Chorlton Architect Lisa Raynes will battle with Didsbury Arthouse's Laura Mayall for the title of 'best house' for a Lancashire episode of the daytime TV show.
Alongside Rochdale’s Kate Lomax and Blackburn’s Emma Metcalf, Lisa and Laura compete in the competition in the series finale of ITVs May the Best House Win to be aired on 23 December, for the ‘Come Dine with Me’ style competition.
Over two days the women welcomed their three fellow contestants into their homes to be rated on style, comfort and hospitality.
'I was delighted to show my home on ITV's daytime programme, but now it's getting nearer the airing I'm petrified with how I'll come across' says Lisa. ' I would describe my house as Chorlton boho eclectic. People always think we’ve had an extension as the space in our house is so cleverly designed. But all I've done is maximised space and built in vintage and eclectic finds from all over the world. As an architect I respect people's individual style. Let's see how that comes across in the filming - I might just appear boring'.
I entered the competition for a bit of fun. It’s my day job as an architect to look around people’s houses and help them make the most of them, whether it’s replanning, letting light in, extending or even building from scratch. It’s the bit about my job that I love, talking to people and finding out what makes them and their house tick. I also wanted to show what can be achieved with terraced property like mine.
Filming was done in two batches. Firstly the crew came to film me and my house, and two weeks later was the competition filming.
When they arrived for the first tv interview I was miked up and then they left me whilst they were filming round the house, within seconds I forgot about the mic- it happens so quickly... my first mistake?
Then I tried to make friends with the crew, I figured that if I charmed the crew I was less likely to be given a rum deal in the editing. I think it gave me a false sense of security. As the interview questions started I had voice over man’s catty comments going on in my head. I’d had the questions previously but I didn’t want to be over rehearsed... second mistake ?
But then I started to get used to the sound of my own voice, in fact throughout the whole of the filming, I hugely enjoyed commentating on everything I was doing, usually repeated three times so the single camera lady could get frontal view, rear view and detail view. No wonder there are so many continuity issues, scenes have to be shot three times. It wasn't so easy repeating conversations once I met the others, conversation sounds really forced and stilted when you try and have the same interaction three times.
I figured out that the first house was fairly local by my pick up time, in fact I'd worked out where I was going the night before on twitter, as someone had tweeted about supplying something for a contestant in MTBHW, so I had chance to size up my first opponent. We arrived at the house and I was transferred into the crew’s car and kept locked in until it was my turn for filming.
So I knew what to expect when I went to former model Laura Mayall house, a large Victorian semi in Didsbury was not so dissimilar to my house on paper, but in reality I found it quite heartless and was quite relieved. After an initial introduction by our host, Laura was sent out of her own home to stand in the garden in the rain.
My fellow contestants were Kate and Emma. Kate was dressed in one of those play suit things with beads cardy and gladiator sandles, bang on trend at the time, and she was mad as a hatter in a lovely way with an infectious laugh and a comment on every thing. Emma was quite prim and had a self professed OCD tendency.
The other girls didn't bite their tongues so much once we were left to our own devices, the claws really came out - and they didn't need any prompting by the crew. There were a couple of issues - one with the quotes in the artwork and the other in the level of cleanliness ( I got right on the phone to hubby and asked our house to have another going over- in fact I'd sent the kids packing for the night so they wouldn't mess it up once it was clean!) The crew didn't have to do too much to promote a reaction.
We were all brought back together and the hostess Laura provided entertainment with Andy Burgess, brother of Tim Burgess, who used a chainsaw to carve wood right before our eyes and poet Mike Garry with his controversial poem ‘God is a Manc’ to accompany the art works in her house.
Then it was interview time, where one by one, we were individually filmed for our thoughts and scoring. That’s when the crew really started pushing my buttons to get a negative response, I was quite unprepared for that, all of a sudden the charm turned against me.
The second house was Emma's the OCD girl in Blackburn. The crew asked ‘a what do you think it will be like’ before we arrived- I got it pretty bob on with my thoughts. Internally the housekeeping was up to 5 star hotel standard. I likened it to my mother in laws house, although the way it came out was a wee bit bitchy.
My house was filmed on the second day. I shopped In Chorlton’s local independent shops for high quality ingredients for my hospitality with smoked salmon and samphire from Out of the Blue fish shop and gluten free products from Unicorn. My guests and the film crew adored it, or so they told me to my face and provided unusual entertainment in the form of .... Well you'll just have to watch to find out.
The last house was Kate’s in Rochdale. Her house was completely bonkers - a seventies bungalow that had been overextended and the entrance relocated, which was really confusing. The main entrance was via the kitchen and the internal hall had no daylight at all. However Kate’s had gone to town with the internal decoration, which has to be seen to be believed. Kate was a lovely host and a good time was had by all.
When we bought our house it was bedsits. We even found needles in the gulley out the back. We lovingly converted our mid Victorian terrace house back into a family home, knocking out a chimney breast here, a wall there, adding french doors in the kitchen. Little tricks like having a glass door from the hall to the kitchen, and a roof light at the top of the stairs, means that the centre of the house is flooded with light. The centralised french doors in the kitchen also means that you have a connection with the garden as soon as you walk in the house.
We’ve retained period details, but where new additions were required, we sourced elements from different periods and different counties. 1960 g-plan units fit into alcoves, new shelving units with clean lines have been added. There’s a freestanding wall in the bedroom that cunningly hides dressing areas, and our kitchen and bathroom tiling was imported from Morocco. Kids artwork is incorporated into wallpaper, and the kids stuff is celebrated, after all it is a family home.
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