The latest series of Interior Design Masters on BBC2, which starts on Tuesday, February 2 at 8pm, looks all set to be a huge hit. It has drama, incredibly tight deadlines, fabulously fresh ideas on how to decorate, fantastic room sets and lots and lots of laughs thanks to presenter Alan Carr. The fact that almost a third of contestants are from Yorkshire is also a huge bonus. Three out of the 10 undiscovered design talents are from God’s Own County.
The eight-week TV series shows them competing for the ultimate prize, a prestigious contract with a luxury hotel. Each week, they are given a project to complete and at the end of it one person is eliminated by the show’s judge Michelle Ogundehin, former editor of Elle Decoration magazine, and one guest judge. Here, we find out more about the Yorkshire contestants:
SIOBHAN MURPHY: Siobhan is an NHS digital communications manager from Castleford with a passion for bold and bright interiors. Her home, a striking Art Deco house, is tribute to her remarkable design talent and reflects her enormous sense of fun. She is fearless when mixing colour and pattern and her husband and their cat Benji love it.
“I studied fashion and accessories at Leeds College of Art but as a plus size girl I could never find clothes I loved, so instead I transferred my interest in design to interiors because then it didn’t matter at all whether I was size 8 or a size 18,” says Siobhan, who also credits a workshop with top designer Abigail Ahern for liberating her by suggesting that accepted interior design rules should be thrown out of the window.
Siobhan describes her own home as flamboyant, maximalist, playful and colourful and it is where leopard print wallpaper meets zebra print rugs and all shades of pink predominate. Of her time on the Interiors Design Masters series, she says: “It was wonderful and all the contestants have formed a great friendship group. I’d never worked with trades before, I’d never worked with strict budgets and sourcing products in lockdown while working full time was hard. We had one week to do it before driving a van full down south for the filming but I loved every minute.”
Her ambition is to do more interiors styling, along with TV and radio work. Find Siobhan on Instagram @interiorcurve. Siobhan's Favourite shops: eBay, Facebook Marketplace, Homesense, H&M Home, Jonathan Adler, supermarkets’ home ranges. Favourite designer: Sophie Robinson, the queen of colour.
LYNSEY FORD: Lynsey is an architect by profession but after taking part in Interior Design Masters, she has decided to follow her heart. She says: “Before I took part in the show I was project managing for a construction company and doing smaller projects like kitchen extensions for homeowners. Now I am committing to interior architecture and furniture design. Design Masters made me realise how much I love it. It’s my happy place.”
Lynsey won a place on the TV show after impressing the production company with the conversion of a huge 30-metre long shed next to her home in Slaithwaite, near Huddersfield.
It is now a stunning holiday let, thanks to her exceptional DIY and design skills. “I’m really hands on with the work and we have a workshop in our garage. I’ll do anything from knocking down walls and sawing and drilling to upcycling furniture and making cushions and curtains.”
Of her time on the show, she says: “I loved it and I learned so much from the other contestants who are all so talented.” Find Lynsey on Instagram @theshedsunnydale. Lynsey's favourite shops: Fabworks fabric mill shop in Dewsbury, Andy Thornton’s in Greetland for vintage style lighting and interiors department store Redbrick Mill, Batley. Favourite designer: Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
AMY WILSON: Amy’s gorgeous home in Leeds and her Instagram account, which showcases her originality and talent, helped win her a place on the show. A busy mum with three children, she is a former marketing and PR consultant but the TV series helped strengthen her resolve to make interior design her main business.
“I have always loved interiors. I love making spaces joyful and just getting a place on the show gave me a massive confidence boost,” she says. It also inspired her to buy a van. “The producers sent a van up so I could load it with everything I needed for my projects before driving it down south. I loved it so much I’ve now bought a Volkswagen Caravelle, which is great for days out with the children and the dog and for my interiors work.”
While Amy excels at styling and sourcing, the show also boosted her budgeting skills and encouraged her to become more hands on with DIY and upcycling furniture. “I was especially proud of making headboards for the first episode and while the projects were hard work, we had so much fun. Alan Carr is brilliant and made us all laugh so much.”
Follow Amy on Instagram @amywilsoninteriors. Favourite shops: Homesense, Made.com and Leeds-based Dowsing & Reynolds. Favourite designers: Abigail Ahern, Tom Dixon and Jonathan Adler.
The Yorkshire Post will be featuring the homes of Yorkshire Interior Design Masters contestants in our weekend magazine in February.
Interior Design Masters review by Property Editor Sharon Dale: After watching a preview of the first episode of BBC2’s Interior Design Masters, this eight-part series gets a 10/10 from me. I can’t wait to tune in for the rest of the weekly installments. This contest has drama, laughs, great personalities and it is full of design ideas you can copy.
Best of all it is a great escape from the reality of lockdown. Interior Design Masters starts on Tuesday, February 2 at 8pm on BBC2 with the final episode on March 23
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