Showhouse Showdown got off to an explosive start last night.
TV3’s newest interiors show sees two designers go head-to-head to transform identical properties from the ground up.
The designers have six days to transform their property, working with the direction of design legends Laurence Llewelyn Bowen and Neville Knott. Each designer will also compete to be crowned the winner of Harvey Norman’s room of the week.
Neville Knott and Laurence Llewelyn Bowen have taken charge of TV3’s hot new interiors show. Pic: Showhouse Showdown
On the seventh day the houses will be thrown open to the public who will decide the winner.
Each designer will also compete to be crowned Harvey Norman’s room of the week. Last night’s episode took place at The Medows in Wicklow Town.
Interior architect Jackie headed straight to Harvey Norman to complete her look. Pic: TV3
Interior architect Jackie Carton was challenged to design for a family living in modern four bed home.
Jackie entered the industry at the height of the financial crisis but rather than admit defeat she decided to launch her own business and is still going strong.
Her theme drew inspiration from Wicklow as ‘the garden of Ireland.’
Jackie’s competition was architect and interior designer Nuala Dempster. Nuala left her job as an architect to raise her family but decided to leave the ‘gritty’ world of architecture behind when she re-entered the workforce.
Nuala was thrown a curve ball when her show house was bought out. Her amended brief was to design for a first time, male buyer.
Her ‘unapologetically male’ theme made the judges wonder if the public would connect with her design.
Both designers were on tender hooks as they awaited the public’s reaction. Pic: TV3
Both designers got off to a flying start but it wasn’t long before they called in the cavalry in the form of the Nuala’s son Adam and Jackie’s husband Alan.
Halfway through the competition both designers were given the opportunity to view one room in the others house.
And what did they make of the competition? Well, Nuala loved the pannelling in Jackie’s master bedroom but she wasn’t keen on her choice of furniture. Jackie’s decision to use fish in the en-suite also didn’t sit well with her.
Jackie meanwhile found Nuala’s offering ‘interesting’ and felt that some parts worked while others didn’t.
The crowd loved Jackie’s yellow and grey ‘ombre living room’. Pic: TV3
Ultimately though it was up to the public to decide who the winner is and when the doors were thrown open, there were mixed reactions to both designs.
Some praised the textured feature wall in Nuala’s kitchen/dining room while the only man in the crowd referred to it as ‘very clinical.’
Nuala’s deep blue living room also divided opinion. One woman described it as too dark and said ‘She couldn’t live with it.’ The homeowner John however said that ‘he really liked it’ and felt that it was young and trendy.
Her take on a masculine master bedroom fared better with the crowd but it was her home office that won the day away with homeowner John being particularly impressed with the way she incorporated the Beano into the design.
Moving on to house B and the response for Jackie’s ombre kitchen come dining room was overwhelmingly positive.
Her children’s bedroom was a hit with everyone. Pic: TV3
Her living room however didn’t draw the same reaction with many saying they didn’t like the tiles on the chimney breast and the upside down ‘false nails’ light shade.
Her master bedroom also drew mixed reaction, some said they liked it but that they felt that it was too masculine while others felt that the feature wall made the room smaller. Jackie was back on form with her take on a child’s bedroom which blew the crowd away.
If you want to shop the looks from the series, log on to www.harveynorman.ie
Votes cast, it was time to choose a winner and while it was a close call, Jackie won out in the best use of colour category. The wall panelling in her master bedroom meanwhile was voted the public’s favourite item.
Onto the big question and after much deliberation the public felt that Jackie had the winning design.
Jackie’s dining room was voted the Harvey Norman room of the week. Pic: TV3
‘I’m delighted to have won’ she said ‘… I’m delighted with how it all turned out.’ Each designer in the competition will also compete to have one room from their design put forward for the Harvey Norman room of the series.
Yvonne Nugent, Head of homewares at Harvey Norman is tasked with choosing the winning room each week. Her choice was Jackie’s dining room and here’s why:
Stay tuned to TV3 on Tuesday night for the next installment of Showhouse Showdown.
By Claire Hyland