If you watched TV in the mid-80s you might remember the show Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, where you’d get to peer into the daily lives and homes of movie stars and moguls. The life lesson for most viewers was that when it comes to interior design, cash flow can be a tremendous blessing or a terrible curse. Gaudy zebra striped jacuzzi party rooms, gold plated kitchen cupboards and velvet covered walls are definitely not everyone’s cup of tea!
Fast forward to 2018, and now there’s a new show to gawk at: The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes. The BBC show, now available on Netflix, stars two lively and absolutely charming hosts, Caroline Quentin, an acclaimed actor and passionate property developer, and Piers Taylor, an award-winning architect. Via trains, planes, boats and automobiles they take us on very intimate tours of homes which are truly extraordinary. So far, the Coast episode is our fave, here’s why:
“Increasingly, I’m starting to realize that what’s important about a good house is the atmosphere – about how it functions. A house like this, the minute you’re here you start to relax,” says Caroline about Cabin Lyngholmen, a remote island home in Norway. Designed by Lund Hagem Architects, the cabin was built on a 100-square metre footprint of a 1960s cottage that had previously stood on the site. What Caroline is alluding to, is the home’s extraordinary simplicity; no extravagant furnishings nor lavish art are needed when nature is on display.
Piers has a similar epiphany relating to the home’s atmosphere while cleaning up in the cabin’s outdoor shower. He’s in awe of the waterfall-like sensation of showering outdoors, with a view of rock, sea and the sky. What mesmerizes him is that for the cabin owners, the extraordinary outdoor shower experience is part of their everyday life!
The other coastal home that wowed us was Waterfall Bay House in New Zealand, a 75-acre secluded retreat nestled between a seaside shore and luscious bushland. Designed by Bossley Architects, the home is tremendously rich and interesting with features like reclaimed hardwood and rescued ironbark columns sourced from old railway bridges. Piers describes the home as ‘sensory bliss’ because the architecture takes a back seat to the wood, greenery and turquoise water.
The show is nothing short of addictive, but the bonus is the endless trade secrets, design ideas and DIY tips you can adopt to beautify your own home.
Photo by Annie Spratt