George Clarke's Old House, New Home: Couple transform box rooms

George Clarke's Old House, New Home: Couple transform box rooms

November 22, 2019

Couple transform their cramped living space into a ‘grown-up party room’ on George Clarke’s Old House, New Home – but unimpressed viewers claim it looks more like a ‘bachelor pad’

  • Michael and Nicki Willet, from London, bought Edwardian house two years ago 
  • Four bedroom home was dark and dinghy with outdated and quirky features  
  • Wowed George Clarke by transforming the space into stunning open plan space 
  • Viewers were unimpressed with space, deeming it ‘an upmarket bachelor pad’ 

A couple transformed their cramped living space into a ‘grown up party room’ on last night’s George Clarke’s Old House, New Home’ – but viewers were left unimpressed.

Michael and Nicki Willet, from London, said they never use the main living space in their four bedroom quirky Edwardian house, which they bought two years ago.

The couple, who appeared on the Channel 4 makeover programme last night, stunned George by knocking down a wall between the living room and a box room to create an adult ‘party space’ complete with cocktail cabinet and DJ decks.  

But while George praised the couple for their ‘beautiful’ transformation of the space, viewers were less than impressed, with one comparing it to an ‘upmarket bachelor pad’.

Before: Michael and Nicki Willet, from London, said they never used the main living space in their four bedroom Edwardian home on tonight’s George Clarke’s Old House, New Home

After: But the couple ended up wowing the presenter with their incredible transformation, and he deemed the space ‘unrecognisable’

Before: The couple’s home was cramped, with a quirky extension room that lacked properly insulation and double glazing, making it almost unusable   

After: Michael and Nicki transformed the previously unusable room into a trendy living space with proper insulation and double glazing  

Outside: The couple said  they fell in love with the Edwardian house is south London two years ago despite its quirky interior 

One sarcastically commented on Twitter: ‘Neighbours must just love the guy on the mixing decks.’ 

Meanwhile another wrote: ‘The house with all the orange is so masculine, looks like an upmarket bachelor pad.’ 

Photographer Michael and doctor Nicki bought the property in Streatham two years ago after immediately falling in love with the home.

Despite their attraction to the home, they added that it had ‘very unique features’ due to the previous owners ‘eclectic’ taste, including wood veneer cladding, suspended ceilings and a golden lady tile painted in the bathroom.  

Nicki added: ‘There’s also the gold handles on the doors, flowers on sockets, flowers on doors everywhere.’

Impressed: George said he was astonished by the decision to separate the main living space into one sitting room and a box room 

Dead space: The couple revealed they rarely used the space as a social area before (pictured) and instead said it had become a dumping ground for a mish-mash of their belongings  

Confusing: George said he was particularly perplexed by the ‘external’ wall that appeared to separate the main space from the box room (as seen before the transformation)

But despite the mish-mash of decorations in the home, George predominantly focused on helping the couple with the living room and box room, at the back of the house. 

While the enormous living area appeared to be one of the main spaces in the home, the couple conceded that they never used it as a social space.

The mix of styles and features in the living room, as well as the odd box room at the back of the property, left Michael and Nicki bemused.

Revealing they wanted to use the space as a living room, study and photography studio, Nicki said: ‘Hopefully George will be able to pull our needs together.’

Cluttered: The space was cluttered with old junk, including Michael’s old DJ set and vinyl collection, and almost unusable due to it’s lack of insulation 

Meanwhile the presenter and architect acknowledged they had ‘quite quirky’ touches for their lounge, music room and photography studio. 

He said the secondary box room was packed full of ‘absolutely everything’, pointing to a TV, pair of DJ decks and a huge collection of vinyl. 

George suggested somebody had tried to create an extension to the home, but done so in a ‘really cheap way’, resulting in the odd and unusable box room.    

The architect suggested the couple knock down the room between the two rooms, and instead create one huge space to make one large open plan area.

He also said that he hoped to give Michael’s records a proper area and display, adding: ‘I can’t wait for the end now, beautiful decks, fire, great lighting. Sounds like a party.’

Trendy: George was impressed by the bespoke furniture the couple had created for their home, including a DJ set and a cocktail cabinet built into the wooden cabinets 

New life: And on his return to the home, George was particularly impressed by the multi-functional space, as well as the set of DJ decks the couple had in their home 

Transformed: George called the renovated space, which includes a colourful ‘chill out zone’ and bright study space, ‘brilliant’ and ‘absolutely beautiful’ 

The couple decided to knock down the ‘strange’ internal wall that would have originally led out to the garden. 

And once they began building, they said the change was ‘rapid’. 

Michael said: ‘We’re really, really looking forward to it. It’s going to be so different than what we had before.’ 

And when George returned to the property at the end of the programme, the box room had been transformed.

The couple made the space habitable by insulating the walls and adding double glazing to the windows, while sustainably sourced wooden flooring created the illusion of one large area in the house. 

Ready to party: The couple wowed the architect with their hidden cocktail cabinet in the living room in their home 

Michael and Nicki revealed their bespoke fold down cocktail cabinet packed full of cocktail shakers, drinks and glittering glasses on the programme 

To ensure he could keep the main room as a photography studio, Michael was keen to have the walls a plain colour but the couple added pops of colour in the furnishings and study. 

George was astonished with what the couple had been able to achieve by knocking down the internal wall, calling the space ‘brilliant’ and ‘absolutely beautiful.’

By combining the rooms, they created a large usable space with several different functions, including a colourful chill out area and a bright study space.

The couple also created two large bespoke cabinets, with one acting as a DJ deck for Michael, as well as offering storage for his vinyl collection.  

Viewers were unimpressed by the renovation of Michael and Nicki’s home, with some calling it ‘an upmarket bachelor pad’ 

To create the ultimate party space, the couple also created a fold down cocktail cabinet packed full of drinks, shakers and glittering glasses in the top of the second vinyl cabinet. 

George called the floor ‘stunning’ and said the wood burning added to a rustic feel, as well as praising the bespoke furniture. 

He added that the space was ‘unrecognisable’, saying: ‘I could happily spend hours hanging out here.’  

And Michael explained: ‘It’s created a whole new space for us to hang out, because we would never ever have come into this space before.’

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