Snoop inside Harry and Briony Anscombe's American modernist Grand Designs house, a tribute to the 1980s cult film.

Grand Designs TV house from series 2018 episode 2 in Padstow, Cornwall,  house exterior shot

Image: Mark Bolton

The second episode of the 2018 series of Channel 4's Grand Designs followed Harry and Briony Anscombe, a couple who - after dedicating their lives to telling stories through film - have created a screenplay of their own story through their dream home.

With their three children, Harry and Briony relocated from London to North Cornwall to build an architecturally ambitious five-bedroom house. The design of the build is heavily inspired by the American modernist house Harry saw in the cult '80s film, Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

All floating steel and glass, Harry, by his own admission, became "obsessed" with living somewhere just like it. He also wanted to emulate the positive work-life balance and lifestyle the family experienced in California.

Here are just some of the design ideas inspired by American culture the couple have incorporated into their self-build project - which you could try yourself.

Vibrant tiles

Grand Designs TV house from episode 2 series 2018, Padstow Cornwall with blue tile bathroom

Image: Mark Bolton

All the bathrooms in the house feature vibrant handmade tiles from Bert & May.

Open-plan kitchen, dining and living area with narrow terrace

Grand Designs TV house from episode 2 series 2018, Padstow Cornwall with study with a wooden bookcase on wheels

Image: Mark Bolton

‘Being quite far away from our friends and family means people will come and stay for longer or for a holiday, and we needed the space for that to work. We wanted to create the ideal party house’, says Harry.

A curved bookshelf on wheels, designed and built on site out of ply boxes by local artist Ravi Baines, acts as a moveable room divider and provides sound absorption in the open-plan space. This is a great idea for accommodating guests who want to party and those who want some down time. A recess in the open-plan scheme has also been utilised as a neat study space.

Handmade oak-veneered plywood kitchen with stainless steel work surfaces

Grand Designs TV house from episode 2 series 2018, Padstow Cornwall with wooden beam kitchen

Image: Mark Bolton

The kitchen, handmade from oak-veneered plywood with stainless-steel work surfaces, is simple and practical.

Larch cladding

Grand Designs TV house from episode 2 series 2018, Padstow Cornwall wooden exterior

Image: Mark Bolton

The larch cladding contrasts with the sleek structural glazing that provides the family with views of the picturesque landscape.

Steel-framed stilts

Grand Designs TV house from episode 2 series 2018, Cornwall Padstow

Image: Mark Bolton

The design of the house is based on the Ben Rose House, which features in the 1986 film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, starring Matthew Broderick. Situated in woodland outside Chicago, the landmark was hailed as an innovation in steel-framed domestic architecture.

The main house was conceived in 1953 by architect A. James Speyer, a student of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and David Haid, the architect behind the Pavilion featured in the film.

‘There’s a brilliant scene in the film where one of the characters accidentally kicks his dad’s Ferrari out of a window,’ says Harry.

‘We researched all we could about this house and we loved the simple steel frame on stilts set magically in the woodland. Our plot was similar, so we have designed our own Cornish version. It differs in that it has more walls, in the form of Siberian larch cladding, and less glass, and it’s a fair bit bigger.’


Which features of this Ferris Bueller inspired TV home are you most impressed by? Tweet us @granddesignsmag or post a comment on our Facebook page



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