The Mysterious Art of Interior Design

Watching the latest episode of The Apprentice, which entailed designing a hotel room interior. I was a mix of bewildered, despairing and ultimately, lost in admiration, for the real life interior designers I work with, who are artists really.

I regularly talk up the work of Jessica Buckley, whose eye for colour and verve with pattern can literally bring any space to life with the flick of her dazzling selection of wallpaper samples. Jessica has opened a shop now on St Stephen street in Edinburgh, which means this incredibly talented lady is even more accessible for advice and consultations.

Glasgow designer, Catherine Henderson, has used a more subdued palette in her Pollokshields living room. Creating an interior scheme that actually works and is really pleasing is very much like doing a painting and not something anyone can do. You can train and you can learn tricks that work and you can educate yourself on trends and styles that you may wish to adopt, but you do need to have some talent in the first place.

This similarly painterly scheme in Edinburgh, created by Claire Barlas, is equally brilliant.

Observing the candidates efforts it was absolutely clear that design is not a discipline whereby the harder you work at matching colours and textures the better the results – almost the opposite actually.

Midlands based interior designer, Emma Canfield, who designed the Aberdeenshire home pictured above and below, like all the professionals I am mentioning, works very hard on her research and understanding her clients needs, but actually, they all share a deftness of touch, that is not overworked, in order to produce a room that is simply a joy to be in.

I felt very cheesed off, in the end, on the boys behalf, with their loss over the ‘budget versus profit’ element, which had not been strictly explained at the start of the task. I definitely felt their scheme was much more adventurous and in keeping with the spirit of the hotel. I must have a word with Lord Sugar.

I actually have a business idea and every year, glued to my screen on a Wednesday evening I think: ‘Should I enter?’

With my children getting older and more independent every year, I do wonder whether my time has come?


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