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Interior Design Masters With Alan Carr

Whether its Uni projects, work, personal projects or social media, it can be difficult for me to switch off from interior design. One thing that has not helped me recently is my unhealthy obsession with Interior Design Masters, which I have been binge watching and I have to say I am loving it.

It is not as the name night suggest, an insightful documentary about pioneers of interior design such as David Hickes or Jean-Micheal Frank, it is in fact a reality competition programme to find the UKs best amateur interior designer (which personally I think sounds much more fun anyway). Week by week the designers are set a task to complete and after each task, the designer who performed the worst will be sent home.

I have just finished the final and SPOILER!!! Lyndsey beat Siobhan to the title of Interior Design Master after the final challenge, in which they each had to design a holiday rental in Cornwall. Now for me this would be a dream brief as I love Cornwall and I have been holidaying there with my family for as long as I can remember. My family also have a holiday home by the sea in wales, which we have previously let out as a holiday rental, so I like to think I know a thing or two in that sense.

Obviously, with there being two houses there were two different clients briefs. Lyndsey had to design the home to cater for a "girls trip" client and Siobhan for a "family break".

Above is the home which Lyndsey designed. She went for a dark and colourful scheme using lots of pattern throughout. I believe she did meet the brief because when you go for a fun weekend away with your friends staying somewhere quirky and colourful is exciting as many people wont have a home like this so it will truly feel like an escape.

Lyndseys designs are always extremely practical and this was no exception. She added an island to the existing U shape kitchen which transformed the space and added a dressing area on the large landing between the two bedrooms, prefect for getting ready to go out for the evening. Throughout the competition lyndseys signature has become her vertical panelling which we also saw in this scheme and it worked really well.

The judges main critique was that the two bedrooms featured the same fabric on their headboard upholstery, where she could have used different ones in each room to give them their own identity which I fully agree with. One personal criticism that I have is that that although I really like the feature artwork in the HSL I don't understand why she added hooks to some of the blocks at the bottom?!? I think it really spoilt it truthfully and took it from a being a trendy piece of modern art to a fussy arts and craft homemade job, I also can imagine how it would look really ugly with someones raincoat hanging off it.

Overall though, despite a few misses, her design really hit the brief and please let me know where I can book it for my next girls staycation!

Now onto Siobhans scheme which you can see above. Siobhan, Siobhan, Siobhan... in truth I was really rooting for Siobhan. Dont get me wrong, her taste is potentially the polar opposite to mine. She is all about being over the top and maximalism where as I prefer a more understated, neutral look, but despite our differences her big personality, bold personal style and her last few projects had really won me over. I believe she has a real identity in her work and you can tell when it's something that shes designed which is obviously extremely important when it comes to being a designer.

However, with her strong personal style came this huge battle every episode between what the client is actually asking for and her nervous tick she gets when she isn't painting something fuchsia! Now onto this finale design. As previously mentioned, Siobhans brief was to design a family holiday home. Now regardless of whether I love or loathe her design my main critique is just that it does not meet the brief. The two bedrooms for example both have double beds... when we go away on a family holiday we would expect to have a twin bedroom so that children don't have to share.

Another feature I found impractical was the velvet sofas and headboards throughout the house. Don't get me wrong I love velvet however with it potentially being booked up 365 days of the year, materials need to be practical and durable. Staying by the sea people come back after a day at the beach covered in suncream, sand and small hands may even be covered in melted ice cream, so the idea of a velvet enduring all this sounds like a nightmare to me.

On a positive note I really see what she tried to do with the house. I imagine in her mind she wanted to make it a colourful fun home which she definetly succeded with and features such as the kids chill out zone on the landing and the beautiful gold guilded crane mural on the wall really appeal to me, however based on these two final designs alone I do believe that the right person won!

Below is a board of images I pulled together from pinterest which show a similar aesthetic to what I would have gone for if I was given the same brief as Siobhan, which is also a preview of the look I will be going for when we renovate our Anglesey Holiday home next year.

I love the colour blue anyway, its such a calming colour but it works especially well in seaside homes. As you can see from the above images the use of colour isn't OTT it is just enough to add a little bit of something to keep the eye engaged.

Another thing I personally love which goes so well in this sort of scheme is natural materials like driftwood, jute, hessian and coral, some of which are used in the images above. They are a great way of bringing in nature and the seaside feel, without it feeling themed.

This post has been a fun one to write and has shown me just how much my brain actually engages with the "easy watching" I do. I already can't wait for the next series of Design Masters!

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