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


7 thoughts on “The great interior design challenge: who won and some Q&A’s

  1. Before looking at the Great Design Competition contestants, one has to judge the judges. Would anyone in their right mind let someone into their house dressed in pink shirt, orange trousers and a jacket two sizes too small. As to his sidekick, she tried to dress shabby-chic, but just looked shabby. One of her dresses looked just like one my mother gave to the W.I. 40 years ago.

    If you look on Hopwood’s web site, the rooms each have a ‘signature’ feature – a cheap gimmick in an otherwise bland and boring design. No wonder he liked a pink-painted armchair as the feature element of a room, despite the icy politeness of the owner who probably threw it in the skip the moment she was off camera.

    Three contestants did not have time to completely finish their designs due to insufficient time dictated by scrimped programme budgets. Each of them was being true to their design and to their design brief and each was producing outstanding work. These are the designers I would contact if I needed a room re-decorated. Kimberley, Luke and Johnny were the true winners of this competition.

    • Arthur, thank you for your confidence in my abilities! It certainly was a huge challenge, especially never having put a whole design into motion for somebody else before.

      I absolutely appreciate your opinion on the judges, I must comment however that they were so lovely and have a wealth of experience and have made very successful careers in the industry.

      As to things going into the skip – I agree there must have been elements that just didn’t suit the owners (my plates for example) the design may be there but it’s so difficult within the time constraints to design, source, and produce to brief when you know so little about the clients!

      I hope you enjoyed watching!? The three designers you’ve kindly merited seemed to stir a lot of questions among the public when we didn’t make it further. It is what it is and the judges had their reasons.

      Thank you again for your support, it has been one I credible experience!

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