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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

TRADING ON STYLE (article first published : 2004-03-4)

Hot on the heels of the success of last year’s First National Bank HomeLoans Trading On Style, MNet is screening a second series from February 2004.

A reality based home makeover series, the show follows three enthusiastic couples, one each in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. They will be competing against one another to make over their homes, room by room, on a limited budget, with viewers deciding on the weekly and overall winners via voting. The contestants and their relationships are put to the test in this challenging home make over TV series.

With equal-sized budgets, each couple has just 12 weeks to design and decorate their homes while at the same time, viewers have the opportunity to get hot tips for their own home improvements by listening to expert advice imparted to the couples as well as seeing the practical application thereof.

Contestants are given a total budget of R75,000 to make over the specified rooms. They will also be allowed to call on home make-over experts or paint-specialists every week through a helpline for advice over the phone. Contestants will also have the opportunity to utilise three so-called life lines during the 12 weeks where experts are called in to visit their homes and apply their expertise.

First National Bank HomeLoans have enlisted different estate agents and mortgage originator partners to evaluate the homes before and after each room has been completed so that the viewing public is able to see what professionals believe will increase the value of a home.

First National Bank HomeLoans Trading On Style will be presented by Leigh Bennie in Durban, Amanda Horwitz in Cape Town and Kuli Roberts in Johannesburg. The Durban couple is Caroline and Roger Robčrt, with Heather and Graeme Maynier in Johannesburg, and Warren and Helen Williams in Cape Town.

Couples must complete all work themselves, except if they have selected to use a lifeline in which case they will work with the professional home make over experts bearing in mind their allotted budget. They may not engage relatives or friends to undertake any work on their behalf but may under-spend on one room and carry the surplus budget through to another room.

Couples will only be notified about which room will need to be made over on the Saturday morning before filming. They must then discuss the changes and do all the shopping to achieve these changes before 12h00 that day. They have until 18h00 on Sunday to complete the work.

All design work, renovation and decoration must be paid for within their assigned budget and couples are responsible for organising and overseeing all professional home improvement contracting work done in their home.

A different estate agent will visit the couple’s home on Saturday morning and again on Sunday evening to evaluate the changes effected by the couples and what difference said improvements have made to the value of the home.

The winning couple will receive the grand prize while the other couples get to keep all the improvements that they have made to their home over the 12 weeks. There is a weekly viewer’s prize to the value of R10,000 where the winner can chose between the help from a FNB HomeLoans appointed decorator or paint specialist to redecorate a room in their home. The final winner will be decided by the viewers.




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