Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Charlie Is Our Darling on Our New TV Show; Charlie Luxton Presents Our Homes & Property Six-Part TV Series, Beginning Tomorrow. and He Practices What He Preaches in His Cotswold Home. Katrina Burroughs Watches Him Go through the Pain of Renovation

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Charlie Is Our Darling on Our New TV Show; Charlie Luxton Presents Our Homes & Property Six-Part TV Series, Beginning Tomorrow. and He Practices What He Preaches in His Cotswold Home. Katrina Burroughs Watches Him Go through the Pain of Renovation

Article excerpt

CHARLIE Luxton understands the pain of doing up a house, and so does his wife, Kate. When they moved into their two-up, two-down 19th century Cotswold cottage two years ago, she cried her eyes out. Her husband, however a tall, slim 33-year-old who presents the six-part Homes & Property series starting tomorrow on ITV at 7.30pm

surveys his tumbledown home from the garden and says happily: "I never wanted a red car or a thatched cottage, and now I've got both." The house is perched on a sloping green in a village near Chipping Norton. The car is an antediluvian BMW, selected, surprisingly enough, for its eco-friendliness: "It is manufacturing new cars that is most harmful to the environment. The greenest thing to do is drive an old car until it falls apart." Car and cottage reflect Luxton's twin passions: saving the planet and rescuing old buildings. In his professional life, he combines an architectural-design practice, Charlie Luxton Environmental Architecture, which specialises in carbon-neutral technologies and green materials, with a broadcasting career that includes BBC2's Restored to Glory.

Australian-born Charlie came to England with his parents when he was 10. He credits his father with awakening his love of architecture by taking him on tours around ancient buildings.

After a BA in architectural studies at Oxford Brooks University, Luxton spent some months at Toh Shimazaki Architecture (recently shortlisted by World Architecture News for International House of the Year for the OSh house in Surrey).

While studying for a Masters degree in architecture at the Royal College of Art, he began making short films with a friend. He answered an advertisement for a presenter on a Channel Five series called Modern British Architects and has been explaining buildings on the box ever since.

Charlie shares his cottage with Kate, 37, and two-year-old daughter, Maia.

Their home was reputedly built by gypsies using hedgerow timbers and local ironstone.

The couple bought the property, with an acre of land and outbuildings, from Kate's great-aunt in 2005 for [pounds sterling]205,000.

Charlie, his parents and friends spent a month making it comfortable before he moved the family in. A kitchen from one of his renovation projects in Notting Hill was repainted and installed. Rotten carpets were stripped out and walls and floors painted white. There was no heating, so piles of rugs were layered in the sitting room to take away the chill. Charlie remembers Kate's reaction to her new home when she first arrived with six-week-old Maia: "She came in and burst into tears because it was such a dump. …

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