The Great Interior Design Challenge Ultimate Secrets – The story of Todd Raymond’s collaboration with Workshop / APD really begins in 2018, when the interior designer applied for a job in architecture and interiors based in New York. One of the principals, Matt Berman, laughs when he remembers the interview. “We met Todd and fell in love with his energy, his creativity, and his passion,” Berman said. But then he refused!

Raymond eventually set up his own studio and became the go-to designer for contemporary interior design. “It was a shock,” says Berman, when he got a call from Raymond a year later asking him to come over to renovate his loft in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood.

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A Paolo Ferrari chaise in Pierre Frey bouclé in the TV room. The 1960s console is by Guillerme et Chambron, the cocktail table is by Opinion Ciatti, and the chairs are by Massproductions. Artwork by Michael Angel.

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The designer and her lawyer husband bought a loft in a Beaux Arts building for its large wall of windows and intricate steel facade. “We looked at all these places in town but most were long and narrow,” Raymond said. The one they chose is more square than rectangular, with an open floor plan that requires creative thinking. “The challenge is that you only have windows on one side,” says Berman. “To prepare for this series, we had to move the front entrance about 20 meters up the hall, so you could enter the back of the box.”

A Joris Poggioli pendant hangs over the Grigio Collemendina marble island in the kitchen. The chairs are by French and Son.

Living areas were arranged around those windows, while utility rooms were located at the rear. Raymond says: “We wanted the entertainment venue to be an entertainment venue. “That was irreversible. We never really had a place to do that. Now we have dinner or shop parties every week. “

The house was designed to change shape depending on whether the company is over or just Raymond and his husband: The kitchen island turns into a bar, while the kitchen – sink, coffee maker, refrigerator – can be well hidden behind double doors. The list is all visible when these doors are closed, and that can be hidden under the closed oak.

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In the dining room, the marble and copper table is from LA Studio Interiorismo in Madrid. The vintage leather chairs are by Luigi Saccardo, and the chandelier is by Apparatus Studio. Artwork by Damien Gernay.

Opposite the kitchen is the TV room (infrequently used and only in the evening), which leads to the dining and living room. The house is designed as a series of architectural secrets, with Berman and his team implementing jib doors, panels, and storage throughout to make the most of the small space and light. When closed, the kitchen doors reveal a Max Boyd painting of a traditional Australian bungalow—wraparound porch, pitched roof, and all—reminding Raymond’s Australian husband of his roots down under. Personal touches are everywhere—in the bathroom, a photo of Slim Aarons’ boat is a nod to the couple’s wedding six years ago on Lake Como.

Raymond draped a hand-woven, hand-dyed linen fabric by Pauline Esparon over the custom bed. Wall covering by Phillip Jeffries.

But what came first in the design scheme was color and texture. Raymond’s work is often neutral, but in this home he pushed the palette in a dramatic direction with colors like moss and cinnamon. Berman agreed. He says: “Our work has been seen as light, so we wanted this work to be replaced by something darker, deeper and richer.” In the dining room, for example, the two-part table is covered in red volcanic and earthy brown marbles. A 1950s sideboard by Vittorio Dassi bridges the dining and living room. Finally, alpaca wool plaid on a pair of Pierre Jeanneret-style vintage armchairs is left on a silk-and-wool carpet.

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The master bedroom is cleverly deceptive: Its door is mirrored on one side so that when closed it almost disappears. The effect draws attention back to the living room and creates a clear division between public and private space. The room’s custom headboard provides lighting, storage, and charging stations, all set behind a floating oak panel. Raymond says: “My husband and I love the way we live. “Everything has its place, and everything must have meaning.” Even Chester, the couple’s Norfolk terrier, has his own cupboard, with perfectly organized toys and dog accessories.

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Due to the house’s circular, open design, Workshop / APD had to devise unique ways to define each space through design. “We used the geometry of the ceiling to create the feeling of the rooms, thinking of it as a fourth plane,” says Berman. The elevated design cleverly frames each space, while hiding the house’s wires and technology and stylistically referencing the past. “This building is from the early 20th century,” says Berman.

In this way, the home unfolds, offering a new surprise in every corner. A complete rotation around the house takes five precise turns, from the entrance through the kitchen and TV room to the dining room, the living room, and finally the master suite – like a Rubik’s cube in sheep’s clothing.

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Interior Design Masters with Alan Carr (BBC Two) is a Marmite programme, presented by the Marmite broadcaster. Others will loathe the bland, shoddy, turn-of-it-all – it’s Changing Rooms meets Great Britain Bake Off, but worse than the show – and find themselves permanently annoyed by the marginalization of talent in favor of amateur cockiness, as 10 aspiring interior designers compete to be the finalist. standing over a poorly designed and poorly executed project. Others will like it, almost for the same reasons, except that they will see it as a joyful celebration of raw talent and an encouraging twist of competition, without which life has no meaning. You pay your money, I guess – albeit grudgingly as this is a BBC production – and you take your pick.

Generally, I’m firmly in the “disgusting” camp. This time around, however, perhaps because we live in such delicious times that my cerebral palate has tripped, I find myself hanging between the two. The opening episode of the second series saw the wannabe masters paired up and required to decorate a bedroom and living room ready for a new show house in Oxford. As usual, action shots as they prepare to make sketches, mixing paint and pointing are interspersed with individual interviews, where the participants say things like: “I will always base my decisions on my heart,” and ‘I am a good designer because I know what I like and I have an eye for what others people don’t usually see them,” and, “I’m going to put this chair in the sink because I really like sink chairs.” Well, not the last one, but give it time.

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Most of the contestants don’t seem to have been selected for warmth or charm. Or undesirable hair. But we digress… As always with these things, you find yourself already in. I mean – you have to watch to see how Barbara’s ambitious room divider will turn out, right? To say nothing of the growing animus between him and his design partner as he disarms the carpenter. And should we be insensitive about Paul’s decision to cover all the walls – I don’t know what, really. I want to call it “personal wallpaper”. You will have to see for yourself.

Broader philosophical questions present themselves. How much of your personality would you like to inject if you’re a pink-haired, self-confessed lover of gold and art deco and tasked with – I repeat – decorating a showroom in Oxford’s new town for young couples and boarders? Really, how much should each of us want to be known for our work? Should we also want an inheritance? Especially if it’s going to be someone’s wallpaper box?

The proceedings, and any love that grows in them, is interrupted briefly by the arrival of Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen – the high priest of the changing rooms and the channeler of all the 90s culture-aesthetic vibes himself. But after that

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