Viewers were stunned last night as a couple spent £1.3 million building an extraordinary ‘Celtic meets Star Trek’ home on former marshland, with many branding it the ‘worst Grand Designs ever’.
Amy and Paul Wilkinson, from Lincolnshire, went over budget by £300,000 to create the extraordinary five-bedroom family home, complete with an entertainment lounge, indoor swimming pool, and a miniature Stone Henge in the front garden.
The pair spent 13 months building the sprawling mansion, which looks like a Celtic roundhouse from the outside and an intergalactic spaceship from within.
They opted for a mish-mash of decor in their ‘forever’ home, including an £8,000 silver and turquoise bespoke sofa, a ‘lazy river’ kitchen sink that flashes different colours, and a biomas plant room.
Many of those watching were blown away by the build, with some deeming it ‘tacky’ and others calling it ‘the worst Grand Designs ever’.
Amy and Paul Wilkinson, from Lincolnshire, went over budget by £300k to create the extraordinary family home
The space-age kitchen, complete with 16 seats, featured a ‘lazy river’ sink, complete with flashing disco lights to change the colour of the stone basin
The main ‘drum’ is connected by raised outdoor paths to other drums, which house a swimming bool, a biomass plant room, an entertainment room (pictured)
While husband Paul built the house, wife Amy invested in the furniture, including a silver and turquoise bespoke sofa costing £8,000
The ‘unique’ garden decorations included a replica Stone Henge, and wooden carvings, including this alien
Paul admitted the couple were ‘from humble beginnings’ and were still in disbelief that it was their home
Many took to Twitter with their thoughts on the house, with one commenting: ‘These people on #GrandDesigns have the worst taste of any couple I’ve seen on the show. It’s f***** awful.’
Another wrote: ‘Watching Grand Designs and money really doesn’t buy class…One of the worst furbished homes I’ve ever seen. From silver sofas, to alien statues which looks like sports centre.’
Another commented: ‘More money than sense, personal taste but my god it’s tacky.’
One added: ‘Worst Grand Designs EVER! Sorry Kevin? Have you lost the plot?’
Many of those watching were stunned by the home, with some deeming it ‘the worst taste of any couple’ on the show
Starting the project, property developer Paul revealed he had bought the marshland area ‘on a whim’ after spotting it online in the middle of the night.
Amy revealed her shock, saying: ‘You wake up in the morning and you get sleep out your eyes and your husband is there telling you he’s brought a sixteen acre plot of land.’
Paul added: ‘Yeah I do do things like that. I found it online at 2am in the morning, rang him up at 6.30am met him here at 8am and brought it.’
A self confessed insomniac and workaholic, Paul said it was now time to complete his dream home, after years of building for other people.
Keen to do something out of the ordinary, the couple drew on their love of history, metal detecting, and the ‘Celts’ for inspiration.
‘It’s always been a dream to build our own home and build one which is really unique and a challenge,’ Paul said.
The eccentric pair spent 13 months building the sprawling mansion, which looks like a Celtic roundhouse from the outside (pictured) and an intergalactic spaceship from within
Meanwhile the couple selected ornaments for their lawn that would nod to their Celtic inspiration
The couple told Kevin they had ‘grafted’ for the house, with Paul saying he felt ‘like a guest’ in his home
The home itself is made from eight huge interlocking cylindrical ‘drums’, with the main drum acting as the centre of the five-bedroom family home.
It is connected by raised outdoor paths to each of the four other drums, which house a swimming bool, a biomass plant room, an entertainment room and a kennel room for the dogs, respectively.
The couple were ambitious, with Paul admitting to Kevin he wanted to finish the buildings in under a year and for less than £1 million.
The Grand Designs presenter was immediately skeptical, noting that circular builds are much tougher and generally more expensive than their square counterparts.
With Paul’s sense of purpose – and optimism – drove on the build, along the team on site were confused by the circular plans.
The home itself is made from eight huge interlocking cylindrical ‘drums’, with the main drum (pictured) acting as the centre of the five-bedroom property
Meanwhile another of the five circular drums contained a huge swimming pool area for the family to enjoy
The main five-bedroom house was interconnected with the other four buildings with decking, including the swimming pool and entertainment lounge,
Meanwhile the back of the main house looked over a lake, revealing a connected jacuzzi platform
The couple’s master bedroom featured a porcelain tiled en-suite, as well as a bath within the main room
Amy and Paul also built a balcony area off their master bedroom, with a view over their marshland
His builder friend Adam revealed: ‘It’s just working with more angles than normal. It is a lot harder, it’s like a spider’s web, the way it’s laid out. It’s a bit more challenging.’
‘A lot more time consuming. If it was a square build it would take a day. But this will take three times as long.’
However despite the team’s misgivings, a month later the pool’s foundations were dug out, and over at the main house, the team were scurrying to finish the foundations.
A determined Paul admitted: ‘Everything is a clock work and everything moves. If one thing stops, everything will stop.’
But as the build progressed, the couple faced further delays that pushed them behind schedule.
Paul admitted he struggled to feel satisfied with the delay in the build, saying: ‘I only sleep for two or three hours a day. I’m hyper all the time.
The couple even invested in a ‘Kevin McCloud’ replica wooden sculpture, which stood proudly by the front door of their home
Kevin McCloud praised the inventiveness of the home, including the ‘lazy river’ sink, which featured a stone basin with flashing ‘disco style’ lights to change the colour of the stones
‘I’m such a bloody nightmare really because I have to have it now and have it done and dusted.’
His implausible schedule was tossed to the wind, as the project fell two months behind.
Paul revealed: ‘Budgets flying away at the moment. We’ve had a bit of a mare really. Probably gone over by £100,000-£200,000.’
But returning to the house after 11 months, Kevin said he was ‘hugely encouraged’ by what he saw in the build, with the majority of the framework erected.
I hope I can relax. I’ve grafted. We’re from very humble beginnings, we feel like we’re guests here
He was less impressed by the ‘soft furnishings’, and appeared baffled by the the mix of Celtic nods, like the replica of Stone Henge on the front lawn, and the ‘cosmic new-age’ ornaments, including an alien smoking a cigar.
Meanwhile Amy said she was having some trouble furnishing the round house due to the complicated angles, but insisted: ‘We’re going to be quite subtle in the house, quite contemporary, Icelandic, modern.’
And Paul added: ‘I have no say in the soft furnishing department. I built it, and Amy is furnishing it.’
And just 13 months after they’d started the build, the couple revealed their finished product, coming in at £300,000 over budget.
Despite the expense, they were overjoyed with the results of the house, and called it ‘spell binding’, with Amy saying the circular effect is ‘just calming and peaceful’.
And Paul claimed the house had calm his insomnia, joking that he now slept up to five hours a night.
As they entered the large main building, Kevin compared the giant open-plan hallway to a ‘great big circular temple’.
The couple’s en-suite bathroom was tiled with porcelain, and looked out over their replica of Stone Henge
Each of the five bedrooms had an en-suite with cyndical walls and huge floor-to-ceiling windows
He commented: ‘The floor is so glossy, it’s like water, reflecting the sky in the same way water does.’
Meanwhile Amy admitted that after months of trying to furnish the house, she had spent £8,000 buying a bespoke sofa for the space.
And Kevin went on to call the house ‘Celtic meets Star Trek’, and a ‘modern-day country mansion’.
The couple couldn’t be happier with how the house has turned out, with Paul welling up as he described their journey.
With tears in his eyes, he revealed: ‘I hope I can relax. I’ve grafted. We’re from very humble beginnings, we feel like we’re guests here.’
And as the emotional couple both burst into tears, Paul added: ‘We’ve done it haven’t we.’
Grand Designs airs on Channel 4 tonight at 9pm