Can you change it back? As Changing Rooms returns to TV, Femail reveals the show’s most disastrous makeovers – from a trashed £6,000 teapot collection to a VERY offensive lilac makeover
- Anna Richardson, 50, is set to present rebooted version of Changing Rooms
- FEMAIL takes a look back at some of the most iconic moments on the show
- Clodagh was devastated after Linda Barker destroyed £6,000 teapot collection
- Susan Dukes, from North Cave, Yorkshire, cried over an ‘insulting’ portrait
Home improvements have become one of the most popular ways to pass the time during lockdown, so it seems like just the right moment for Changing Rooms to return to TV.
Anna Richardson has been announced as the new host of the wildly popular 90s and noughties show, that saw friends or neighbours give each others homes a makeover with the help of designers an DIY experts.
However, not all homeowners were impressed by the results of their loved ones efforts, with many left horrified by design disaters such as a full lilac colour scheme in the living room and a bed with naked busts for pillars.
From a minimalist kitchen that looked like an operating theatre, to an ‘insulting’ portrait which portrayed the homeowner as Charles II’s busty mistress Nell Gwyn, these moments have remained in viewers memories for all of the wrong reasons.
Elsewhere, a woman was left devastated when her suspended shelf unit came tumbling down – along with her £6,000 antique teapot collection, which was smashed beyond repair.
Here, FEMAIL takes a look back at some of the most memorable moments from the show’s history.
THE £6,000 TEAPOT COLLECTION
Clodagh and daughter Julia, from Wandsworth, South-West London, were both left devastated when an innovative hanging shelving unit came crashing down – along with their prized £6,000 teapot collection
Clodagh and daughter Julia, from Wandsworth, South-West London, were both left devastated when a floating suspended shelf unit came crashing down – along with their prized £6,000 antique teapot collection.
To make it even more gutting for the homeowner, one particular ornament – the Clarice Cliff pot – held a special place in her heart after being gifted it by her mother for her 21st birthday.
While interior designer Linda Barker and the show’s DIY expert Handy Andy set out with good intentions of making the innovative collection pride of place in the living room, their concept quickly turned into disaster.
Instead, they were forced to grovel and break the heart-wrenching news to the owners.
‘Oh my God, I am really sorry I put you under this stress’, Linda apologised, to which the owner replied: ‘That’s all our teapots…I’m crying now.’
‘Oh my God, I am really sorry I put you under this stress’, Linda apologised, to which the owner replied: ‘That’s all our teapots…I’m crying now.’ Pictured, the ruined collection
Time may be a healer for some, but Clodagh, now 75, is still less than impressed – over 20 decades on.
Speaking to The Guardian last year, she said: ‘I still don’t feel very good about her. On the very rare occasions she’s on television now, when I do see her, she’s still very bouncy, and I just don’t think she earned the bounce.’
Clodaugh did go on to clarify that she was reimbursed the money for the broken collection from insurers, but decided not to start up a new collection for fear of going through the same again.
Caroline Hicks (pictured), then 25, and her mother, from Kent, who asked for the design not to be too modern or minimalist, were left speechless when they opened their living room door to find an ‘operating theatre’
The walls were painted plain white, while the dining room featured an aluminium plant (pictured)
Caroline Hicks, then 25, and her mother, from Kent, who specifically requested for the design of their kitchen and living room not to be too modern or minimalist, were left speechless when they opened the door to find an ‘operating theatre.’
Decorated by her friend Jo Thompson and designer Graham Wynne, Caroline simply responded: ‘Oh.’
The walls were painted plain white, while a piece of artwork comprised of multi-coloured beige square was placed behind the sofa. A noisy water ornament also failed to impress the duo.
In a bid to get the pair talking, presenter Carol Smillie asked the duo to start by discussing the walls, to which Caroline responded: ‘Boring. Very boring.’
She continued: ‘Look behind you mum, there’s sandpaper on the walls.’
Her mother noted: ‘It’s a garden programme…there’s a water feature.’
Caroline has since recalled how she spent the duration of the reveal telling herself: ‘I mustn’t swear, I mustn’t swear, I mustn’t swear.’
A noisy water ornament also featured – resulting in Caroline’s mother questioning whether she was on a gardening show
THE OFFENSIVE PORTRAIT
Susan Dukes, from North Cave, Yorkshire, was so offended by Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen’s choice of interior that she burst into tears.
While the combination of red walls, chequered floor and spray-painted flowers in the dining room is enough to make anyone feel woozy, it was the bizarre painting on the wall of the Queen Anne-themed dining room that seemed to push her over the edge.
The portrait portrayed the homeowner as Charles II’s busty mistress Nell Gwyn, and Susan couldn’t hide her feelings.
After the episode aired, she told the Mail: ‘Russell, my husband, was quite offended because it made him look silly.’
‘I looked like a wench…I invited them into my home, my inner sanctum, and gave them a free hand. It was insulting.’
Susan (pictured with Carol Smillie) later told the Mail: ‘Russell, my husband, was quite offended because it made him look silly. I looked like a wench…I invited them into my home, my inner sanctum, and gave them a free hand. It was insulting’
THE NUDE BED
Aidan Ruff, 59, and wife Helen, from Northumberland, wasn’t sure what to expect when they opened their bedroom door – but nothing could quite prepare them for the scene they were greeted with.
Not one to play it safe, designer Laurence decided to take the rather bold move of securing two naked Greek women carved onto MDF to the end of the couple’s bed.
While the interior designer was the first to admit it was ‘quite a statement’, a shocked Aidan responded: ‘Good grief…there’s no way I can sleep in here. I’ll have too many dreams!’
In a recent interview with The Guardian, Aidan explained how the couple initially signed up to the programme with the hope of ‘basically looking to get a room done on the cheap.’
And it seems the couple couldn’t have been that offended with what they branded the ‘Mediterranean love next’ because two decades on, the two statues now take centre stage outside the shed they’ve since turned into a tortoise sanctuary in their garden.
Aidan Ruff, 59, and wife Helen, from Northumberland, were shocked to discover two Greek women carved on MDF at the end of their bed
THE LILAC MAKEOVER
When it comes to renovation, homeowners often ensure modern updates are kept in keeping with the period features of the house.
So Pat and Jenny, from Bodmin in Cornwall, got the shock of their lives when their cobbled cottage in Cornwall had a complete lilac overhaul – with complementary matching furnishings included.
Bold design guru Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen likened the bright room to ‘a wine bar in Provence’ – but even going by his eccentric standards it was completely out of touch with the rest of its rustic surroundings.
While Jenny admitted the colour was ‘fab,’ a more reluctant Pat was stumped for words and confessed: ‘The old stomach’s going something awful. I don’t know what to say, really.’
Pat and Jenny, from Bodmin in Cornwall, were less than impressed when their cobbled cottage got a very lilac makeover (pictured)
THE PARTY ROOM
There’s no doubt pink can look pretty when applied to walls in moderation, but this renovation gives meaning to the saying, ‘sometimes less is more.’
Kate and Lindsay, from Putney, South-West London, made the mistake of saying they were happy to have something a little more unique when it came to their living room makeover.
Designer Oliver Heath appeared to take that all too literally, throwing together every colour of the rainbow to create quite the colourful extravaganza.
When it came to the big reveal, he tried his best to win the homeowners over and said: ‘It’s good to be a bit different…it’s exciting and decadent and vibrant.’
But even his cheeky smile and words of wisdom weren’t enough to convince Lindsay, who questioned: ‘What have they done? Have you seen the fluffy bits on the ceiling?’
However, Kate took a more laidback approach and joked: ‘It has good comedy value.’
We’re not quite sure that’s the reaction Oliver was going for, though!
Kate and Lindsay, from Putney, South-West London, were left with a multi-coloured party room for their living room transformation (pictured)
COUPLE’S INFAMOUS MELTDOWN
Steve and Rachel’s (pictured) differing opinions on a bedroom makeover also went viral after their episode of the classic 90s transformation DIY programme aired
Steve and Rachel’s differing opinions on a bedroom makeover also went viral after their episode of the classic 90s transformation DIY programme aired.
The yellow and floral-printed walls in their UK-based home were filled with colourful and busy details – while the room also featured a controversial blue wardrobe.
‘What do you think Rachel? You’ve got your colour?’ the presenter asked during the big reveal.
But while Rachel admitted she liked the wardrobes, Steve jumped in with his very contrasting opinion.
Steve branded the makeover ‘rank’ and said ‘it looks horrendous’ – adding ‘it doesn’t look anything like a bedroom.’ Pictured, with Rachel
‘No it’s too much, for me it’s too busy,’ he said. ‘I wouldn’t have done anything like it – and I don’t like it. ‘I’m supposed to be able to go asleep in a bedroom and it’s like a kid’s play area.’
‘I think it looks horrendous. It doesn’t look anything like a bedroom. So sorry, but it’s a big thumbs down from me. It’s hideous – and I think it’s even too much for Rachel if she was to tell the truth.’
When asked, Rachel replied: ‘I like the bed and the wardrobes. I like the theme of it.’
Not finished with his rant there, Steve made sure he got in a final complaint and responded: ‘It’s rank. I don’t like it at all.’
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