Granite Transformations Respond To DIY SOS
Sparkling green Granite Transformations worktops, made from recycled wine and beer bottles, formed the centrepiece of the latest home makeover project by DIY SOS, BBC’s flagship renovation programme and amongst the most successful factual series on British TV. The eyecatching, diamond-polished worktops, from the eco-friendly Trend G recycled glass collection, were installed by two Granite Transformations experts in a single day’s filming, having been templated and fabricated off-site at its workshops in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.
Presented by Nick Knowles and featuring a regular team of builders and electricians, as well as interior designer Julia Kendell, DIY SOS visits and renovates viewers’ homes and is the longest running show of its genre. For this show, set in the Welsh Valleys, the team took on one of its biggest challenges to date, by totally transforming a terraced house. They had been asked to help bring the Price family of Brynmawr, South Wales, back together again, by completing an unfinished DIY project … and a whole lot more.
After a run of good luck, swiftly followed by redundancy and debilitating illness, the new kitchen extension started by dad Ceri had been left unfinished and the former council house virtually uninhabitable. As a result, the family’s three daughters had spent the previous two years living with their grandparents. But with the help of architectural designer and ‘green’ guru, Charlie Luxton, and aided by an army of local trades, the DIY SOS team transformed the site into a beautiful family home, within just ten days.
The kitchen and its dreamed-of new units were naturally the starting point and designer Julia, who used to be on ITV’s 60 Minute Makeover show, read about Granite Transformations’ eco-chic work surfaces in the home interiors press and got in touch, deciding they would be perfect for the project. The company agreed to contribute materials and services free of charge and no less than the UK Chief Operating Officer, Danny Hanlon, who once qualified as a fitter, and recently-recruited technical training specialist, Steve Cooper, travelled to South Wales to carry out the final installation. Although, as is often the case with TV, footage of their hard day’s work and an interview with Danny were left on the cutting room floor, the finished kitchen itself made a big visual impact on the show, Julia describing the recycled glass surface as ‘a beautiful thing’ and ‘proper shiny’.
Householders Sarah and Ceri were actually reduced to tears on seeing the newly transformed kitchen, with Sarah whispering ‘I can’t speak, it’s wonderful’, before declaring the makeover ‘absolutely gorgeous’. Teenagers Ffion, Page and Lauren exchanged OMG’s on first seeing the kitchen and concluded that the bright green worktops were ‘mega pretty’.
As for Danny, Steve and the company’s other training specialist, Luke Tuttlebee, successive spells of being variously filmed for a new Sarah Beeny makeover project, an earlier DIY SOS programme and a new Granite Transformations TV commercial, as well as posing for a spoof A-Team photo shoot and visiting Channel 4’s Big Brother set to inspect Trend glass mosaic tiles installed there, has left them rather blasé about the showbiz scene – and pretty exhausted. Although the delighted looks on the faces of the Price family and many favourable comments from TV crew, made it all worthwhile.