Ten aspiring interior designers on the cusp of turning professional, are taking part in the biggest design challenge of their lives. Working alone or in teams, the designers will take on a different commercial brief each week as they compete to win a career-defining prize – a major commercial contract to redesign a top London cocktail bar.
Each week their spaces will be scrutinized by Head Judge Michelle Ogundehin alongside some of the industry’s biggest names. At the end of every challenge, the weakest designers will be on the sofa in front of the judges, with at least one contestant eliminated each week.
Arriving at Michelle Design Studio in Brighton, a new crop of talented designers are eager make their mark in the competition. After a friendly welcome from Series Host, Alan Carr, head judge and former Editor in Chief of ELLE Decoration magazine, Michelle sets the designers their first challenge
Their brief is to create sustainable design in an urban setting, as the designers are tasked with transforming five luxury apartments in London’s Elephant and Castle. Working in pairs, each teams must transform an apartment together, with one designer in charge of the open plan kitchen-living room, while the other transforms the bedrooms.
Each apartment must be targeted towards a different type of tenant, from young couples to older residents. Finished designs must show cohesion between the teammates schemes and clever use of sustainable materials. With just two days, £1800, and a team of trades people to help, the designers begin turning these blank canvas’ into fresh new takes on urban living.
With the makeovers in full swing, Alan Carr arrives to find out how the designers are getting along. With eyebrows raised to some of their ‘sustainable’ design decisions, including a rusty drainpipe lamp and a set of ill-conceived concrete table legs, Alan also applauds their creativity as unique visions take shape.
Bespoke artworks, kitchen island planters, reclaimed wood cladding, and multifunctional room dividers feature as the designers pull out the stops to wow the judges with their creative flare.
It’s vital that each pair deliver complimentary designs, but while some are working in harmony, others focus on individual style and collaboration takes a back seat. Working against the clock the pressure bites and mistakes are made. The mismeasurement of materials sees ambitious ideas scaled back at the eleventh hour. Will they finish on time, and more importantly will their room designs be strong enough to withstand the scrutiny of the judges?
Joining Michelle in judging these eco-friendly designs is the king of American glamour, interiors guru and international trendsetter - Jonathan Adler. Running the rule over each of the five apartments Jonathan and Michelle find designs that delight and others that just miss the mark, but who will come out on top and who will have to defend their design on the dreaded sofa?
Challenge over, the teams return to Michelle’s design studio. There’s relief and celebrations for some, but two teams must face the judges. After a tense inquiry into some surprising design decisions, the first elimination takes place, and nine competitors now remain to face the next challenge in Episode 2.
Interior Design Masters returns Tuesday 7th March at 8pm on BBC One.