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



Here is my inspiration for finally plucking up the courage for writing a blog. It only seems  fair that I pay tribute and feature the site in my first ever blog post! .. here goes! .. wish me luck!


Have you ever copied an image, an article or something you hope to buy from a website and then created a document on your computer in which you’ve pasted that image along with a web link back to the site?  I used to do this all the time. I’m sure most creative people have, well pinterest is the ready made equivalent!

A friend introduced me to pinterest last spring. I played about and quickly figured out how to use it, now it’s become a daily part of my world. I receive my emails updating me on who likes what i’ve pinned, who’s re-pinned my pins and who is now following me. (It’s very satisfying and reassuring to see people are loving the same things) I check it in the morning, pin inspirational, useful and beautiful things throughout the day, check it again while cooking the girl’s dinner and i’ll be linking it very closely to this blog.

I found some interesting facts about pinterest:

  • According to Experian, in the UK Pinterest saw a 786% increase in traffic last year from 901,761 visits in September 2011 to 7,985,316 in September 2012. Meanwhile in the US Pinterest saw a 15-fold increase to 139m visits in September 2012 compared to 9.2m in the same period in 2011.
  • According to Repinly, the most popular category on Pinterest is ‘food and drink’ with 11.9% of pins, followed by ‘DIY and crafts’ 9.2% and ‘home décor’ (5.9%). However, looking at pinboards rather than single pins, home décor is actually the most popular category (11%) followed by ‘art’ (10.7%) and ‘design’ (10.3%).


Pinterest has been growing rapidly since it’s Launch in 2010. I tell every creative person I meet about it and joke that i should receive commission. (if only i knew where to start with buying shares) I currently use Pinterest for logging interesting websites, recipes, wedding ideas, Interior design ideas or combinations that appeal to my imagination.

If you haven’t yet discovered Pinterest I urge you to take a peek – I bet you too will be hooked! – just know that it may possibly take over a little more of your life than you’d expected! .. and you may even decide to throw a blog into the mix!

If you are already on pinterest, then you’ll know what i’m talking about! .. follow me

Phew … first post – DONE!