Lifestyle favourite back as judge and Durie
JAMIE Durie is ready to talk design, and not just the green kind.
The Australian TV veteran, who got his big break on Backyard Blitz and took The Outdoor Room format to the US where he gained popularity thanks to Oprah Winfrey, joins the judging panel on House Rules.
"A lot of people have grown up with me in the garden, and I haven't turned my back on that, but not a lot of people know how much of my work day is consumed with furniture," he says.
"It feels very natural to me to talk about it on the show."
After a decade in the US, he's come home to a much more sophisticated viewing audience.
"The thirst for fresh ideas will really never run out. We're always going to want to feather our own nests," he says. "We're dealing with a far more sophisticated and educated audience than when I first started lifestyle TV 21 years ago.
"I can remember 10 years ago one of my executive producers came up to me and said 'Jamie Australia doesn't know what solar passive architecture is. Can you put that into a different term please?'. These days I'm being told 'You know this is solar passive and you should make mention of that'. That's how things have changed."
Not only is Durie back on his old network, Channel 7, he's also reuniting with some familiar faces, having worked with fellow judges Wendy Moore and Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen on various projects.
"I let LLB do the nasty work and Wendy, God bless her, has the most elegant way of passing on her views whilst still allowing the nation to fall in love with her," he says.
"It's important that the people who are judging these rooms are not only qualified but also not afraid to speak their mind. The feedback isn't just towards the competitors; you've got to give feedback that allows the viewers to absorb something nutritious as well in design terms."
Leaving cushions and colour choices to his colleagues, Durie wants to bring a new language to the reality renovation show.
"I'm more interested in the spacial awareness and the interior architecture of the room," he says.
"You can change the way people feel just by the distance the walls are apart, how high the roof is, and whether the dining table is nestled into a nook or in an open space completely exposed. Everything needs its own sense of place. Good design allows people to feel like they are being treated to a luxury whilst they are in a secure and safe and inviting space that doesn't feel arrogant - that feels down-to-earth and allows the family to relax enough to evoke easy conversation."
House Rules airs Sundays at 7pm on Channel 7 and Mondays to Wednesdays at 7.30pm on Seven.