Belinda Graham from The Happy Home Blog is inspired by Grand Designs:
"I never thought I’d be inspired by a television show, but one that has me wanting to build a house with my own bare hands. My husband, Steve, got me hooked last year and now watching recorded episodes is how we relax (is that sad?!).
"But seeing people from all walks of life dreaming big and actually turning their ideas, hopes and visions into an incredible home has us thinking big too. I love everything to do with homes and so building one from scratch or bringing an old rundown shell back to life really appeals to me. And watching this show has us determined to do so one day. So we collect our ideas and file them away, draw floorplans for fun and create essentials wishlists. Now we just need the perfect plot. Oh, and maybe some money…
"The entertainment in this show is that there is always a twist to these homes – watching a McMansion being built would hardly make riveting television (to me!). But these homes are self-sufficient, rundown historically listed places like barns or castles, experiments in new materials, built over Lochs, odd-shaped or almost backwards in their construction.
"One of my faves is this wooden house (pictured). It was built by a woodsman – by himself with a couple of mates (for free! He taught them carpentry in return!) – using materials from his woods, ropes and hands instead of cranes, hay bales for insulation and recycled fittings. It’s incredibly charming, quaint, self-sufficient and perfectly natural. I want one!
"Grand Designs is on Foxtel’s Lifestyle channel and ABC. You can check out extras, images and episode guides here. And for more of the woodsman cottage go here."