I Own Britain's Best Home

2009 - Episode 6

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Michael heads off to an arts-and-crafts mansion in the Norfolk countryside. Built in 1905, the house has a checkered history – including a period of requisition by the army and a spell as a nursing home. It is now owned by antiques expert Simon and his teenage son, Jack. Designed around a butterfly imprint, the house has an astounding 14 bedrooms and seven bathrooms. When Michael arrives, Simon gives him a map and instructs him to pick a room for the night! Simon worked hard to put the run-down property to rights, collaborating with friends and artists to create a gloriously eclectic mix of styles. In addition to the original features he inherited, Simon has added a variety of textures, from furs and silks to African artefacts. “The imagination that’s gone into this house is mind-blowing,” marvels Michael.

Elsewhere, Melissa arrives at Ally and Gary’s Georgian farmhouse in Lincolnshire. When the couple bought the property in 2003 it was in a dilapidated state, but they realised it was the perfect home for their five children. “It’s been an amazing process. We’ve learned a lot about each other,” says Gary. The pair were keen to blend period style with 21st-century comfort. Ally stuck to a Georgian colour scheme of blues, greys and deep reds, while her use of mirrors cleverly creates the illusion of space. As the family gathers around a bonfire to toast marshmallows, Melissa is charmed by her hosts. “This place is more than fancy paint schemes and gorgeous furniture – they’ve created an atmosphere that encourages the family to spend time together,” she enthuses.

In the heart of the Midlands, Russell rolls up for a blissful stay at Charlotte and Chris’s 19th-century town house. The couple love staying in boutique hotels, but after the arrival of their first baby they decided to recreate the hotel experience at home. Russell is knocked out by Charlotte’s bold use of colour and light-reflecting materials. And with chocolates, luxurious toiletries and even breakfast in bed, Russell is left wishing he could stay another 24 hours. “Charlotte and Chris could give any hotel a run for its money. I’ve had a ball,” he says. Will artistic expression, family fun or indulgent pampering swing the vote this week?

More episodes

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  • 2009 - Episode 7

    Melissa stays in a New England-style house in Suffolk, and Russell visits a suburban family home in Kent.

    Available until 22:00 20 May 2014

Previous

  • 2009 - Episode 5

    Melissa visits an 18th-century cottage in Devon, Russell is bowled over by a Tudor manor house, and Michael falls for a swanky bachelor pad.

    Available until 22:00 20 May 2014

  • 2009 - Episode 4

    Michael visits a mock Tudor cottage in Surrey, and Russell is charmed by a Cotswold stone conversion.

    Available until 22:00 20 May 2014

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