It’s been 20 years since Laurence Llewelyn Bowen burst onto our screens in Changing Rooms, acting like a modern day Michelangelo. His personal charisma and ability to inspire people to express themselves have established him as the UK’s favourite and most easily identifiable interior designer.
However, his often striking and bold approach to interior design left many people in tears of sadness having seen what he’d done to their modest dining room. Frequently people said they were going to repaint the room white – which made him use darker colours for the walls which could not be painted over so easily. So infamous was his reputation that some people visibly winced when they realised that they had got him as their designer.
His most recent credits include ‘DIY SOS’ for BBC One, ‘Laurence’s Extraordinary Ordinary Houses’ for BBC Wales and ‘Llanelly House Restored’ on BBC2. In 2014, Laurence was followed by a film crew for BBC documenting the launch of The House of Laurence in China. He is also the head judge on the successful ‘The Apartment: Style Edition’ series – which is beamed to over 120 million homes around the world on Fox. Laurence is a regular presenter on Radio 4. He hosted ‘With Great Pleasure’, a series of readings from literature he had chosen to illustrate his life and his last series was on colour called ‘Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen’s Primary Colours’. His other radio credits include ‘All Lit Up: A Century of Illumination in Blackpool’ about the Blackpool Illuminations of which he has been the creative curator for the last five years.
As well as running his own interior design practice in Cirencester, Laurence has a number of product ranges including a best-selling wallpaper and paint range, bed linen, a range of mugs, glassware and cutlery. In 2012, Laurence joined Litttlewoods as the face of interior design. Laurence’s latest project, The House of Laurence, is his international homewares collection and was launched in China in September 2014 and included a limited edition of Laurence designed lingerie, and in Singapore in May 2015 with a collection of sofas. Future plans for the brand include the Middle East, South America and Europe. The collection encompasses furniture, dining, bed linen, decorative accessories and home fragrance.
He and his wife are ambassadors to the aid agency care international UK and patrons of CLIC Sargent and Shooting Star Children’s Hospice.
So, why is he a #Houseproud hero?
He’s an interior design pioneer who made us fall in love with the idea that we could improve our home. He may be old school and a little like Marmite but without him there would be none of the interior design TV shows we have today. He says:
“Like the seventh cavalry emerging o'er the brink of the hill, I come with panniers full of wallpaper”
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