Great Interior Design Challenge Series 2 – We had the pleasure of interviewing Jordan and partner Russell from BBC2’s hottest interiors show, The Great Interior Design Challenge.
Known as GIDC, the TV show was a competition for interior designers looking to take the next step in their careers. Competing against each other every week, the 2014 series finale saw Jordan Cluro and Sarah Moore redesign the interiors of two Georgian townhouses in a spectacular finale.
Great Interior Design Challenge Series 2
Even though he was called out for this post that day, Jordan’s love of bold colors and experimental designs really caught our attention and the design community and left us wanting more.
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Since the show aired, Jordan and partner Russell have started their own interior design practice, 2 Love Gays, and capitalized on their TV success.
Hi Jordan and Russell, thank you for speaking with us today. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?
Jordan: We are an interior design duo. And husbands. It’s been almost 3 years since we’ve been together for 8 years.
Russell: We’re both trained as actors, so interior design comes from a pretty unique background. We’ve always been obsessed with good design, and when we met him, I think he lit that fire.
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J: We spent the last few years gaining experience and this year we entered the interior design scene as ‘2 Lovely Gays’.
R: We bought our first flat in South East London 6 years ago, with a postcode ending in ‘2LG’. My friends started calling us ‘pretty 2 homos’ and the name stuck – now here we are.
J: We take design very seriously, but there’s no reason design shouldn’t be fun – hopefully we can find the right balance. People always smile when they ask for our business name!
You both have a passion for interiors and design – is that something you both have from childhood, or has it developed over time?
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R: I would say it evolved. We were both artistic when we were young, but as we grew up our tastes developed and evolved.
R: A few years ago we had a stall at the Greenwich Craft Market. We designed our own textiles and experimented with screen printing and animal prints (our mini skirt was inspired by Buckley) so I’d say that was the start of us designing together.
J: Actually, having said all that, even when I was a child, I used to decorate my house every chance I got. My uncle taught me how to make wallpaper when I was only 13 years old.
Jordan, we loved watching you and the beautiful room you created on the BBC’s Great Interior Design Challenge series. Did you have a good time at the show?
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J: Of course! Initially, we applied as a couple, but it didn’t fit the format of the show, so I decided to take the lead in this show. It was a great experience – I learned so much in such a short time. The pressure and time constraints of the TV crew was really exciting, and as someone who thrives under pressure, I found the whole experience really fun! It was amazing to create such a variety of spaces for such a wide range of clients in such a short time. The support and response after the show has been incredible and we are truly grateful for this amazing opportunity.
You’re known for your bold color combinations and fun fashion sense – is that something you bring home?
J: Yes. We love to play with color, and if you use a limited palette in each space, it will keep it elegant. People say that our design schemes are characterized by intelligence, for example, a horse-drawn lamp mixed with an elegant piece of modern Scandinavian design. We absolutely love combining our classic HAY Mags sofa with a whimsical feel.
R: We wanted to stay true to the architecture of the Victorian house, but throw the rules out the window in certain areas to keep it fresh. For example, the chimney breast in the master bedroom in our loft had such a nice shape that we covered the original brick shape in a rather abstract way, with exposed plywood. It was beautifully crafted and was a way to preserve the character of the house in a room that was essentially new construction.
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J: For us, home is about feelings, we love coming home every day because it is an expression of who we are – we believe that everyone should have a home.
Where do you find inspiration and ideas for your interior design? Do you have a favorite magazine, blog, or website you’re reading right now?
R: Everywhere! Our training as actors definitely influenced our aesthetic. Film, opera, theater and art all inspire our designs.
R: We’ve both worked on stage or on TV for years, so I think that’s what drew us to a very subtle and elegant aesthetic where the ‘wires’ are visible. If it’s functional, it’s beautiful, and we like to see how something is made or works.
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J: Even people. People inspire us. At the end of the day, the space has to be used by people, and we like to understand other people to find out what works for them. We follow several blogs. My favorite couple is my friend’s house, which is perfect for modern style with humor and intelligence. And; 47 Park Avenue – This is especially great if you want to crush on a gorgeous house!
Finally, what advice, tips and advice would you give to those looking to break into the interior design industry?
R: Start. Just start. Start being brave. We didn’t come to this from a “traditional” background. We just tried to feel our way and stay true to our instincts. Who wants to be traditional anyway?
J: Collaboration is a huge part of interior design. Two designers working together inspires us to be better every day. Working with clients is a delicate matter, building relationships between designers and artisans and seeing the project through. You must be adaptable and able to work as a team while always maintaining your original vision.
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J: Avoid chaos! Not only does it take up too much of your head space, it also takes up your living space.
R: Avoid buying too much! We’re huge advocates of buying less, but right, to build a collection of truly meaningful and quality items over the years.
We couldn’t resist asking the couple what their favorite design items are. Shop their must-have list below!
“We like to play with color, and if you use a limited palette in each space, it can still be elegant.”
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