Brave homeowners hand over their front door keys to amateur designers, hoping that they will solve their design dilemmas. Interior designer Celia Sawyer assesses the results.
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Would you hand over your front door keys to complete strangers?
I can't believe what we've done.
In exchange for a massive makeover?
Red sky at night.
I'm not sure I would.
Different people have different tastes.
I'm Celia Sawyer and I've been an interior designer for a decade.
In this series, I'll be introducing families
at the end of their decorating tether...
We just can't move forward. Everybody's ideas are so different.
..to interior designers who are desperate to help.
The plug for the light.
But these designers are not professionals.
Let's just hope they like space films, eh?
In fact, they're complete amateurs.
They've wrecked that room.
That is different.
What have we done?
They may have passion.
I know about composition, dude.
They might even have vision.
I like to create a temple of hope.
And lovely colours, lovely colours, lovely colours.
But I'm giving them just five days to do the job.
My question is, will it be tears of joy...
-Look at this.
Couldn't wish for anything better.
..or just plain tears?
I'm regretting it.
He's going to hate it.
You need to be as hard as nails
to become a professional interior designer.
My career took off when I restyled my own home.
People who saw it loved it and started asking me
to do up their homes too.
Now I design for the rich and famous,
high-end clients who can spend millions on their homes.
It's always a big responsibility to have someone's home in your hands,
even as a professional interior designer, so I'm really hoping
these amateur designers can pull it off and take the pressure.
In this series I'll be introducing fledging interior designers
to my world.
I've had a passion for interior design
ever since I was seven years old.
As each of them has only ever done up their own home,
they're at the same point I was when I launched my career.
I've never had the opportunity to unleash my creativity
on someone's home before.
I'm giving them the chance to set their creative juices free.
To help families who are so stuck in design dead ends,
they're prepared to try anything.
It's a huge risk, as the home owners won't even meet the amateurs
until it's all finished.
Tonight I'm heading to south-east England to meet two families
with several generations living under one roof.
With so many people to please,
I suspect it's going to be a tricky week.
First up, Ilford in Essex,
home to the Ahmed family.
Sherjeel and Khansa,
his parents Masood and Jalis,
and little Raees and Imani,
three generations living in just one house.
Come from a Pakistani background and culture
and within our culture it's commonplace for the eldest son
to look after the parents when they become older.
He comes home, he looks after the kids, looks after his wife and us,
and I'm really proud of him.
Two years ago, the Ahmeds bought a home big enough
for the whole family.
But the dreary decor left a lot to be desired.
When you walk in, it feels incredibly faded and drab.
It's just plain, boring, dull everywhere.
Nothing looks right.
So why has it taken so long to do anything about it?
My parents have got their views, Khansa's got some ideas,
I've got ideas and so when you're trying to put everything
into the mix, it doesn't necessarily come out with an easy answer.
We just can't move forward. Everybody's ideas are so different.
And it's chartered accountant Sherjeel's design ideas
that really don't add up for the rest of the family.
I like the idea of having a partition with a TV
that you could swivel round.
I've always had this idea of having dynamic lighting in some way
that you could control it with a smartphone or something like that.
I'd love to have like an elevated stage towards the windows
and bifold windows that would open out into the garden.
-What do you think of that, Mum?
I don't like his wild ideas because we have to live as a family.
One person likes this and the others don't.
Not too much stuff in the house, you know, there should be space.
We have to come to a decision in between somewhere.
I'm with you there, Mum.
I'd love my house to look like a complete unique one-off,
and I just think that life's about taking risks and, you know,
they say fortune favours the brave
and I think we're being very brave here.
I think we're all being very brave taking this job on.
First I need to see the problem for myself, as I'll be briefing
the two amateurs redesigning the Ahmeds' home.
Hi. You must be Sherjeel.
Hi, please come in, welcome.
-And so this is our lovely kitchen.
Our lovely dated kitchen.
I can tell you really like it.
I love it.
It's just very old and the kids generally eat here as well.
Like a quick snack.
Where do they eat? They sit on here?
Yeah, well, they have a little table. That's not really practical.
OK, show me the next room, please.
So this is the dining room.
This is where we spend our time together as a family.
We don't want a bog-standard dining room.
I think that's the one definite thing that we can agree on.
Off you go.
This is our living room.
It doesn't feel like it's got a lot of soul at the moment.
Sort of lacking in... Lacking personality.
Yeah, that's it, personality and character, it's got none of that.
I like somewhere where it's fun and practical but it's also cosy.
I'd love this to be a house that isn't an ordinary house.
I'd like people to come here and have a real wow factor about it.
Time to hand over your keys.
You're going to come back in a few days. Off you go.
The now very worried Ahmeds will be back in two days
to see the first two rooms.
We've got three generations under one roof here
and from my experience as a professional designer,
that's always a tough one.
So I think these amateurs are going to have their work
cut out for them big time.
In total, three rooms will be transformed in the Ahmeds' home,
but up till now, they've had no idea who's taking them on.
First I've chosen 53-year-old Emily,
a jewellery designer from London who doesn't mince her words.
My design style, I would say, would be vintage industrial.
I love concrete, I love metals, I love bricks,
I love lovely fabrics and I love wrought iron.
I love modern clean lines, jumbled with old desks
and medical cabinets filled with junk.
My friends describe my style as bold, unique and quite masculine.
From me, you'll be getting 20 shades of grey.
And grey and more grey.
You are lucky to have me.
You'll get a complete new modern look, whether you like it or not.
I won't be holding back, I will stick to my design style.
I wouldn't go middle of the road,
otherwise there's no point me being there.
-I don't like it.
-I loved it. I thought she was amazing.
It's far too grey for me.
I don't think it's practical for our family.
I've just realised, my parents, what will they think?
Your poor parents, they're not going to be happy.
Next, to counterbalance Emily's industrial feel
is 55-year-old yoga instructor Pandora.
I adore wood. I'm surrounded by it.
I live with it and I love to use it in my designs.
Who else would hang tree stumps from the ceiling?
I love wood because it's living.
It's breathing, it's evolving, every single piece is unique.
What's really transformed my creative process
is my meditation practice.
My work is really about transcending the mundane.
I like to create a temple of hope for humanity.
I draw inspiration from all of the places that I've travelled.
I've lived in a cave in India, drunk tea with the Dalai Lama,
been in a dugout canoe with some warriors
in a dark and mysterious river in Papua New Guinea.
My approach to life and design is...just do it.
-I really liked that.
I did really like. I mean, OK, maybe not so much wood in the house
and the tree trunks, but she has some really good style in there.
It's a fire hazard, the amount of wood there is.
Did you see that shelving and see the little lamps,
ah, that's exactly what I want.
-Ah no, no.
-I like this one.
Wouldn't you know it? It's a design taste-off.
Industrial concrete versus a natural vibe.
Each budding designer has seen a floor plan in advance,
but this is the first time they've clapped eyes on the actual rooms.
Wow. This takes me back.
Emily will be redesigning the Ahmeds' retro kitchen.
Well, there's quite a lot of space to work with, potential.
While Pandora will be unleashing her vision on the dining room.
It's a nice room, it's got a nice vibe to it.
And the strip lighting has to go. That's not very friendly.
I'm going to give it definition and style, so when you walk
through this door, you're really going to feel something.
Looking forward to the challenge, but everything has to go
and that includes the kitchen sink.
The novice designers have had a little information on the family
and their design deadlock.
Now I've got to make sure they've understood the brief.
Hi, Pandora. Meet Emily.
Hi, Emily, how you doing? Nice to meet you.
Nice to meet you too.
Right, ladies, how's your first impressions of your rooms?
Ah. Bland, boring and a throwback to the '70s.
And she just wants something more up to date, maybe a bit cosier
and I think the room also needs a bit of space for them to eat,
you know, because they feed the children in there,
but I'm not quite sure how at the moment, how that works.
-I don't know either.
-You've got £7,000 to spend in there.
-Oh, lucky you.
Pandora, you've got £3,500 for the dining room.
-I think that's quite a good budget.
-I don't think so.
-No. I'd like more.
-You've got to be creative with it.
-Yeah, of course, I will be.
It's got to be a great space for all of them.
Mum, Dad, Sherjeel, Khansa.
Yeah, totally, yeah. I have designed it with that in mind
and hopefully you'll walk into that room
and you'll be struck by the beauty of it and the simplicity of it.
One thing they have agreed on is that they want a house
that's not just an ordinary run-of-the-mill type of house,
so it's got to have something going on it,
it's got to have some personality, and good luck.
Looking forward to it.
A full refurb on a kitchen is a tough task for an amateur designer.
So I've sent in builder Nathan to bring the amateurs' vision to life.
His first job is ripping out the '70s kitchen
to make way for Emily's grand designs.
The vision I have for this room would be like a vintage
industrial urban feel to it.
Grey, shiny, glossy, slick cabinets
integrated with stainless steel worktops and actual mesh.
What's not to like about metal? I love it.
We'll see about that.
In the dining room, friend of the forest Pandora
is going for a very different vibe.
My vision for the room is to do Moroccan simple plasterwork,
combined with the very textural, rustic, beautiful oak.
The idea is to have quite a primitive feel,
but I'm really trying to bring in an Islamic kind of spiritual element.
Later in the week, these two will have to blend their opposing styles
and work together in the Ahmeds' living room.
How's that going to work?
In Bexleyheath, south-east London,
lives another family stuck in a rut over renovations.
Trainee cabbie Nev, wife Traci
and Traci's 79-year-old mum, Lily.
On the whole, no, we get on OK, don't we?
I mean you can't be absolutely perfect. He's the trouble.
And once again, we have a man with slightly worrying taste.
I do like sparkly and glittery things.
I'd like to put a glitterball in the corner. I'd be happy with that.
And Lily's opinion is key.
She and her late husband bought the house way back in 1958.
We were looking around and we saw this and immediately said yes.
There's Dad, Mum.
It had a homely feel about it.
Oh, look at you.
How sweet was I? I've still got the teddy bear.
Lots of memories. I was born in this house,
so was my sister, in the very bedroom that my mum still sleeps in.
We could sell that room to a museum.
Two years ago, Nev and Traci bought the house from Lily.
They're now keen to make it their own.
We'd like to put our stamp on the house
but we always run everything past Lily first to get her approval.
But it's not just Lily's approval that's holding them back.
Creative differences have put all renovations firmly on hold.
I really don't think I can go through another year
of living in a building site.
I don't mind someone else coming in and doing a bit,
but I hope they haven't got the same taste as Neville.
This house has been in the family 56 years,
so it is a big risk but one I think is worth taking.
This home is crying out for help.
It would be a big job even for a professional designer.
You don't mind living like this?
We've got nowhere to sit and watch TV.
Nowhere to relax, nowhere to invite friends.
If you could have anything you wanted, what would you have?
I would like a glitter ball but you know, apparently it's not practical.
Any major hates?
I don't like dark, dark wood.
I think you ought to show me the rest of the house.
-Right, OK, you ready?
So this is what we used to call the front room, but the lounge.
Where do you sit down and relax?
-Well, we don't.
-No, not in here.
At least it's a blank canvas.
Well, that's for sure. Crikey.
This is Lily's room.
It does look like a blast from the past.
Yeah. It was last decorated 30 years ago.
This is the one I'm most nervous about.
OK, well, I think I've seen enough, so I think it's time to leave.
Time to hand over those keys. Come on.
Cue two sleepless nights for Nev and Traci.
They're being very brave.
Oh, my God, what are we doing?
I'm not sure they're going to be feeling much better
when they find out who I'm sending in.
First up is Sue Martini,
a housewife from Birmingham who has an eye for the extravagant.
Right, here we go, Nev.
My style is sophisticated bling with a wow.
Sometimes over the top, but always exciting.
The style you'll get from me will be glamorous, elegant,
and I can't wait to get a bit of bling sparkle
and zhuzh into your home.
See, I like that. It's plain, nice, classy.
Yeah, it does look very classy.
Yeah, but it's if we get someone that's a bit too out there.
They could very well be describing our next designer,
48-year-old Marina, who likes to dabble with the dark side.
My design style is sexy, dramatic.
Some people might think that black walls are a brave choice.
I think it's a little bit more freeing.
That looks really nice.
It's too dark.
I'd like to help somebody to go over to the dark side.
What? I'm worried now.
I think we should be worried.
Very worried. I'm really worried now.
I can see why. It's the battle of bling versus black.
Marina will be getting her hands on the living room.
Yeah, I reckon we could do quite a lot with this room
and it doesn't need to be this light.
And Sue has the intimidating task of modernising Lily's bedroom.
Oh, gosh, it looks like it hasn't been decorated in ages.
We've definitely got a space issue in here, mostly I think
because of these cupboards.
Now the amateurs know what they're up against,
I'm keen to remind them of the family's brief.
Hi Sue, meet Marina.
Hello, Sue. Nice to meet you.
Marina, the brief in the living room is they want a comfortable room
they can sit in, enjoy, relax and not too in your face.
It's got to suit all three of them and you've got £3,000 to spend.
Sue. You have Lily's room.
You also have £3,000 to spend in there.
It's got too much storage in it that she doesn't use.
It needs to be something that she feels
she can move around a little bit easier in.
-Lovely, thank you.
They're going to need it.
As usual, I've asked builder Russell to be on hand to aid the amateurs
with the nuts and bolts of their designs.
Well, my vision for the room is Hollywood glam,
so it's going to make it a lot more luxurious.
I will bring in some gold for the glitz effect.
There's no reason why when you get old you can't have glam in your life.
Walls are going to be a very dark, darkest turquoise.
There's going to be a lovely fire surround.
There's going to be quirky bits.
I like people to walk into a room and smile.
Yes, so do I. No tears, please.
It's day two at the Ahmeds' home.
In the dining room, Pandora has made a rather worrying decision.
The plan is that I'm building out from the wall.
Which will make the room look smaller.
So that we can fit alcoves in.
I think the alcoves are the base of her room,
so she had to bring the walls in to create the depth of the alcove.
But I think it is just all going to close in a bit.
It's a big room but it's a big family,
so to bring it smaller, it's not the way I would have gone with it.
Some people might like a cave in their house.
So we'll have to wait and see if they do.
So we've got a cave in the dining room
and what looks like a fence in the kitchen.
This is the mesh I'm intending to use to separate the wall units.
I love working with any metals. It brings a certain urban element
into the design, and complements slates and charcoals and greys
and all the shades that I love.
In the garden, it's less urban jungle, more enchanted forest.
Surely, everybody loves wood.
I spent my whole childhood, quite a feral childhood, me and my sister
and my brother were just allowed to run wild and we made amazing camps
and where you could plait wood, we'd make things with dandelions hanging,
we used lawn mowings to make beautiful carpets,
and I guess that's where I've got my love of wood
and my love of natural materials.
Just five minutes down the road,
Sherjeel has called a family meeting.
It's time to tell his parents he thinks they've all made a mistake.
Emily likes concrete, she likes metals,
her style is industrial vintage.
Her worktops in her kitchen were concrete.
-It's not practical for the kids.
But she had like a real fascination, I suppose, with the colour grey.
Sounds like Pakistan.
Sounds like Pakistan!
Is that a good or a bad thing?
It doesn't appeal to me. It sounds boring.
It's to be mesh at the back and a mesh dividing shelves.
-Do you want the back meshed on the sides?
I do worry a little bit about whether or not you will be able
to warm to her style, cos it is quite unique.
The second designer's name is Pandora.
She really likes wood,
so in her house everything was made out of wood.
She had tree trunks dangling from the ceiling,
she had seats made out of wood.
She had features on the wall carved out of wood.
I did really like Pandora
but I just think that there was just far too much wood in the house.
I think she just put wood everywhere.
I think that I wouldn't like it.
What a surprise.
Basically, I love trees.
I quite often stop my car and pick things up when I find them
and this was one little episode
and this piece of birch is going to be hanging over the dining table.
She's a very extreme designer
but I would say that the opposite of Emily.
Isn't there anything in between? We could get together.
-Are these two people going to go ahead with this?
-They're doing it now.
-They're in the house now making it.
-Both of them?
Both of them, yes.
You think you made a mistake letting them in the house?
I'm a little bit worried myself this morning, after having thought about it.
I am concerned.
I don't blame you.
Wow. That's different.
Even Emily's getting a bit concerned.
Not something I do.
Clearly, Pandora likes the natural elements.
It's becoming crystal clear that moving on to the joint room
may take this challenge to a new dimension.
If this is more what's to come,
then we are going to have to work quite hard to collaborate, I think.
In Bexleyheath at the Powers',
budding interior designer Sue has turned into an archaeologist...
Leicester Square. That's interesting.
..digging out treasure from under Lily's floor.
We found this old newspaper, look at this.
A Star is Born, theatre.
1937. They kind of come into my Hollywood glam theme.
I may be able to incorporate this in a frame.
Don't know yet. I'm thinking along those lines.
It just really hits home how long Lily has been in this room, actually,
and in this house.
Unaware of the history being excavated in their home,
Nev and Traci are telling their Uncle Buster about their concerns.
So are you worried or not?
I'm so worried about Mum's room.
Whatever designer does that has got to get it right.
She deserves nice because she's had a hard life in lots of ways.
She lost your dad and after that she still carried on
doing her bit for all the family.
-Here she is.
-You all right, Mum?
Sit yourself down.
Come on, darling.
So, Mum, we've just been talking about the designers and that.
-How you feeling about it, you nervous?
About what bit, particularly?
She don't care about the rest.
No bright colours.
But what happens if they do?
They'll have to come and do it again then, won't they?
Oh, dear. Sue's in full swing with operation bling.
Adding gold gives you that bit of the wow factor
which is a bit of a signature thing for me.
It adds a bit of glamour.
But it's Marina's choice of dark colours
that's giving me the biggest headache.
I hope she doesn't do any of the house like she's done her own.
All the walls are painted black.
There could have been a flash of lightning and she could have gone,
"Don't worry, your house is safe in our hands."
I don't want to be welcomed to the dark side.
Well, good luck to all and sundry and I hope everything goes well.
Thank you very much.
Well, it is all going well, if you like dark.
Marina's dark carpet is even scaring builder Russell.
I feel Marina's gone too dark with that colour in that room.
There's not enough natural light coming in there.
I can't see it working.
I'm going to wait and see. I'm a firm believer in bold design,
but Nev and Traci may take some convincing.
It's day three in Ilford.
The amateur designers have just a few hours
until I return to cast my eye over their individual rooms.
Gritty designer Emily is going metal mad in the kitchen.
Whilst lumber-loving Pandora is branching out in the dining room.
This is my vision and the journey was exactly how I planned it.
I've tried my best.
I would be really gutted if they don't like it.
I totally love this room.
I've given it 100% and I would have this kitchen in my own house,
and I can't really say more than that.
Two designers, two opposing styles.
Collaboration on the joint room is going to be interesting.
But first it's time to see how they fared on their individual designs.
For £7,000, Emily waved goodbye to the '70s kitchen.
And said hello to modern metal.
The old yellow units were replaced with her trademark grey
and the retro tiles have made way for modern metallic-look wallpaper.
But is this contemporary look right for the Ahmeds?
Very good. I like it.
It's modern, I like the colour,
I like the fact that we now have a proper place
for the children to sit and have breakfast.
I like the floor.
I really don't think that they will find this offensive.
But obviously you never know.
In the dining room, Pandora had £3,500 to create
an otherworldly experience.
Bland walls have been replaced by Moroccan-style plasterwork.
And her carved furniture and accessories fill the room.
I need to check the impact of Pandora's decision
to bring in the walls.
This room feels smaller. That's for sure.
And if Sherjeel wants something that perhaps is very different,
then maybe this is it.
There's so much wood.
Wooden floor, wooden table, wooden chairs, wooden light.
Wood in the walls.
I mean, we have gone a bit wood-mad in here.
Chairs are interest... Oh, goodness me. Crikey!
You've got small children in the house
and you've got older people as well.
They absolutely weigh a tonne.
But what will they think?
Welcome back. Hello.
And nice to meet Mum and Dad at last.
You're looking very calm.
Not for long.
Not for long!
Would you like to lead the way, as it's your home?
First up is Emily's industrial kitchen.
Oh, my goodness.
I like it. Do you like it?
I was going to say, "Phew!"
You do like it?
Yeah, I do like it, actually! I really like it!
See, I always had faith.
Mum and Dad like it?
Yes, I like it. Very much, very much, very much.
I don't believe it's the same kitchen.
-There's an area here now where the children can sit
and have their food.
That's very good. This is really good.
I was really concerned by it, but now I think I just want to hug her.
Oh, that's nice.
Yeah, I'm really happy with it.
She raised the bar, a metal bar,
and it's going to be difficult for Pandora, I think,
but I look forward to seeing what she's come up with.
Shall we go and find out?
OK, lead the way.
Oh, my goodness.
I don't know what to say about this one.
I don't know if I like it or I don't like it.
The room is smaller, it's a little more small.
-It looks smaller.
You've obviously lost a bit of space with this being built out.
But what's really bugging me is the walls.
I really like that light being there, I like this.
I think the walls to me look unfinished.
I really like the roughness of the walls. It feels like...
The roughness of the walls is OK but...these.
-You don't like it?
I don't know how practical it is with kids.
Yeah, there are sharp edges and things poking out
that will worry me slightly about this.
If they were a little bit older, sensible, then it is different.
I think a lot of things will worry me
about this room with the children.
The curtains being one, even though I like them a lot.
That's a big thing for me, though, that it needs to be safe for them.
What I really wanted was something completely different.
-You have that, for sure.
-Yes, definitely, yeah.
Out of the two rooms, which is your preferred?
-That was a very definite kitchen, wasn't it?
Both designers will be working together doing the joint room
which is your living room.
You have to be honest now and tell me
if there's anything you might be slightly concerned about.
It has to be safe.
The main problem with a lot of designers is they go in
and they do something that's aesthetically nice,
but they actually don't think about practicalities
and don't think about the people that are really living in the space,
and that's exactly what Pandora's done in this room.
She's not thought about the young children,
because there's so many things in that room that could cause problems.
Time for Pandora and Emily to get their first dose of client feedback.
Hello. How you feeling?
Emily, your wallpaper was interesting.
Yes, I love it.
Do you think that you've met the brief with the older
members of the family?
They're more traditional.
I have no idea.
My game plan was to literally stick with what I felt passionate with
and hopefully they would too in the long run.
They all loved it.
Pandora. The dining room.
Do you think that you met the brief?
I hope so.
Mum and Dad had a few reservations and so did Khansa.
There were elements of the room
that weren't child-friendly enough for them, they were worried about.
-Well, they felt that...
-Just out of interest.
-For instance, there were sharp edges in places.
You know, the chairs were very heavy.
It's very important to remember that the room that you do together
needs to be child-friendly.
OK, that's a good point.
It's a bit disappointing that their Islamic screen
and that Moroccan feel wasn't really taken into consideration.
I really wanted to do something unusual
and that's what they sounded like they were up for.
I stuck to my guns and did it with my best intentions
and it looked like it paid off.
So I did good.
I think after the feedback I've just given the two girls,
I don't think that anything's going to change,
because what I see behind the eyes is two people with big egos.
And I think they'll continue to do exactly what they want.
In Bexleyheath, it's also judgment day at the Powers residence.
Up in Lily's bedroom, Sue is adding the final bits of bling.
Stuck some diamante on the headboard which just sets it off.
I think it's quite special now, quite pleased with it.
Just hope Lily is.
In the living room,
Marina's also feeling confident about her dramatically dark design.
I did say that I'd like to bring them over to the dark side,
so obviously when they come into the room, we'll see if that's worked.
With Marina and Sue out of the house, there's just
time to see the results for myself before the homeowners return.
In the bedroom,
Sue had £3,000 to create her vision of a Hollywood glamour pad.
She stripped out over 30 years of dated decoration
to make way for diamante, gold and glitz.
But will bling be the right thing?
I do not like that wallpaper.
I'm not sure I feel particularly relaxed in this room
because it's got so much diamond stuff going on, you know,
we've got crystal headboard, we've got the crystal in the knobs,
you know, it's quite gold.
We've got crystal on the lights, crystal on those lights.
It's very in your face.
There's quite a lot of bling for someone of this age group.
How you feeling, Mum?
Um, all right but a little bit, you know.
I had a dream last night.
I dreamt that your room was worse than what it started
and I had a real row.
Not sure how it's going to go down.
It's more about Sue and not so much about Lily, as far as I'm concerned.
In the living room,
Marina had £3,000 to prove that dark could be desirable.
Transforming the empty space into a relaxing family chill out area
complete with mirrored fireplace, personal pictures
and sumptuous furnishings.
But does it work?
Oh, it's very dark.
I don't think they like dark colours, particularly.
With Marina, I think you're worrying about nothing,
cos you are a bit panicky poos.
You are, you are. Actually, you haven't stopped going on about it.
She likes the dark side.
Good they put a fireplace in.
Even just decorative, it still gives the room a focal point.
It's just dark. It's just too dark.
I don't know if they're going to like it.
I'm not bowled over by either room.
But it's the client's judgment that counts.
Hello, Lily. Nice to meet you.
-Heard a lot about you, all good.
Better be good.
All good. How have you been feeling?
Are you nervous or excited?
-A little bit.
A little bit of both, yeah, clammy hands, yeah.
-You as well, Lilly?
Well. I suppose you'd better come in and have a look then.
-Mind the step.
Right, here we go, Mum.
Whee, can I get in it now?
-Do you like it?
-Yes, I do.
-Better than you thought?
-Oh, yeah, different.
-Stunning, isn't it?
-Can you relax now?
Right, you dropped a tissue, I think I might need that.
You like a bit of gold, do you, Lily?
Oh, yeah. Who don't?
It is just amazing and she's going to enjoy it,
and that's, that's what I wanted, so...
Yeah. Couldn't wish for anything better.
Going to make me go now.
We'll all be in tears in a minute.
Be a wreck by the end of the week.
Well, good, that's a really good outcome, isn't it?
Now there's just the small matter of Marina's dark living room.
Oh, that's a colour.
Look at the fireplace.
Oh, my God.
Oh, this is a shock.
Funnily enough, yeah, it is.
Traci, you're keeping quite quiet. You don't look very sure.
It's just a shock to see something so bright that we had
and then to go so dark, especially all the way round.
It's not even one wall, it's all the way round.
I think dark makes it look small.
But there is a lot that I do like, so...
-So, it's, yeah.
-It's got elements.
OK, well, I'm going to be talking to the designers soon.
Anything you want me tell them?
What is it you really wanted in the kitchen-diner?
Just, you know, like a wow space.
-A wow space.
It's important not for it to be dark.
Trace and I are differing on the colour scheme.
I think the dark and light.
When you're entertaining people, you want somewhere light, airy,
welcoming, not dark and dingy like it's in some underground club.
Not for me. It's not how I want to welcome my friends.
It's another mixed response.
Time for me to break the news to the designers.
Sue. Lily's room, they loved it.
That's a relief. That's really good.
Living room, it is quite a brave move making it that dark,
but Nev actually surprised me because he really liked it.
And Traci's 50/50 on it.
There are elements that she likes,
but I have got a message for you both because you know that
you're coming back to do this room as a joint room.
-They don't want it too dark.
So, good luck and I'll see you in a few days.
We've got two designers, one who likes dark drama.
One that liked glitzy diamante.
Not sure how all this is going to work,
so fingers crossed we're going to get a great result.
A new day brings a new challenge.
Collaboration is key in interior design,
so I need to see if these amateurs can compromise.
Can wood-loving Pandora and industrial Emily
find a way to work as a team in the Ahmeds' living room?
I'm thinking a very slick modern room. Lots of hard lines.
I've got a lot of metal lamps and tables with soft elements.
So it's actually a family-friendly living room.
Pandora's living up to her name.
I could do box shelving using this lovely ply.
Pandora's boxes are 13 wooden shelves
she plans to hang from the walls.
But they don't sit well with Emily's vision.
How many boxes have you got to cover what area of wall?
Well, for example for the TV, for their Sky box.
-I just think...
-Keep it simple.
-Yeah, and not too many boxes.
For my opinion, less is going to be more,
so I think she said there were 13 boxes.
I think maybe six would look good, especially
if one of them's going to be encasing the television.
As well as her batch of boxes,
Pandora has one other key design piece she wants to incorporate.
Hi, Emily, what do you think? Do you like the painting?
-Yeah. You don't like it?
I love it cos it's got a deep powerful Islamic meaning.
It's very spiritual.
It's one of the first letters of one of the chapters of the Koran.
I don't think the colours complement all the colours that we've
-put into the room.
I love it, I think it's got... It's very powerful deep meaning,
but, yeah, we have to compromise.
I think they would embrace it...
..because of its spiritual significance.
I'm not convinced they would.
I think it's probably more spiritual for you than it would be for them.
And I'm willing to trade off that with many boxes.
Well I, do you know, starting from a...
What about if we put a black frame around it?
No, I think it's... I think the problem is...
For me, aesthetically for the room I don't think it does it any justice.
OK. That's fair. I take that on board.
I'll go with that.
-OK then, can we agree that we don't use that?
Right, how we going then, girls?
Ha, that's debatable.
Is it? Do you like it?
Why, what have I said?
No, you said it was nice, you obviously like it immediately.
You were drawn to it.
So Emily's artistic aesthetic has won over Pandora's spiritual style.
Both our original ideas have had to morph and evolve.
I love the painting so I did mind about it,
but you know, a lot of jobs are about compromises.
Over in Bexleyheath in the Powers' kitchen/diner,
amateur designers Sue and Marina are getting
on famously and have already agreed to combine Sue's trademark bling...
..with Marina's dark wallpaper.
-I think it's spectacular.
-It just shouts tropical.
To me it's not dark.
There's a lot of white to counteract it so...
I think it...
I think it's magnificent. I want it at home.
I think both Marina and Sue have gone quite bold with the kitchen.
No, they seem to be going all out.
Coming down every morning to that might be a little bit, you know...
I know what you mean.
In Ilford, after losing the fight to put up her Islamic painting,
Pandora is desperate to hang on to her 13 wooden boxes.
Let's clear out the ones we want to use.
Yes. Did you like that idea with the lights?
Yeah, love it, beautiful.
OK, so that could go next to the TV, couldn't it?
Do you want them together?
-No, no gaps, gaps, gaps.
So how many more units do we want to use?
On the drawing, there's six units there that we were going to
-And then maybe we could put one on top then.
-I'm thinking that's enough for me.
One, two, three, four, five, six boxes, agreed?
I haven't needed to make compromises
because initially Pandora was willing to forego her
print for more boxes, but we settled without extra boxes.
Emily is very controlling and she wants it her way.
She's happy... The thing she's happy to give on she almost uses
that to her advantage to get something she wants, I think,
but if she doesn't like it she'll just say no and move you on.
But Pandora isn't giving up on her painting yet.
Emily, am I going to be allowed to have my picture up?
-The only thing apart from my light. Emily?
It might make the room, it might pull it together, Emily.
That seems like a definite no from Emily.
I'm still trying about the picture.
I love the picture.
Back at the Powers, the boldness of their design decisions is
dawning on Marina and Sue.
It's going to be a dark sparkly worktop. The flooring?
Yeah, the flooring is also dark.
After combining their two styles, it seems they've unwittingly
ended up firmly on the dark side.
The fire surround will be black.
And, of course, there's the dark wallpaper.
I don't think there's anything else that's dark.
The drinks cabinet is dark.
And what was Traci's one no-no, ladies?
Not too dark.
It's the final day in Ilford and not long before I see the finished
joint room and decide who's impressed me the most.
I don't think the palette's Pandora's at all really.
It's all Emily's greys and metallic sort of obsession.
Even her boxes now are Emily's grey,
so they just look like part of Emily's design.
I guess there's more of Emily's things because I was really thinking
about the walls and the kind of cubist Mondrian kind of box idea.
But I think we've still got time to make it work.
And that can only mean one thing.
I reckon I can talk Emily around it.
And I think fair's fair.
Her compromise is letting me have this picture.
Easier said than done.
So far Emily has been as inflexible as her metal accessories.
I really love this painting and I think it's working
so well in the room, we've got so many harsh, very design things
-and we just need that kind of sense of freedom and that texture.
I just didn't think it blended,
but now that we've put this colour on the walls it kind of diffuses it.
-Let's put it up.
It needs colour.
Finally, Pandora's persistence has paid off.
Over in Bexleyheath, it's all hands to the pump at the Powers'
house as I'm on my way to assess their efforts first-hand.
I'm dreading what I'm going to go and see in here
because we don't want it too dark, because Traci will hate that
and we don't want it too bland because Nev wants a bit of glitz.
And let's not forget Lily as well.
It's got to please them all.
I feel quite confident.
I might be delusional but I think it is quite bold but it's light,
it's bright. I want to move in there now.
Maybe the biggest risk is that we've mixed the dark
with bright colours as well.
It is a little bit in your face and they may not like that totally.
MUSIC: Back To Black by Amy Winehouse
'Let's see what they've done.'
For £7,000 the Powers' derelict kitchen diner has been transformed.
From building site to tropical delight.
With clean lines, modern units and an explosion of black and bling.
Quite dark in here, isn't it?
It's my choice of wallpaper
but even though the background is dark it's bright, it's vibrant.
I don't know what Traci's going to think of that.
She made it quite clear that she doesn't like dark walls
and she was worried about it. So perhaps that will be an issue.
I think you've done a very good job.
You've tied up the two rooms nicely, but you've also got Nev's glitz,
you've got Traci's lightness and practicalities here
and you've got something of Lily in here as well, so well done.
-The only worry I've got is the dark wall.
So I want you to leave so that they can be honest and say what
they think of the room and then we'll get you back in to meet them.
-OK? But well done. I think you've done really well.
It's the moment of truth.
With the family divided over dark colours,
what will they make of the designer's brave statement?
Eager to find out, the amateur designers are earwigging next door.
I've got a glittery vase.
Well, that is pretty lairy, isn't it, the wallpaper?
What a change.
The fireplace, look at the fireplace.
Look at the wallpaper, that's what I like. Look at that.
-I told you, I knew it would be good.
-Oh, you like it, then?
-Yeah, I love it.
-I really like it.
-I really like it.
I'm surprised you like the wallpaper, Traci.
So am I.
-Because, you know, you don't like dark.
It's not dark because of all the colours on it.
-There you go.
-Yeah, that's right.
Sit and watch all the birds.
Nev, do you like the sort of version of your glitter ball there?
In you come, designers.
Amazing, absolutely amazing.
We're just so happy that you like it.
This experience has made me realise that I have got a talent that's
worth pursuing so it makes me want to do that now and take it forward.
Really, really happy.
-You're not crying again, are you, Traci?
-A little bit. Thank you.
-It was quite overwhelming.
I was surprised at how emotional I felt, but it was what myself and
Sue always wanted, we just wanted the legacy for the homeowners.
Marina has impressed me the most as an amateur designer.
When you design a room, I like to see someone really push the limits
and I think she's got that edginess that you need.
I think Sue is competent but just a little bit too safe.
I've lived in this house for 56 years.
I've never, ever dreamt that it could look like this,
but it's different and you have to move on, don't you?
What a fantastic result.
But will it be the same happy ending over at the Ahmeds'?
When I go and look at this joint room
I want to see both of the designers in the room.
I don't want to see one dominating the other, and even though
Pandora took a knock, I hope she's still in that room.
I personally would have preferred to have done something a little
bit more cutting edge, but I think we've fulfilled our task.
I think Khansa and Sherjeel will actually really like it.
I do love the living room. I'm not totally happy with it.
I think we could have done a lot better.
For both designers, it seems that compromise hasn't come easy,
but you don't know if it's going to work
until you're standing in the finished room.
For £3,500, the Ahmeds' dull and dated living room has been
transformed into a sleek and sophisticated chill-out pad.
The room is now dominated by Emily's grey and metal style.
But Pandora did fight to hang her precious painting
and her wall boxes.
Which Emily painted grey.
-It's a very trendy room, isn't it?
Yeah, I think it looks very, sort of, contemporary.
Who did what here?
Where are you, Pandora, because I don't see much of you.
I'm to do with the more kind of structural architectural things.
The box idea and the recess kind of graphic design
and Emily was more of the soft furnishings.
Yeah, that's nice.
What worries me, it doesn't feel like a family room somehow.
It almost doesn't look like children would live here.
But I think it... Because we've left quite a lot of empty space,
it gives them some scope to do what they want.
Looks lovely and stylish. But just a little bit cold.
-But it does look very nice.
OK, well the homeowners are about to come back, but because
I want them to be honest about the room, I want you two to go outside.
Will do. OK? Thanks, Celia.
OK. See you in a bit.
'I'm really not sure.'
Is this a room that can suit all age groups?
I think my biggest worry would be if it wasn't practical
again for the kids because we're in that room all the time.
-That's the main room for us.
-We're just itching to get in there
and see what the girls have come up with.
I like it.
Actually I do. I like it a lot.
I love it. It's really better than what I thought.
Size the same?
Yes, exactly the same.
The size is the same.
-I love the floor, as well. Oh, wow.
-Yes, it's very nice.
And I like the lighting in here, as well.
I think I'm going to get my warm cosiness.
And the kids will, I think they'll really enjoy themselves in there.
They can still freely run around.
Oh, they've got an Arabic letter on the wall. That is brilliant.
-It's Arabic lettering.
It's my favourite thing in the room actually.
It's an Arabic word, it's a very...
It's a really nice touch.
Is it adventurous enough for you?
It's really adventurous, I think.
I mean it's... I'm lost for words, Celia.
In you come, designers.
Hello. Lovely to meet you.
-I'm so glad you liked it.
-Nice to meet you.
Thank you, guys, so much first of all. We're just...
-We love it.
-You love it, that's so nice to hear.
You took a risk.
You put your home in their hands - was it worth it?
-Yes, it was.
It's the best thing we've ever done.
It's been really heartfelt that they were so happy.
Do you like it, do you like your new room?
I'm hungry for more interior design.
Who is going to go and sit on the cushion?
And I look forward to doing some more in the future.
Make some space for me.
If I had to pick one designer that really impressed me, it would
be Emily, purely because you're designing for the family
and she got it right.
They absolutely love the kitchen and they love the joint room.
Thumbs up to her.
It's going to push the whole house forward now.
We're going to come up with new things that are just going
to complement the brilliant things that the designers have done.
Two families take the brave step of handing over their front door keys to amateur designers in exchange for a massive makeover. The Ahmed family face a stalemate as three generations living under one roof simply can't agree on how to decorate. Meanwhile Nev and Traci Powers are paralysed by the prospect of modernising Traci's mum's home, which has been in the family for 56 years. Overseeing proceedings is straight-talking interior designer Celia Sawyer.