Grand Designs Australia


Grand Designs Australia is all about passion, innovation, risk and reward, and the extraordinary lengths people will go to build their dream home. Host Anthony Burke charts the journeys of some of our most imaginative and ambitious architectural trailblazers, as they push their finances and their families to the limit in their quest to create spectacular homes. From one end of Australia to the other, Anthony will meet and support homeowners as they embark on a rollercoaster ride of dedication, creativity, and endurance. This is Australian architecture at its best.


A Fremantle Australia production for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Supervising Executive Producer Brooke Bayvel. Executive Producer Michael Collett. ABC Commissioning Editor Jo Chichester. ABC Head of Factual Susie Jones. International sales: Fremantle Media International.


The ABC is excited to announce the new lifestyle series Grand Designs Transformations to air on ABC TV and ABC iview next year.

Hosted by Restoration Australia’s Anthony Burke – a Professor of Architecture - and introducing award-winning interior designer Yasmine Ghoniem, Grand Designs Transformations features fascinating stories of ambitious homeowners who are transforming their property into the home of their dreams…both inside and out.

From the team behind Grand Designs Australia and Restoration Australia, this brand-new series puts Australia’s boldest and most inspired home renovators to the test, stretching their skills, finances and relationships in the quest to create their perfect homes. Each episode showcases two unique stories and two stunning home reveals: be it interior design, renovation, or a landscaping makeover.

ABC Head of Factual Susie Jones said, “We’re thrilled to build on our suite of premium lifestyle content with Grand Designs Transformations and we are delighted to welcome Yasmine to the ABC to co-host the series with Anthony. The series welcomes us into the homes of a vast array of everyday Australians taking on ambitious projects with creativity and ingenuity.”

Anthony Burke said, “Things are moving so fast in design and architecture at the moment. It is fantastic to see the way issues like sustainability, multi-generational living, tiny homes, recycled homes and more are being explored by Australian homeowners, stepping outside the expected and into the provocative at all scales of building. People are rolling up their sleeves and transforming our ideas of living in Australia, one project at a time.

It’s also incredible to work with my co-host Yasmin Ghoniem who brings her energy and insight to the conversation. The visits we did together were hilarious fun to do!”

Yasmine Ghoneim said, “I was blown away witnessing extraordinary achievements by ordinary people. There’s nothing better than seeing others understand the benefits of good design, listen to their gut and go for it. Watching this series, young homeowners especially are going to be inspired to take risks and give it a red hot go when it comes to realising their own renovation dreams.”

From a Moroccan oasis in the Blue Mountains to the pink palace on Queensland’s Gold Coast; a French-inspired convict cottage in Tasmania, to a low-cost eco retreat in the trees in Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, the projects are as inspired as the challenges are rife!

Throughout the series, Anthony and Yasmine are along for the ride, providing insight, expert advice, and the odd shoulder to cry on.

Production credits

A Fremantle Australia production for the ABC financed with support from the ABC. Head of Unscripted: Josie Mason Campbell. Supervising Executive Producer: Brooke Bayvel. Executive Producer: Michael Collett. Series Producer: Chris Perry. ABC Commissioning Editor: Jo Chichester. Executive Producer: Madeleine Hawcroft. Head of Factual: Susie Jones. International Distribution: Fremantle Distribution.

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Grand Design Transformations Premieres Thursday 4 January 2024 at 8pm

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Grand Designs Transformations


From Thursday 4 January 8.00pm

While building a dream house from scratch is the dream for some people, many others are transforming their existing homes - smashing down walls, ripping out kitchens and digging up gardens – as they reimagine their homes as places to live, work and thrive.

In this brand-new series of Grand Designs Transformations, Australia’s boldest and most inspired home renovators put their skills, finances, and relationships to the test in the quest to create their perfect homes. Each episode follows the journeys of two sets of homeowners, transforming two very different projects in different parts of the country.

From a Moroccan oasis in the Blue Mountains, to a pink palace on Queensland’s Gold Coast; a French-inspired convict cottage in Tasmania, to a low cost eco retreat in the trees in Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, the projects are as inspired as the challenges are rife! Hosts Anthony Burke – a professor in architecture – and award-winning interior designer Yasmine Ghoniem are along for the ride, providing insight, expert advice, and the odd shoulder to cry on!

Featuring remarkable stories, gripping drama, tips and takeaways and beautiful reveals, Grand Designs Transformations is an inspiring series that reflects the best of contemporary Australian design and adds a twist to the world’s most loved property brand for a whole new generation of fans!

Episode 1:

In Adelaide’s Henley Beach, newlyweds Paul and Marie transform an electricity converter station into a high-end entertainer’s home, while on the Gold Coast, Chris and Antoinette reimagine a run-down three-story house into a pink-themed coastal retreat.

Hosts, Professor of Architecture Anthony Burke and award-winning Interior Designer Yasmine Ghoniem follow two wildly different, but equally challenging home transformations.

In Henley Beach, South Australia, newlyweds, property valuer Paul and intensive care nurse Marie, take on the industrial-sized challenge of transforming a 1940s electricity converter station for trams into a welcoming high-end entertainer’s home. But it won’t be easy, or cheap.

Marie’s dad Chris calls their heritage-listed purchase “the money pit” and he worries that when the pair have children, there will be nowhere for them to sleep. And as host and Professor of Architecture, Anthony Burke points out on his first visit, while the double-height ceilings offer an abundance of volume and light, all the renovations will need to be bespoke, oversize, and costly.

Throw in Marie’s $60,000 order of Cote d’Azure marble for her gourmet kitchen and Paul’s desire to give a nod to the building’s industrial past, with industrial sized, custom-made steel arbor and steel-spined staircase and it’s not long before Marie’s dad’s fears start to turn into reality.

In Queensland, passionate ballroom dancers, electrician Chris and make-up artist Antoinette push their finances to the limit to buy a rundown, three-storey house on the Gold Coast.

To realise their dream of transforming it into an Amalfi-themed, family friendly pink paradise, they need to live on the site with three small children and do most of the work themselves, while holding down their day jobs. And as for working with the colour pink, host and interior designer Yasmine Ghoniem, fears Antoinette is not bold enough with her scale and choices, and that even with ballroom dancing competition to help take their minds off the 24/7 workload, the stress may all prove to be just too much.

Production credit: A Fremantle Australia production for the ABC financed with support from the ABC. Supervising Executive Producer: Brooke Bayvel. Executive Producer: Michael Collett. Series Producer: Chris Perry. ABC Commissioning Editor: Jo Chichester. Executive Producer: Madeleine Hawcroft. Head of Factual: Susie Jones. ABC Head of Screen Content: Jennifer Collins.

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Episode 2



Thursday 11 January 8.00pm

In two inspiring transformations, a couple turns a simple pavilion house on Sydney’s northern beaches into a stylish pad filled with bespoke marble furniture and, in Melbourne, a family creates a flamboyant forever bathroom.

On Sydney’s northern beaches, Nina and husband Trent plan on turning their recently purchased pavilion home into a luxe, show-stopping, glamorous family hideaway for them and their three-year-old son, Harley.
Interior designer, Nina, plans on a radical white-on-white interior refit of the highest spec—including tonnes of imported ultra-heavy marble furniture she’s designed herself. Then there’s the exterior transformation of an existing pool area into a luxurious resort—complete with outdoor bar, bespoke joinery, mirrored walls, bathtub, and spa bathroom.

It all sounds super glamorous and could cost a king’s ransom, but can a high-end stylish pad in beachside Avalon double as a comfortable and indestructible family home suitable for them and their energetic toddler?
In Balwyn, Melbourne, Mike, Mark and Anni have happily shared their suburban home for 20 years. Anni is Mike’s ex-wife, Mark is his soon-to-be new husband. And with the wedding just months away they’ve all decided the old family bathroom that Mike and Anni renovated eight years ago on a shoestring needs a whole new makeover—not just for the happy occasion but as a luxe bathroom for Mike and Mark to enjoy.

Trouble is, the room is tiny and Mark, with his design flare has plans for décor with pizazz, including geometric bronze-and-green vinyl wallpaper, natural stone, reflective bronze dado wall panels, slumped green Spanish tiles juxtaposed with Japanese black-and-green finger tiles, and two super-heavy cast bronze basins. Question is, will it be on-trend tasteful, or over-the-top in the tiny space?

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Episode 3


Thursday 18 January 8.00pm


On the Mornington Peninsula an overgrown sloping bush block is transformed into a family retreat designed to embrace its natural surrounds, while a heritage-listed mid-century classic home in Sydney gets a sympathetic modern upgrade.

Melbourne newsreader Yvonne plans on escaping high-pressure inner-city life by transforming a sloping bush block on the Mornington Peninsula into an eco-retreat, where she can embrace nature, fresh air and seclusion for herself and her family. But creating the high-performance all-electric home she dreams of comes with challenges she doesn’t bargain for. Diabolical weather and unanticipated cost blow outs almost derail the project.

Yvonne faces a host of interior design complexities that come with creating a sustainable eco-home based on passive house principles. Host and interior designer Yasmine Ghoniem follows Yvonne’s progress and offers the expert advice that helps keep Yvonne on course as she perseveres with a project that tests her limits.

In Sydney, newly married couple Lorenz and Tiffany face challenges of a different kind. They’re thrilled to have bought a classic mid-century home designed in 1957 by eminent architect, Harry Seidler. But they need to add a modern extension for the family they’re planning to have.

Trouble is, they want to honour the home’s modernist principles with their 21st century design and the 1957 house is heritage listed, which brings numerous regulation hoops to jump through.

And if design considerations weren’t enough, they begin construction during Sydney’s wettest year since 1950 and struggle with delays, increasing costs and dispirited builders. Following their progress, host and Professor of Architecture, Anthony Burke offers insights that helps them realise the house they’ve been hoping for.

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Episode 4


Thursday 25 January 8.45pm

A dilapidated 1960’s duplex in the Blue Mountains gets a Moroccan makeover, while in Sydney can a giant boulder the size of a backyard be transformed into a rock top, poolside paradise?

In the Blue Mountains town of Glenbrook, voice over artist Nick and his creative producer wife Emma are on a quest to bring the magic of Morrocco to their home and create a luxe, relaxing retreat for all the family that’s perfect for work, rest and play. But their challenge is to bring their vision to life using a dilapidated 1960’s duplex as their starting point. Is this an inspired makeover or simply a recipe for disaster?

If they can pull off this transformation, then it will be the ultimate family home with a North African aesthetic. With acres of space for both children and adults, plus a giant pool and creative annex complete with recording studio and dance floor.

In the Sydney suburb of North Balgowlah, creating space for the family is the top of Kim’s wish list. The legal recruitment consultant and mum of two is desperate for an area where the kids can play, and she and husband Rob can chill. But the only place to create this retreat is on top of a monstrous lump of Sydney sandstone, smack bang in the middle of their backyard.

Flooding, record breaking rain and project management blunders are just some of Kim’s problems as she struggles to turn her backyard behemoth into a rock top, poolside paradise that she and the whole family can enjoy.

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Grand Designs Transformations Episode 5 of 8


Thursday 1 February 8.00pm

A little Melbourne workers’ cottage gets a radical reimagining as a Mid Century Palm Springs oasis, while across town a backyard shed is transformed into a Japanese bathhouse.

Stressful times mean many homeowners are seeking sanctuary in their own homes, creating spaces where they can retreat from the hustle and bustle of their busy lives. And they’re getting ambitious – looking far and wide for inspiration for their home transformations.

In Melbourne, professional footballer Katie and property consultant partner Olivia are going all out knocking down their little worker’s cottage to build a cool, multi-storey mid-century sanctuary. Every inch of their tiny suburban block is tailored for rest and relaxation, with a tiny, Perspex fronted pool, gymnasium in a cupboard and spa like facilities.

With a 13-metre-long pink marble kitchen island, a sunken loungeroom and a desert-styled garden on the roof top, it’s set to be an entertainer’s paradise! But how will a hot climate house fit in a cold climate city?
Also in Melbourne, Mark and Chris are also looking to create a restful oasis and plan to transform the backyard shed into a Japanese bathhouse.

But the project is dogged by endless delays and unforeseen problems which could either scuttle their plans or give them the time and inspiration to create an authentic and truly magical Japanese-styled bathhouse.

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Episode 6


Thursday 8 February 8.00pm

In Geelong Victoria, Luke and Bree restore a Victorian cottage and add on a massive contemporary extension, while in the historic Tasmanian village of Oatlands, Karen and Luke restore a sandstone Georgian cottage and add on a French provincial styled- extension.

In Geelong, Victoria, industrial relations partner Bree and plumber Luke are desperate for a home with more space for their three kids to run around in. When Bree falls in love with an 1860s Victorian gem in need of extensive repair, they not only buy it, but add on plans to double its footprint with a giant new extension.

Professor of Architecture Anthony Burke is surprised by the size of the contemporary extension and its impact not only on the original cottage, but on the garden as well. But as Luke and Bree push on with three house sized transformations – a heritage restoration, a modern extension with a focus on indoor outdoor living, and a three-car garage and workshop - the unexpected costs of restumping the heritage cottage and three-month delays just to get concrete in, they’re forced to refinance.

In the historic village of Oatlands, Tasmania, parents Luke and Karen are also planning to add a huge extension onto a heritage building, but of a very different style.

After two years renovating a 200-year-old, two-bedroom Georgian sandstone building, it’s about to undergo a radical transformation about as far from a humble convict cottage as you can get. They’re building an extension twice the size of the two convict-built Georgian rooms at the front and furnishing it in a French provincial style.

While interior designer Yasmine Ghoniem ponders the wisdom of Gallic styling in a Georgian house, Karen pushes the eclectic mix a step further by having convict era wallpaper fragments made into one-of-a-kind linen and dashes off to Paris for homewares.

With Karen running a home based French linen fabric business in Sydney, managing the historic transformation remotely proves to be far more challenging than anticipated.

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Grand dreams pay off for ABC

The entertaining and inspiring new lifestyle series Grand Designs Transformations, is shaping up to become a firm ABC audience favourite, with over a million viewers embracing the first episode* since its launch on January 4th.

An entirely new format devised by Fremantle Media Australia, each episode of Grand Designs Transformations showcases two ambitious homeowners determined to turn their properties into the home of their dreams; be it through interior design, renovation or a landscaping makeover. Throughout the series, hosts Professor of Architecture Anthony Burke and award-winning interior designer Yasmine Ghoniem are along for the ride, providing insight, expert advice, and the odd shoulder to cry on.

ABC Head of Screen Content Jennifer Collins says, ““I’ve been blown away by the creativity and commitment of the amazing homeowners featured on Grand Designs Transformations and I’m thrilled to see the show resonating so strongly with our audience. Congratulations to our partners at Fremantle for creating this wonderful new format with Australia being the first country to enjoy the new version. We also look forward to sharing a new series of the original Grand Designs Australia this year, cementing ABC as the home for lifestyle shows.”

Still to premiere in 2024 on ABC and ABC iview is the latest installment of Restoration Australia and the highly anticipated new series of Grand Designs Australia both hosted by Anthony Burke.

*OzTAM Metro + RegionalTAM Combined Average Audience. OzTAM VPM. C7 data as of 7/1/2024. Episode 1 Total includes some overnight audience where encores have aired after this date.

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Episode 7


Thursday 15 February 8.00pm

In two challenging transformations, a Melbourne couple turn a drab duplex into a spacious Miami-inspired home, while a NSW couple on a shoe-string budget create a tiny guest pavilion for visiting family and friends.

After falling in love in the buzzy beachside metropolis of Miami, Florida, architect Henry and creative director Jemma want to bring some of that colour and romance into a home of their own in St Kilda.

After years of planning, they’re hoping to turn a drab one-up, one down duplex in St Kilda into one giant eclectic space that captures the optimism of downtown Miami. But as interior designer Yasmine Ghoniem suspects, the old building throws up a lot of challenges of its own in a game where time equals money – mountains of it. Add to that a new baby, and there’s plenty of sleepless nights for these first-time parents.

On the central coast of NSW, Ashley and partner Jeanette are also keen to create more space, but for very different reasons. Their dream is to create a luxurious little guest house behind their modest three-bedroom home, to lure Jeanette’s family over from the US for a holiday, and for the Sydney friends they miss to come and stay.

With nothing but back-of-the envelope plans, Anthony Burke fears they may have their head in the clouds. Couple that with a plan to build everything themselves, with second hand windows, flooring and doors, and pre-loved furnishings restored by Jeanette, they’ll need grit and a lot of heart, to create a beachside guesthouse for visiting family and friends.


Episode 8 - final


Thursday 22 February 8.00pm

With two transformations on one site, builder Dylan tries to retrofit a draughty cottage into a fully sustainable home while landscape architect Tylah’s plans for a garden oasis are battered with financial constraints.

With a rot-ridden Melbourne weatherboard bought for $740,000, builder Dylan and landscape architect fiancée Tylah embark on a game changing experiment. Their vision is to retrofit this uninhabitable draughty old cottage into what’s known as a passive house – an energy efficient, heavily insulated, airtight home, that doesn’t need any heating or cooling. On top of that challenge, they plan to recycle as many of the original materials as possible without losing the 1950s cottage charm. And, with very little money, they need to live on site, in a tiny shed throughout the project.

While Dylan works meticulously on both the retrofit and the new cathedral-ceilinged kitchen and living room, Tylah sets out to create a garden oasis, with a rustic landscape design centered around a glorious 70-year-old golden elm.

Interior designer Yasmine Ghoniem thinks Tylah may in for a shock when she realises how tough it is to create a passive house from a 70-year-old banger, and Professor of Architecture Anthony Burke wonders how she’s ever going to find the funds for her landscape garden plans while her fiancé appears to spend every cent, and every minute, on the endless wrapping and taping task required to make the home airtight.

There’s tension as the home’s passive house credentials are put to the internationally accepted airtightness test,