2 rooms, £2000, same timescale. So with only a couple of days break from the first round and a lot of my own work to catch up on; I was really up against it!
This time I had a bedroom and a study. Both rooms seemed twice as difficult as the first round, so it seemed like four times the task. Being a Georgian property, I decided to choose my paint colours from Craig and Rose's range of period colours. This proved to be a good decision as it narrowed and meant I was able to make a quick decision and that the colours would be sympathetic to the building.
The brief for the study was light room to escape with a gentle nod to nautical (but not over the top) with colours to be taken from the existing curtains. Incorporating a place display Dai's collection of postcards and collectibles. They also had an old chair that needed reupholstering. I found it difficult to know exactly what was needed from this room without being able to speak to the homeowners about their specific needs; this was definitely one of the main difficulties of the Great Interior Design Challenge!
The brief for the bedroom was light and calm, a relaxing sanctuary. Keywords were elegant, traditional, functional and quirky. I spent a lot of time trying to change the layout to move the bulky furniture away from the windows to let more light into the room.
Having had probably less than 5 hours sleep in the 2 days before leaving for Aberaeron, I was not in the best of shapes but was excited to get going (and to see the Welsh coast!).
Although I knew what needed to be done, for whatever reason, I hadn't actually come up with a plan of how to do it! This obviously wasn't ideal when I have a team of 4 people who need to know what they're doing. I knew the study would need to be finished first as there was a lot of furniture to be painted for the bedroom.
My first job was reupholstering the chair; a job that I had hoped would be finished by the end of the first day... it wasn't... more on this in another post! The delay in getting the chair finished put a strain on the timings and with less than half an hour to go, an Ikea cabinet still needed to be built. At the time I felt like the room needed to be cleared first and the unit would only take a couple of minutes to put up. A stupid mistake that meant a missed deadline... gutted... I was pretty sure I'd blown it but was determined to get the bedroom finished in time!
After another night with hardly any sleep and feeling rough having been sick... a few times!... it was back to work. With half an hour to go, the bedroom was a state and I have no idea how we managed to pull it together, but we did and it was finished with minutes to spare. I was so relieved to finish the room that I thought I was gonna lose it on camera... managed to sneak away and have a little tears moment off camera!
Then after my filming was finished, I caught up with some sleep on a park bench... no, really I laid down on a bench and woke up about an hour later!
I didn't get through and I wasn't surprised but with the positive comments I received, part of me thought what if?
The homeowners, Dai and Lynne, were great and seeing how happy they were with the bedroom made the week much more bearable but I am still gutted they didn't get the experience of walking in and seeing the study complete. My team were also great and gave me some good advice on how to improve project management in future.
I was very much ready to go home by the end of the week... not to be leaving the competition but it had been a very tough week.
What I would do differently...
Have a plan of action!
Have the Ikea cabinet built outside the room, ready to be brought in when everything else was finished.
Thought a little more about the styling of the study (including a larger cork board... the one I used was tiny in the room... looked a bit silly!)
What I learned...
I need to be a project manager and plan everything. A to-do list on its own isn't enough.
I got good feedback from the judges and I must be a good designer... I just need to believe it.
Don't eat a sausage roll that's been sitting on the side in a hot kitchen all day!