When Is Interior Design Challenge On – I have to admit that I think most designer shows these days are a bit boring. I know it’s a taboo thing to say, but it seems like a lot of shows like Fixer Upper have become too personality driven and too focused on the reality stars of the show. Maybe because I like to do a lot of projects myself, I prefer to see more educational tips and tricks or learn about different styles and techniques. That’s why I adored watching The Great Interior Design Challenge on Netflix.
The Great Interior Design Challenge is a BBC 2 show (available on Netflix) where 16 amateur designers compete for a place in the final. Although it is a competition show, but the producers have approached it smartly. They divided the 16 designers into four groups of four. People from each group compete against each other just to get a place in the finals. This allows viewers to really get a sense of each designer’s style and gain an in-depth understanding of their process. Each episode takes place in a different architecturally significant area of the UK, and the designers are given similar rooms to work in, but they work to different client specifications, so each design can be radically different.
When Is Interior Design Challenge On
Designers are then judged by the show’s two hosts, professional designers Sophie Robinson and Daniel Hopwood. Each participant is evaluated on the design board and ideas they present to the client. They are then evaluated based on their overall design performance and the final data received from the client. Each designer is also given one item to repurpose, and they are judged on how well they transform the item and integrate it into their final design.
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From left to right: Sophie Robinson, Tom Dickhoff and Daniel Hopwood from Netflix’s Great Interior Design Challenge. (photo via Amazon.com)
The show does feature colorful (some extremely so) personalities, but it also does a good job of introducing viewers to design expertise and the history of British architecture. Series host Tom Dyckhoff is an architectural expert and takes time out of each episode to detail the history and architectural style of the area in which they work.
Because of our experience renovating an old house, I was baffled how the designers worked into a 500-year-old house and never once thought to paint the walls bright blue or hastily redo the floors. It made me feel much more bold about the changes we can make to our 100 year old house. Unfortunately, it makes our house look relatively modern.
Because designers work in such classic environments, you’re also exposed to styles you don’t see much of in the US. For example, the Georgian style (dating from 1714 to 1830 under Kings George I, II, III and IV) seemed to be a popular design style in the show. While we do have a little bit of it in the US, it’s not something we get a lot of exposure to. There were a lot of less common styles (at least in America) that were fun to see on the show (my surprise favorite was traditional Swedish country…who knew?).
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Look at this place! It is the home of Sheffield Park Gardens and was the location of the third season finale.
I really enjoyed the fact that the show exposed me to so many different techniques, applications and even color palettes. Because they represented such a wide variety of designers and design styles, you’re bound to see some extremely unique design ideas and interpretations of style. The show also spawned several spin-off books that reflected these design ideas. They used case studies from the show to highlight good design practice. I think they would be good if you ever feel overwhelmed as a designer. I might check out my local library when summer rolls around and I finally have some free time to read.
This book uses case studies from the series to talk about design. Learn more or buy it here.
This book uses case studies from series 1 and 2 of the show to talk about things like furniture placement and choosing the perfect sofa. Learn more or buy it here.
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Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed The Great Interior Design Challenge and highly recommend checking it out. Unfortunately, there’s only one season available on Netflix right now (Season 3 is pretty weird), but I hope they’ll stream other seasons in the future. You can also watch it on Amazon with their Inside Outside Home and Garden TV subscription.
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