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Woman who battled cancer alone in lockdown creates her dream home in London with rooftop garden

Remodeling the home that helped its owner in her battle against cancer during lockdown: The woman who fought the disease alone holds back tears as she reveals plans for a dream home at Grand Designs tonight

  • Corinne has lived in the same listed house in Sydenham Hill, south London, for more than two decades
  • Her divorce, which was followed by a diagnosis of cancer, gave her the confidence to pursue her dream of renewal
  • The chef becomes emotional when she shows host Kevin McCloud her plans for her new home
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The woman who fought cancer alone is visibly emotionally locked up as she showcases Kevin McCloud’s plans for her dream home in south London on tonight’s episode of Grand Designs.

On the show, which airs tonight at 9pm on Channel 4, Corinne shows how she’s lived in the same listed house in Sydenham for the past 24 years.

However, the chef has always dreamed of having her own wonderful kitchen and dining room where she can host dinner parties for friends.

After her split from her second husband, Corinne also underwent cancer treatment during the pandemic – which made her even more determined to make her dream a reality.

Something good must come [my] Cancer diagnosis. The twice divorced chef held back tears when she opened up about why she wanted to embark on the project

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After undergoing cancer treatment on her own, Corinne decides to break into her south London home and create her dream outdoor kitchen.  Pictured after the renovation is complete

After undergoing cancer treatment on her own, Corinne decides to break into her south London home and create her dream outdoor kitchen. Pictured after the renovation is complete

Corinne's dream kitchen leads to her rooftop terrace, which boasts stunning views of the surrounding area

Corinne’s dream kitchen leads to her rooftop terrace, which boasts stunning views of the surrounding area

Corinne's bedroom now overlooks the amazing surrounding wildlife.  The chef fought back tears as she discussed plans with Grand Designs host Kevin McCloud

Corinne’s bedroom now overlooks the amazing surrounding wildlife. The chef fought back tears as she discussed plans with Grand Designs host Kevin McCloud

Unusually in London, the lower part of Corinne Park is located on a hill surrounded by a stunning forest.

The episode follows the chef as he transforms this floor-slip into a great al fresco dining experience – the kitchen overlooking the gorgeous rooftop garden terrace.

Speaking through her plans at the beginning of the episode, Corinne is visibly emotional, said speaking host Kevin McCloud: “On the second floor – it’s really exciting – I’m going to have a rooftop garden with [cooking space] like that.

This is what I love. [I’ll be able to] I invite people to dinner and drinks on the rooftop terrace and people to come and cook with me in a wonderful kitchen.

Furthermore, the aspiring chef revealed that she made her plans for the renovation while she was still receiving treatment in the hospital.

Kevin McCloud - the photographer outside Sydenham's home - wondered why Corinne wanted the renovation effort.  She replied: I love the place in which I live, but the house in which I live is not me.

Kevin McCloud – the photographer outside Sydenham’s home – wondered why Corinne wanted the renovation effort. She replied: I love the place in which I live, but the house in which I live is not me.

Corinne's sleek and modern kitchen - pictured from the window - has a minimalist design and overlooks the rooftop terrace to give a character

Corinne’s sleek, modern kitchen – pictured from the window – has a minimalist design and overlooks the rooftop terrace for an ‘outdoor’ feel

continued: ‘[I told myself]Corinne, “The way you can do that is to focus on this building project and make sure that this is the good that results from your cancer diagnosis.”

However, that didn’t stop Kevin from wondering why she wanted to put all the effort into building her dream kitchen just a few steps away from her current one.

And she continued, “I love where I live, but the house I live in is not me.

“It was created with an ex…or two!”

“Now you have the opportunity to do something just for you,” Kevin replied.

“Yes,” Corinne said. ‘just for me.’

As with any renovation, things don’t go as planned for Corinne during construction.

Early setbacks with the core business, high cost of materials and Corinne’s expensive tastes meant that the relationship with the contractor – which began amicably enough – soon came under real strain.

Watch Grand Designs at 9 PM every Tuesday on Channel 4.

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