The House & Garden team pick their interior design TV comfort watches

The House & Garden team pick their interior design TV comfort watches

Interior design television programmes are a weird bunch. They span everything from hour-long journeys around dusty corners of Britain in old-fashioned cars, looking (hunting?) for bargains, to full-house renovations involving hardwood cladding and insulation made from hay bales and the like. There’s something for everyone to kick back to, relax and watch — so the House & Garden team canvassed each other on our respective favourites…

I can’t express how much joy and comfort Antiques Road Trip gives me. It has become my evening ASMR to watch cheeky Charles Hanson whizz about glorious countryside in a vintage car haggling with dusty dealers for a Victorian chamber pot for a fiver. I strictly get my kicks via reruns on channel REALLY, so most of the episodes are about ten years old, which is even better. The show is topped off with a nail biting head-to-head auction between the two dealers of the week at a regional auctioneer’s. Sales are often low, but the thrill is exceedingly high.—Rémy Mishon, Assistant Decoration Editor

Location, Location, Location will always get my vote. Kirstie Allsopp and Phil Spencer are the perfect team, of course, but Phil in particular is just the sort of reassuring presence I would want on a house hunt. I think if everyone could have a mini-Phil accompanying them in their daily life and helping them to make decisions about, say, what to have for dinner or what jeans to buy, the world would be a much happier place. Perhaps he should consider making a hologram of himself.—Virginia Clark, Digital Editor

The most comforting thing about Bargain Hunt is how extremely, dazzlingly little is at stake: often, a team will win because they managed to buy, say, a little glazed pot for £8 rather than £12, selling it later at auction for £15 or £20. It all feels very friendly and very British, somehow, as though the series itself is cloaked in a sort of genteel poverty. Bargain Hunt is also eternal: 1,800 episodes and counting have aired since David Dickinson’s bouffant locks first graced our screens in 2000. That’s around 1,350 hours of television during which I can turn my brain off and half-listen as experts talk excitedly about why a certain type of pewter tankard is a thrilling find. It’s the TV equivalent of sweet, soupy ice cream on a hot Sunday afternoon.—Thomas Barrie, Acting Digital Features Editor

I can watch episodes of A Place in the Sun like children can watch Peppa Pig – endlessly, with wide eyes, mouth agape in fascination. It helps that it seems to always be playing on some channel or the other and you rarely come across an episode you've already seen. There are some caveats to my love of the show; the more I watch, the pickier I am about the conditions of the episode. I want a higher budget and ideally, an interesting location or somewhere I would want to move to. Putting it bluntly, I gain little comfort from budgets below £100,000 where they end up looking at sad, modern resort complexes on the Costa Brava or Magaluf. Give me £250,000 in the jungle of Costa Rica, or a small budget but in a remote part of Spain and I am all ears, eyes and jealousy in abundance. Luckily for me, there are 1,007 episodes (and counting) to feast on, and the even better news is that when HGTV aren't showing A Place in the Sun, it's usually Escape to the Country instead, which is just as brilliant, if a little more envy-inducing.—Charlotte McCaughan-Hawes, Deputy Digital Editor

On The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes, Caroline Quentin and architect Piers Taylor travel around the globe to reveal some of the most incredible homes around the world. Although the houses look astonishing, they’re probably not ideal for all people – but it is always very interesting to see how the design changes and adapts according to requirements in different locations and countries. It’s simply amazing to follow the process, from the initial design concept through the architecture and the build, to a final outcome that usually blends into the environment and is perfectly matched to the landscape.—Afreena Sakeer, Graduate Apprentice

For me, Selling Sunset was an eye-opener, pulling me out of my narrow little English interiors shell (appreciating the scruffy, old, idiosyncratic, decorative, expressive, et cetera), and making me realise, “Wow. People really love things that look like this.”

Despite the set-up feel of the series, I think one reality is that the buyers and stylists genuinely think that the hard, clean aesthetic – of clusters of sand-toned candles, karate-chopped pillowscapes, giant white wraparound sofas and squeaky-clean finishes – is great and aspirational, which was fascinating to me. (I also often think about how much all those high-gloss kitchen cabinets are going to pick up fingerprints, so that polishing them becomes a cleaner's initial job every single day, or several times a day... but that it might also one day aid police in their enquiries?)

Selling Sunset also introduced me to the word ‘staging’; I love the ritual of holding a giant glass with a small amount of white wine in it as you admire a room. It's just so, so different to the DIY aesthetic of Changing Rooms, Grand Designs and Location, Location, Location, where it’s all about the vision and the graft.—Ruth Sleightholme, Decoration Editor

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