Changing Rooms: all you need to know about episode 1

Well, that was exciting! The first episode of Changing Rooms kicked off last night on Channel 4 with an explosion of colour transformations, fitted wardrobe dramas, trompe l’oeil panelling – and a bonkers-but-brilliant art installation. Keep scrolling for the lowdown on the show’s dazzling room makeovers, as well as the colours and techniques that helped bring them to life.

Room 1: Forever Peacocky


The room
: Claire’s living room, re-energised by Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen’s imaginative colour play, painted wall panelling and statement furniture.

Laurence’s inspiration: The exhilarating colours and palatial architecture of Udaipur, India. The room is a jewel box of bold hues and elegant design details. He also revealed that he’s inspired by… himself, creating a hand-painted self-portrait as a final decorative touch.

The colour scheme: All the greens and blues - Teal Velvet, Maldive Dream, Fortune Green, Emerald Glade, Turquoise Jewel, Finest Turquoise - played against a flash of pink and coral: Coral Flair, Salsa Mix, Flamingo Flock and Berry Whip.

What we learned: You can paint your way to a panelled wall effect and bring depth and dimension to your room at the same time – especially when you mix different paint finishes such as emulsion and gloss. Want to get the look? Changing Rooms pro and Dulux Select decorator Georgie Baker show us how it’s done in this step-by-step tutorial.

Biggest surprise: That Laurence had the audacity to deploy suspended-teapot-display technology to create Claire’s hanging “meditation chair” - yep, he went there!

Best quote: It has to be Laurence’s colourful commitment: “We are going to make sure that this is cocktail-licious!”

Made by Marianne: We asked our Dulux colour guru, Marianne Shillingford, for her take on the hues in the room Laurence designed. “We love the dramatic peacock-inspired tones used in the concentric panelling in Claire’s living space. If you are a little nervous about the panelling technique, perhaps opt for a bold use of colour on one of the walls or ceilings instead. Deep, inky blues are a super stylish but very liveable choice for a busy living space, so we’d recommend pairing Indigo Shade or Ink Well with a greige neutral like Pebble Shore for a beautiful yet still dynamic scheme. The deep teals also work beautifully with other jewel tones like coral pinks, emerald greens or mustards which can be added through the room’s accessories.”

Room 2: Shantay Swansea


The room: Lisa’s bedroom, now a decadent, colour-filled nest full of shapely furniture and rich texture.

Jordan and Russell’s vision: the clue’s in the name! Pronounced “Shantay Swan-say”, this is no pared-back zone of Zen. Instead, it’s a sumptuous boudoir designed with plenty of fun contrasting colour and a big dose of sass.

The colour scheme: A high-contrast medley of Dulux Heritage shades, from the pale and pretty Potters Pink, the dusky rose Blossom (used above the bed) and the deep, inky indigo DH Oxford Blue.

What we learned: The (un)fitted wardrobes saga revealed the truth behind that old “measure twice, cut once” saying. But Tibby Singh’s solution? A classic and gorgeous example of “necessity is the mother of invention”.

The project we can’t wait to try: The beautiful painted canopy that runs up the wall onto the ceiling – perfect for gazing at before you drift off to sleep. Find out how to recreate it yourself with our video. We’re also inspired by Anna Richardson’s uninhibited approach with a caulk gun.

Biggest surprise: Without a doubt, that unexpected art piece. 

Best quote: Jordan’s response to Claire’s comment that Lisa’s room needed a “bit of a lick”: “I think it needs a big snog!”

The Dulux expert’s take: What would our Creative Director, Marianne Shillingford, do? “Bedrooms are a place of sanctuary and restfulness, where we spend a lot of our time staring into the space above us… so why not use this to full effect and create a feature on the ceiling? The curved horseshoe canopy above the bed in Russell and Jordan’s bedroom makeover is a great example of this. If painting the ceiling is a step too far, you could still create a feature around your bedhead as a very effective alternative. Use your favourite shade in a geometric or curved shape to add a bit of something to your sleep space. For something moody and restful, we love darker shades such as Decadent Damson or Acai Berry. Alternatively, for something more cheery to give you a morning boost try Golden Sands.

Don’t miss the next episode on Channel 4 on Wednesday at 8pm - or stream this week’s show here.

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