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Britons blow thousands trying to copy TV property shows

They spend £529 on non-functional decorations such as soft furnishings for their home to keep up with the latest domestic trends and a further £404 in a lifetime on items that they will never use for fear of ruining them – such as expensive designer crockery, silverware and bed linen.

Almost a third (32%) of those polled state that the rise of television property programmes such as Grand Designs, The Home Show, Kirstie’s Homemade Home, Location, Location, Location and even MTV Cribs has inspired them to put even more effort into the appearance of their homes and influenced how they decorate.

Some 37% of homeowners polled said that watching property TV programmes made them aspire to live in a better home while nearly one in seven (14%) admitted that voyeuristic peeks inside celebrity homes made them covet more expensive, luxurious items such as designer fabrics, elaborate furnishings and even jacuzzis.

Despite being motivated by a desire to show off their homes, ironically 5% of Brits claim that they are so obsessed with keeping their residence spic-and-span that they no longer invite friends or relatives over – for fear that they might cause a spillage.  Furthermore, almost one in ten (9%) admit that they cannot enjoy themselves properly when entertaining guests because they are so worried about potential damage and spillages.

Meanwhile 7% confess to covering carpets and upholstery with protective sheets when entertaining to keep their home as pristine as possible.

One in 20 say that they have banned red wine in their home and 15% say that they have never held a party in their home, despite enjoying attending the house parties of others.

A fifth of Britons polled said that they had overly house-proud friends and almost a quarter (23%) admitted they were too scared and anxious to touch or use something.

Some 6% even admitted to turning down invites to friends’ perfect "show homes" for fear of causing damage or spilling on light-coloured carpets. And 8% of Brits confess that they have broken an item or spilt something at a friends’ home at least once, but have not confessed to doing so.

Nikki Sellers, Head of home insurance at esure, said: "The rise in popularity of television shows featuring showcase desirable homes has given rise to a new breed of homeowner driven to create a beautiful abode but almost too scared to enjoy it.

"While pleasing on the eye, a house that resembles a show home is not the most practical place to live.  Accidents do happen so it’s important for homeowners to ensure that they have adequate home and contents insurance so that you are fully protected if anything unfortunate does happen."

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