The BBC design show Interior Design Masters has long been a favourite in my family, so when a recent show in the current series was set in Salisbury, my daughters and I had a double reason to watch.

In this recent episode, the designers were presented with the task of giving a makeover to three independent Salisbury shops: Just Jane, Brides by Victoria and Casa Fina.

It’s always nice to see somewhere you know on the television and particularly pleasant to see Salisbury being just, well, Salisbury, without any spies being poisoned.

As reality shows go, Interior Design Masters is at the gentler end of the spectrum: the contestants are all friendly and supportive of each other and the judges, too, are constructive and keen to say how well everyone is doing.

Read more: Inside the Salisbury shops that had a BBC revamp

In fact, the only polite note of tension in the programme was over the makeover of homeware store Casa Fina.

One of the contestants, Dee, suggested changing the colour scheme of the shop. The owner Susi Mason, replied that the walls had been white for 38 years, selecting a more neutral scheme instead.

Later, when the judges, Michelle Ogundehin and Mary Portas, visited the shop, they criticised the makeover for being too safe.

‘I feel this is a business that has been around a long time and has done a bit of an update,’ was Portas’ opinion.

The Casa Fina owner, by contrast, was delighted with what the designers had done. ‘We love our new look. It’s working so well for us,’ Mason told the Salisbury Journal last week.

So how much change is change?

Mary Portas and Susi Mason approach the subject from opposite sides of the evolution versus revolution debate: the Casa Fina school is a more gradual one, all about taking their current audience with them; the Mary Portas model by contrast, is more radical, suggesting different ideas to reach out to new customers.

In life, as in shop design, change is part of the process.

One of the books I use when I teach novel writing is Will Storr’s The Science of Storytelling, which defines plot and narrative as ‘a symphony of change’.

In the film Annie Hall, Woody Allen describes a relationship as being like a shark: ‘it has to constantly move forwards, or it dies.’

No time of year is more about change and starting over than spring.

That’s true from nature emerging out of hibernation to the annual thirst for spring cleaning.

Emerging out of Covid, that sense of refreshing feels stronger than normal this year.

It’s a process to be embraced rather than be nervous about: as the American philosopher Sheryl Crow once observed, a change would do you good.

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