Updated: March 1, 2021
Home Improvement & Interior Design Shows Worth Watching on Amazon Prime
Looking for something new to watch to fuel your creativity and expand your design perspective? Try some of these stellar but lesser known home improvement shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime, for ideas, knowledge and sheer entertainment.
Best Laid Plans
Architectural Designer Charlie Luxton and Property Developer Sophie Morgan team up to help home renovators who are struggling with highly ambitious projects. Each episode the two pros offer much needed advice and guidance to ensure that the aspiring visions of the homeowners come to fruition. (See Best Laid Plans episode details on Amazon).
Brand New House on a Budget
A talented interior designer is challenged to do a huge home makeover on the tiniest budget, using clever styling tricks, bargain hunting and upcycling to transform drab houses into beautiful family homes. (See Brand New House on a Budget episode details on Amazon).
Building Dream Homes
This series follows the real-world exploits of some of the UK’s most innovative architects, as they manage builders, blueprints and clients in pursuit of building custom dream homes. The show shares the day-to-day drama of what it takes to manage expectations and various trades to complete highly ambitious residential homes. (See Building Dream Homes episode details on Amazon).
With two days and 500 pounds, a professional designer and a handyman, two couples are given the opportunity to redo a room in each other’s homes. Neighbors, relatives or friends are chosen, then not allowed back into their own home for the two day makeover period. This is the British version of America’s once popular Trading Spaces. (See Changing Rooms episode details on Amazon).
From Auckland, New Zealand. The first season follows good-natured Peter Wolfkamp as he works with local homeowners, Jo and Richard Graham, to rebuild and restore their rusty and rotting heritage villa. Adding to the drama is the fact that Jo and Richard have saved and planned for this project for almost 10 years. Oh, and they also have a baby on the way! (See Creative Living episode details on Amazon).
From Ireland. Two interior designers go on a mission, each episode, to help ordinary homeowners with their unique design challenges, while staying on budget. Properties run the gamut from modest dwellings to high-end homes to luxury hotels. The designers, Denise O’Connor and Catherine Crowe, featured in Season 1, received stellar reviews. (See Design Doctors episode details on Amazon).
Featuring unusual interior design projects, this Canadian television series features professional teams for budget renovations. Showcasing top builders and architects, the show answers the questions: “How can you stay on budget?” and “How can you make the place yours and not lose everything in your pocket?”. There are lots of creative upcycling projects that are demonstrated which can easily be re-created by novice homeowners. (See Design Matters episode details on Amazon).
Design Santa Barbara
Michael Kourosh continues to explore the fascinating world of Southern California Design. Familiar faces including Leesa Wilson-Goldmuntz and Susan Shand take Michael on tours of breathtaking homes. Seasons 1-3 currently included with Prime. (See Design Santa Barbara episode details on Amazon).
This Chinese home renovation series focuses on solving the housing problems of ordinary families throughout the country. Designers are entrusted to make thorough renovations of the houses with limited funds and space, to interpret the meaning of home, and to perform aesthetic transformations that also raise clients’ standard of living. (See Dream Home episode details on Amazon).
Presented by Kevin McCloud, this British home design show tells the story of ambitious, new homes and the people who build them. Viewers follow the progress of houses with unforeseen complications and stretch in the budget. Explore the design detail, and chart the changes and compromises that happened along the way. Note: Seasons 11-12 currently available for free with ads on Prime via IMDb TV. (See Grand Designs episode details on Amazon).
The Great Interior Design Challenge
A trio of amateur interior designers compete to design similar rooms in different homes across Britain in the hopes of impressing a team of professional judges. This interior design competition sees 24 wannabe interior designers tasked with transforming entire rooms from top to bottom, showing off their design skills in various architectural housing styles. Season 2 currently included with Prime. (See The Great Interior Design Challenge episode details on Amazon).
Home|Made is about people who create unique spaces and culture around the country. It’s about turning neighborhoods into communities and making a house feel like a home. Journey into the daily lives of artists, entrepreneurs, and dreamers who embody the vibe, personality and possibilities that exist in some of America’s most up-and-coming residential communities. (See Home|Made episode details on Amazon).
The famously secretive Swedish furniture retailer is guided by the following principle: “To create a better everyday life for the many people.” What is the secret to its success? How does IKEA affect the people who work for it, and how does its ruthlessly efficient business model affect the world? This series takes viewers behind the scenes to witness first-hand how this remarkable company works. (See Inside IKEA episode details on Amazon).
My Dream Derelict Home
Property renovator and host Simon O’Brien shares renovation adventures of daring homeowners who risk everything to breathe new life into some of England’s most dilapidated properties. Each episode follows the transformation of a distressed dwelling into a “resurrected” dream home. The projects are typically ambitious in scope, with not all making it to a successful conclusion. (See My Dream Derelict Home episode details on Amazon).
This show puts the “real” in “reality” and offers an honest portrayal of the many things that can go wrong during a renovation project and how to deal with setbacks. Many reviewers suggest that this is the most realistic depiction of a home renovation. Though this somber formula may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it can definitely help set expectations for those starting their first major home improvement project. (See Real Renovations episode details on Amazon).
The Really Big Flip
Three teams competing on The Really Big Flip, a high-risk house flipping competition. The teams are hunting for the perfect property, anxious to find the worst house on the best street. But what does it really take to find, fix and flip a house? (See The Really Big Flip episode details on Amazon).
Presented by George Clark, this series travels up and down the United Kingdom to new locations, new restorations and amazing stories of people who have gone to extraordinary lengths to build their dream homes. Note: Currently available for free with ads on Prime via IMDb TV. (See Restoration Man episode details on Amazon).
Ron Hazelton’s HouseCalls: Home Improvement Projects
From indoor to outdoor projects, the avuncular Ron Hazelton travels the US helping homeowners complete their abandoned or missfired projects. The show’s focus is on skillfully managing budgets and building “Do-It-Yourself” confidence, with Ron providing helpful tips and techniques to reinvigorate spaces throughout the process. The target audience is homeowners with average DIY skills, as it offers step-by-step coaching in each episode. (See Ron Hazelton’s HouseCalls episode details on Amazon).
Room to Improve
Architect Dermot Bannon returns with a brand new series of Room to Improve, featuring more of his innovative and contemporary design projects. As always, each build is fraught with human and financial drama: over stressed budgets, last minute changes of heart, unexpected disasters, unpredictable weather and the vagaries of an architect desperately trying to convince his clients that he knows best. Seasons 7-12 currently included with Prime. (See Room to Improve episode details on Amazon).
Not a series, but worthy of your attention, nonetheless. This 23-minute movie follows the year-long construction of Asheville, North Carolina’s first shipping container home. Viewers witness the challenges of the mostly DIY construction process, as homeowners Ryan and Brooke chronicle their building quest with only $100,000 and a one year mandate to complete the project. Can they get it done? And if so, will their relationship survive? (See Shipping Home movie details on Amazon).
Simple Honest Design
Exterior designer, Catherine Arensberg, tackles design dilemmas with practical, budget conscious solutions. Projects include landscape design, symmetry of trees and buildings, low maintenance plantings and irrigation. Arensberg reviews potential plant sun requirements – full vs. partial – to insure that gardens thrive with each successive year. Seasons 4-6 currently included with Prime. (See Simple Honest Design episode details on Amazon).
This Small Space
Close-quartered living doesn’t have to cramp your style! Interior designers Susan Crenshaw and Peter Fallico step inside beautiful but small spaces – from bedroom and bathrooms to kitchens and attics – to offer up practical storage, layout and décor ideas hat turn crowded areas into cozy havens. (See This Small Space episode details on Amazon).
Tiny House World
Tiny living knows no borders, as this series travels the world to showcase prospective homeowners looking for the perfect tiny house. Each episode chronicles the search, construction and adjustments of tiny home living. The series is founded on the idea that “Our big wide world is getting a whole lot tinier. As homeowners across the globe discover that having less is their passport to doing more!”
Note: Currently available for free with ads on Prime via IMDb TV. (See Tiny House World episode details on Amazon).
Showcases a Before-and-After transformation of a room, with accessible solutions that can be executed in 48 hours or less. Designers demonstrate fresh ideas through a time-lapse placement of new and updated furniture, accessories and material treatments. (See Weekend Refresh episode details on Amazon).
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