Extreme Homes

by Mackenzie M. December 6th, 2012 | Home Show, TV Reviews
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While most people seem to be content with a vintage walk-up apartment or a cute, traditional house in the suburbs, some people go the extra mile to make their homes unique… and extreme. From interesting locations, to unimaginable building materials, to lavish and luxurious amenities, the HGTV Network’s program, Extreme Homes, travels the world in search of the most unique and interesting homes. Host Ruth England gets inside peeks at some of the most beautiful and notorious homes that simply fall into the category of “extreme.”

For the homeowners featured on Extreme Homes, a normal house was simply not sufficient. Instead, they pushed the envelope as far as they possibly could. Some episodes feature the construction phases of the house along with the completed version, but often the finished extreme products are highlighted. For an idea of what is meant by an “extreme” home, the show features homes including a modern-day Italian castle, a seaside abode made from old refrigerator panels, and a floating home that once served as a public ferry. Another home shown is a spherical dwelling that revolves with the sun. Another spherical home was built on an impossibly steep slope, but has beautiful views. While the premise may sound only semi-interesting at first, a watch of the show often proves to be quite alluring.

A few weeks ago I saw my first episode of Extreme Homes and was surprisingly captivated by the mixture of the host’s attitude and the innovative beauty of the homes featured. That week, bubbly host Ruth England visited an amazingly huge Dutch castle, and then made her final stop at a townhouse in central London that is built deep into the ground rather than above. As is somewhat common in home show hosts, Ruth England has an almost overly enthusiastic personality and uses many “cheesy” sayings when speaking to the homeowners. Once the viewer can look past that, Ruth England makes watching Extreme Homes quite enjoyable. While most hosts would give a simple tour of the home, Ruth England utilizes many of the unique features of the homes she visits. For example, in the underground townhouse she slid down a terrifyingly tall staircase and then went swimming at the underground pool. It is refreshing to see a host get so hands-on with the home they are visiting.

Extreme Homes also takes the time to meet and chat with the owners of the extreme homes. The owners are often giving the tour and show the cameras what the home looks like in its “lived in” state. No fake furniture or actors here! Extreme Homes gets an inside peek into the daily routines of the people in these odd spaces and their unconventional existences. In all, the perception of what a home should look like is different for everyone, so Extreme Homes is eye opening in a lot of ways. Ruth England is like a breath of fresh air on HGTV, making the show even better. For all of these reasons, Extreme Homes deserves a four-recliner rating. Be sure to tune in Thursday at 9pm/8c on HGTV.

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