homemade2For all the renovation formats that have come and gone, 2003’s The Block still sits at the top of the pile.

The David Barbour and Julian Cress-devised series regularly topped the two million market week after week. More so, it became a ‘watercooler’ show, generating real buzz, thanks considerably to its astute soapie tone. Since that time we’ve copped every reno-variation inside and out on free to air and subscription television.

Now Cress and Barbour have a ‘love-child’ show of sorts, in homeMADE. However you look at it, a reno-show is still  a reno-show. But clearly people love to see a “before / after” transition so the trick is to come up with a point of difference and cast successfully.

homeMADE divides ten emerging designers, mostly young, mostly hot and mostly Anglo, into two teams of five to makeover adjacent houses. Each team has $50,000 and a support team of builders, plumbers and painters as each team member is given one room to completely re-design in 5 days. The residents of the homes become clients, and while the renovations are underway have to pitch a tent in the backyard. No hotel weekends here, and even if its a budgetary shortcut, dramatically it works perfectly well.

Unlike The Block, which saw four apartments renovated over the duration of the series, homeMADE is renovation on steroids. Under pressure cooker conditions tempers flare and cliches are dropped. The clock is ticking, the budget is shrinking, the clients are nervous and the teams have to resist imploding.

Host for the show is design expert David Heimann, who also serves as mentor. Unlike the dashing worker in Jamie Durie, Heimann remains spotless here, commenting from arms-length distance from the safety of a contemporary abode. Many of his points explain the bleedingly obvious -he is better on location inspecting finished results and giving advice. Dressed immaculately, Heimann is even chauffer-driven to the homes.

In the second (and better) episode on Tuesday, three judges will send one of the team home. Reality television without elimination? Not gonna happen.

There’s also a voice over narration, making this show very top heavy in its storytelling.

Product placement is also abundant in homeMADE, with brands and suppliers frequently named and captured on film. No subtlety there.

It would be interesting to know if the completed houses were aesthetically complementary for the families living in them, or whether the end result was a home with five rooms all competing to outdo one another.

In a crowded genre, this is is a format that borrows a bit from everywhere even if it does so with confidence. Time will tell whether names like Richie, Stacey, Chontelle, and Annie can resonate as memorably as Gav and Waz or Phil and Amity. And for that matter whether David can come close to Jamie.

35_starshomeMADE airs 6:30pm Sunday and 7:30pm Tuesday on Nine.


  1. Kevin Forrester

    My spouse thinks the show is awesome! I think it is great! We recently just bought our first house and she would love for you to come around and do our house!

  2. Jason absolutely deserved to win he is a natural designer he really stood out from the rest. I really liked that he not only had sophisticated taste but he also had an eye for the more masculine construction type ideas which none of the others really seemed to see. Jason also has a really nice down to earth manner that will make him extremely successfuI when dealing with clients… I love interior design and reckon Jason has definantly got a big future. good on you Jason

  3. Homemade Fan

    No LL I don’t agree Annie was a pain in the butt I wanted her gone from Week 1. She only worryed about shopping and her own rooms. I do agree with Sarah Leonie shouldn’t have gone because the client only make a pssing comment that she liked the bench height, not that it was a medical requirement. The client just got a $50000 makeover in 5 days and she whinges about that. Go Richie!!!

  4. Thank God they put sunday noght episode on Tuesday!
    How frustrating watching the episodes build to a climax then the finishing on the Tuesday…what a kill joy!! It was like watching 3/4 of backyard blitz and waiting for the outcome the following week!! What an anti climax!!!

    As for Annie….Yahoo!!! She put me on edge whenever you saw her!!

  5. Did not approve of decision that leonie to go, perhaps not send anyone home this week would of been a solution. I think the home owner was very ungrateful, I really liked the kitchen, Leonie can redo mine anytime !.

  6. we were considering purchasing a property recently that had a new ergonomically designed kitchen which included raised bench tops to suit the current owner, but it wasn’t suitable for me and we had no extra $’s to modify, so we didn’t proceed with purchase. So when (homeMADE) homeowner mentioned kitchen bench height initially, at the same time mentioning the potential resale value/look of property (or did I get this wrong?) I thought the kitchen bench height had been covered and the choice to be standard height to be the correct decision. I guess when certain attributes to a project are utmost to owner, then owner needs to write actual specs/measurements upfront so there’s a reference and can then be factored in and signed off. Designers just failed to point out that what may be good for current owner may be a deterrent for potential purchasers. Just my thoughts.

  7. I can’t believe that they sent Leonie home over the the kitchen bench height. That client mentioned in passing about the height and not that she had a medical issue. If they went over the first few bits of filming they would have seen that she did not tell them about the back problems. She is a real cow for having her little pow wow with the judges. She should be ashamed of herself for being responsible for making the best designer leave the show. Shame shame shame judges!

  8. Arline Warden

    Yeah!!!! Annie has gone at last. I believe she should have went before now, her selfish, self centred behaviour was very frustrating to watch. As for her flair for design she went from a garish nursery to an uninspiring lounge and dining area last night. Well done to the remaining designers for politely putting up with her.

  9. what is with the style of the guest judge tonight? i think he has the unfortunate name of david hicks, but even more unfortunate is his bad hair, bad noise and irritating voice. just ugly, ugly, ugly.

  10. I loved homemade until they got rid of Annie she made the show worth wild.You stupid judges!I never missed a episode but now im never going to watch the show again

    People give the show 4 & a half stars out of five,lol more like 0 out of 5 stars.

    Homemade sucks!

  11. Im watching the show right now… I like Richie and I think he is a good designer, but I think he might be in trouble if his room isnt finished in time… Annie… hmmm… I think she has potential as a designer for Mr and Mrs Average, but I think the longer she is in the show, the more boring her rooms are getting….too predictable… I would also like to pass a comment on the judges… the design guru… I bet you are a great designer… but you need a personal stylist!!!!! What’s with wearing white sand shoes and dark suits… hehe….the thing I do like about this show is that it is going quickly… which is a good thing, oh and one of the guys was driving with his seatbelt illegally under his arm… OK, Ill stop writing now… I hope Richie gets to stay a bit longer!

  12. i enjoyed the show, and so did all my friends……..however, we did all agree that the time allocated to this show was not enough…….it didnt give us enough time with each designer, not enough home shopping information, color, brands and cost etc given to maintain the interest of the public…….we love the show, but i want to know where and how i can do it myself……..even the website hasnt provided us with enough exciting info……such as a print off sof each room and description sand brands of everything used in each room………dont axe this show, just improve it…….could have a winner with a bigger time slot and more details given to public….

  13. That Oliver or ‘ollie’ the home owner was just awful, wot a weirdo, u could see his wife so so stressed, can u imagine being married to him! He seemed to think he was doing them a favour by letting him do up his house, like he’d done a good job of it before, not! looser, stick to the tennis mate, and let these talented people do their thing.

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