Design shows to make your home makeover a reality

Give your “castle in the sky” a winter wonderland makeover with inspiring design shows on DStv

Is your castle in the sky collecting cobwebs? Dream home in need of a reno?

Whether your ultimate fantasy living space was inspired by a pretty pink plastic dollhouse, or an actual castle you saw on television or a film, it’s probably a rich mish-mash of architectural styles and features and budget-busting decor.

A few more ideas can only help it to grow more magnificent – or trim down your ideas into a perfect dream. Whether you’re looking for a new fantasy or to renovate your current dream home, there’s a TV design show to give you something to fantasise about this winter on DStv.


Impossible Builds

If you fancy being a hermit, living off the grid in the wilderness and the house of your dreams is eco-friendly, this show introduces some interesting new twists. Hosts Charlie Luxton and Aidan Keane take you inside some of the most remote new-built houses in the UK. See how families are combining prefabricated and kit homes with bespoke features, building in energy efficient new features using the latest technology, and transporting building materials into the wilderness to create their getaways. The show focuses on budget-friendly(ish) homes with a reduced environmental impact, and the dramatic weather and bureaucratic obstacles they’ve overcome along the way.

Watch S1 on Fridays on The Home Channel (DStv 176) at 20:00


Great Escapes with Colin and Justin

This is another show for people whose dream home includes wilderness areas and a green footprint. The more you know, the easier it’ll be to imagine your dream home. British designers Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan are heading round the United States to study homes that combine isolated locations, cutting-edge eco-friendly adaptations, engineering that accommodates the challenges presented by unusual building sites, and great architectural design. In each episode, Colin and Justin use different houses to explore architectural themes like scale, sustainability, harmony with nature, building on or near water, and building with materials like wood.

Watch S1 on Mondays on The Home Channel (DStv 176) at 19:30


Unboxed with Nikki Chu

Once you’ve upgraded your dream home, it’s time to make it look fabulous. Whether her clients want fashion-inspired spaces to live in, or a modern take on the mancave, designer Nikki Chu gets it done. But there is a catch: Each candidate who’s come to Nikki for a room makeover picks one of two mystery boxes containing inspirational objects. Nikki then bases the design around the chosen objects to transform their space in just 3 days. It’s a kind of room makeover roulette. Aside from this touch of the “funknown”, the show is worth watching for Nikki’s take on design topics like colour theory and balancing space and furniture. Nikki, who co-authored the book The Top 15 Mistakes a #DesignBoss Would Never Make, has plenty to say about what makes or breaks great decor.

Watch S1 on Tuesdays on The Home Channel (DStv 176) at 19:30


World’s Most Secret Homes

This series goes one-up on secret passageways to bring you hidden houses. From bunkers to cabins on far-off islands, to secret mountain getaways, these properties keep the outside world at bay. The show uses drone footage to capture the houses’ settings and give a fly-thru of their special features. Featured houses also contain surprises like mirrored walls that allow them to blend in with their surroundings, and folding sections that help part of the house to disappear. Each home has a special twist, like the crumbling walls of a castle that hide a modern house inside, to a San Francisco house whose exterior blends in with the Lombard Street neighbourhood, while the inside runs wild.

Watch S1 from Wednesday, 8 July on BBC Lifestyle (DStv 174) at 20:00


Your Home Made Perfect

Cautious even thinking about your dream home? This series uses visual effects and virtual reality (VR) technology tech to guide dreamers through models of what the houses or additions and renovations that they’re planning would look like once they’re completed. Architects Laura Jane Clark and Robert Jamison will pitch their rival ideas to families who’ve gotten stuck with their building process, or have dream homes that have turned into a nightmare. Based on their VR walkthrough, the owners will pick one architect’s vision – full of fun ideas like sleep pods and secret doors or climbing walls – to execute.

Watch S2 from Friday, 10 July on BBC Lifestyle (DStv 174) at 20:00


My Dream Home

“Property Brothers” stars and identical twins Drew and Jonathan Scott are helping couples to turn run-down “house of horrors” properties into one in a million dreams. Drew finds the hidden gems, while Jonathan gets hands-on with fixing them up in this home reno show with a heart and an emphasis on family. And if you want to make your dream home a reality, Jonathan and Scott are full of all sorts of useful advice about dealing with contractors, spotting the difference between a bargain and a money pit, and picking out shoddy wiring that could start a fire (just look at episode 4). Sometimes our dreams need a little hand holding along the way.

Watch S7 from Monday, 13 July on The Home Channel (DStv 176) at 17:00

Hawaii Life

When it comes to location, location, location, what could be more romantic for a dream house than the Hawaiian Islands? The agents from Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers are helping island newcomers to find their feet as they search for space on Hawaii’s tricky property market, which has seen most affordable and desirable properties snatched up by rich investors, leaving residents to fight over the scraps. Part of the fun is seeing some of the spaces that have been converted into homes, from lighthouses, to sweet factories and even petrol stations, to meet the demand for housing.

Watch S10 from Friday, 17 July on HGTV (DStv 177) at 19:50


Rock The Block

There's nothing like a reality show to make you realise that your dreams are just a few hours or days of solid work away from becoming realities – one step at a time. In this series, HGTV design stars Leanne Ford (Restored by the Fords), Mina Starsiak Hawk (Good Bones), Jasmine Roth (Hidden Potential) and Alison Victoria (Windy City Rehab) have each been given identical properties to make over in an LA suburb. Each of them will be trying to come out at the end with the most value added to their property. There’s inspiration galore as they tackle master suites, kitchens, great rooms, spare rooms and outdoor living areas. With just four weeks and a limited budget, some dreams will be clashing with reality. And just when the designers are stretched to their limits, host Drew Scott will roll up with a spanner to throw in the works – like an actual, physical barn that has to be worked into the kitchen design. And for HGTV fans, it’s a talent-spotting game as familiar faces drop by to “help”.

Watch S1 from Tuesday, 21 July on HGTV (DStv 177) at 19:50

And don’t miss these...

  • Dream Home Ideas S1 on Mondays on The Home Channel (DStv 176) at 18:30
  • The Home Team S3 on Mondays on The Home Channel (DStv 176) at 19:30
  • House Doctor S1 on Mondays on The Home Channel (DStv 176) at 20:00
  • Australia’s Best Houses on Tuesdays on The Home Channel (DStv 176) at 18:30
  • Escape To The Country S16 on Tuesdays on The Home Channel (DStv 176) at 21:00
  • Home Of The Year S3 from Monday, 6 July on The Home Channel (DStv 176) at 18:30
  • Weekend Reno S1 from Tuesday, 7 July on The Home Channel (DStv 176) at 19:00
  • Inside Out Homes S1 from Tuesday, 21 July on The Home Channel (DStv 176) at 20:00
  • Marbella Mansions S1 from Monday, 27 July on The Home Channel (DStv 176) at 16:00
How to watch design and home reno TV online

Sign up for DStv Now. It’s no extra cost for DStv subscribers! With DStv Now, the same channels you watch on your decoder at home are available for you to stream online, or using the DStv Now app on your phone.

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