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Is she really Mad About The House?

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Dana Stevens | 15:16 UK time, Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Could you hand over all decorating and design decisions to your partner? I don't think I could but every week on Mad About The House, a woman leaves her partner alone with £12, 000 to spend as he wants on their house....although quite often a lot seems to go on a flatscreen telly.

I wanted to know what it's really like to take part in the show so I asked Natalie, who features in this week's programme, to tell us why she wanted to do the show, how she really felt about her partner Paul's changes and how it affected them as a couple.

Mad About The House (Natalie and Paul)

We only decided to take part after a long chat, due to the fact that I was very nervous (to say the least) of handing over full control to Paul. I am not a control freak but I do like my own way to a certain point as I design for work, but saying that, I decided that Paul needed to do this and I needed to give him the reins. I am a home bird and wanted to make a nest for me and did not really think about a nest for US so this was a great chance for him to assist in making our home.

My family thought I was absolutely mad and kept asking if I had forgotten my medication but his family just thought he would make me proud and told me not to worry. Paul and his family are so laid back that they make dead people look like they are flying but my family, who know me very well, thought that Paul had just signed his own death wish. We agreed that through it all they were not to discuss anything as if I had any inkling I would have lost the plot. Everyone was supportive and I knew deep down with some persuasion from the family that if he screwed up I could either re-decorate or trade Paul in for a new man.

When I came back after the three weeks, my first reaction was that I just wanted to see Paul, corny I know, but that was what was going on in my head. I absolutely adored the kitchen, it gave me a breakdown but in a good way and for the first time in a while it left me speechless. The boys' room was ok and I just thought well he has worked hard he deserves it.

Mad About The House (Natalie and Paul)

Then I entered my bedroom!!!!!!!!! Not such a happy moment, more of a full on panic attack. I hated it at first and just thought that sitting Paul in a cage full of starved lions would be easier than what he had coming when I got hold of him. I hate black decor and my room was something out of Apollo 13 and it took three attempts to get me in there. I asked for vodka to calm my nerves but had to settle with water as we were still filming. When Paul told me the reasons behind the bedroom and his thought process, I did warm to it and kinda thought it was a romantic gesture, but saying that it was great for a night or so but not for life. I knew straight away I would change the bedroom and I would be taking down the picture of the earth. It took over three months but I got there in the end. Well he had no choice as week by week I was slowly peeling it off the wall until he had to take it down. My kitchen is still the same except I have moved the cupboards around as I like to know where things are and every place has a home; Paul just likes to fill space.

Since doing the show I trust Paul a lot more in the house and we do discuss the changes we want to make together now, whereas before I told him what we were doing. We have just finished decorating our living room which we did together and choose the colours and wallpaper together. This might not sound like a big deal but trust me, allowing him input was like an ex-addict walking into a bar and just sitting with an OJ and a great big smile. I am quite a perfectionist and like things a certain way so this is a big step for me. It has strengthened us a lot and it ended with us getting married.

I had always dreamed of a big white castle wedding but being apart from Paul, and realising that he actually did the house for me, made me realise that I wanted to be his wife. I wanted to have a wedding without all the glamour and glitz as saying 'I do' was more important than 25k debt.

He proved a lot to me and he also made our families, and more importantly himself, proud. I have no regrets about doing it and would do it all again in a heartbeat.

Watch Natalie and Paul in Mad About The House tonight at 9pm.

Find out more About Mad About The House

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