Metal = industrial (memories from GIDC)

Hello! And apologies for my recent disappearance. It has been a time for family and organisation, getting busy and setting up a ‘full time’ work routine.

Of course it is essential to make plenty of little trips out to lovely independent design and interior shops and suchlike (really honestly!) I find these trips an important source of inspiration and one can justify it because one is also educating oneself on the current trends! ((Winks))

A few weeks ago we dropped in on a very good friend of ours at his work place, Nigel works for a metal company who cut and form all sorts, from quirky one off rings and stair balustrades to Formula 1 car parts.


You may remember my brutalist tower block quarter final on The great interior design challenge. Nigel was the man I asked to bring to life my ampersand design to for the project. Here we are on my visit to the workshop

20140425-115745.jpg remembering the project brought back the memories from my quarter final so I thought I’d share it here.

Freddie and Ayisha share their bedroom with their two young boys. They were after an industrial style bedroom suitable also for their children to share. They wanted a play area and to keep their super king size mattress for which they had no bed base. They wanted the decor to be in-keeping with the brutalist style of the building and could not have any built in furniture. They had a drawer unit which they wanted rid of and of course, more storage space was preferable.

I designed custom furniture to fit the space and tie together the industrial theme, cater for extra storage needs and inability to use built in furniture. Here are some of my sketches that Jonny the builder was using to construct the furniture from. A lot of the budget was spent on top quality ply wood and the bed base.





Having a friend in the metal cutting industry was a bonus on an industrial style project. Plans for panels covering the drawers (much like Luke’s copper covered wardrobe panel design in his room here )


Also designing wall light covers in a block-like brutalist style were all thought through and sketched, but in reality, the time and budget called for something of a simpler industrial statement.

Freddie and Ayisha shared their bedroom with their two young boys, so from the theme of family, Mummy ‘&’ Daddy ‘&’ brothers grew the inspiration to form a large aluminium ampersand, which was given pride of place above the bed.

I wanted to use materials that gave the room an edge. A metal bucket planter, aluminium ampersand wall art, aluminium mesh nappy holder,

copper bedside lights, mobile and accents,


Concrete side tables, ply furniture and raw floor boards worked together softened nicely by a pale palette of greys, blues and whites, sheepskins, a huge cozy bed and plenty of cushions.

They loved it and on reflection and after hearing the judges comments I may have used a few too many separate elements in a small space, I loved working on it and being pushed yet again with the challenge of fitting four different people and needs into one room, I am still very proud of the result.

I loved working with the GIDC team, the designers were fab. Here we were on a meal out after the first day


Of course the judgement finally came and I was honestly gutted to be leaving the process.

All good things must come to an end and for me, I went out on a high.

I loved every minute!


20140425-124248.jpg WITH MY BUILDER JONNY


20140425-124345.jpg THE FINISHED ARTICLE


Now the great interior design challenge is looking for enthusiastic amateur designers to take part in series 2 .. Applications are open. If you have huge passion for it then go for it, hopefully they’ll see what you see in yourself! – it is an opportunity not to be missed and the judges are lovely (don’t be scared of the criticism) just take a look:

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  • Good luck! X


    On to the next chapter

    After a whirl wind few weeks of watching Sophie, Dan, Tom, myself and fellow amateur designers on BBC2’s The great interior design challenge, it seems to have come to an incredible end.


    Daniel Hopwood very kindly hosted a fabulous champagne and canape party with a showing of the final. It was fabulous seeing everyone in person rather than via the TV screen, we’d all been in touch mostly via twitter and so it felt more like a fantastic reunion! Also a huge thank you to my Husband, my girls, my parents, Sophie Robinson, the amazing GIDC team, BBC and Studio Lambert.

    A HUGE congratulations to the lovely Sarah Moore, for Winning The great Interior design challenge. I urge you to a look at her beautiful website:

    Congrats to runner up, the fabulous Jordan Cluroe, on an incredible run of designs on GIDC. Here’s his new venture with his partner Russel Whitehead:

    There have been so many lovely messages from family and friends but also from people I have never met. The support throughout my experience on the program has been amazing. The span kitchen project really tested me and my confidence, I really didn’t expect to get through, winning the first heat was the most incredible feeling, similarly I hadn’t even dared hope to be shortlisted after applying, let alone go on to become one the 24 designers and get through to the quarter finals. I know how strong and ingrained my passion for interior design is, I’m just so grateful that I had my chance to show it – twice! 


    With little sleep during the process and all the time pressure, I got rather emotional, as you will have witnessed in both episodes i appeared in, (sorry!) Honestly, the tears were with very good reason because this journey for me has without doubt been one of the most exciting, inspiring, confidence building and absolutely incredible experiences of my (25 now) years so far. I’ve met incredible people along the way and learned so much.


    As with everything there is a silver lining, Not making it through to the Semi finals meant that I could afterall book a last minute ticket for myself and Iris (my youngest) to join my husband, David, and Lara (my eldest) In Venice where David was coaching and Lara was competing as part of the England Karate team. It was her first world karate games and I was so proud to be able to watch Lara win her bronze medal!

    I’ve had plenty of “what are you going to do now?” I have taken advice from Mr Hopwood to finish studying for my Interior design Diploma, embracing opportunities along the way. I’ve signed up as a student with the British Institute of Interior Design, and I’ll be filling my diary with all the fabulous design events coming up!

    I have always seen my career and future being in Interior Design. It really is my passion, I love it and I always have believed that the career you choose has such a huge impact on your life, that you should use your passion to do what you love. ..

    So – on to my next chapter! .. stay tuned and please do keep in touch, you can find me here of course, on Twitter: @KimberlyPlested  and on Facebook


    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


    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 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.)