In this semi-final, two designers transform two rooms in modern town houses in Bristol. Tom Dyckhoff looks at his favourite buildings in the series.
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Here in the UK, we're blessed with an enormous variety of types
and styles of buildings that we call home,
from thatched cottages
to 1930s Art Deco apartments,
to contemporary townhouses.
But sometimes, while the exterior creates a wow factor,
the interior can be distinctly lacking.
So we've gathered some of the UK's most talented amateur interior
designers to show us what they're made of.
In each semifinal,
two designers will go head-to-head
to transform two rooms in neighbouring houses.
Perfect, thank you.
And this time, in an added twist,
one of them will be a wild card,
a designer previously eliminated from the competition.
You're going to give somebody a second chance?
Putting them through their paces and scrutinising their every move,
our judges, Daniel Hopwood, designer,
and a director of the British Institute of Interior Design...
This year we've got new challenges for the designers
that are really going to push them to the limit.
..and internationally renowned interior designer Kelly Hoppen.
As a judge in this competition I want to see perfection.
I think I will be quite a hard judge.
Helping to decide who will triumph, and pushing the stakes even higher
is guest judge, editor in chief of Elle Decoration, Michelle Ogundehin.
What makes a great interior designer is someone that understands
that it's not just about how a space looks,
but it's how it makes you feel.
But it's going to take a lot of creativity and hard work
to be crowned winner of the Great Interior Design Challenge.
After six dramatic rounds of competition...
GLASS SMASHES THEY SIGH
..six designers have been sent home...
..leaving three as semifinalists.
But now the judges are going to choose who will be joining them
as the fourth semifinalist.
So, we're going for a wild card.
Absolutely, and it's really hard,
because the three that we've got in the semifinals now
are seriously, seriously good.
Having discounted the designers who left in the first round,
the judges will now decide who from the quarterfinals
will join the other three.
James we gave a second chance to already.
-Yes, that was a risk, wasn't it?
-Because he didn't finish the room
-the first time round.
-But we saw his potential.
Saw the potential, but there was no je ne sais quoi.
The je ne sais pas quoi had quoi'd out the room, hadn't it?
The pair of you both loved him.
Because I think he's got some genius ideas
and I think he's young and he's fiery,
but he's still quite frozen inside.
But what we both saw was
someone who has a level of talent that could be nurtured
and actually curated into something really quite great
but he didn't finish that room.
Now, Shaida finished everything.
If you were ever going to find an organised designer, she is it.
So, let's cut to the chase.
Who has got that added bit of extra creativity?
Who's going to surprise you?
I think it's between these two.
Well, you see, I disagree.
And I think it's between these two.
-There's one which we're both very sure of.
-Let's go for Richard.
This time, we're in Bristol,
and this famous stretch of colourful terraces
perched high above the harbour received a welcome addition
in the late noughties.
This street of houses in Hotwells was built in 2009
on the site of a former technical school.
Now, two of our semifinalists will be working on two rooms each
in neighbouring houses in this most contemporary of developments.
In this semifinal, wild card Richard will be joined by Daniela.
Looks good, don't it?
The designers will have just 48 hours over three days,
It's coming along nicely.
..a team of two builders and two decorators to manage...
Yeah, I need it a bit higher.
..and their first room must be finished and judged on day two...
It throws a massive spanner and the rest of the tool box into the works.
..because at stake is a place in the final.
Getting the phone call about having a second chance was exciting.
It's just a little bit more pressure,
being the wild card, especially.
If I came back as a wild card I'd have more fire in my belly,
so...a little bit scared about that.
The warm springs that bubble up around the River Avon here
were discovered in the late 15th century,
and give Hotwells its name.
It soon became a spa town just outside the busy port of Bristol,
and, by the Georgian period, even rivalled Bath.
By the late 18th century, though,
it was beginning to fall out of fashion.
The middle classes left.
Industry moved in.
At the time, Bristol was the second largest port in the country
And with so many ships to accommodate,
a floating harbour was created.
When it opened in 1809, it was the world's largest impounded dock,
and Hotwells became a hive of maritime activity.
These days, though,
it's the industry that's moved out of Hotwells,
and the middle classes who've returned.
Today, the neighbourhood is part of the Clifton conservation area,
home to more than 1,200 listed Georgian and Victorian buildings.
Our contemporary townhouses, completed in 2009,
were designed to be fashionable and modern.
They may look rather plain from over here.
But from the harbour-side you can see the colourful render
that helps them blend in seamlessly with their historic neighbours.
And now it's our designers' job to make them sing on the inside, too.
In their contemporary townhouses, each will be handed
a guest room-cum-craft room to overhaul.
Richard will also be given a master bedroom.
And Daniela, a living room.
It's 31-year-old transport artist Richard from West Yorkshire
who's first to begin his semifinal journey.
Yeah, looks good.
In the first heat, the judges admired Richard's versatility,
when he stepped out of his comfort zone as an industrial designer
and created a bedroom rich in hotel chic.
It's brilliantly calm, and it's really elegant.
And in the quarterfinals,
although his nautical-themed study was unfinished...
So, time's up and there's still quite a bit to do, so...
..innovative touches in his quirky bedroom
won him praise from the judges...
He's invented this, it's so clever.
A light on a wire dropping into a vase.
..and ultimately gained him
his wild-card entry into the semifinals.
So what was it about him
that made you want to give him a second chance?
He's very young in the way that he designs,
so everything's he's doing is quite raw and new, wouldn't you say?
Yeah, and because of that he answers design solutions,
and comes up with really good ideas and we found those quite exciting.
So you can see something in him,
something you want to really see flower?
Exactly. There's more in him, and we want to see that.
I'm extremely happy to be back in the competition.
I felt like I had unfinished business after the last...
Well, literally, I had unfinished business.
It's definitely given me confidence.
They obviously see something in me.
It also adds a lot of pressure.
I don't want to make them feel like they've chosen the wrong person.
Our second semifinalist fighting for a place in the final
is 30-year-old Daniela from Epping in Essex.
In the first round,
Daniela employed her minimalist, luxe approach to design,
and created a stylish bedroom for a 12-year-old.
Wow, that's amazing!
I really like it.
And in the quarterfinals,
the judges loved her living room,
with its chic Parisian boutique feel.
-C'est tres jolie.
-Tres, tres jolie.
Perfect evening room.
But it wasn't very well received by her homeowners.
I'm slightly disappointed, yes.
And the bedroom that she called nomadic serenity
let her down with its finish.
Is this all just style over substance?
What's interesting about Daniela, of course,
is that she adapts with each brief.
She's a great stylist.
She comes up with lots of different ideas,
really depending on what the clients like,
and what the buildings are like.
She can be very ambitious, though, can't she?
She's in it to win it.
She's driven, but being too ambitious is dangerous,
because you can offer too much and not achieve it,
and then the homeowner feels let down.
I am quite competitive by nature.
And I would hate to go home after this.
So, going from the judges' comments last time,
it's all about me finishing to a high standard
and everything like that, so it's going to be imperative
that we all work hard and get things ticked off that list.
So, the quiet man versus the determined woman.
And out of those two, there's a finalist.
It's going to be explosive.
Richard is the first designer off the starting blocks.
He's taken on the challenge of redesigning two rooms
in homeowner Catherine's three-storey townhouse.
First up, it's the master bedroom on the lower ground floor.
My vision for the bedroom is that I want it to be light,
unfussy and tranquil.
I really like unusual fabrics and designs and colours.
I travel quite a lot,
and I've collected quite a few over the years.
I have a bedspread that's got some very bold colours in.
And I'd like that to form the basis of the room.
Although the designers have had their briefs for just over a week,
this will be the first time they'll be seeing the rooms in person.
I'm pretty pleased with this room.
Don't think I've got any...
anything that's standing out as a concern anywhere.
The second room I want the designer to work on
is a multifunction room.
It needs to be a spare bedroom for some occasions,
but it's also a room that I want to be able to do other things in,
like crafts, sewing, a little bit of anything.
It's...a lot nicer in feel than I was expecting.
It's got a very small window.
So, because it's so dark, it could have something that forms a focus.
Wow factor sounds dangerous, doesn't it? But it is what's in the brief.
I'll show you the bedroom first.
Working to Catherine's brief,
Richard has created a mood board of his ideas
which he's presenting to her.
On hand to assess his performance
are industry experts Kelly Hoppen and Daniel Hopwood.
They'll be looking out for strong presentation skills,
and an ability to adapt to his client's wishes.
So, going to keep your bedspread
-cos I understand you quite like... Well, you love it.
-I love it, yeah.
And for your headboard I've gone for a big OSB wall...
..which is a type of chipboard.
-It's usually hidden away.
But it's one of my favourite materials, I like using it.
-Yeah, it seems really nice.
-It's usually quite rough,
but you just give it a light sand on top, it makes it nice and soft,
and it really... It warms it up, basically.
-And then we've got this fabric here as padded sections
across this headboard.
And I was going to have curtains go all the way along that wall.
I'm happy to... try the wall of curtains.
-But they will be going in front of the radiator,
so from a practical point of view,
-having them right along the wall...
-..probably doesn't work.
I'll have a rethink about that, then.
Otherwise, I really like it.
Now, this is the guest craft room.
So, you said you wanted a wow factor in this room.
-Something totally unique.
So, this section here,
this whole corner will be painted in this colour.
-It's zoning the room, basically.
I've just got to get my head around the lay-out.
We can have a play about with it.
-and we can see what works for you and what doesn't work.
This is a light fitting that I hope to make.
And I've also got a floor lamp to go behind the screen
-to light up that corner a bit.
-So, what's the purpose of the screen?
-I don't understand that.
I thought having a screen is a way of keeping stuff
hidden away, when you've got guests round.
I'm not sure, at all.
I like lots of it.
-I really don't like the screen idea.
For me, that would be very untidy.
It's difficult for me to get it across in my sketch.
But I think, once everything's together...
..it's going to really...
-I think it's really going to work.
Kelly, I am so glad that we got Richard back
because yet again he's produced some designs
which are extremely seductive.
Yeah, no, Richard is great.
I genuinely believe that he has got something.
It's just his confidence that I'm worried about.
I've got some job lists.
-So everything that needs doing in the master bedroom's on there.
Richard's 48 hours have begun.
I've got a wall of OSB being put up on there,
with a fabric headboard along the middle, there.
Shall we get on with it then? Let's go. Yeah, let's do it. Right, cool.
Richard's first room to be finished tomorrow is the bedroom.
As work starts,
his homeowner Catherine is still unsure about the layout
in the multifunction guest room.
Well, I wondered whether this could go where the bookcase is
-at the moment.
-And the desk along towards the window.
-And the sofa bed could go up against this wall,
-and make that sort of the wow factor wall.
His homeowner's changes are now impacting on Richard's schedule.
And, unlike the last round,
he wants to make sure he completes both rooms.
There's a lot to think about now in this room.
A lot more than I would have liked to. But at least...
At least this is the room that is finished second, so...
I've got more time to think about it and more time to dedicate to it.
Daniela is the second designer to get going.
She's been given the task of refreshing the modern home
of retirees Sue and Charles.
We need a designer to come along and show us the potential,
because basically we've got quite boring taste.
We're at the stage after being here for two years
that we want to really let go and be adventurous.
The first room Daniela will be let loose on
is the second floor living room with a spectacular outlook.
Oh, wow. My goodness, that view.
I, personally, would like a better use of colour.
The stained-glass window,
that was another starting point, as well as the windows here,
for my designs.
I like colour. Not on the walls.
So, it's, say, fabrics, curtains, carpets, etc.
Daniela's second challenge is on the ground floor.
The downstairs room is long and it's dark,
and we've never really thought of a way to...
use it properly.
But now the homeowners have decided
that they'd like to have a dual purpose guest room.
We want to split it up so we have a work area within the room.
So, one area is going to be for the bed,
and the other area's going to be for the craft area.
Yeah, I think I'm quite happy, actually.
I think that it's as I expected, if a little darker.
That's about it.
I would like something that stands out.
Contemporary, definitely contemporary.
I like drama.
I don't like quirkiness.
And there is a difference.
So, this is the bedroom.
From your brief you said that you liked hand-painted wallpapers,
so I kind of researched hand-painted wallpapers,
and it came really from a Japanese influence.
So, with the walls,
I'm actually going to hand-paint scenes of Bristol.
-It's not going to be dark, is it?
-No, definitely not.
What I'm bringing in is lots of ivory linens, and things like that.
So the bedding's going to be ivory, as well.
So, it's going to be a very light, airy feeling room,
this is what I'm going for.
Now, my idea with this whole Japanese multifunction space
is that we curtain off...
one area here, so you've got your craft area,
but you've also got a curtain that can be pushed right back
so you still get that daylight in, and things like that.
Or when you do have guests stay,
they can pull it across, and they don't have to feel
like they're in kind of this craft area-cum-guest room.
-I think it's great.
-I think... The whole thing, it's great.
-Now, the next room.
So, I mean, looking at the furniture you already have,
I just felt you had a strong identity in here
with all of your mid-century furniture
so I didn't want to completely radicalise your style.
I wanted to, kind of, hopefully, enhance it.
So, here we've got wood-panelled wall along here.
-And then we've got colour blocking.
It's going to be quite subtle, but really dynamic.
It's just so different from anything I'd ever envisaged so...
Very much open to it.
So, this sofa I would like to replace with this chaise here.
Can I quickly say I am not a white chaise longue person.
Can we work with that?
I don't think you are either, are you?
It's a very modern kind of style.
It's not some sort of glamorous chaise
that you kind of lounge about on, over the top and pretentious.
It's very simple.
-Let's go with it.
-Go with it.
So you asked for a kind of ladderax...
I did. Yeah.
-So, using brass...
-I'm going to actually use the existing shelves in there.
-And use them as the shelves here.
So I think we are all done,
and hopefully you're excited.
-Oh, thank you. Thank you for being so lovely!
As always, Daniela gave an amazing performance.
She has got these homeowners excited.
She puts a lot of pictures there that show the feel
and the type of room that she wants to create.
So she's incredibly professional.
But she was just offering so much.
The Japanese Bristol influence, that is a massive risk that she's taken.
Yeah. I mean, to paint that on the walls...?
I really don't know how she's going to get this project done.
I really don't. But if she does, it's going to be stunning.
OK, so, my wonderful team, are you ready for my lists?
Daniela's 48 hours have started.
Is this room one? Like, the first one you're doing?
This is bedroom, yeah, this is the first one that's getting finished.
As her team gets to work,
Daniela heads off to take in the local scenery.
This is purely for me to get a skyline.
Where the trees are, the textures are...
Obviously, when I paint it, it'll be a lot nicer!
It'll be a lot more artistic.
She plans to recreate the Bristol views
in a Japanese style on the guest room walls.
I've never painted a wall before with one of my sketches.
So, this will be interesting.
Daniela's view is of a city made up of a diverse mix
of building designs.
Some might call these houses modernist
but that's a small word for a complex kind of architecture.
Modernism emerged in Central Europe after the First World War,
using mass-produced materials like steel, plate glass and concrete
to create bold geometric forms in anything from skyscrapers
to social housing.
Britain's always had
a bit of a love-hate relationship with modernism.
It arrived here rather late in the day after 1945,
but, when it did, we went mad for it.
In the garden, Richard's putting a modern twist
on his master bedroom...
..spraying white lampshades with a transparent blue paint.
This isn't all going to be one colour,
it's going to be an ombre effect
which basically just means it's going to go from solid colour
then fade out.
But his home owner Catherine is still questioning his plans
for a full-length curtain across the bedroom's newly painted wall.
I really like the colour of the wall.
The curtains coming right over the radiator
-I don't think is going to work.
The judges are concerned about how far he's now having to stray
-from his original vision.
-How are you coping?
I'm coping all right, I think.
Did you manage to talk her into the screen?
No, not yet. Actually, we haven't discussed that again since.
You've got to own this, it's yours, it belongs to you.
-You know where it's going to go.
-Calm down! Calm down!
No, no, I know... But you've got to hold it, you've got to run with it.
If you're going to present something to a client,
you've got to believe in it yourself.
You've got a good design here. Stick with it.
A few doors away,
Daniela's homeowners are also paying her a visit.
They've had second thoughts
about the seating they agreed to for their living room.
It was the chaise longue,
we don't really think the chaise longue would work,
-because it is basically a one-person sofa, whatever.
Right. My sticking point is the blue sofa.
It's not modern enough, basically,
it's not sleek enough to bring all the other elements,
the kind of mid-century elements up-to-date.
-I'll get my thinking cap on.
-Lovely, thank you, Daniela.
I knew that they weren't sure about it,
I knew that they weren't totally sold
and they've obviously gone away and had a chat between themselves
and, you know, that's fine.
You know, bit annoying, but there we are,
they've got to live here, I suppose.
But the living room seating worries will have to wait
because with the Japanese-themed guest room-cum-craft room
to be finished first,
Daniela wants to concentrate on her hand-painted mural.
Daniela, you've started the painting.
Oh, I have, yes, you've caught me red-handed.
How are you doing this? What is the technique? What are you using?
It is acrylic paint.
Rather than watercolour?
Just acrylic. I think it gives me more time to work and layer it up.
It's more controllable when watering it down
-and things like that.
-It's terrifying watching you do it.
-It is, it is. I'm terrified.
-It's only paint.
If it doesn't work you just roller it over.
I could roller it over if there was a patch I wasn't happy with.
I've been ambitious,
but I wouldn't be standing here right now if it wasn't for ambition.
So I'm not going to do something that's just easy
-and just paint the walls grey.
Exactly. I'm going to push it. I'm going to push it.
But you know the age-old story.
-Quality... and you've got to get it done.
Keen to keep the designers on their toes,
the judges are about to present them
with something that will test their creativity.
-What are you standing on?
The creative challenge moment.
An old barrel... that contained whisky.
-Unfortunately there's none of it in there, now.
-That IS a shame.
It'll be their task to give it a new purpose,
and work it into one of their room designs.
Hmm. OK. I'm kind of liking it.
-There you go.
-Thank you very much.
-See you later.
I'm quite excited by it.
I've really got a couple of ideas bubbling away.
So, yeah, it's got potential.
With the first day drawing to a close,
the creative challenge will be on hold, for now.
But it's not the only thing on tomorrow's to-do list.
Most of the other room has come together quite well today.
So I think if this room can get into the same position
through all of tomorrow, then I should be in a good position.
With a place in the final at stake,
Daniela's also got her eye on the prize.
This competition means everything to me.
Since starting this, it's given me so much of my confidence back,
my personality back, my creativity,
which I had really lost after having children and I, you know,
I want it to continue for as long as possible.
Hey Richard, how's it gone today?
-Just all right.
The first day's always a bit like that, isn't it?
It's like, oh, you should have got loads done.
I've had a lot of things with the owners...
They had discussions with the furniture that I've bought
that they don't want to use.
Yeah, I've had a lot of that as well.
Conversations about things that need changing,
things that need adjusting.
-It's all part of it, I guess.
-Well, it is, isn't it?
-Morning. All right?
It's been a long, long night.
Richard's gone back to the drawing board,
and Daniela's been slogging away into the small hours.
I do hope they got their beauty sleep, though.
Today, the first of their two rooms has to be completed.
I'm... I'm excited to get on.
I don't think there's anything in particular
that I'm nervous about today.
I've had like two hours' sleep,
I'm worried about this sofa situation again.
You know, I've got myself to think of, you know,
my own kind of design credibility, as such,
and then I've got the judges and then I've got the homeowners,
and this is the big toss-up. Who do I please?
In the living room,
the stained-glass inspired colour block walls are beginning to emerge.
And the vertical wood panelling is going up.
And Daniela's creative challenge
is also being worked into the room's design.
I'm making a light fitting with the metal rings,
so they're going to sit inside each other,
and on a base, so it's going to be like a lamp.
It'll be quite...
you know, cool and modern-looking.
And then the rest of it is going to get cut down,
and it's going to be basically a piece of primitive,
mid-century, Brazilian art.
That's what I'm going for.
-So this is the last bit.
-Last bit gone up. That's it.
While work's progressing on his bedroom's headboard,
a tried and tested design created from his trusty OSB,
down in the guest room, Richard's been summoned by the homeowner.
With his original design layout already altered,
she's back with even more changes.
I like the colours,
but I am concerned that it's going to make this room feel really dark.
Let me have a think about it, and see what I can come up with.
All right, thanks very much, Richard.
Pretty much everything in this room is different, now,
from what I wanted.
It throws a massive spanner, and the rest of the tool box into the works.
Daniela has decided to adopt a rather more direct approach
with her homeowners.
Here's my brave side coming out and going against the grain a little.
Believing the chaise longue is an integral part of her design,
she's asking the homeowners to reconsider their stance,
and agree to having it in the living room.
But has she overstepped her mark?
What happened with the chaise longue?
I'm going to go with it.
-Do they know?
They do know. But...
-I had to really talk them round.
-I really did.
But you're confident enough that you think they'll like it?
I think they'll like it when it's in the room.
Daniela does not want to toe the line,
and nor do her surroundings.
These houses break with convention
from their foundations right the way up to the rooftops.
For a start, they're upside-down.
The living areas are on the upper floor,
the bedrooms are down here on the ground floor.
So, in here, the windows are small,
for seclusion and privacy...
..while up here in the living room,
the windows are enormous,
making the most of that incredible view.
So just let me know where this can go
and then I can make this one shorter.
Richard's eclectic master bedroom must be completed today.
See, I think that's... In a bit more, maybe?
The ceiling centrepiece is going up.
Sorry, that way.
It's a clever and unique triangular light
made from a material he knows and loves.
OSB, a type of chipboard
which also features on the bed's striking headboard,
and a smart shoe storage.
After being painted white and sanded,
the OSB is stained.
Still a bit dark, so if you can sand it down
so it's a bit more like the headboard's coming along, now.
-Is that all right?
See you later.
And the headboard's padded sections are covered.
Got some wadding and then a bit of thick foam,
and then I'm just wrapping the fabric round
and then just stapling it to the back, basically.
You kind of have to start in the middle, then pin it,
and then go to the other middle, and then pin it,
and then go to the sides, and pin it,
and then work your way out, rather than working your way in.
There we are. That's that done.
Happy with that. Looks good.
-It's kind of the same as this one here.
So if you just do the same kind of painting effect, just generally...
..chunky monkey with a bit of light, bit of dark.
In Daniela's Japanese-themed guest room-cum-craft room,
with just a few hours to go,
she's drafting in help to the wraparound mural finished.
I've probably underestimated
the time it's going to take to do this mural,
because I did it at home, and it was so quick.
This is actually something that...
..can't be rushed, but it can be done quickly and quite freely.
It's an impression of the surroundings,
and I mean, Monet did OK, didn't he,
being an impressionist, so... it'll be fine!
But Daniela's confident exterior is hiding her nerves.
I'm not calm and collected.
I'm freaking out.
I'm just faking it until I make it, basically.
-All done, yeah?
-That's the middle one.
-I've got the baton on.
At Richard's, his eclectic bedroom is taking shape.
And in the multifunction guest room,
he's come up with an idea to lighten the walls for his homeowner.
The paint has been mixed with white
to create three different depths of colour.
The original one,
bearing in mind that you want to put it over the ceiling as well,
that feels very dark.
So of the combinations that are there,
I prefer the lightest variation.
-I just feel I'm being so awkward.
-But...I don't mean to be, honestly.
-It's all right.
I know we're getting tight on time.
-Thank you very much.
Richard's trump card for me is that he does come up with
extraordinarily different ideas.
But I think it's always difficult
when a young designer comes up with something
and a homeowner comes in and says they don't like it.
Richard's the kind of guy that's confidence is going to get...
really damaged by that.
It's testing, definitely.
I guess that's why they call it a challenge.
But with time soon to be called on the bedroom,
the guest room's problems will have to be put on the back burner.
It's coming along nicely.
There are just a few final details to put in place.
I didn't realise it had two sides.
But it's... It's this side.
And today Richard's made it to the finish line on time.
All right. That's room one done.
Richard's brief was to create a bright but tranquil bedroom,
using the homeowner's bedspread as a springboard for colour.
Yesterday, it was bland and bare,
and with no clear direction.
Now it's a vibrant assembly of colour.
Shades of blue and sandy hues create a calm, welcoming space.
From the ombre effect details
to the striking patent headboard,
with Richard's beloved OSB uniting the room.
What a transformation!
The fabric on that headboard, it's really brilliant, isn't it?
I like that.
For me, the issue is that I cannot see the relation
between the bed cover...
and the very bright turquoise that he's brought in.
And yet, come and stand here.
Look in the reflection.
If you don't see anything but that...
-It's cool, isn't it?
He's made the bedroom look ten times bigger.
-Here's the thing.
We've got the semifinals here.
-We've brought him back as a wild card.
But this is not pushing it to the boundaries
that I was expecting it to be at. It just isn't.
Richard's homeowner is about to see
her new and distinctive master bedroom
complete for the first time.
Her opinion will be taken into consideration by the judges
when they make their final decision.
Gosh, it's so different!
Erm... First impressions is I like the colour of wood backing.
But I don't like the texture in it.
But I think he's done a terrific job.
So there are positives.
-Oh, huge positives, yes.
The clock's about to stop for Daniela,
and she's way behind schedule
in her Japanese-themed guestroom-cum-craftroom.
Going like the speed of lightning, but obviously...
when you're going that fast,
you can't really consider what you're doing.
Accessories Daniela made last night are finally being put in place.
So just doing the final bits of dressing up. But...
we haven't actually got any curtains up at the moment,
so they need to be done.
Curtain wire. Erm...
Yeah, just chuck them on the table for now.
Oh, you could actually start tying them on, randomly.
Which side are these going on?
They're going on that side.
Finally, time is up.
I think I'm...
Daniela took on the challenge
to design a contemporary, dual-purpose guest room
with a touch of drama.
Yesterday, the room was drab and plain,
and without a real function.
Now, it's bright and modern,
with two clearr zones divided by the sheer curtains,
one for guests, and one for arts and crafts.
Natural textures bring light into the room
and the hand-painted mural gives a serene Japanese twist.
It feels so light and airy.
She's completely answered the brief in terms of work and sleep.
I love this area here where she's got a place
to put all the bits and pieces of the homeowner.
Love the desk, the chair.
-And I love this.
I think this is really nice.
Well, it's a clever idea of splitting a room up, isn't it?
it's the mural.
-Don't you like it?
-I don't think you need the boat.
That's nice, this is nice.
I personally don't think she's finished.
-Do you not?
Cos some of the quality is questionable.
Look at this wire. They've not stretched it properly,
it's all waving up and down.
I think if she'd had a couple more hours,
she would have added a few more bits, cos she's good at styling.
And this to me looks like she's rushed it.
And you know why? The walls.
I think that she's overextended herself on that.
Now Daniela's homeowners get a chance to see
their newly-styled guest and craft room for the first time.
-She's been busy!
That is amazing.
But I think more work needs to be done on the painting.
I think she's got a lovely hand for it,
but she needs more time to do it properly.
But the important thing is the overall effect,
and I think she's done very, very well.
With one room under their belts,
the designers now need to focus on their next rooms.
Here I've got the TV,
so I put a really bright colour above the TV
to try and detract your eye.
For a lot of these, I've actually only just used tester pots,
which are like four quid a little go.
Both rooms must be completed tomorrow
before coming under the expert eyes of the judges,
along with guest judge Michelle Ogundehin.
How about if we have it as an L shape?
The craft area in Richard's guest room
is being created from a new desk
and the homeowner's marble-topped unit.
And then would she sit there?
An easy build. Thank you.
With their second rooms taking shape,
day two has come to an end.
There's just one day between the designers
and a place in the final.
I'm going to make sure I get a good night's sleep tonight.
You know, I really want this living room to be
the best thing the judges have ever seen.
I feel good about the first room.
I'm glad that got finished in plenty of time.
I felt like I'm a little bit behind in the other room.
But I don't know, I just find it difficult to relax, now.
I'm still worried.
It's been a tricky few days for Daniela and Richard.
But it's only going to get tougher.
Day three means there's another room to finish,
and this time round there aren't just two judges to impress,
Unbeknown to the designers,
guest judge Michelle Ogundehin is on her way.
It's her job today to help decide which of the designers
wins a place in the final.
This is the semifinals, so I'm really expecting to see
more than just the usual colour, texture, pattern.
I want to see that they've answered everything in the homeowner's brief
and taken me to a space that I've never been in before.
That is the major job today.
I've really got to pull it out of the bag for the living room.
I wasn't really happy with my room yesterday, not 100%.
So this has got to shine for me.
This is my showpiece.
-That's a seat pad that's going in it.
-OK, yeah, cool.
'I'm feeling nervous about today.'
To be honest, my confidence is waning as it goes on.
'But I think a lot of it depends on this room.
'So many things have changed about it, now,
'that I'm not entirely sure what it's going to look like at the end.'
Michelle is getting familiar with the designers' mood boards,
so she knows what to expect when she arrives.
Richard's vibrant bedroom scheme is up first.
It's a good, solid mood board
and I've got enough of a sense of what might be happening there.
Some of the textures and materials,
I'm a little...concerned by.
Next, it's his multifunction guest room.
It's interesting for me to see here
that the designer appears as if they're trying
to add some detail with sort of paint effects.
I'm intrigued by what looks like a very sort of architectural screen
that's maybe upholstered in one of these fabrics.
Moving on to Daniela and her guest room-cum-craft room.
I'm getting a very strong Japanese feel from these boards.
I'm really excited to see this room.
But the designer's promising a lot.
And last room under the spotlight is her colour block living room.
I'm getting a very idealised vision of how this room might be.
There's a whole new shelving system going on here
and it looks like all of the walls have been recovered and retextured.
I'd always rather see less done really, really well
than more done badly.
With the clock ticking,
the designers have been summoned by the judges
where the final twist will be revealed.
Now, you know how we don't like to make it easy for you.
You know how we like to give you a little surprise.
We've got one for you today.
You think Dan and Kelly are tough?
You've got another pair of eyes to impress today.
We've got a guest judge.
Joining us today is one of the most iconic editors
of a leading magazine.
She has trained in architecture and has had an amazing career in design.
It's Michelle Ogundehin from Elle Decoration.
Lovely to meet you.
I meet so many designers and I've seen so many interiors.
It's not going to be easy to impress me.
So what I want is something unique, warm and textural.
So with all these formidable design talents to impress,
you've got a busy day ahead.
It's pretty daunting, having another person
of that calibre judging my work.
I've been a big fan of Michelle and her work
and her magazine for a long, long time.
So to have her is...
Yeah, it's brilliant. It's amazing.
Keen to see the designers' mood boards come to life,
Michelle is visiting the rooms they completed yesterday,
starting with Richard's vibrant master bedroom.
I am pleasantly surprised.
The room has a very calm feel.
She wanted calm, she wanted a sense of spaciousness.
I've got to hand it to him.
I'm going to say I actually really like what he's done here.
He's somehow elevated this rather cheap material
into something that just feels quite textural and organic.
I never thought I would say that!
It's Daniela's Japanese-themed guest room-cum-craft room
that's next to come under Michelle's scrutiny.
This is quite a transformation.
I mean, it's rather beautiful.
The images she had on her mood board, though,
were a very high aesthetic of that sort of Japanese ink painting
and calligraphy, which has got years and years of legacy behind it.
This does not.
I mean, it's rather beautiful
cos it's got a very sort of freehand feel to it.
But Japanese calligraphy this ain't.
With just hours to go
until the curtain is raised on the room designs,
these elevated houses are a hive of activity.
Over at Richard's, the craft corner of the guest room
is coming together.
The L-shaped desk, I think when it first got put together,
it felt like it might be quite a bulky piece.
But the legs being in that colour, it's hiding against the wall a bit.
I'm liking the way that is looking over there.
And Richard's putting his skill for product design to good use,
with the barrel he was handed as his creative challenge.
It's inventively being transformed into a hat stand and a stool.
Inside, Richard's decided to go ahead
with the screen his homeowner was unsure about.
I hope I've got a kind of happy balance
between what I wanted to do originally
and what she needs in the room
and what she wanted. I think this needed to be there.
At Daniela's, her colour block living room's feature wall
is getting a special extra touch.
I'm just attaching the LED strip up here.
It's a bit fiddly, but it's really easy.
This will add a lovely glow to the top of my wood wall.
Nice! Looks good, don't it?
And outside, the builders have been concentrating
on finishing a veneered coffee table Daniela's designed.
But the room's feature shelving unit has yet to be started.
Oh, no! I need to get this shelving unit done.
-Cos that is, like, a major thing
and it should have been done first, really.
Yeah, can we do that now?
Having been pulled up previously by the judges
on the quality of her finish,
Daniela wants to make sure everything's perfect today.
You know, I had a word with myself last night
and I just thought, no, look, if I'm not happy with timelines
and things like that, then I am going to pull people off jobs
and put them on other jobs cos that's what I'm here to do.
I'm managing my team.
So I'm using my assertiveness today.
Right up there.
Richard's time is almost up.
Yeah, I feel like I've managed my time much better this time.
And in his multifunction guest room,
it's just the final details left to put in place.
These are the new throws that I'm putting on the futon.
Styling, like, this isn't really my forte.
Yeah, I'm kind of just having to play it by ear
and see what works and what doesn't.
Finally, Richard's 48 hours are up.
I am nervous about the judges seeing the room.
I've definitely been feeling the extra pressure
of being the wild-card entry.
I want to make sure that they feel
like they've made the right decision.
Richard's brief was to create a bright, multifunctional room,
doubling up as a guest room and craft room.
48 hours ago, it was a soulless spare bedroom
with space for little more than a bed.
Now, it's bright and cheerful...
..making use of textures from around the world.
There is a clever use of paint,
dividing the room between sofa bed and work space.
The L-shaped desk is a quirky marriage of old and new
and the barrel from the creative challenge
has turned into a characterful stool and a hat stand.
What I do like is the way he's painted this.
It's very clever.
He's actually given the room a sense of three dimensions.
He's given it volume, hasn't he?
Do you know the thing with Richard,
and one of the reasons we brought him back as a wild card,
is that when he's good, he's really, really good and we find it exciting.
For example, we gave him a creative challenge, which was a barrel,
and I think that's rather clever.
It's very clever and he's made a hat stand with the rest of it.
You know, that is creative.
For me, with Richard,
I look at his design and I see vignettes.
I almost draw boxes over it.
If I was to sort of cut that out
with that wonderful old piece of tapestry, the small cushion,
the way he's done the creative challenge
and that light, I love that.
He's got the strength in him as a designer,
but he needs to follow his path and what he believes in
and he needs to stand by his design.
You're absolutely right cos there were moments of genius here,
but he needed to have had the courage of his convictions
-to just take all his ideas all the way through.
It's now time for the homeowner
to see her new multifunctional guest-cum-craft room.
In you come.
Well, you wanted the wow factor and you said wow.
I did, yes. I did want a wow factor.
-Is it the right wow?
-Yes, I do like it.
I like it very much, actually.
I love the colours. We've lightened the colours a huge amount.
I was very nervous about having it on the ceiling,
but I quite like that.
It's definitely brought more light into the room.
-It's not quite what I was expecting
and there are certain things in here
-that I thought we had agreed not to do.
The screen. But, having said that, I really like the room.
Second designer to begin and time's almost up for Daniela.
Yeah, I need it a bit higher.
Right, this needs an iron as well.
The risky chaise longue takes its place.
There's no way anything else would have looked right in here
and I think they're going to love it.
Once they see it, they're going to see it's so comfortable.
It's like a single bed.
And plans for the creative challenge's light have changed.
Unfortunately, in cutting through this, I cut through the wire.
Just one of those things that happened.
So now it's a sculpture.
Still disappointed about running out of time in her last room,
she wants to make sure she has plenty of time
for finishing touches.
There's a huge amount riding on this room.
I want their minds to be blown when they walk through the door.
Little bit to my left.
And with the final details in place, Daniela's 48 hours are up.
I'm so happy. I'm so happy that it was a smooth finish this time,
so I really got to take in the room when I left.
Yeah, I'm ecstatic.
Daniela's homeowners wanted a living room with injections of colour
and a sense of adventure.
48 hours ago, it was a room with a view, but lacking style.
Now, clever colour blocking and a wooden feature wall
mean the room can compete with the stunning outlook.
The backless chaise longue allows for a sweeping vista
from door to harbour and the statement coffee table
complements the mid-century furniture.
Bespoke shelves are smart and functional
and the creative challenge has morphed from barrel
to an artful plant pot and a sculpture.
Well, she promised a lot on her mood board
and it does look like she's delivered.
You know, what she's done on the wall here
with the strip light hidden, I think that is really clever
because you're drawn to another point of view, other than that,
and she's brought in the white chaise longue,
which they didn't want,
and actually it works really well in terms of the colour.
-And did she design this bookcase?
I was curious how she was actually going to pull it together,
but it's rather ingenious.
There's her creative challenge.
I really quite like the sculpture,
but I think the one thing that I wouldn't have done in here
and I think she's overkilled is with this blocking.
-You know, having one here, one on that wall.
I guess she was referencing
the stained glass of the homeowner, wasn't she?
Yeah, I can see why she's done it, but I think it's overkill.
It's time for Daniela's homeowners
to experience their new-look living room.
Oh, my goodness!
That looks amazing!
It is absolutely amazing.
I love the shelving here.
And I really like that.
I really like it!
And the lighting across the back.
And, again, I've got to... Sorry, I'm glowing over this at the moment.
What do we think of the chaise longue?
Yes, the infamous chaise longue.
Let's have a look.
It's not bad, is it?
I can imagine you sprawling on there on a Friday night,
glass of wine in your hand.
Well, as soon as you lot have gone, I will try it out.
But certainly it is a one-person thing.
I am used to it.
But, no, it's...
I do like it.
The designers have done all they can.
Now they must wait for the judges to decide who is a finalist
and who's going home.
Yeah, I think having to manage a team and stuff,
I've got better at that,
although I've still got a lot of work to do on that.
But, yeah, I think I've grown in confidence as well.
Yeah, I've taken a lot of positives from this.
I've learned so much, you know, to this point.
Especially after this round, I now realise that, yeah,
even if I don't get through to the final,
I'm going to make this work for me, no matter what.
So, Michelle, thank you so much for joining us for the semifinals.
-What are your impressions?
-It's been amazing.
There's always a huge leap to go from this sort of idealised vision
that's in the head of the designer to the reality
of really doing this in 48 hours on a limited budget.
But I've been really impressed with what I've seen.
So, judges, let's start with Richard.
Are you glad you gave him a second chance?
I think he was very passionate.
He was excited that he was the wild card.
He came into it with full force.
And when I looked at the rooms, for me,
they're were vignettes that were really brilliant.
And he made some really interesting things as well.
And yet I think that he possibly struggles dealing with a client.
I think there were moments of real accomplishment, though.
He was very brave. Putting that paint effect on was very dramatic.
The headboard was fantastic.
Little touches of genius.
I suppose you want to know what the homeowner thought.
-She liked them both.
She liked them. I think, overall, she was more impressed
-than she thought she was going to be.
-Well, that's a result.
-That is good news.
-That's good, that's really good to hear.
So, our other semifinalist, Daniela -
Now, Dan, you were really on her from the beginning
about the quality of her finish.
I was and I've been watching it very closely this time.
For me, there were levels of disappointment
with the guest bedroom.
You could see that she'd really rushed it at the last minute.
I think Daniela in the living room showed her creativity as a designer,
that when you walked into the room
because she had the panelling up on the wall,
she drew you into the room, rather than actually looking straight out
of the window. So, what did they think of the two rooms?
Well, they liked the bedroom.
They loved the effect that she'd conjured up in there.
But they adored the living room.
I mean, they were falling over themselves.
Even the chaise longue. They almost came round.
I wouldn't say they completely came round to the chaise longue,
but I think they were almost there.
But that's so perfect, isn't it?
So you've got a tricky decision to make.
It's the semifinals.
We have been tough on you.
We've thrown problems your way.
Big windows, little windows.
Big rooms, tiny rooms.
But you two have coped admirably.
It's been a real privilege for me to join you both at this stage
and I'm in absolute awe of the amount of energy and effort
that I've seen you both put into your projects.
Daniela, I have watched you grow.
You are an incredible designer
in terms of listening to what the homeowner wants
and you do deliver something every time.
But going forward, you need to step back
and you need to be able to delegate.
Not just hand over lists, but actually speak to people
to make sure that the detailing is all really perfect.
Richard, I'm really glad we got you back.
Some really good work.
Beautiful presentation boards
and I really loved the products that you created - the light fittings,
all those sort of little details were absolutely stunning.
Moving forward, presenting needs to be a little bit more confident.
You need to own the project
so that you can get your own way a little bit more
and on top of that, I think you've got to start thinking
about new materials to use.
So, for one of you, I'm afraid it's the end of the road.
For the other, the final awaits.
And the designer going through to the final is...
You should be really proud of yourself.
'I'm gutted, to be honest.'
I was proper nervous going into this.
But I'm not surprised,
because Daniela's living room is just amazing.
It looks like it's out of a magazine.
It's stunning. So, yeah, I'm not surprised,
but I am proper gutted.
I love the colours.
I think it's got the wow factor that I'm looking for.
-I'm glad you're pleased.
Thank you very much.
Richard didn't go through because he wasn't pushy enough.
Because I know he's a really good designer,
but he ended up compromising with the client.
So, we didn't see enough of him and what he's able to do.
-What do you think?
-I love it.
-Oh, it's lovely.
-It really is.
-Oh, I'm so glad.
I'm in the final. My goodness!
Whatever happens now, I'm going to be happy.
I had to put Daniela through because she seduced me with her styling,
even though I had to turn a blind eye to some of her finishes.
I think Daniela has improved hugely through this competition.
I think she's absolutely ready for the final.
I think she's hungry, she's determined,
and I think she's got a lot more to give.
If our two talented semifinalists
take away one lesson in interior design
from these contemporary townhouses in Bristol, it's this -
learn the rules, but then have the confidence to break them.
Next time in Arts and Crafts thatched cottages...
Wow, what a transformation!
Shall I leave the country now?
CLATTERING With two rooms each,
it's double the trouble for the next semifinalists.
There isn't a contingency plan.
Of course I want to win this! I can't mess it up.
It is the semi-final and two designers go head to head for a place in the grand finale. The pressure is mounting and the stakes are high! In an added twist, one of the designers returning has been given a second chance, having previously been eliminated in the earlier rounds. This designer is now back fighting for their chance to make it into the final!
The challenge our two designers have to conquer is transforming two rooms in modern town houses in Bristol. One designer takes on a master bedroom and a guest room/craft room and the other amateur is tasked with redesigning a living room and a bedroom/craft room.
Judging them are regulars Kelly Hoppen and Daniel Hopwood and guest judge Michelle Ogundehin, editor in chief of Elle Decoration. The designers have 48 hours across three days, a team of two builders and two decorators, a budget of £2,000 to use for both rooms and they both have to complete one room on day two which will be judged by all three judges.
Both designers are out to impress but the judges have concerns over the quality of their work, the time allotted and their communication skills. One semi-finalist attempts a very intricate hand-painted mural across all the bedroom walls, but can they deliver precision in the ever-decreasing time limitations? Meanwhile, a chaise longue could be one designer's downfall and a designer's plans are seriously thrown into question with their demanding client's ever-changing needs. On top of this, both designers must impress with a surprise challenge as each are tested again with the creative challenge.
Architectural historian Tom Dyckhoff looks at his favourite buildings in the series, exploring the subject of Modernism, its European origins and this very complex type of architecture.