Grand Designs: What would I do?

For those that aren’t familiar with “Grand Designs” it’s a television show in the UK broadcast on Channel 4 which features unusual and often elaborate architectural home-building projects in Britain as the individuals attempt to design and construct the home of their dreams. The programme is presented by Kevin McCloud.

I watch this show quite frequently and it has often made me think if given the chance (and with the available funds) what my grand design home would look like – inside and out and where it would be.

Location, location, location:

I love the countryside, so naturally my home would be likely in a rural location but still close to local amenities. The first place that comes to mind is something similar to where the Cullen’s home is situated in the Twilight book series (keyword: books, i.e. not the movies).

This description puts it nicely:

The location of the Cullen house is out beyond Forks itself, over “the bridge at the Calawah River,” from which point the road winds northwards. There is an “unpaved road. It was unmarked, barely visible amongst the ferns,” (TWilight, chapter 15) that Edward takes to get to the house, and he drives through thick forest for “a few miles” (Twilight, chapter 15) before the house becomes visible.

From the outside, there is a lawn or meadow, with “six primordial cedars that shaded an entire acre with their vast sweep of branches” (Twilight, chapter 15) that ensure that shade stretches right up to the house.

We are also told in the same chapter that the river can be heard close by.

Source: Twilight Lexicon

In short, a secluded area, possibly woodland would be a dream location for me. Other location ideas would be near to a secluded beach with a woodland area nearby or somewhere with snow – think Swiss Alps.

Simply beautiful. (© Journal Week)

On the outside.

I generally like old houses. Living in the Cotswolds, I love ‘Cotswold Stone’ buildings – but I’d think this would be expensive. Alternatively, I think transforming a damaged castle would be an interesting project and a great way to save a dis-used building, however I could just use the money to restore the castle to it’s former glory haha.

Whatever material I decided to use, the house itself would likely have a modern feel to it like the examples below.

Daily Mail at


Quince Tree Cottage, Rockness, Gloucestershire. Architect: Millar Howard Workshop
Quintin Lake Architectural Photography Blog)


Grand Designs House
Daily Mail Online)

Stommel Haus)

Screen shot 2012-09-15 at 00.00.14
(© Architecture Students Diary)

Having said that I wouldn’t want it to be too modern (no odd geometric designs here) or it would spoil the rustic feel of the house.

The house itself would likely be on two or three floors, very open, with a lot of natural light. There would a lot of greenery. A large garden perhaps?

On the inside

A pool! I’ve always liked the idea of a pool inside a house (or alternatively an outdoor pool depending on location!).

Besides a pool, a big kitchen and master bedroom are a must. I don’t know about you but I spend more of my time in my bedroom than I do in my living room. The only times I use the living room are when we have guests over or when we want to watch a Blu Ray or Sky tv.

The Kitchen

I love wooden cupboards in kitchens so this would be a must for me! Storage in the kitchen would be very important, I like to bake and would need somewhere for all my various bakeware.

I’d also want a work station in the centre of the kitchen, preferably with a sink. So two people could use the kitchen together or I could have two dishes on the go.

A few other things I’d like to have include.

  • Dishwasher
  • Gas oven
  • Large fridge freezer, preferably with a water dispenser

I think white for these items would look best with the wood?

The master bedroom

An en-suite bathroom would be a dream come true and a large bed as I love my space.

Depending on the size of the other bedroom(s) – my ideal house would have 2 or 3 – built-in wardrobes would be a good feature to have. I like designs that blend in to the wall so it’s difficult to tell there’s actually a wardrobe there.

The 2nd/3rd bedroom(s)

One of these would likely be an extra storage area and the other an office / memorabilia room – I imagine my collectables displayed in one of these rooms.

The main bathroom

I love baths, so would love a large bath, perhaps a whirlpool bath(?) and then a separate shower unit. I like white and chrome for bathrooms with perhaps grey or cream colouring/tiling – think slate or stone.

The Living Room

A tv on the wall, blu ray player, Sky+, games consoles, DVD player, video player (yes, I still own some videotapes!). A large coffee table, a comfy sofa – I think an ‘L’ shaped one or a sofa bed would be good.

The Living Room would likely be a living come dining room or have an archway to a smaller room adjacent to it which would be the dining room – something like this: Dining Room Archway photo on Flickr.

Other rooms I’d love:

A Library:
Marie Claire Maison)

What would your dream home be like if money was no object? Perhaps a Lego house ala James May?

Unfortunately, that particular Lego house no longer exists. Sadly it was dismantled after no buyer was found for it. 😔

If I have used one of your images and you would like it removed, please let me know and I will be happy to do so. No copyright infringement is intended nor applied.

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