As booming sales at DIY stores testify, lockdown has inspired the nation to do their own home improvements and craft décor projects.

So a new four-part series of Escape to the Chateau: Make Do & Mend starting this week is timely.

Presented by Dick and Angel Strawbridge, who have long enthralled viewers with their own DIY renovation of their home, 18th-century Chateau de la Motte Husson in the Pays de la Loire, the show sees the couple offer advice and inspiration to families across the UK.

They also tackle their own projects along with their two children, Arthur and Dorothy, at their fairytale French chateau.

The series was filmed by the family during lockdown from the 45-room chateau, which the couple have been renovating since they bought it in 2015, turning it into a successful wedding venue and holiday home.

Episode one sees Angel help transform a Seventies bathroom into a relaxing sanctuary, without changing any of the fixtures or the tiles. Meanwhile Dick digs out his handmade smoker to demonstrate the art of cheese smoking.

The couple also offer advice on how to bring a unique front door into the 21st century.

Back at the chateau there’s a new potting shed and Angel also demonstrates how to make your own vintage-style hanging macramé chair.


Angel’s hanging macramé chair

The rest of the series sees the pair tackle sitting rooms, sheds, attics, cupboards and gardens across the country with an emphasis on rediscovering everyday objects and improving rather than completely redoing homes.

“Between the pair of us we have nearly a century’s worth of ‘make do and mend’ experience and so we are really excited to share our knowledge and passion with families across the UK,” the couple says.

“Finding ourselves with more time at home is a fantastic opportunity to fix those items that have been waiting for years, or to embark on a creative project.

“Escape to the Chateau: Make Do & Mend is about giving something you’ve always wanted to do a go, and bringing some happiness and joy into your home.”

The first episode of Escape to the Chateau: Make Do & Mend airs on Thursday, 30 July at 8pm on Channel 4.

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