The great interior design challenge: who won and some Q&A’s

I feel like a part of something really special and unique, Daniel Hopwood implied that we’re a #GIDC family! .. loving that. The great interior design challenge found 24 of us.. all super enthusiastic and very lucky amateurs and delivered 8 episodes of the first heat.. from 3 designers in each episode 1 won a place in the quarter finals. I honestly think that every designer did such a great job, everyone who was part of this series knows just how grueling, challenging and yet whole-heartedly rewarding the process has been, so Daniel – I agree .. I’ve made friends and found a place within our lovely GIDC family!  Just to recap here are the winners from each episode:
Episode 1 Sarah Moore, 

Episode 2 Susan Garrett

Episode 3 Charmaine White

Episode 4 Luke Watkins

Episode 5 Kimberly Plested

Episode 6 Neil Gawkin

Episode 7 Johnny China

Episode 8 Jordan Cluroe

I’m now eagerly awaiting the quarter finals .. starting tomorrow night 7pm, BBC2

I’ve been amazed at the response to my kitchen design and I’ve had a few comments and questions about the episode I took part in. The great interior design challenge, episode 5, The span house kitchen.

So here are a few more details..


The chalk board paint can be bought from most major DIY stores, I bought ours from homebase. Or If you have more time and fancy your chalk board blending in with the rest of your decor, try Martha Stewart’s brilliant DIY recipe for customised colour chalk board paint

I think this is perfect if you want the kids to have fun without the board contrasting with your carefully coordinated room!

The fabric was from IKEA £6 per meter

The Blue paint colour was from The little greene paint company. I used Juniper ash

On my course so far, i’ve learned the importance of presentation – great visuals help sell your ideas and also help you to communicate with the client. what’s most important is that these represent the work you do, how tidy and neat they are reflects on you and your ability to be be neat and tidy during the project.

Kimberly Plested DIDC span concept board (Images from National geographic)I created a concept or mood board. These are a tool for a designer to help focus on the feel they want in a room, for example a brief for a tranquil room may conjure up images of a quiet calm misty lake. While a vibrant, energetic room may bring to mind a carnival scene with bright colours and lots to see.

Kimberly Plested GIDC span floor plan


My presentation was accompanied by a floor plan with overlays to show the old layout and the new layout together.

I’m aware that I can visualize things easily but that this skill doesn’t always come easily for others, which is why i wanted to provide Anna and Richie with a clear visual representation of how the room should look once finished.

Kimberly Plested GIDC span water colour visuals

This was helpful for them as they could see the chalk board fridge in situ along with the effect of the bold fabric and colours. It gave them confidence to trust me but also the ability to adapt details to their taste before anything started, saving time and the stress having to renegotiate half way through a change being made. It also provides a reference for anyone working on the project, like stuart, my builder.

Finally the sample board was praised by the judges. Sophie said “Overall I was very Impressed by Kimberly’s presentation, her second board was of a very high standard with an excellent drawing” (Thank you Judges!)

Kimberly Plested GIDC span sample board


“Mummy we’re a famous family now”

My girls have been so proud watching mummy on the tv! .. My youngest came out with “mummy we’re a famous family now” her!

My episode of ‘The great interior design challenge’ was last friday and so now I can follow up with a little on it from my perspective…

This was the Hub for project Anna and Richie! It helped to have everything out so that I could make sense of everything going on in my head!
It was all so bizarre being flung into a ‘real life’ design challenge on tv. Obviously I wasn’t able to meet or talk to the clients during the design process. All I had to go on were descriptions, a basic floor plan and pictures! To say I was overwhelmed would be an understatement!

The week or so working on the design was a roller coaster of emotions, self doubt, sleepless nights and eureka moments. All the while making sure that my husband knew just how incredibly amazing he was! I couldn’t have managed it without his support! (Thank you David! X)

There were some lovely pieces I found to accessorize Anna and Richie’s kitchen. Most came from charity shops but my favourite were these original ceramic pots I discovered in a local reclamation yard. I bought the whole lot for just £20!
They turned out to be a huge hit with Anna and Richie.


In my brief Anna and Richie wanted a modern take on 60’s with a more scandi style, they specifically asked not to have a typical full on 60’s makeover theme.. It was in the brief that they had a love of Marimekko, which I later found out was not strictly true! Although I won them round of the fabric in the end. My way if getting 60’s into their room was through colour and the circular theme. Repeated in the fabrics, and the yellow accents. They also loved grey (a common theme so far the show it seems, much to Daniel Hopwood’s disapproval! (Sorry Dan!))

The whole experience was incredible and incredibly exhausting! But the team was amazing (special thanks to Kasia, my builder Stuart and my camera man Charlie!). Stuart – you really had too much to do! But you did it brilliantly!

The tiles… Oh dear! There was concern for the welfare of these poor “original brown tiles” so I kept as many whole for Anna and Richie to keep and I even asked Stuart to leave a few in place behind the cooker as a nod to the original scheme .. I have however recently been informed by the owners that they definitely are not originals! .. Quick guys-chuck the rest while
no-one’s looking!

Oh and the cooker! .. This was the main reason we ran over schedule! It was the biggest headache and poor Stuart had his work cut adjusting the floor AND wall cabinets to fit it.


The emotional bit/s were really a mixture of exhaustion anticipation and having the whole thing hit me, realising just how badly I wanted to do it all again! (Sorry! I do wear my heart on my sleeve)

While we waited for the judges decision I took a tour of the other designers kitchens! I hadn’t seen Anna’s before the reveal but it had a lovely relaxed country feel about it, I had seen Julia’s kitchen before hand and met the lovely owner Joeff, so after seeing the gorgeous white and wood (absolutely my kind of kitchen) I was so nervous. I couldn’t see my unfinished kitchen winning!

And so for the decision .. I was elated! It was, for me so much more than winning round one. I felt so relieved that the professionals saw potential in me, they liked what I was doing and believed in me.

Sophie Robinson, Daniel Hopwood. Thank you! I couldn’t be more grateful. X

The view of the dining area. (Sorry about the big camera crews lamp) Richie is a photographer and so I wanted to use one of Richie’s landscape photographs to stretch that back wall and make the space feel wider still. But Richie was set on his portrait photograph hanging pride of place (I don’t blame him – its a great photo)

My ‘design challenge’ plates, dipped in paints used in the scheme and backlit with a funky 60’s feel colour changing light. I wanted something unique to showcase my imaginative creativity! .. The judges thankfully loved them!

The chalk board fridge. Little Henry lives there too and having children myself I was keen to create something fun for him- it was one we’d tried earlier at home and was a huge hit! you can buy chalk board paint for £11.99 at homebase

The floating display shelves were on Anna and Richie’s wish list, most of the objects I decorated them with were my charity shop/ reclamation finds. We painted them the same grey as the walls to let the objects do the talking!

Soo… The suspense and waiting continues .. Between winning my first round and waiting on tender-hooks for the next brief and challenge- our friends were married and as part of their gorgeous wedding they hosted a ‘Great wedding bake off’ … Cue my second huge victory of creativity! .. I won best over all!! And scooped up my cherished prize of the bake off book! 😉 .. It seems I was on a roll!

20140126-120142.jpg(mine is the lemony one on a cake stand to the left of the sign)

I have been so overwhelmed and grateful for all the lovely comments and support from not only my lovely family and friends but also everyone out there on twitter! #GIDC @KimberlyPlested ..Keep watching The great interior design challenge week nights at 7pm on BBC2 and look out for me in the quarter finals! X


My style pinterest board

Greys are not all a wash out #GIDC crititics! .. when they’re done with balance and careful styling. For me the greys are among the most calming for a bedroom especially.

Take my a look on my Pinterest board ‘my style’ for example..

Grey seems to be the new White .. what do you think?


A fresh perspective on frilly, frumpy nets

Sometimes you stumble upon things that you wouldn’t expect. This is exactly why this blog is here – to log all of those lovely bits i would otherwise forget in a month or two..well here’s one i found earlier…

My husband treated me to lunch out in brill a few days ago. We love it there especially for picnics with the girls in the summer- the view is beautiful and the windmill and pretty village green gives it plenty of character.


After a delicious lunch at the pheasant we meandered through the streets on a little walk..

I couldn’t help noticing these beautiful window treatments. They were unique and so I knocked on the door to ask permission for a photo or two and to find out a bit about them. The owner was lovely and had seen them a few years before in London.

They are by designer Tord boontje and after looking for more about him I came across his website, he’s originally from the Netherlands and I think his style is a lovely fresh take on florals.

Good bye grandma’s frilly nets – here’s Tord, your 21st century successor!


Egging on spring

The weather has yet to turn bitter and prove to us that winters in full swing – while the sun is shining and the Easter eggs are on the supermarket shelves I just can’t help myself from getting crafty ready for Easter.


I always buy free range organic eggs – some say its an extravagance but I see it as a necessity.. For lots of health and moral reasons that I won’t go into now.

So on my weekly shop I found these gorgeous Clarence eggs which taste delicious and have the most beautiful duck egg blue colouring.

My brain clicked in to creative mode and urged me to buy them and use the shells for decorations during spring… They may be dearer but they’re serving two purposes now (so i tell myself!)
Yet to be completed but here they are for now! Ready to be dipped/ strung and hung .. I’ll be stocking up on more next week!

A tv date for your diary

Here’s a must see all new program on BBC2 for any interiors, architecture and home enthusiast!

The great interior design challenge

The show is presented by design expert and culture show presenter Tom Dyckhoff. 24 of Britain’s’ ‘keenest’ amateur interior designers are judged by Interior stylist Sophie Robinson and award winning architect Daniel Hopwood.

I saw Daniel as a guest speaker at the Chelsea harbour design centre. He really was very inspiring.

The program starts on BBC2, Monday 20th January and runs week nights finishing with the grand final on Thursday 6th feb.

A show like this is exactly what we want to get us all in the mood for a good old spring clean and ready for those paint brushes!
Here’s the BBC link for more info.

(Photo content on this post is purely for reference and is kindly used as a visual representation from the BBC website.)

Pretty little pieces

Our not so little girl is growing up and having her own room means she can stamp her own identity all over it! Luckily mummy is at hand to help and so I’ve encouraged her to embrace the eclectic look of pretty antique furniture and off whites.

She didn’t need much convincing. As long as she had her blue and stars in the scheme she was happy!


Her room is a work in progress but here’s a sneak peak of the gorgeous petite bedside drawers we found in my favourite local antiques shop in Weston-on-the-green, Oxfordshire. The old flight house

The paint work is more beige than the greys we’re after but part of the fun is that we can give it a lick of the right paint. We couldn’t resist! Its such a pretty, girly piece of furniture and perfect for her bed side!

I’ll reveal it it its new home once we’re all finished in there!

Hello 2014

I’ve been wondering how to re-invent my blog. If I carry on with my indecisiveness then this will be no blog at all!

Here goes my first post of 2014! Happy new year!

I have a deadline looming with the KlC and so I’ve been busy organising my work space. We moved at the end of last year and our new kitchen-diner has now become my study too (David has taken the office!)

At least our new reclaimed elm wood table has the capacity for all my Work. I love it! Just waiting on my Philippe Starck’s style ghost chairs to complete the look!


The light in the kitchen is perfect with its south-easterly aspect. We made sure the first job after moving in was painting the horrible dark navy wall white! Oh the difference 6 coats of white can make! .. It’s my favourite colour for a freshen up and instant modernisation!

So feeling fresh and inspired, this project work will be submitted before the end of January! I’ll share some sneak peeks before it makes its way to Chelsea harbour!