George Clarke helps couple transform cottage on Old House, New Home

‘Are the 2020s the new 1970s?’ Couple transform ‘tired’ 300-year-old country cottage on George Clarke’s Old House, New Home – but viewers slam their decision to paint everything white and ‘rip out all the old features’

  • Ben and Rosie, from  Worcestershire, bought their 300-year-old country cottage home for £450,000  
  • Hadn’t been updated in 40 years and included a 1960s kitchen and timber frames dating back to the 1600s
  • The cottage needed re-wiring, re-plumbing and a new heating system – all on a budget of £40,000
  • But despite George Clarke declaring the property was ‘beautiful’, viewers said the property was ‘meh’ 
  • One commented: ‘There is absolutely no way that young couple only spent £40,000 – no way!’
  • A couple were slammed by George Clarke’s Old House, New Home viewers for ‘ripping out all the old features’ as they transformed a ‘tired’ 300-year-old country cottage.

    In last night’s episode of the Channel 4 show, charter surveyor Ben and his events manager partner Rosie decided to move out of their one-bedroom flat in Battersea and bought the Grade II cottage in Worcestershire for £450,000. 

    Packed with original features, the couple explained how they were keen to restore the property sympathetically, and also hoped to put their own stamp on the house. 

    They said they had spent the budget re-wiring, re-plumbing and adding a new heating system to the property. 

    But despite George Clarke declaring the property was ‘beautiful’, viewers were left unimpressed, with one writing: ‘Are the 2020s the new 1970s? Let’s rip out all the old features or disguise them just so in 40 years time people spend thousands putting back the original features!’

    Charter surveyor Ben and his events manager partner Rosie, from Worcestershire, were slammed by George Clarke's Old House, New Home viewers after claiming they had transformed a 'tired' 300-year-old country cottage for £40,000. (pictured, the original extension)

    Charter surveyor Ben and his events manager partner Rosie, from Worcestershire, were slammed by George Clarke’s Old House, New Home viewers after claiming they had transformed a ‘tired’ 300-year-old country cottage for £40,000. (pictured, the original extension) 

    However despite George Clarke declaring the property was 'beautiful', viewers were left unimpressed, with some questioning why they had decked the house out in all-white

    However despite George Clarke declaring the property was ‘beautiful’, viewers were left unimpressed, with some questioning why they had decked the house out in all-white 

    George said: ‘Now while these homes have period charm by the bucket load, they aren’t blessed with spacious rooms or tons of natural light. And if they are listed, getting planning can be an uphill struggle.’

    They bought the house  for £450,000 and moved in just seven days before.  In taking on a property that’s well over 300 years old and hasn’t been updated in four decades, the couple were debating if they had bitten off more than they could chew. 

    Ben said: ‘I think some of our London friends think we’re a bit mad for leaving.’

    Meanwhile Rosie added: ‘They probably think we’re a bit nutty, we’ve got no experience and we’re not particularly handy.’

    They bought the house for £450,000 and moved in just seven days before. In taking on a property that's well over 300 years old and hasn't been updated in four decades, the couple were debating if they had bitten off more than they could chew (pictured, the original kitchen)

    They bought the house for £450,000 and moved in just seven days before. In taking on a property that’s well over 300 years old and hasn’t been updated in four decades, the couple were debating if they had bitten off more than they could chew (pictured, the original kitchen) 

    Meanwhile they said much of their renovation budget re-wiring, re-plumbing and adding a new heating system to the property (pictured, the study)

    Meanwhile they said much of their renovation budget re-wiring, re-plumbing and adding a new heating system to the property (pictured, the study) 

    The house had undergone some serious knocking around. Originally owned by the church, in the 19th century it was divided up into five cottages. 

    Then in the 20th century, it was turned back into one house and extended up and out with a brick built extension.

    On the ground floor, there was a large double aspect room, a small reception room and a small kitchen. 

    George said: ‘The space is just looking really tired and I’m not sure about this colour. If all this was stripped back, it would look fantastic.’

    On the ground floor, there was a large double aspect room, a small reception room and a small kitchen (pictured, the original reception room in the property, which featured black painted beams)

    On the ground floor, there was a large double aspect room, a small reception room and a small kitchen (pictured, the original reception room in the property, which featured black painted beams) 

    The couple sandblasted the black painted beams to expose the original woodwork and painted the mint green walls a soft white colour (pictured)

    The couple sandblasted the black painted beams to expose the original woodwork and painted the mint green walls a soft white colour (pictured) 

    Packed with original features, the couple explained how they were keen to restore the property sympathetically, and also hoped to put their own stamp on the house

    Packed with original features, the couple explained how they were keen to restore the property sympathetically, and also hoped to put their own stamp on the house

    Even in the 1980s extension, there were beams to contend with, making the room dingy and dark.  

    Upstairs, there were two bedrooms and three en-suite bathrooms, but for now, Rosie and Ben decided to prioritise the ground floor. 

    They confessed they planned to tackle a lot of the work themselves, with George saying: ‘I think your kitchen needs to move into this space [the extension].  

    The lounge was kept in the same position because it was ‘snug’, while the old kitchen became home office study space. 

    Meanwhile with a tight budget of just £40,000, the couple said they wanted to focus on the groundfloor, leaving the upstairs rooms untouched (pictured, one of the bedrooms)

    Meanwhile with a tight budget of just £40,000, the couple said they wanted to focus on the groundfloor, leaving the upstairs rooms untouched (pictured, one of the bedrooms) 

    Ben said: ‘It’ll be great’, while Rosie added: ‘It sounds lovely.’

    The couple quickly got stuck into the strip out of their cottage, with the 1960s kitchen coming out to make room for their new home office. 

    They also hoped to unearth a period feature of a fireplace within the property and called in the professionals to sandblast the black painted beams back to their original state.

    Five weeks later, work moved on massively, including their slick white kitchen, and the electrics were being done. 

    After a seven month long renovation, the couple unveiled the stunning white kitchen, which featured small pops of colour, including a bright green shelf and vibrant mugs

    After a seven month long renovation, the couple unveiled the stunning white kitchen, which featured small pops of colour, including a bright green shelf and vibrant mugs 

    The couple managed to put two wood burners in after finding a chimney breast, and painted thinner beams white to make the room appear lighter

    The couple managed to put two wood burners in after finding a chimney breast, and painted thinner beams white to make the room appear lighter 

    Rosie said: ‘This is hopefully going to be the last day that we have to cook and live in here, and it’s starting to feel more like – it is going to become a home and not just a building site.’

    When George returned to visit their home seven months later, he was amazed, saying: ‘I can’t believe I’m in the same house. ‘

    The couple managed to put two wood burners in after finding a chimney breast, and painted thinner beams white to make the room appear lighter.  

    However many of those watching were left less than impressed with the renovations, with one saying the renovation 'just seemed meh'

    However many of those watching were left less than impressed with the renovations, with one saying the renovation ‘just seemed meh’ 

    George added: ‘Doing that just transforms the space.’ 

    However many of those watching were left less than impressed with the renovations, with one saying: ‘I really wanted to like the cottage but it just feels meh. I did like the fireplace though.’

    Another wrote: ‘God every wall and bit of furniture is white. WTF is the obsession? I don’t get it.’