The Feel-Good Show for Everyone Who’s Finished The GBBO
by Grace Miller
Staff Real Estate Agent
Given the numerous home shows available when you have a real television, you might wonder why you should watch another one on your laptop. The first two reasons should be obvious: it’s on Netflix and produced by the BBC. The even better reason is that it is nothing like any homes show you’ve seen before. “The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes” is not about buying, selling, or remodeling. It is a simple show about an architect, Piers Taylor, and a “passionate property developer,” Caroline Quentin exploring truly impressive homes around the world.
Piers and Caroline bring you into a world where every house is the most awe-inspiring piece of architecture they have ever seen. There is no concern about budgets or changes that need to be made. Every home is completely perfect the way it is. In each 45 minute episode, they bring you into four houses and discuss how impressed they are while walking you through each room and zooming out on the miraculous landscapes surrounding them. While most of the homes clearly cost millions to build, they never discuss money and so you are immersed in a fictional paradise where you may one own an equally spectacular house.
The hosts each spend a few minutes exploring the houses and reacting to every feature with enormous, yet genuine, enthusiasm. There is never a bad word about these places. Odd twists, such as trundle beds hidden inside stairs are “minimalist” while ugly floor patterns are “inviting.” One home in Spain has a second story pool only accessible through a children’s bedroom, and when it is mentioned that a four-year-old lives there no one brings up any safety concerns. I want to live in such a universe. On occasion, Caroline pulls you into a closet or bathroom and whispers directly to the camera about how amazing the room is – everything she says is true. Sometimes Piers sits down with a sketchpad to draw the house and explain why it was built the way it was – to draw in a breeze, to protect occupants from monsoons, to bring nature into the home. Caroline swims in every pool or river she can reach.
Then they sit down with either the owners or architects to discuss how they built the house. The show particularly emphasizes homes with environmentally friendly adjustments. Some adapt to its landscape, such as a clifftop house in India build around two Mango trees or a home in Norway where the wood is carved around a rock, rather than vice versa. In others, recycled materials are used in every room.
Before leaving each house Piers and Caroline discuss its place in the context of all modern architecture. They always determine that the homes are special not only by themselves but also in the world. You don’t have to believe these conclusions. In fact, it can be fun to critique the spaces they will only praise, but you’ll leave each house feeling impressed regardless.
While you could certainly binge the show, the segments dedicated to each home are short enough to sit down and watch only one or two at a time, making it a perfect study break show. Each time I watch it I’m sucked into this magical, yet also real, world where everything is perfect and possible. It is certainly a fantasy but in our stressful, modern world where everything is criticized, it feels amazing to watch a show that only sees the good side. So next time you just need a moment, try watching “The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes” and let Piers and Caroline’s accents pull you in.