Linda Barker was as surprised as we were when news hit that Changing Rooms was returning to our screens - but although she's not going to be reprising her role on the hit 90s and 00s show, she's not going to be putting her feet up! Linda is in the midst of an epic renovation project that's been keeping her busy throughout the whole of lockdown.
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Speaking to HELLO! about her new collaboration with Terrys Fabrics on their new ViSULiZR by terrys app, Linda revealed that despite having her hands full with this new home, she can't wait to tune in to the new series when it airs in the spring.
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"I will be watching with great interest!," she said. "It’s time for a programme like that to have a resurgence again. I know there’d been gossip around the show for a long time - it came into another gossip sphere about a month ago and I spoke to Carol [Smillie] and she was like 'No, I don’t know what’s going on.' And then it was announced and we were like 'Ah that’s why'.
"Good luck to Laurence (Lewellyn-Bowen), I think he’s one of the only originals that is doing the show. But no I'm not involved, I wasn’t asked to be involved."
Linda looks back on her time on Changing Rooms on Instagram
Although keen to watch, Linda may struggle to find the time to tune in amid her own makeover project in the form of her personal home renovation. She’s bought "a beautiful Georgian house in Yorkshire that is 201 years old" and is completely transforming the 1980s interiors. Linda and her husband have been tackling a lot of the work themselves and she reports: "The appeal of a big house that needs lots of work didn't faze us at all."
Linda has taken on a huge renovation project with a 201-year-old house
When asked which part of the house Linda is most excited about finishing, there's no hesitation: "The kitchen is obviously the heart of anybody’s home, and I’ve designed mine from scratch. I’ve used my own paint colours and chosen a very dark olive green, it’s been a real passion project of mine."
And working on her new collaboration with Terrys Fabrics and their new ViSULiZR app may well come in handy. Linda describes the app - which allows you to visualise how your blind will look on the window you want to buy it for - as being, "like a designer hand holding you through the process".
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"It’s easy to make mistakes, particularly at windows with materials and measurements," she says, so she is thrilled with this easy-to-use app that "makes the decision making easier".
Although the pandemic has been a worrying time, Linda sees the positives in staying at home. "Lockdown was perfect," she told HELLO!, "We had so much to do so we just got on with it ourselves and it was fabulous."
On a deeper level, Linda believes the COVID-19 pandemic has truly changed the way we think about our homes. "I think we are now all really switched on to the idea of a healthy home," she says.
Linda shares sneak peeks of her renovation progress on Instagram
"Home is an incredibly nurturing space because it supports us mentally. The pandemic focused our attention on the health of our home. Interiors have always been like that for me, but recently, more people have really tuned into that idea - that home is a really important space for wellbeing."
Speaking about another upside of lockdown, Linda explains how this time has forced her "to be slow in the process of designing". Which funnily enough is one of Linda’s all-time top tips for anyone undergoing home decorating. "I always encourage people to be slow in the design process – because ideas change. It’s a good thing to take it slowly so you’ve got longevity and don’t make mistakes," she advises.
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On a practical level, the interiors pro urged people to literally "get your moodboard out and sit with those ideas". She went on to say: "It’s sitting in that room and not doing anything to it – it’s sitting in there with a cup of tea at different times of day, watching how the light changes."