Hell’s bells — this was a toughie. Take two reluctant home owners, add two enthusiastic designers and what do you get? Another FABULOUS (if rather frustrating) episode of Home Heist. But an episode with added ambivalence.
We never quite managed to get Pat and Mike, our low-key owners, to demonstrate excitement beyond simple eyebrow raising and, try as we might, they remained as animated as two sleepy puppies.
Whether they realized it or not they SERIOUSLY needed our help ’cause they were living in a VERY peculiar world. For starters, they were sleeping in the very bed Pat shared with her PREVIOUS husband and, scanning the space, we deduced there was little to suggest Mike had even ever taken up residence.
So, just how bad was their suburban semi? Well, imagine the home of your elderly — and most bewildered — style-free maiden aunt. We never actually found out what age our couple were (40s? 50s? 60s?) because there were absolutely no style clues anywhere to help us properly date them.
Their living room looked like it had been assembled by people wearing blindfolds and the dingy kitchen had all the designer presence of a coal shed — as did a particularly fishy salmon-coloured family room.
Help! Who said mismatched junk-store furniture, shag carpet and silver fuzzy felt “artwork” depicting wolf scenes were stylish? Aye — poor old Mike was living with the legacy of his partner’s ex-flame.
So we set to work. First thing we did was lift the deathly shag that encrusted the main level. This done, we laid a timber floor to provide the perfect backbone for our planned Hamptons extravaganza.
Tongue and groove panelling was installed, a beautiful table from The Bay (created by Toronto’s finest designer Brian Gluckstein) was added, a glamorous assembly of Ralph Lauren-esque furniture was chosen and shutters were installed to complete the scene.
The transformation was meteoric but our work wasn’t complete. We tore out the dowdy kitchen with its plastic worktops and depressing colour scheme and replaced everything with a sea of toffee-coloured marble and dark timber cabinetry.
The formerly fishy family room became the subject of a complete gut down as we installed limestone-effect flooring, burgundy soft furnishings and a collection of new furnishings.
Last port of call in our war against terrible was to remove all evidence of Pat’s ex in the bedroom. We mirrored everything — as you do! — and added a wee touch of effervescent Doris Day glamour via an army of carefully chosen linens, cushions and accessories. Oh, the glamour …