Tuesday, 4 February 2014

The Great Interior Design Challenge...

I have REALLY loved this series. I recorded every episode so that I could watch it after my daughter was in bed and give it my full attention. Telly hasn't been this exciting since the days of 'Change That'.

The dashing Daniel Hopwood, Sophie Robinson and Tom Dyckhoff...


I found myself judging the designers on their own homes, hoping the one that appealed to me the most would win their heat.

Sarah Moore (Sarah Moore Vintage) excited me as her own home was to die for. Vintage florals were everywhere and they showed her staircase...

link
...which I recognised having previously seen it on Pinterest. 

In episode two we met Susan with her eccentric style, daring paint effects and her bright red lipstick.
In  the sun room episode Amys home was delightful and she looked every inch the beach babe. 

Sometimes it felt as though the quest to find something innovative overruled the quest for good taste. Emma's (Ooh Betty)  episode being one case in point. Her finished room was exquisite, tasteful and fit the brief 100%. Her client seemed to get choked up as he was so pleased. I'd have been well chuffed living there. Unfortunately she didn't go through. Luke won with furniture for cats to climb on.

Kimberly was so lovely and she scraped through her heat despite running a massive three hours over time.
Helen was so gorgeous I found myself wondering if I would look that good with a crew cut. She reminded me of Emma Thompson.
And Johnny. What a character he was. I cheered out loud when he got through his heat.
Jordan and Alice were great to watch. Poor Alice had to deal with a rental property with a HUGE pine built in unit so it wasn't really a level playing field at all.

The thatched cottage quarter final irked me as again, mad innovation won out over good taste. I bet that yellow horse lamp went straight to the charity shop after the filming was over and I didn't feel Jordans end result was quite right for the cottage. I loved Sarahs, Johnnys and especially Charmaines end result far more.

The mini history lesson at the start of each episode became quite tedious but the BBC have to make a certain amount of programming that's educational so I guess it ticked that box for them.

So tonight is the much anticipated semi final! Who will win?

Well, I think they ALL could.

Come on BBC, you have unearthed not only talented designers but some really watchable characters. I would be glad to see any of them on another interiors show.

Perhaps you can bring back 'Change That' or 'Changing Rooms' with your new found designers? In these frugal, upcycled, home spun times you would be fools not to.

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Just watched the semi finals. I'm gutted for poor Luke. I think what totally stole the show for me was Daniels trousers. Looking forward to the finals tomorrow!






77 comments:

  1. Oh is it on tonight? I thought I'd missed the last few episodes last night when I saw it wasn't listed. I agree about the thatched cottage episode, I thought all those bright funky colours and modern accessories just looked wrong in it, but they were looking for someone who was brave enough to be bold and think outside the box and one might say that good taste is subjective. I'm sure Tom Dyckhoff has done voiceovers for another prog but cannot for the life of me think what?
    I remember Change That, blimey didn't they produce some horrors!
    x

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  2. And it was all for an elderly lady who I'm sure didn't get any of it. No idea about Tom. Change that taught me everything I know! Top show! But yes, not everything worked... ;)

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  3. I haven't watched this show at all, but remember the dreadfulness of Changing Rooms only too well! xxx

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  4. I have really enjoyed the series too! Looking forward to the final tonight - don't mind who wins, they are both great! I agree- I would happily watch all of the participants on another interiors show :) x

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    1. I'm rooting for Sarah. Didn't love last nights fire place but she cottoned on to the fact that daring innovation gets you through! I don't think she loved the fireplace either! xx

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    2. No, I wasn't keen on the fireplace either! She changed the lampshades though to avoid overkill but then I noticed in the final that one of those lamps was in her house haha :)

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  5. After seeing the final I think they both deserved to win, amazing finalists! However, I am bitterly disappointed as I thought Jordan's design should have won. Sarah did a beautiful dark blue, guest bedroom but her hallway was cold and uninviting and her main room with the snooker table and copper light was truly hideous as was the child's room with the repulsive green stripe up the beautiful, sach window, oh dear truly dreadful, imo! Jordan's hallway was awesome, his striped room with the white trees, beautiful and the pale blue room stunning! I would love to know how the two judges reached their decision...was it on their past work as well as the final projects? I know it is a matter of personal taste but I just cannot understand them choosing Sarah as the winner. I hate it when women bring their children into the emotional plea to win and truly hope the judges were not swayed by that. Anyway, good luck to both, I hope they go on to be successful designers, they were fantastic and deserve it!

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    1. I LOVED Sarahs work! Ok, not so much the hall paint job but I loved the statue and the painting. Jordans hall was clever but I didn't like the green. I couldn't bear the stripey room with trees and the dark ceiling. It would give me a migraine! I did like the copper light and the green stripe. But wouldn't it be dull if we all liked the same things?
      I think they were just judged on each episode not their past work. You're right, they're both very talented and I'm sure they'll be in demand!

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    2. Did the clients like it?? Yes, they genuinely loved it - this was obvious so surely she is a deserved winner as she completely met the brief. It's not about questioning her taste, it's about whether she met the brief. A good interior designer interprets the clients needs - she was very good at this indeed.

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    3. For me -the striped room was the highlight of the series !

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    4. I agree, Jordan was robbed !

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  6. Does anybody know where you can buy the wallpaper Jordan used in the little girls bedroom?

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    1. Not me but I see there's a book out so perhaps the answer is in there? Or is there a web page?
      Anyone else know?

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    2. Jordan is on twitter
      jordancluroe
      @jcluroe

      Interior designer, coffee house owner @StDavidCoffee and one of the @2lovelygays contestant on the great interior design challenge

      perhaps ask him?

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    3. Have you checked out Timorous Beasties for the wallpaper ?

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    4. http://www.timorousbeasties.com/shop/wallcoverings/61/chic-blotch/

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  7. Those floral stairs are incredible!

    http://pinkchampagnefashion.blogspot.com/

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  8. I have loved watching this programme , and love Sarah's style .
    Then realised this was Sarah Moore of vintage interiors fame and numerous books. I thought this programme was to showcase amateurs work not those already established in the field !.
    I'm now very disappointed , shame on you BBC2 for trying to pull the wool over our eyes !

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    1. I thought she'd done some style books about what to do with vintage fabrics and her own home but as she'd not worked as an interior designer with clients, that she fit the criteria. Although I'm not entirely sure what the criteria was. I guess just not to have done it professionally before?
      It's been a great series and you're right. That lady has great style no matter what!

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    2. I agree. I loved the show and Sarah's work. However, when the show was in her house I saw a couple of things I recognised from some books I have. I thought she had copied the ideas (which I was fine with) then when I got my book out and saw it was her book!!! Also, she wrote another book I have - I am now really disappointed and upset for the other conestants as Sarah is a professional if she has books out and makes money from her skills. Anyway, I do like her style but just feel for the other contestants, it must have felt like a loosing battle.xx

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  9. I just found a lot of Sarah's stuff really passé. We did it better in the 80's. Her Dorset cottage was ridiculous, it looked like Victorian taxidermy, all that stuff around the light fitting and her winning design was uninspiring especially the games room, only the blue bedroom was good. She has a lot of good craft skills but doesn't know when to stop with handmade and vintage. Jordan was a bit OTT at times, but at least he had a reasonable handle on contemporary design.

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    1. The series has certainly awakened the countrys passions! I've never had so many anonymous comments that aren't spam!
      I guess I'm no fan of contemporary design as I'm definitely 'team Sarah'. Handmade and vintage all the way for me!
      I just hope they hurry back with a second series!

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    2. Vintage has had it's day - it paralleled the recession and the country is coming out of recession now. Too much tat has been produced in the name of vintage and we need to get new style directions. Genuine vintage and antiques and not trashy upcycled stuff will sit easily with new contemporary design. We need to move forward now.

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    3. You must either live in the South or be a member of the tory party - out of recession? I don't think so!

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    4. The recession isn't over in our house either.

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    5. No I don't live in the south and I'm not a Tory, I don't live on mainland UK, but I have a background in sociology and the signs are we are coming out of recession. Nostalgic sentimental design always occurs when times are hard and when times get better new design occurs, this happened in the 20's, the 50's and the 90's.

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  10. Dear Jordan,
    UWUZROBBD!!
    If the programme was looking for original, exciting, off the edge but liveable-with designs yours certainly hit the (designer)nail on the head.. Not Just in the final but all the way through the competition, with the odd bit of exception.. Your results for the Liverpool house,in all the rooms, were brilliant in their impact and practicality. The winner's living room was chaotic, and the boy's room with the green strip was far too clinical, the hall was ??.
    Here's hoping you follow your dream and go on from the present strength to mignificance.
    I hope the series is repeated but with some break from the dominance of the two 'judges' and a wider assessment by public, community or more impartial group for the earlier and centainly final rounds. Keep the Dyckoff 'history element'.

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    1. I'm loving how this has turned into an internet forum for the show!
      MORE Daniel Hopwood for me please. And his tartan trousers. But I like the idea of a public vote! A Great Interior Design Challenge/X factor hybrid? Bring it on!

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  11. I loved Sarah's work but after finding out she writes a regular column for Country Living, and has written several books I feel it wasn't fair to have her as a contestant. I really hope it wasn't fixed as I'm sure the judges must know Sarah. I also feel that I'd have rather seen someone win who hasn't already got such an established career in design.

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    1. spot on - totally agree - really disappointed to find this out

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  12. I love the designer wallpaper Susan used in the semi final - in the frames. Does anyone know where I can get it from?

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    1. Is it this? Alexandria Magenta by Designers guild http://ow.ly/tiulG

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    2. I'll stick a pic at the end of the post so scroll up...

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    3. That's the one! Thanks very much Emma Kate. :-)

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    4. I loved Susan's wallpaper too, can you re-blog what it was so I can try and get some, thanks.

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    5. Alexandria Magenta by Designers guild http://ow.ly/tiulG
      picture above...

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  13. so disappointed that Jordan didn't win --he was by far the best!

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  14. Hello Emma, I am the Helen that you speak about and am so completely flattered!! Thank you so much!!! It was SUCH an incredible experience, I loved every single minute. The production team were wonderful and made it an absolute joy to work on. We had a party in London on Wednesday night to watch the final and all meet each other (as we'd only met the contestants we were up against). It was a great night, and wonderful to see everyone again. It's had a great response as a series and I feel chuffed to bits I was part of it!! Here's my blog post if you are interested in having a read...http://mykindredroselife.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/the-great-interior-design-challenge.html Thank you SO much once again - and I am sure you would look gorgeous with a crew cut!! No bad hair days.... xxxxx

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    1. I will certainly check out your blog! Thanks Helen! xxxxx

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  15. Does anyone know where to get the painted trees that Jordan had?

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    1. Here's his site where you can contact him
      http://www.2lovelygays.com/about/

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  16. I hadn't heard of this before, but it sounds EXCELLENT. I hope it's on iplayer. xxx

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    1. Oh MAN! You are in for a treat! Un plug the phone, get curled up on the sofa and have a Great Interior Design Challenge weekend! It's too crappy to go out anyway. xxx

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    2. That sounds like a genius idea! Although you forgot "drink lots of wine" from your list of instructions. I'm just going to pretend you said it.

      I imagine I'm going to end up yelling at the TV like blokes do with football. xxx

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  17. Hello!
    Kind words and who knows what the judges were thinking ;-)
    Looking forward to reading your blog in the future. Emma xxx

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  18. does anyone know where sophe robinson got her scarf?

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  19. Ice been waiting for this series to finish so I can watch the whole thing on catch up!!

    Can't wait!!

    Kate x
    Just Pirouette and Carry On...

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    1. You've got it all to look forward to! Lucky you! x

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  20. I loved the series too and hope there will be many more to follow. I think quite a few contestants deserved to win based on what we saw. However. I too was a bit disappointed to discover how well known Sarah Moore already is. Can she really be an amateur when she has written at least two books and has a regular column in Country Living. she has also featured in many other magazines and is also well known to Homes and Antiques who describe her as a designer, who Judge Sophie Robinson does work for. I don't remember seeing any of the other contestants so heavily featured although I'm sure they deserve too as indeed will your house Emma Kate when it's finished ...

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  21. I thought I'd invented papered risers! I've never seen them anywhere else but my house.
    I was away for this but, to be honest, much as I love drooling over fab interior design I'm not sure whether I'd be that interested in watching the process - a bit like watching paint dry! x

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    1. Watching paint dry is my favourite thing to do! x

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  22. Sorry I forgot to mention the style revolution of the 60's which was in everything from clothes to home interiors and which paralleled an economic boom and the start of the so-called 'consumer society'. Trends in home interiors should always be viewed against the current political and economic society and that's why I think that vintage has had it's day. We may not go as stark and minimalist as the late 90's and early part of the 21st century but we will move away from the nostalgic sentimentality of the last few years.

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  23. Holy shit! all these people. I don't do TV but as far as fashionable trends go who cares, they are for conspicuous capitalist consumers, the thrifty eco green crew are here to stay.
    (aged hippy)

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    1. I agree. Once you've lived frugally, I think it'd be hard to go back to wasting money. It would seem like a step backwards!

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    2. I am simply pointing out that social trends occur whether we like them or not and they occur in tandem with political and economic trends, and we follow them to some extent whether we intend to or not. It is not about living frugally, I have done that all my life, it is about trends, and at the moment the trend for vintage nostalgia came about because of the economic recession and a desire for what appeared to be happier more carefree times. In fact vintage nostalgia has not been cheap - now that the pound shops are doing it so well, it will have to be superseded by a new trend starting at the top end and working its way down through the social classes. That is my last word on the subject, and trust me it will happen.

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  24. I loved this series and cant wait for the next one (hopefully). I'm quite disappointed that Sarah is so well known already, I must admit that I felt the judges favoured her, as some of her ideas were hideous like the oak leaf light fitting and the neon fireplace. I loved the wallpaper in the Liverpool snooker room, anyone know where to find it?

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  25. Sorry meant the dining room with the yellow fireplace wallpaper!

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  26. Anyone know what the wallpaper with the yellow fireplace is?
    Where can it be purchased?

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    1. Sarah is on facebook as Sarah Moore Vintage. If you 'like' her on there you can ask her?

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    2. Here we go; It's little Greene 'great ormond street in verditure'.

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  27. I also think Jordan was robbed. He had the wow factor...I have to admit when I was watching his designs take shape I was always in 2 minds - I especially doubted the origami wallpaper, but when it all came together it was amazing! I had to eat my words after the wallpaper had gone up Secretly i'm still wondering if it's chocolate finger-proof though...that's the practical side of me that stops my designer dreams from taking effect most of the time!

    Jordan was inspirational...Even the mad colours at the cottage was enough for me to go googling to find where the fabric had come from. His murals have got me thinking too (or muriels as I love to call them as Hilda Ogden always did on Corrie). I've seen some offset 4 panel art which I'm going to use in my lounge to give that feeling of disappearing off somewhere as a result of seeing his Georgian drawing room mural. Jordan had a way of bringing the whole room together with colour and to me that is the basis of design (though I am no expert). His hallway in the final was inspired and considering the house he was doing had been made devoid of all original features I think he worked wonders.

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    1. I loved the 'muriel' he did in the house where they cut the wrong bit out. Was that the final? I forget. He's very talented and I'm sure he'll do very well as a designer.

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  28. PS great series, I hope there are more like it! Unlike Grand Designs (where I think they nicked the music from) this is achievable and I loved it. I spent a lot of time on rewind to take closer looks.

    I'm adding this page to my faves :) Thx Emma xx

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  29. Good use of wall paper on staircase. Bit different idea not use by many.

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  30. Its Brilliant idea for interior designing.Vintage interiors is so good.

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  31. What was the fabulous floral curtain fabric used in the country cottage episode - it was a zinger and I want some. Anyone know where I can find it?

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  32. I am trying to find that fabulous floral curtain fabric, too - does anyone have any info? Have spoken to local retailers (in and around Hull) but no-one has any idea. Also have looked through the BBC's book to accompany the series and there is no photo of the cottage in it!

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  33. What is the wallpaper used by Sharon in series 3 part 1

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    1. You just made me trawl through the facebook page, viewers comments! https://www.facebook.com/thegreatinteriordesignchallenge/ and apparently it was William Morris by Sanderson.
      Isn't it fab?

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  34. Does anyone know where the beautiful cloud wallpaper used in the final comes from? I must have it!!!!

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    1. http://www.designerwallpapers.co.uk/cole-and-son/fornasetti-panels/nuvole.html?gclid=COXq-brvpssCFcFAGwodyKQFpw#black-white-wallpaper-tint-7
      Copy and paste that.

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I love to hear your comments!