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Get A Room With Carson & Thom - Season 1

10 Best Interior Design TV Shows to Binge During Isolation

I have to admit, I’ve been binge watching loads of interior design TV shows during isolation. I’ve even been re-watching shows I’ve already seen tonnes of times. What can I say? I’m a decorating junkie and these shows are my addiction.

I wanted to share some of my faves with you in this post, and the good news is that you can easily access them. I recently signed up to Hayu after getting rid of Foxtel because it was way more affordable, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how many awesome shows the app has. I’m also a sucker for the Real Housewives franchise, but that’s another story for another day.

So scroll on through the list as I unveil 10 of my fave interior design TV shows. I’d love to know what you’ve been binging on during isolation. Drop me a comment at the end of this post and let me know if there’s a series I’ve missed here that’s an absolute must-watch.

interior design tv shows get a room with carson and thom

1. Get a Room with Carson and Thom, Hayu

I originally watched this when it premiered on Foxtel and have since been watching the first season again since I got the Hayu app ($6.99 a month – shut up and take my money!).

This series follows former Queer Eye comrades Carson Cresley and Thom Felicia, and showcases the homes they transform for clients. Thom is the experienced interior designer. Carson knows nothing about it. And as you can imagine, wackiness ensues.

Not only is this show hilarious, the transformations are quite bold and rather beautiful. And they do it on budgets ranging from $5000 right up to well over $100,000. I hope there’s a second season.

interior design tv shows the great interior design challenge

2. The Great Interior Design Challenge, Netflix

Now this is a bit of a guilty pleasure, because to be fair, a lot of the rooms that are transformed aren’t very good. This UK-based show documents a batch of wannabe designers (as in, no formal qualifications) transforming a room a week for real clients as they vie to take out the crown as the country’s best up-and-coming designer.

It’s very crafty in that there’s loads of hands-on DIY going on, so if you’re into that sort of thing you might find some nifty ideas for your place. But outside of that, I just love watching it for the cringe factor. Though it should be said there are a few truly talented people in the crop.

3. Stay Here, Netflix

This series premiered in late 2018 and I binged watched it in one weekend. It follows my fave interior designer Genevieve Gorder and real estate guru Peter Lorimer as they transform real holiday rentals.

Even if airbnb is not your thing, this show is a must-watch. There is so much phenomenal design to soak up, and each week the duo are in a new location across America. One week they’re transforming a boat, the next a converted fire station, and the next a holiday home on the beach.

Genevieve is amazing at producing layered, soulful interiors, and there are loads to see here. It’s design inspo for days!

house rules high stakes judges

4. House Rules, Channel 7

Now I know what you’re thinking, but trust me when I say that this series has been the best of the lot. While previous seasons have been car crash TV in terms of the design, this year’s reveals have, for the most part, been pretty good.

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s still cringey in many respects, with rooms so hideous you wouldn’t wish them on your worst enemy. But overall I’m rather glad this landed just as isolation hit. And the best part: you can read my weekly recaps and critiques of the rooms on this blog.

interior design tv shows best room wins

5. Best Room Wins, Hayu

Hosted by Genevieve Gorder (you know how much I adore her) this series is another fave of mine. It’s a competition series that sees two designers go head to head each week, pulling off luxe for less transformations in real client homes.

Unlike the rooms in The Great Interior Design Challenge, the spaces here are all pretty wonderful. The designers are actually qualified too, so the level of execution is usually pretty good. And with each episode you’re seeing a different location with a different room and different design style showcased.

You also learn a bit about popular interior design styles, and the guest judges each episode are pretty awesome too.

queer eye bobby berk room makeover

6. Queer Eye, Netflix

Now I know this isn’t a pure interior design TV show. But what I can say is that there isn’t a home transformation Bobby Berk completes each episode that I don’t love.

While the other experts on the show have it arguably easier in terms of workload, each week Bobby and his team are left to make over multiple rooms in a home. The reveals are my fave part of the show and you can expect loads of tears as dire spaces are given the Queer Eye touch. It’s a must-see.

If you want to tour the stunning Queer Eye Loft, you can do that here.

7. Interior Design Masters, Netflix

The UK knows how to churn out design shows. It’s one of the things we here in Australia fail to do (we’re so limited in terms of local production). Anyway, this design competition series is similar to The Great Interior Design Challenge except it’s more elevated in terms of the design reveals and it’s less crafty and do-it-yourself.

Some spaces are residential, some commercial. It offers a lot of variety and a lot of inspo, even if some of the concepts are a bit more what-not-to-do. It is the kind of show you can steal nifty ideas from though, which is always appreciated.

ugly house to lovely house interior design tv shows

8. Ugly House to Lovely House, Foxtel

I only just recently got into this one as it started after an episode of Selling Houses Australia. This series follows host George Clarke, a popular British architect, as he documents rather large-scale home makeovers on some very unloved homes.

This one is far more architectural than it is decorating, but it’s still worth the watch if you like to get a glimpse into the architecture process. I can’t say I love all of the transformations on this interior design TV show, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

flipping out geoff lewis interior design tv shows

9. Flipping Out, Hayu

To be fair, this is more a reality drama than it is an interior design TV show, but it is a bit of a guilty pleasure. The series follows the design firm of Jeff Lewis, who in his own right is absolutely bonkers and whose staff are just as colourful.

You do get a warts-and-all look into their world, which often involves arguments within the team and the contractors they work with. But it also does give you insight into the homes they transform and the process it takes to get them from demo all the way through to furnishing. So there’s still some real design to be devoured.

interior design tv shows selling houses australia

10. Selling Houses Australia, Foxtel

Of all the interior design TV shows here, this is a long-running staple I’m sure you need no introduction to. But I had to include it in the list because it really is quite entertaining.

The series is onto a winning formula with Andrew Winter as the host (read my interview with him here), and the addition of Shaynna Blaze and Charlie Albone is genius. That makes the news that Charlie has left the show rather sad, but I’m intrigued to see who they replace him with and what will become of it when it returns for another season in 2021.

I also created a hilarious drinking game for the show that you can play here.

changing rooms australia designers chris carroll and natalie bassingthwaite

Changing Rooms, Hopefully on Channel 10

Now, this is one you can’t binge on just yet. And it’s one I actually starred in. It landed for a few weeks in early 2019 and then got pulled, with plans to pop it back on at some point. That some point is yet to happen, but I do hold out hope that Channel 10 will air it eventually.

There were some amazing and budget-friendly transformations we performed for real home owners, so I’d love for you to see them one day. But for now… you’ll just have to view my portfolio to see my real-life makeovers for clients. And here’s hoping I get some more work on interior design TV shows in the future!

Outside of writing this blog, Chris is an interior designer, presenter and author. He's also spent time on TV, on Channel 10's Changing Rooms, as well presenting segments on Channel 7's Sunrise and The Morning Show. If you'd like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

COMMENTS
  • Karen Wheeler

    REPLY

    As soon as I saw the title of the Blog post I thought – he has to mention Get A Room – and of course you did!! I loved that show! Could almost watch it again as it’s been a while since I saw it and might have forgotten enough details to enjoy a re-watch. I am so hoping they make more. Carson Kressley is one of the funniest people ever. I am looking forward to checking out the ones I haven’t seen. Thanks for another awesome post <3

    19 May, 2020
  • Shelley Findlay

    REPLY

    Yay, love watching reno shows and a favourite is Love it or List it Australia (Winter v Whitaker).
    Hopefully a 4th Season will happen.

    19 May, 2020
  • Janelle

    REPLY

    Early last year I spent some time on the couch, keeping a broken ankle elevated pre and post surgery, and binged on The Great Interior Design Challenge, Interior Design Masters and all of Project Runway, I literally could not move. Loved that the British Design Programs had a real client with a brief, and their response to the makeover was taken into consideration by the judges. Wish there was more series available to view.
    Great overview on the other Design series out there.

    20 May, 2020
  • Jan

    REPLY

    I also enjoy Selling Houses Australia. And Love it or List it is a favourite.

    But …. my absolute favourite is Fixer Upper. Chip & Joanna Gaines are incredible.
    I have been watching all the old episodes and am amazed at their design flair.

    26 May, 2020
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