Friday, 24 January 2014

The Great Interior Design Challenge - the morning after the night before

did you watch it last night?
I think the whole series is brill, such a great format.

I filmed the episode back in September, hence the tanned glow and tiny frocks, so it has been a long wait to see the final cut and also to keep it a secret from you.
I have been very controlled in not immediately blogging last night but I always find that a nights sleep is best, particularly when one is on the wrong side of merry.
What I want to get across in this blog post is just the bits that the time constraint forced out on the TV show. There are elements of the design that are important to me and therefore important that I talk about…if you know what I mean. I am not being all serious about it (fat chance) it is just in my head and it needs to come out.

I sprayed the basic Ikea table trestles green. I left Ricardo a little note on the typewriter

  Firstly, let me tell you what my take on Interior Design is, without using Wikipedia, and don't forget I have no experience and no training. This may soon become obvious ;-)
In my mind it is all rather simple.
 Do what the client wants, make their ideas look ace and design the room and its furniture to suit the way they live/use the room. That is basically what I did.
Ricardo wanted a new minimalist look. He did NOT want the hidden storage. We removed the double wardrobes, a massive job might I add. It certainly looked hard work from where I was sitting (with my cappuccino).
I knew that he wanted a grown up desk area and I knew from the start that this would be the perfect space for it. 
The desk would double up as a relaxed eating area because obviously, his table and chairs were now gone (god knows where?).
 I added vintage school stools, that stacked, and could easily be placed around the table for an impromptu gathering. Ricardo looked like an impromptu gathering kinda guy.
I absolutely have to point out that Sophie Robinson mentioned Ricardo had nowhere to place his unsightly bills and paper work, Uh, 2 filing cabinets right there!!

I added some wooden shutters to the window.
This was high on Ricardos wish list.
The sofa (we will hit on that elephant in a mo), is a sofa bed, guests would sleep in this room so he wanted the ability to black out the window. I think the shutters were fab and I know Ricardo was delighted.

I was really keen to add an industrial style light.
I made this using a very basic and low cost mechanics inspection lamp, and added an up to date wire shade. I spray painted the lamp to a dark green shade to tie it in with the other lights.
I am going to make one of these for my house.
The total cost was £18 and you get a really long flex which enables one to hook it and hang it wherever one pleases. I am a great fan of hooking and hanging.

My up cycling appears a little, shall we say half hearted….it probably was, BUT, in my defence with the whole creative thing, I had very little scope to be as creative as I would have wished.
Ricardo wanted very little colour, no pattern and definitely no florals. I was itching to get a stitchin but it forced me out of my comfort zone and I loved that about it.
The TV stand worked brilliantly for all its simplicity and it looked pretty good. Luckily the judges agreed.
From a functional point of view, Ricardo had the problem of lifting his TV out of the way every time he opened up the sofa bed. His new fancy pants, moveable media unit (its getting serious) was the perfect solution. I think he was planning on getting all creative with the crates once we had shipped out so its all good.

The wallpaper…..oh god the wallpaper.
What a hoohaa!
What was I to do? paint the walls grey?
I liked it, I love a bit of drama.
If you are into a bit of faux brick, firstly keep it to yourself and secondly pop on here and you can buy it for just £20 a roll.

the ladder was a hit!

I did buy Ricardo a new sofa within my £1000 budget. It was a second hand find but it was cool, it was a sofa bed and when I was told that he would like to keep his existing one I was not amused.
This soon passed as do most of my emotions.
I had to make the best of the sofa but I know that it would have looked a darn sight better, and more polished, had I got my own way but lets face it, I got my own way with the wallpaper so I really can't complain.

Overall I thought it was a truly great experience.
I got fantastic feedback on Twitter etc
You have been utterly amazing and I have realised more than anything that I have the most wonderful family and friends.
Big congrats to the winner of our heat Luke, well deserved and Dee, if you could only see everything that poor, lovely woman had to cope with you would've cried for her. She coped so well.
My builder Johnny was a diamond, I miss him and I also loved my camera man Charlie. I hope they read this and know I appreciated them.
I am now drawing to the end of my most important speech. If you have read to this point without dozing off then I will send you a free gift ;-)

Thanks for reading. x

lets see Ricardo one more time!


  1. Hi Emma! I watched last night...and absolutely loved it! I recently discovered your blog, and didn't put two and two together...Wow! You did an amazing job of Ricardo's flat. I was a little sour faced that you didn't win, as I loved all the detail you put into that room. I absolutely loved the shutters, as I think they make the most of that beautiful window, and the ladder idea was ingenious! Well done you! I admired your dress too. Did you sew it yourself? Well, you should be very proud of a great achievement. Happy weekend! Tania x

  2. Yes I did see it and thought it was you from the start, but when they showed the clip of you at home ...I knew it. Loved your room especially the ladder - brilliant idea ...and saw the filing cabinets so wondered what the presenter was going on about??
    What an achievement, not only to be selected for the prog but to come up with a fabulous design that the client was pleased with. Well done you.

  3. Helloooo its me....watched it??
    I anylysed it, recorded it whilst watching, then paused and rewound and watched the best bits (yours) again and then went back and had a proper look at your gorgeous Pinnys!!
    So well done to you!
    I thought the others (and in the other episodes) just did watered down versions of their own styles and were lucky if they got matched up with a client who wanted similar.
    You got a hard one, but you did exactly what he wanted...No colour (omg) poor you as you love colour and pattern!!
    So again superb I take my hat off to you
    What was it like watching yourself on tv?
    Bestest Daisy xx

  4. What an achievement! You made a grown man cry with joy!

    I'm so glad you've given us all the details that were missed in the show. It proves how versatile and resourceful you are, especially as your signature elements - vibrant colour, pattern and florals - were forbidden

    Unlike most of the competitors I've seen so far, you didn't impose your own style on your client, but actually listened to him and did everything he asked for, and more. It's a shame the judges didn't give you more credit for that but, heck, it's only a TV show!

  5. Huge congratulations to you Emma on doing the most amazing job...I think you were amazing and you should be very very proud of yourself. I sat absolutely glued to the fact I couldn't have got any closer !!! You are very talented ... so well done have certainly shown just how talented you are. xx

  6. Hi Emma, I didnt realise it was you, both Tony and I watched it and loved it! Well done.

  7. this looks interesting! wonder if I can watch on iplayer? Heather x

  8. Your room was brilliant Emma! Ricardo clearly loved it!

  9. Yes I watched it too... some great ideas but most of all loved your pinnies... very very jealous of those... sorry you lost would have liked to see what you came up with next time! Smiles Cass x

  10. It was great Emma but I must admit I loved the section where we snuck (snook?) a peek at your house and dear old Maurice just as much. Well done again x Jane (oh and the pinnies - gorgeous!)

  11. Loved it, loved it, loved it ... I mean you reduced the man to tears ... your design was brilliant and executed to perfection ... Ricardo was obviously thrilled ... love your blog spot giving us a bit of behind the scenes ... well done you ... Bee xx

  12. I loved it all, I think you did a fantastic job, sounds like it was a bit tough at times...poor Dee !
    Thea xx

  13. Loved the programme, I had never watched it before, but definitely hooked. You were robbed, but then the judges saw behind the scenes aswell, Good Luck Emma, looks great on your portfolio, I was shouting oh there's my cushion, when you made him the one on tv.(I bought the foxy one from you)

  14. Love that work, you did a great job. Jo x

  15. Well done again, it looked like really hard work, you're right your builder is ace, you should be totally proud of yourself, loved it!

  16. It's a good series & I liked what you did with Ricardo's room. My favourites were the desk area & the ladder. Looked like a lot of fun!

  17. I loved it and I was convinced you would win. I liked all of the designs in their own way. I thought it was you but wasnt sure until I say you in your little office. Ricardo obviously loved the room too.

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  19. Hi Emma,
    I loved your room...and yes I definitly understand the feeling that you need to explain......more than you know! Well done I thought that it was a very unified and beautiful space.

  20. Hi Emma, I didn't know you were you! I adored what you did and it was by far the best. Your caravan looks amazing and I forced my husband to watch the part where you said it was a gift from your husband! I hope it's sown a seed...xx

  21. We don't really need to watch any more as however disorganised, unprepared or plain old inept, the man always wins.

  22. I loved your room, and the fact that you were out of your style zone. I am gripped by the programme but you are only one so far that hasn't one that I chose to win, so disappointed but I am sure it was a great experience for you.

  23. Finally got round to watching your show, it was amazing and really interesting! What an amazing building, too, it almost made me want to live in London. I thought you did a fabulous job with a very discerning client. I thought both you and Luke deserved to go through! Brilliant tv, I'll definitely watch more! Well done xxx

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  25. WHAT! How absolutely fantastic indeed - ruddy, ruddy well done you. I will find a way to watch it all and kicking myself for missing it now. How brave you are and how talented you are and how ruddy marvellous! That room looks just fantastic.
    Brilliant stuff Miss Oooh Betty
    Ruddy brilliant
    Best wishes

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  27. Hi Emma, I also love vintage and have all sorts of vintage toys, crockery, fabrics, knick-knacks etc, but I struggle to keep them all clean. How do you keep all your bits and pieces clean and still have time to look after your family, work and do your hobbies?

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