vintage workshop to create and transform objects for their homes and try their hand at something new as well.
Kirstie even arranged a completely vintage wedding for one couple featured in the series but Kirstie’s main philosophy is to save money, renew old things, identify vintage finds, and use them to beautify the home. She is passionate about the sense of achievement that is gained by completing a craft project or finishing a room makeover and encourages everyone to dig deep and find that sense of achievement for themselves.
There is much to like in this gentle paced series and some wonderful ideas and hints to pick up as well. The interesting history behind objects and home styles from other decades makes fascinating viewing.
If you do not fancy making your own patchwork quilts and rag rugs, you will be pleased to know that Kirstie has her own range of fine linens, bedding and home wares available for you to buy and a wonderful practical yet creative book that accompanies the series. There is also a board on Pinterest called kirstieshome where you can gain inspiration and absorb the essence of vintage styling, house wares, and home.
Many people have been inspired by Kirstie’s Vintage Home and have turned to us to further their interest by enrolling on an interior design course for fun and for future career options. We cover many of the topics you will find on the series but more importantly we teach you the importance of colour, perspective, and themes. Why not extend your vintage home makeovers by looking into the world of interior design on one of our short courses.