Michelle Ogundehin reveals what’s expected in the final of Interior Design Masters tonight

Roll out the red carpet, the finalists of Interior Design Masters have been announced, and their final challenge revealed…

The space race is on in Interior Design Masters tonight. The last two contestants were revealed last week after a gripping semi-final saw Nicky hit the cutting room floor in the semi-final’s hair salon challenge. Tonight Cassie and Frank – superb rivals for the finale – fight to win a contract with a prestigious London hotel.

The outcome is under wraps but we can reveal they’re both as busy as their design choices when judge Michelle Ogundehin assigns each an open plan apartment to redesign in Manchester. With instructions from clients including ‘Scandi without extreme sparseness’ and ‘neutral boho chic’ (we’re paraphrasing) will they follow the brief or nail their colours to the walls (which they’ve just panelled) in this nail-biting final? Guest judges joining Michelle and presenter Fearne Cotton for the finale are Naomi Cleaver and Matthew Williamson.

Here Michelle Ogundehin reveals more about the final of Interior Design Masters…

Tickled pink! Smiling Frank and Cassie prepare to battle it out for a prestigious design contract

Tickled pink! Healthy rivals Frank and Cassie prepare to battle it out for a prestigious design contract

It’s been a colourful new series. What have you enjoyed about it?

Michelle Ogundehin: “The excitement for me about Interior Design Masters was that it delved deep into what it really takes to be a great interior designer and that it’s about a lot more than having a way with cushions and a thing for paint charts!”

What advice do you have for viewers thinking about a home makeover?

MO: “Start slowly and spend as much time as possible really thinking about the way you use the space before you buy a single stick of furniture. Not how you think you’ll use it, but how you actually do. There’s a big difference here. Also, to understand that creating a sense of home is about a series of layers, and the most important is what I’d call the envelope. That is the physical bone structure of your home — the layout, the walls, the floor, the bits that surround you that are either hard to move, or can’t be moved. And build it up from there.”

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What about choosing colours?

MO: “A good tip is that before contemplating adding any colour or pattern, paint everything white. This enables you to really see its bones, to see where the light reaches, and where it does not. And you’ll also discover which spots you’re intuitively drawn towards and can determine furniture placement accordingly.”

What do you recommend when adding finishing touches?

MO: “Understand that lighting and accessories is akin to jewellery, in other words, the last thing you should add, not the first. For while it’s certainly possible to design an entire scheme around a chandelier, it’ll be a lot harder than if you start with where you might want to sit.”

What should be avoided?

MO: “I can’t bear any sort of theming, or overtly tricksy moments. I think you can have enormous fun with design without resorting to cliché. Also, non-natural fibres and things being chosen because they fit a perceived value rather than being things that personally spark joy. But beyond that, if a homeowner authentically loves something, and believes it speaks her story, then it’s all good with me.”

What do the finalists need to keep in mind in their last assignment?

MO: “That the client is always king/queen. Sometimes the best designs come from subjugating your own desires for the good of the whole. In short, that the point of good design is to give a client what they didn’t know they wanted, not create personal paeans for your own enjoyment.”

How tough have you found the judging process on Interior Design Masters?

MO: “It definitely got harder as we progressed through the show because the standard of the work was so good. Evictions were never about the quality of the work; it was about execution, inspiration factor, ideas and enjoyment. What was vital was not to judge based on subjective likes and dislikes but really zoning in on the specific challenge we’d set the designers each week; did they listen to the client; did they incorporate everything requested in the brief did they challenge the brief at times; and then always, did they go beyond and show me some magic? Not easy!”

What are you hoping to see in the finale?

MO: “Unrelenting enthusiasm. Conviction in combination with the ability to be flexible and open to learn. But inevitably also x-factor, that sprinkle of fairy dust that just elevates the ordinary to the extraordinary. Impossible to quantify but you know it when you see it. We definitely see it at the end.”

The final of Interior Design Masters airs on BBC2 Wednesday 02 October 2019 at 8pm