Micaela, 33, lives in South-East London is an upholsterer. She describes her style as mature vintage.
This entertaining eight-part series hosted by Alan Carr, sees Micaela join ten talented new designers all looking for their big break in the fast-paced world of commercial interior design.
They will be competing to win a career-defining contract with one of the UK’s top boutique hotels. Design expert and former editor of Elle Decoration Michelle Ogundehin returns as the series judge.
Every week, the designers will be set a new commercial design challenge, to take on the interiors of show homes, offices, hotels, shops, beach huts, salons, restaurants and luxury holiday villas. Their skill and expertise will hopefully create design magic to impress the discerning judges.
Michelle is joined each week by a different guest expert, on hand to offer their advice and appraisal. The series includes appearances by Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, Linda Boronkay, Kit Kemp, Ross Bailey, Sophie Robinson, Abigail Ahern and Matthew Williamson.
What was it about series one that made you want to apply?
As an upholsterer I loved watching series one because the designers were all so hands-on making things. It really inspired me to consider what else I could make myself other than upholstered furniture. I applied to the show to prove to myself that I am more than an upholsterer and I am capable of designing a commercial space from start to finish. I think interiors have such an impact on people’s mood and they play a valuable part in our lives. So shows like this can inspire people to be bolder in their own schemes at home, and never has that been more important than now.
What did you expect from the series?
I was so surprised to be chosen to participate in the show and could not wait to meet nine other designers who shared my passion for interiors. I expected it to be really challenging because I hadn’t designed whole rooms before, but I had been dreaming up schemes for a long time. As a business owner I was excited for a new challenge and to be able to show my passion and creativity on a larger scale.
What are your designer inspirations?
As a designer I value sustainable options like using vintage pieces, repurposing items and upcycling. I try to avoid flatpack furniture if there is a vintage piece I could use instead, and London has some brilliant charity shops. I love finding a second-hand gem and it’s usually much more affordable. As an upholsterer, fabrics feature heavily in all of my schemes and I was excited to showcase a range of new and different ways to play with fabrics in a scheme.
Which interior designers is your style most like?
I love residential interior designers who have a traditional core but with a modern twist. Designers like Studio Squire, Sarah Brown Interiors and Laura Stephens really inspire me as they favour muted colour palettes and patterned textiles. They use a mix of vintage and new with lots of soft curves and textures.
What was the biggest challenge you faced during the competition?
My biggest challenge was adapting to the pace that the show required. Designing a space in a week whilst sourcing furniture, fabrics and accessories in a pandemic was quite tough! Usually my style favours vintage and second-hand items but charity shops and markets were closed for lockdown so I had to adapt really quickly.
What did you learn from your fellow designers?
Each and every designer taught me something different. Seeing their rooms every week made me think of new ways to approach things. Pete had a great way of playing with scale and really creative ways to create artwork. Charlotte showed me a different approach to colour combinations as she had such a unique way of lifting a space with colour. Amy taught me not to be afraid of using black in a scheme and was great at styling.
Without giving too much away, what were the first eliminations like?
For me the competition really heated up when we all saw each other’s rooms at the end of the first design. I was so blown away by what everyone had achieved in such a short time and it made me realise I had a lot to prove as I was up against some really talented designers. The first elimination was a real shock to the system because we all got along so well. We had such brilliant camaraderie and then all of a sudden someone would be leaving and suddenly the competition had begun. It was really interesting to hear Michelle’s feedback about the rooms and made us all realise we had more to learn.
Tune in 8pm on Tuesdays.