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The best home design programmes to watch in 2021


When you are looking to redecorate or even renovate your home, there is inspiration everywhere. One of the best places to look for ideas is on TV, with a great range of home design, improvement and renovation programmes available to all. Here, you can often witness the planning process, development process and the final product, offering a great insight into projects that you’d otherwise not get.

Whether you are just looking to update a single room in your home, or are planning a complete renovation, in this article we suggest our favourite home design programmes to watch in 2021.

Interior Design Masters with Alan Carr

If you are looking for unique design inspiration, there are some wonderful shows on offer. Interior Design Masters with Alan Carr created by the BBC pits a range of interior designers against one another in weekly competitions asking them to redesign spaces from hotel suites to shop fronts. With a line-up of new-to-the-scene creators, you are shown a great range of designs and ideas that you may not see from more established designers.

Claire from Stapos Thrifty Life Hacks recommends this show, telling us: “I love Interior Design Masters with Alan Carr. The show was broadcasted on BBC2, but I’ve binge-watched the whole thing on BBC iPlayer. I love hearing the design brief and then seeing the design come to life and the contestants do amazing things on a modest budget of £3,000. The designers are very likeable too and I found myself developing favourites and hoping that certain designers went all the way.”

Cabins in the Wild with Dick Strawbridge

For the eco-conscious homeowner, there is an increasing number of shows that can offer some great, low-impact inspiration and one of those, from Netflix, is Cabins in the Wild with Dick Strawbridge. In the show, a range of teams create bespoke designs for wilderness stay cabins in Wales.

Ben sculpts handmade wooden furniture at his store, Wood Create, and he finds a lot of inspiration in this show. He told us: “I loved watching Cabins in the Wild with Dick Strawbridge, which is currently available on Netflix as a miniseries. Dick and Will Hardy follow eight great design teams tasked to come up with completely unique designs for a pop-up hotel in Wales. The diversity and range of each cabin explores the challenges of the brief to include a habitable, low footprint, off-grid cabin set within a beautiful rolling hill landscape.

“It’s very inspirational for those planning their own small functional spaces. Whether it’s a home extension project, garden escape or a holiday let idea, this program touches on architecture, interior design and fusion between modern design and the natural world. Being a furniture designer myself, this program is one of my favourites.”

Man drilling hole in wood

Extreme Makeover Home Edition

Next, a popular show from the USA, Extreme Makeover Home Edition. For some feel-good TV that also offers a wide range of design solutions and renovations, this is one you’ll have to grab a notepad and a box of tissues for. We aren’t sure whether you’ll be able to hire a bus to reveal your transformation, however.

Emma from Lipgloss and Curves tells us what it is about this show that makes it so special to her: “I love watching this even though it’s not based in the UK, as it shows a community working together to help families in need. It also puts a smile on my face when watching through lockdown to know there are some good people out there, ready to help and build families who do so much for other people but struggle themselves.”


Similar to Extreme Makeover Home Edition, DIY SOS sends a team of experts and local volunteers to help a family in need by remodelling their home in a short space of time. The programme really tugs on the heartstrings and shows the local community coming together to help a household of people that really need the boost.

From adding in house lifts for disabled use to creating more rooms from the same floorplan, each project is different and goes a long way to show you just how much can be done with your existing space.

Homes Under the Hammer

An integral part of UK TV, Homes Under the Hammer has now been running for 18 years and is still as popular as ever. Offering a look at the property auction world, the show follows a buyer from auction through restoration and shows you the end result. Focusing mainly on property developers, it shows that even the professionals don’t find renovation easy all of the time.

Jacqui Paterson is a longstanding fan of the show, telling us: “When it comes to home renovation programmes, you just can’t beat that eternal classic – Homes Under the Hammer. I watched this religiously when I was looking after my newborn baby (who is now 12!) and it filled me with loads of inspiration and ideas for when we moved out of our London flat, and into our very own home.

“I love that it shows real renovations by real people – it’s not one of those gimmicky ‘made-over-in-a-day’ shows. You get to see the entire rollercoaster journey, from bidding on the property to seeing it for the first time as the owners, to fixing it up – with varying degrees of success. It’s also an eye-opener for those who think property renovation is an easy way to make money, as it often shows plans going completely awry due to planning delays, disputes with workmen and budget issues.

“But, when done right, the transformations are incredible, and it proves how vision and a lot of hard work can bring a tired old property back to life.”

Bookshelf organised by colour

Get Organized with The Home Edit

Sometimes, the hardest part of a remodel can actually be working out what to do with your belongings. After years in a home, we can accumulate a lot of things that we don’t really need to hold on to and are only doing so because we don’t realise how much there is weighing us down.

If this is a situation you find yourself familiar with, then the American show, Get Organized with The Home Edit on Netflix is the answer. Offering an easy, three-step plan you can see the team help both the rich and famous as well as ordinary families who are looking for some organisation in their homes.

Petra from A Mum Reviews recommended this, telling us: “I’ve been watching Get Organized with The Home Edit on Netflix for home inspiration and it’s a great show to watch if you need some ideas for organising your home beautifully and well.”

Sort Your Life Out

Looking for a home organisation programme a little closer to home? The newly debuted Sort Your Life Out hosted by Stacey Solomon operates in a similar way to Get Organized but in the UK, helping homeowners not only organise what they have in their houses but reimagine their living space to get the most use out of it.

The show gets the homeowners to remove every item from their home, displaying it in a warehouse where they cut down what they own (by selling, donating or recycling it) and they receive a home renovation during the process. Talking about the concept, Christopher Stevens writes for The Daily Mail: “It was a shocking visual indictment of what a wasteful society we’ve become, and the family were brave to put their life on show this way. The reward was worth it: by the time they’d donated, sold or chucked half their worldly goods, Stacey and co had redesigned their home, from hoarder’s paradise to show palace.”

Living Big in a Tiny House

It isn’t just on standard TV channels or streaming services that you are able to find some inspiring shows. Living Big in a Tiny House is a YouTube show that does what it says on the tin – shows ingenious ways to maximise space in a smaller home.

The issue of space can be one that many experience in their lives and, although your home may not be as small as the ones in the show, the amazing space-saving ideas might just be what you need to make your house work for you. Petra shares that the show “features lots of clever home design ideas and solutions for living small and living with less.”

The best home design programmes to watch in 2021

  • Interior Design Masters with Alan Carr
  • Cabins in the Wild with Dick Strawbridge
  • Extreme Makeover Home Edition
  • Homes Under the Hammer
  • Get Organized with The Home Edit
  • Sort Your Life Out
  • Living Big in a Tiny House

From shows offering amazing interior design ideas to those demonstrating complete home renovations, if you are planning a project of any size there will be something in this article that can offer you some inspiration and entertainment.

For more of our own tips, guides, and advice, make sure to visit our news page.

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