With his flamboyant floral shirts and racy leather trousers, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen was the exuberant interior designer who entertained the nation by transforming drab beige homes with flourishes of crimson and splashes of purple velvet on Changing Rooms.
Fast forward 16 years and the TV star is about to wave his magic wand over tired interiors again as the much-loved show returns.
GALLERY: Inside Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen's gorgeous country home
But during lockdown, Laurence also gave his own 17th-century Cotswolds manor house a Changing Rooms-style makeover, inviting HELLO! to exclusively preview it.
WATCH: Take a tour of Laurence's fabulous Cotswolds property
"A family who DIYs together stays together," says the 55-year-old designer, who spent lockdown with wife Jackie, daughter Cecile and her husband Dan, their four-year-old son Albion, Laurence's younger daughter Hermione and her fiancé Drew Marriott.
MORE: Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen's top 5 tips to spruce up your home
One change to the 400-year-old, six-bedroom manor is a "pimped-up" kitchen that has become an exotic green oasis, including velvet bar stools. "It's somewhere you could imagine Elizabeth Taylor or Joan Collins making a cocktail," Laurence says.
Lockdown was a family affair for the TV star. Photo copyright: Steve Thorp
In the dining room, the fresh paisley green wallpaper – the designer's own Damask Dangereuse – is "a return to having more fun", while the "shade of Oreo" walls in the sitting room are teamed with a William Morris-inspired sofa in his "I [heart] the Cotswolds" pattern.
Jackie is particularly thrilled with their claw-foot bath in their bathroom, which Laurence hand-painted with almond blossom and cranes – Japanese symbols for longevity and happiness in marriage. "I love celebrating that," he tells us. "We found each other when we were young and still adore each other. During lockdown, we enjoyed date nights."
Laurence's new green wallpaper in his kitchen. Photo copyright: Steve Thorp
He also taught her landscape painting. "It's been so romantic having his attention for entire afternoons," adds Jackie.
Of the return of Changing Rooms, the TV star says: "I'll be charging across the British landscape. It will be big, bold, dramatic, fast-moving, funny, and with a bit of panto. There'll be exoticism, decadence, gothicism and even drag, too – I became addicted to RuPaul's Drag Race in lockdown so watch out, I'm going to be RuPaul-ing the world."
Pick up the new issue of HELLO! out on Monday to read the full interview and see photos taken by Steve Thorp.
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