Designing Grandness

Every once in a while you find a TV show that is all at once easy-to-watch, interesting, inspiring and calming … The kind of show that you can lose yourself within, but still feel like you’ve used your time semi-productively. This is how I feel about ‘Grand Designs’. Have you watched it?

Basically each episode follows the progress of creative residential building projects from start to finish. Often in pursuit of their dream homes, people push their budgets, imaginations, relationships and mental health to the limit … sometimes they succeed, sometimes they don’t, and more often than not they end up somewhere in-between.

I was recently gifted the DVD box set of the show, which includes a massive 17 discs and 63 episodes!! I’ve only ever previously watched the show rather haphazardly, catching the odd episode here and there … but now I’m taking great joy in watching each and every episode in order and in their entirety.

Kevin McCloud is pretty damn wonderful as the show’s charming and thoughtful host … and most people I know fall at least a little bit in love with both him and his fascinating show. Perhaps you have plans for your own ‘Grand Design’ in the future, or maybe you just like finding out about other people’s often incredible ‘Grand Designs’ … either way I can assure you this is one show (and one DVD box set) that will not disappoint.


  1. Gabrielle Bryden

    Great show – I occasionally watch it with my son Michael – he likes it for the architectural stuff, I like it for the insight into human behaviour and decisin making – haha. I’d love to design an environmentally friendly house from the ground up, but that’s not going to happen in a hurry (we are quite happy where we are at the moment).

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Gabrielle – Grand Designs is SO very easy to watch. Lee and I are quickly working our way through the collection – there is much inspiration to be found! How lovely you are able to share the show with your son, and that you are both able to watch for different reasons. Being able to design and build a truly environmentally friendly house from scratch would be amazing – there are so many amazing ideas and technologies to make use of!

  2. Caz

    Like you I’ve only ever watched it sporadically although I did see all of Kevin McCleod’s Grand Tour which was wonderful. If you haven’t seen it it’s available on DVD too so maybe put it on your Christmas list!

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Caz – Several people have told me how good it is to watch Kevin’s Grand Tour, I really must see it!! I’ll most certainly pop it on my Christmas wish list! 🙂

  3. Dan

    I love the show, but it frequently makes me scream at the injustice of all those people having so much more money than me.

    I am a bitter, bitter man

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Dan – Haha, well your mixed feelings towards Grand Designs sound very much like those of Lee and I. I love seeing the houses come to life, but the other side of the coin is that it doesn’t seem fair that other people get to live their dream houses (with all that associated money!) … haha – maybe we’re all just old and bitter! 😉

  4. Charmaine

    Yep I am in love with Kevin McCloud. Haven’t got into the Australian Grand Designs. I just liked watching the show to see the type of houses people would build. I didn’t know there were 63 episodes. Charmaine

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Charmaine – Well I’m glad we share a love of Kevin McCloud (he’s all shades of wonderful). I must admit that I’ve never seen the Australian Grand Designs (and didn’t actually know there was such a version until you mentioned it) – but I think for now I’ll stick to Kevin! 😉

      It’s amazing to see the different house designs and different building styles that are used in each episode … I’m definitely making quick work of those 63 episodes! 😉

  5. Ricardo

    I don’t think they have aired this show here in the states but I’m sure an American knockoff has been done or is in the works.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Ricardo – You’ll have to keep an eye out for Grand Designs … it’s a really interesting show. No doubt there would be an American version around somewhere … sometimes alternative versions of TV shows just seem to be pale imitations don’t they!?!? 😉

  6. gracia

    Oh, yes, one of my favourite shows to watch. How amazing it would be to construct your own dwelling.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Gracia – Grand Designs is fantastic and so inspirational to watch … It would be incredible to make your home completely from scratch. I’m always torn between the romanticism of doing just that one day, and my love of re-creating something that already has a sense of its own history.

  7. hila

    oh gosh, I absolutely agree, I love grand designs! I love how he weaves meaning through the spaces we inhabit. There are a lot of design shows, but this one is just special – it has a sort of depth to it that is hard to capture. I used to watch this religiously in the UK. My favourite houses were the ones built by the chap in Oxford and the couple that built their house underground.

    1. tracey (Post author)

      Hi Hila – Grand Designs seems to provide inspiration to so many of us, and that’s a wonderful thing! Kevin is great and tying everything together and making the show more than just a cold, hard view of the architecture of buildings … it’s more about creating a ‘home’ to be lived in. There have been so many interesting houses, but I think one of my favourites would have to be the underground house too (I just watched that one last night … the end result was amazing!). I’m a big fan of houses with beautiful staircase, lots of levels and an abundance of light … one day I will live in such a place! 😉

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