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The least likely DIY couple reveal how not to do up your dream

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The least likely DIY couple reveal how not to do up your dream Powered By Docstoc
					                                              Section      Home
                                                 Page      30
                                                 Date      17 June 2007
                                           Circulation     1,359,159
                                               Author      Emma Wells




               Costa fortune
               The least likely
               DIY couple reveal
               how not to do up
               your dream home.
               By Emma Wells


             R
                           occo Barker and Dawn            house they found in the village of             The couple continue to lurch
                           Buckler would look more         Sant Feliu del Raco. He also has a           through disasters: deposit crises,
                           at home backstage at            bent for design — and an awesome             mortgage dilemmas, problems with
                           Glastonbury than on a           collection of abstract art and vintage       workmen, lovers’ tiffs. They even
                           building site in Spain. Rocco   furniture — that he was desperate to
                           — who you may or may not        put to good use.                             survive — just — an onslaught from
               recognise as the lead guitarist from the       Though he describes himself as            Dawn’s girlfriends and the intrusion
               1980s goth band Flesh for Lulu — and        “quite handy”, Rocco’s main problem          of a live-in builder.
               Dawn, his Canadian girlfriend, a media      is getting out of bed, much to the fury         It is mostly good-natured. “We
               PA, have no money and no DIY skills.        of the leopardskin-clad Dawn, 31,            wanted to have fun,” says Rocco. “It
               In fact, they don’t even know which         who snarls at him, in the first episode:     was my job to do the design of the
               airport flights to Girona leave from.       “I’m not your bloody mother.”                house, and I love the huge living-room
                  But they do have a dream. Well,             The house is about a 30-minute            extension. I walked out just before I
               Dawn does, anyway. A dream to               drive from Barcelona. The couple, who        finished it, though. I couldn’t take any
               escape their humdrum lives in north         have been together for about four            more — it was too stressful. But I will
               London and restore and redesign a           years, spotted the alpine-style 1970s        go back and finish it.”
               house in the hills outside Barcelona,       property in January 2005; they bought           So, what would they do differently
               which they will then rent out as a retro    it four months later for £202,000.           next time? “Um, well, we’d have a
               retreat to A-listers. Rocco would           They have spent “three times that”,          budget,” says Dawn regretfully. “We
               actually rather have created a private      according to Dawn, or “beyond five           are so in debt.” And what advice
               home — but that’s after the fact.           times”, if you believe Rocco, doing it       would she give to anyone else looking
                  The couple’s torturous and               up. And no, the pair didn’t agree a          to create their dream home in
               sometimes disastrous renovation             budget beforehand.                           the Spanish sun? Starting off with
               project — think Spinal Tap meets A             “We gutted the house, added an            some money is a good idea, says
               Place in the Sun — is the subject of a      extension, built a swimming pool, put        Dawn. Then learn some of the
               new 10-part Channel 4 series, A Place       in new tiles everywhere,” says Dawn.         basics — “like what foundations and
               in Spain: Costa Chaos, which starts         “I can’t quite believe Casa Jet Set is       electrics are”.
               on Friday. “I loved making the series,      nearly finished.”                               The whole process has been
               but I hated nearly every moment of             The series charts their turbulent         plagued with mishaps. “The crap
               working on the house,” says Rocco,          progress. In the first episode, they miss    electricians took down our lightning
               46, clearly not a natural DIY-er.                                                        conductor and forgot to put it back
                  However, disillusioned with the          their flight, leaving José, their property
               rock’n’roll lifestyle — “One minute,        lawyer, waiting for hours at Girona          up,” Dawn says. Lightning struck
               it’s a stretch limo outside the London      airport. In an attempt to appease him,       three weeks ago, destroying their
               Hilton, the next it’s signing on in         they take him out on the town, where         £8,000 hot tub.
               Kilburn High Road” — Rocco, who             they proceed to drink themselves into           Dawn and Rocco, now back in
               resembles Jarvis Cocker in his              oblivion. “God, you must be horny,”          London for a break, are hoping their
               oversized glasses and big-collared          she slurs to the unfortunate Spaniard        first guests will arrive in October. The
               retro shirts, admits he immediately         at 3am, after he admits that he hasn’t       website for the villa, which sleeps
               fell in love with the five-bedroom          had a girlfriend for seven years.            eight, puts weekly rental at £1,800,




The contents of the publications from which these extracts have been taken are copyright works and without
prior permission of the relevant collecting society or save as permitted by statute may not be copied or
otherwise reproduced (even for internal purposes) or resold.
                                            Section    Home
                                               Page    30
                                               Date    17 June 2007
                                         Circulation   1,359,159
                                             Author    Emma Wells




                                                         or £2,500 including 24-hour butler
                                                         and translator service, plus a daily
                                                         maid. How is their relationship now?
                                                         “Strained,” Dawn says. “But we’re
                                                         still together.”
                                                            As for the future, Dawn will probably
                                                         stay in Spain for a bit, running Casa Jet
                                                         Set as a small business; Rocco says he
                                                         “didn’t want to turn into Basil Fawlty”,
                                                         so is going back to his roots to work
                                                         on his new band, Rocco’s Ruthless
                                                         Cartel, which he describes as an all-girl
                                                         band, “including me. We’re a mix of
                                                         the New York Dolls and the Velvet
                                                         Underground, with a splash of
                                                         Dean Martin”.
                                                            What are his final words of caution
                                                         for the would-be overseas property
                                                         renovator? “If it’s a dream you have as
                                                         a couple, make sure you’re set on each
                                                         other — you have such big decisions to
                                                         make. And don’t be fooled by any of
                                                         those programmes you see on telly
                                                         showing you how easy it is to create
                                                         your dream home. That’s rubbish.”
                                                         n A Place in Spain: Costa Chaos
                                                         starts on Friday, on Channel 4,
                                                         8pm; www.casajetset.com




The contents of the publications from which these extracts have been taken are copyright works and without
prior permission of the relevant collecting society or save as permitted by statute may not be copied or
otherwise reproduced (even for internal purposes) or resold.
                                             Section     Home
                                                Page     30
                                                Date     17 June 2007
                                          Circulation    1,359,159
                                              Author     Emma Wells




                                                                                                                                               Matt Fagg/Alamy


                                                                                                                                The village house is set
                                                                                                                               in the hills, 30 minutes’
                                                                                                                                  drive from Barcelona




          Casa Jet Set is due to have its first guests in October. Above right: still smiling, Rocco Barker and Dawn Buckler




The contents of the publications from which these extracts have been taken are copyright works and without
prior permission of the relevant collecting society or save as permitted by statute may not be copied or
otherwise reproduced (even for internal purposes) or resold.

				
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