You may also worry you're not conversant enough in current design lingo to get much out of new BBC2 series The Great Interior Design Challenge. Fear not. The only vocab you needed to enjoy last night's episode was "upcycle". It's a verb meaning "to take a perfectly decent piece of furniture and ruin it by the addition of some old tat you bought at a car boot sale".
Each episode, presenter Tom Dyckhoff will introduce us to three unrepentant upcyclers who are then charged with making over a room each on a budget of £1,000. Last night it was the turn of Sarah, a vintage-homeware designer from Surrey, Helen an artist from Durham and James an asset manager. That's three grown adults and not one proper job between them.
Those who used to get their kicks watching Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen slaughter suburban living rooms in Changing Rooms (1996 to 2004, RIP) will be glad to note that the dreaded MDF made an appearance. The culprit was Helen, who used cardboard's cousin to construct a headboard for a bed in a trompe-l'œil style. "Definitely not shabby chic, please" were the parting words of the bed's owner, Alison. Lo and behold, when she returned in three days, her master bedroom had been miraculously transformed into – wait for it – a tour de force of shabby chic.
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