Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen is known for his bold design choices but his thoughts on how the Prime Minister and his wife should decorate their Downing Street flat might raise eyebrows.
The nation’s foremost residence should be unashamedly “quirky” the interior designer and TV personality asserts.
“Let’s get a bit more Brit-popular again,” he says. “Put a bit of paisley pattern on the front door, for sure.”
Speaking in the run up to the long-awaited return of cult interior design show Changing Rooms – which will see Llewelyn-Bowen back as a designer and will this time be helmed by Anna Richardson – the 56-year-old likes the idea of making strong interior choices for Boris and Carrie Johnson’s flat.
“Surely the whole point of Downing Street is to act as a showpiece for what British design is about and how incredibly exciting it is?” he contends.
“I would much rather our leader presented a vision of British interior, British craft, that was incredibly relevant and that was very much about leading the pack, that was very inspirational, rather than just being off the shelf from John Lewis or, you know, out of the tin from Farrow & Ball.”
It’s clear Llewelyn-Bowen is as fond of flamboyant style as he ever was. But when Changing Rooms comes back to our screens this week, there will be some changes to the show, he promises.
8th June is Officialy Changing Rooms day, the very day we start filming the Reboot; the Battle to make Britain Bright Again will start in minutes and I am totally prepared to go Over The Top once more………..wish me luck x pic.twitter.com/ndSRRj1Cuf
— Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen (@LlewelynBowen) June 8, 2021
Newly acquired by Channel 4, the cult programme which ran between 1996 and 2004, will mark 25 years since the first episode was aired on September 4.
“That is a very, very long time,” says Llewelyn-Bowen, noting the “big changes” to the forthcoming series are “the things that I’ve always wanted to change”.
“We’re still doing two days, we’re still swapping neighbours, we don’t know anything about our client, but we’ve got really very serious, decent budgets.
“So often with the original series, the designs were great – but they just never ended up being that well-built. With the best will in the world, it was kind of, ‘it looks good but don’t lean on it because it’s like a Crossroads set’.
Naked Attraction’s Anna Richardson stepping in to take over hosting duties from Carol Smiley, and Llewelyn-Bowen says working with her has been a “delight” and describes her as having a “rather starchy, Home Counties feel” with something “quite nurse-like” about her.
“She sort of gets you through Naked Attraction, you know? She’s got that ability to say, ‘Right, OK, now put it back in your trousers’.”
Changing Rooms, Wednesday, 8pm, Channel 4.
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