The story and design behind our 36 degree trip to Oxford!
My first challenge on Interior Design Masters S2 was to design the master bedroom in a luxury show home in Oxford. I had just two days and a very modest budget of £1500 to complete my room transformation (not a lot for a million pound show home!). This week, the head judge was Michelle Ogundehin and the guest judge was the most fabulous man I have ever seen - Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen!
Judge Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen said:
"For me Charlotte, you have created the most commercial design, you have given the estate agent what they want - a WOW moment when you walk around the corner into the room."
Some information we were told….
Close to Oxford’s bustling city centre, on the very edge of the picturesque countryside, you’ll find this location, a truly modern urban development and vibrant new community.
“The developers expect a high standard and an impeccable finish. They will expect rooms that have been superbly styled with sophisticated soft furnishings, objects and artwork thoughtfully curated and placed.”
The clientele will expect spaces that are:
• Sumptuous & luxurious
These detached villas retail from £900,000 upwards and are ideal for professionals and families looking to move into an energy efficient, superior build quality and modern home.
They will attract higher income earners with a target market age bracket of 35-60. These could include corporate business owners, professionals in the public sector, lawyers, creatives, entrepreneurs, and work-from-home professionals. A proportion of buyers are from overseas, looking for a home while they reside here in the UK or look to be near the education hub of Oxford.”
My brief was to design a luxury Master bedroom (with a built in dressing room included).
The Finished Room (scroll down to see the before)
What did it look like before?
We initially met the rest of the cast on the first day of filming at the East London studio. From there, we were split into 5 pairs; each pair were given a bedroom and living room in a show home to design. The plot twist was that we had already separately designed our rooms and sourced most of the items ready for the transformation. We had to work together as a pair to make sure our rooms created a cohesive look for the house. Luckily for Barbara and I, we both had dark blue schemes, and with a few tweaks (and cushions shares) our schemes looked like they could belong to the same house.
When planning the room, I definitely wanted to use my background in surface pattern to inspire the scheme, below are some more details about the additional touches to my room!
I love designing bespoke, unique items for the rooms I decorate. This project was no exception! I knew I wanted to design some fabrics for my scheme, and when I came across the orac 3D tiles it made perfect sense for me to use them as a starting point! I'm not really a fan of harsh edges and geometrics in general, so I wanted to create a softer, more painterly geometric for the fabric that would compliment the tiles; the print I designed has some of the curves and triangular shapes inspired by the tiles. I designed it with tonal variants of the wall colours so I would be able to pull out some of those shades for other pieces in the room. I had the design digitally printed onto a herringbone base fabric pronto, as the design had to be designed, posted back and made into a blind all within 5 working days!
When thinking about desiging for a show home, it was important for me to create a wow moment for an estate agent showing potential buyers around, and these orac tiles were the perfect contribution to that! I have had so many lovely messages about people wanting to recreate this wall in particular, so here are some more details and points to consider:
1. I used 9 tiles to create this piece, incorporating a mixture of curved and triangular as orac have different styles! You can use any combination you like. I used both styles as I didn't want the piece to feel too geometric and the curved tile mimicked the pattern in my curtains perfectly! I would say, using all-curved could give you an almost retro floral feel, and all triangular more of an origami style! So it completely depends on your preference and what gets you excited! Orac have given me a discount code - CharB15 to get 15% off!
2. The tiles come in an off white colour so can be painted in any colour. I matched mine to the wall colour as I wanted a bold yet refined look. You could paint them individually fun colours or just a slightly different tone to the main wall - the possibilities are endless! You will need a fair few coats though!
3. The tiles are really light and so can be glued or nail gunned to a wall. In the show we nailed them with a gun and I filled in the small dents with some filler before finishing the painting!
4. To finish the piece off, I used some moulding around the edge of the tiles to frame them. I used moulding that was raised on one side and that curved downwards (rather than completely flat), so that it would be the same height as the tiles and look like it was part of the tile!
5. They can also be cut in half to make even more interesting patterns! I created a mini version in my hallway with some of my leftovers, that was framed and painted cornflower white. It was really subtle and didn't make the edit, but a nice way to connect different parts of the room if you're luck enough to have a corridor into your bedroom! :) Unfortunately I only have this rubbish still from a video of it, but hopefully it gives you the idea! I wanted it to be a little preview into what was coming in the main part of the room.
Here is gorgeous Stephen helping me by holding them up so I could stand back and decide!
6. Not tile related, but I also bought a ceiling rose form orac to give an extra touch of luxury to the room - it made such a difference! Like the tiles, they're really light and can be glued or nail gunned to the ceiling. We had to cut the centre of mine out to fit the light fixture. This is such a cost effective way to add some character to new builds in particular, finished off with a lovely pendant light!
7. Orac have given me a discount code woo! CharB15 to save some pennies!
Another really important element to my room was my oversized, nearly 2-metre artwork! We were not allowed to buy artwork for our rooms on the show due to rights reasons, and therefore any artwork we wanted to include had to be bespoke and made by us - one of my favourite parts!
After making the decision on the 3D tiled wall very quickly, I decided that I wanted one LARGE artwork opposite the bed to make another statement. However, I didn't want it to have to fight the deep navy wall for attention, nor be too stimulating for the homeowner when lying in bed. With all of this in mind, I planned for a full white piece with a walnut stained frame that would pop slightly off the very pale cornflower wall, as well as connect with the brown show home furniture we had been given. I created the artwork in multiple layers with a combination of poly filler and gesso - I was lucky to get it dry within the 2 days due to the mid 30's degree heat!
Even Alan had a go! :)
The last thing I loved up-cycling for my room was this vintage mirror I sourced on eBay (sorry for the rubbish picture, it was chaos and I didn't get a chance to take a nice one!). It’s such a great piece that belonged to a shop for 25 years and was 2 metres tall - this picture doesn't do it justice! I sanded it all down outside and re-stained with the same walnut colour as my canvas frame and it fit in my dressing corner perfectly. Good ol' eBay, I think it was a tenner!
Material board & Visual
If you like any of these elements and would like to do something similar then have a looksy at the links below!
Get the look
Navy Wall - ‘Admiral’ by Wickes
Other Walls - Cornflower White by Wickes
3D Tiles & Ceiling Rose - Orac Decor (use code CharB15 to get 15% off!)
Glass Ceiling Light - Dunelm
Rug - Homesense
Curtains - Dunelm
Blind and Bed Cushion - Fabric designed by me for the show, made by the amazing Sarah Almond in Devon!
Bed Side Lamps - Dunelm
Mirror - Homesense
Striped Bedding - John Lewis
Marble Pillow Covers - John Lewis
Textured Throw - TKMaxx
Other frames and decorative objects - Homesense & The Futon Company