Grand Designs

Series 11 - Episode 1



You can keep your Big Brother and your I’m a Celeb. Grand Designs is back. It has everything. A suave presenter (Kevin McCloud), suspense, tears, crushing failure, money and often (though not always) fantastic buildings. It removes all the epic tediousness of house building to present us with a beautiful, neat package.

The first episode in this new series is the longest ever project filmed by Grand Designs, a complex, ingenious house that first started to take shape way back in 2006 when Stefan Lepkowski and Ania Schabowska decided to build the home of their dreams near Morpeth, in lovely Northumberland. The pair had big plans for a derelict mill cottage.

But we see them struggle with an unrealistic £250,000 budget and a recalcitrant bank as Stefan ploughs on, insisting on doing most of the work himself. It’s a classic Grand Designs story.


Kevin McCloud looks at the transformation of a derelict mill cottage in Northumberland into a contemporary family home, the longest-running project ever featured on the programme. Stefan Lepkowski and Ania Shabowska began work in 2006, and their ambitious plans involved restoring the Georgian building, reconstructing a watermill and adding a steel-and-glass atrium, but their budget of £250,000 was completely inadequate.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Kevin McCloud
Director Ann Lalic
Executive Producer Charlie Bunce
Executive Producer Fiona Caldwell
Series Producer Mike Ratcliffe