British Interior Design Competition Show was Strange

Updated: Jan 18, 2020

I like watching competition shows on Netflix or YouTube and recently worked my way through an entire season of the British Interior Design Competition Series featuring amateur "designers" from all walks of life. Not only did I find the styling leaving much to be desired, it was fascinating to hear the British vocabulary that is so different from here in the USA.

Each episode the contestants had to follow a "brief" given to them by the owners of the rooms or property they were to transform. I was astonished to see and hear some of them completely ignore their brief so that they could show their personal styles, rather than meet the needs and wishes of the homeowners. And the judges let them get away with those attitudes.

The color schemes they came up with were, often, garish. So were the outfits worn by the judges. Their sense of furniture placement was often terrible, non-functional or left exactly where the owner already had it. I never once heard the word "balance" and rarely heard the words "proportion" or "scale" from anyone. Now I recognize they were amateurs, but I didn't even hear those words from the judges, who seemed totally fine with the off balanced rooms, the inappropriately placed art and wall ornaments, and the awful ideas some of them pawned off on their poor homeowners.

The personal styling of the judges was hilarious - so I wanted to see if their own interior design work was hilarious as well. I looked them up online and was pleased to see that their own work was fabulous - it's just that they don't know how to dress themselves. Funny.

I can only hope the Show paid for all those hideous ideas by some of the amateurs to be rectified afterwards. That the homeowners so readily gave their approval each time made the Show seem fake in ways. There were other issues too, but I can't remember them now.

But it was entertaining to watch - sort of.

Barbara Jennings


Author of "Home Staging for Profit"

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