MICHELLE OGUNDEHIN

Delving deeper than decor to explore the power of home as a path to wellbeing #happyinside

Michelle Ogundehin: Biography

Internationally renowned as an authority and thought-leader on interiors, trends, wellbeing and style, Michelle Ogundehin is a writer, author, brand consultant and TV presenter. She is an influencer with expertise and the multi award-winning former Editor-in-Chief of ELLE Decoration UK. Her first book Happy Inside: How to Harness the Power of Home for Health and Happiness, an Amazon bestseller, is a game-changing guide to living well based on Michelle’s belief that your environment is as fundamental to your wellbeing as good food and exercise.

Michelle Ogundehin Photographer Emma Webster

Michelle is Head Judge on Interior Design Masters, a landmark show for BBC2, alongside Series Presenter Alan Carr. Commissioned for a third season, it was first screened in Autumn 2019, with Season One available globally via Netflix. Michelle has also co-presented four series of Kevin McCloud’s Grand Designs: House of the Year and appeared on numerous other programmes, including The Great Interior Design Challenge, The RHS Chelsea Flower Show with Monty Don, a BBC4 Bauhaus documentary and Channel 4’s Inside Out Homes. See more and show reels here.

Michelle has served on numerous juries and advisory boards and was a Trustee of the Victoria & Albert Museum for 7 years. She was appointed to the board of Trustees of The Design Museum in 2021. She is also a Contributing Editor to The FT: How to Spend It magazine and Dezeen, the world’s most influential online design portal, as well as regularly writing for many other prestigious publications worldwide including Vogue Living, Harrods Magazine and Waitrose Weekend.

She was appointed Editor-in-Chief of ELLE Decoration UK in May 2004. During her 13-year tenure, the magazine rose to its highest circulation alongside achieving record revenues. She led the magazine to repeatedly win the coveted Consumer Lifestyle magazine of the year award, as well as achieving the personal accolades of both Lifestyle, and Consumer, Editor of the Year. She launched ELLE Decoration Country, a bi-annual bookazine celebrating the world’s most beautiful rural homes in 2012. Three years later she successfully debuted the ELLE Decoration Style Consultancy, an interior design service aimed at commercial property developers.

She also masterminded the relaunch and profitable sale of Real Homes magazine, and gained industry notoriety for her Equal Rights for Design campaign. Backed by Sir James Dyson and Sir Terence Conran, the proposal to change the UK copyright laws with respect to design culminated in new laws being passed in 2016 that made knock-off designer classics illegal.

Trained as an architect at London’s celebrated Bartlett School, Michelle worked in architectural offices in both London and New York, where she lived for almost two years. She began her publishing career on the launch of Tate Art Magazine under Tim Marlow (formerly Director of the Royal Academy, now Director of the Design Museum), followed by formative years at Blueprint Magazine with founding editor Deyan Sudjic (previously Editor of Domus, and Director of the Design Museum) rising swiftly to the position of Senior Editor.

In 1997 she was headhunted by Ilse Crawford to join ELLE Decoration as her Features Director. Two years later she opened her own creative consultancy, shuttling between bases in Los Angeles and London, and maintaining a connection to ELLE Decoration as its Editor-at-Large.

In this period, she also regularly contributed features to The Observer Magazine; penned columns for Esquire (Sept 97 –April 99) and directed shoots for Nova Magazine (April 2000 – April 2001), alongside writing articles for numerous other publications around the world including Arena; Design Week; ELLE; The Evening Standard; The Face; Frank; Hoch Parterre (Zurich); iD; Interiors (New York); The International Design Magazine (New York); Numero (Paris); Scene; Sunday Times Style and Tate Magazine.

Flexing her commercial muscle, Michelle has previously penned copy for clients from Habitat, DFS and Benetton; and styled homeware shoots for everyone from Tesco, Sainsburys and Debenhams to Marks & Spencer, Heals, Selfridges and Vitra.

Michelle was born in Manchester, grew up in London, and now lives in East Sussex with her young son and two very laid-back Basset Hounds. She is a self-confessed clutter-clearing obsessive and detail queen.

Agent: Sophie Laurimore at The Soho Agency

Michelle Ogundehin Studio Director
2002 to date

Editor-in-Chief  ELLE Decoration UK
April 2004 – August 2017
Editor-in-Chief ELLE Decoration Country
May 2012 – August 2017
Creative Director, ELLE Decoration Style Consultancy
October 2015 to August 2017
Editor-in-Chief ELLE Decoration Collections
September 2007 – October 2009
Editor-in-Chief REAL HOMES
August 2007 – November 2008

Editor-at-Large, ELLE Decoration UK
April 1999 to April 2004

Deputy Editor, ELLE Decoration UK
March 1998 — March 1999

Features Director, ELLE Decoration UK
Jan 1997 — Feb 1998

Senior Editor, Blueprint Magazine
June 1996 — Dec 1996

Assistant Editor, Blueprint Magazine
Jan 1995 — May 1996

Editorial Assistant, Tate Art Magazine
Jan 1994 – Dec 1994

Office Manager, Creative Media Planning, New York
Dec 1990 – Sept 1991

Architectural Design Assistant, Voorsanger Associates, New York
June 1990 — Dec 1990

Architectural Design Assistant, Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, London
Sept 1989 — June 1990

TELEVISION

Interior Design Masters S2 BBC2/Netflix. Eight-episodes. TX February 2021.
Series Judge alongside Series Host Alan Carr.

Grand Designs: RIBA House of the Year Channel 4. Four-part series. TX October 2019.
Co-presenter alongside Kevin McCloud and Damion Burrows, exploring the pick of the year’s best UK houses.

Interior Design Masters S1 BBC2/Netflix. Eight-episodes. TX September 2019.
Series Judge alongside Series Presenter Fearne Cotton on a new competition format Interior Design show. Think Project Runway meets The Apprentice!

Grand Designs: RIBA House of the Year Channel 4. Four-part series. TX November 2018.
Co-presenter alongside Kevin McCloud and Damion Burrows, exploring the pick of the year’s houses nominated for this prestigious award.

Grand Designs: RIBA House of the Year Channel 4. Four-part series. TX November 2017.
Co-presenter alongside Kevin McCloud and Damion Burrows, exploring the pick of the year’s houses nominated for this prestigious award. Watch clips here.

The Great Interior Design Challenge BBC2 TX March 2017
Joined judges Daniel Hopwood and Kelly Hoppen as a guest judge in the semi-finals. Watch here

Inside Out Homes Channel 4. Seven-part series. First four programmes TX July 2016
Contributor to new home and design series exploring the contemporary trend of Indoor/Outdoor living.

Chelsea Flower Show BBC2. Episode 13. TX May 2016
Interviewed by Monty Don. Presenting pick of the best designed stands.

Grand Designs: RIBA House of the Year Channel 4. Four-part series. TX November 2015
Co-presenter alongside alongside Kevin McCloud and Zac Monro, exploring the pick of the year’s houses nominated for this prestigious award. Watch showreel here.

Newsnight BBC1. TX June 2011
Live discussion on the demise of Habitat with presenter Kirsty Wark and Tom Dixon. Watch here.

APPOINTMENTS

Trustee. The Design Museum
March 2021 – to date

Judge. The Davidson Prize
2020/21. Invited to join a panel of judges for this inaugural architectural prize celebrating transformative architecture for the home.

Ambassador. The Museum of Home
2017 – to date. Representing Britain’s foremost museum of the home with interiors dating from 1600 to the present day.

Judge. The Restaurant & Bar Design Awards
2018. Invited to shortlist the best bars and restaurants, both in the UK and globally for this annual award.

Ambassador. CoolBrands
2015. 2016. 2017. 2020. 2021 Invited to select and nominate brands for this prestigious annual accolade.

Trustee. V&A Museum
Sept 2008 – Sept 2015

Non-Executive Director. V&A Enterprises Board
March 2009 – Sept 2015

Ambassador. Diversity in Public Appointments
Government Equalities Office Nov 2009 – Dec 2011

Non-Executive Director. South Coast Design Forum July 2008 to Dec 2013
Non-profit organisation promoting good design along the South Coast of England.

PUBLICATIONS

Happy Inside: How to Harness the Power of Home for Health and Happiness. Ebury Press. 2020
300pp book explaining why environment is as fundamental to wellbeing as good food and exercise.
Read more about it here. Happy Inside

House of Hoppen: 40 Years of Kelly Hoppen Jacqui Small Publishing. 2016
330pp book charting 40 years of influential interior designer Kelly Hoppen.

Swarovski Crystal Palace: The Art of Light and Crystal Swarovski/teNeues Publishing. 2010.
216pp book documenting the Swarovski Crystal Palace project.

LA Lofts Chronicle Books, San Francisco. 2006
194pp book on Los Angeles’ Loft apartments. By Barbara Thornburg. Foreword Michelle Ogundehin

Bringing Architecture Home: A layperson’s Guide to Architects 2003
Published in association with the Arts Council, Habitat, The RIBA and ELLE Decoration

Understanding Plans: A layperson’s guide to architectural drawings 1997
By Peter Murray and Michelle Ogundehin.
Drawings by Louis Hellman. Funded by the Arts Council

The Glasgow International Festival of Design Catalogue, 1996
64pp guide to Britain’s first design festival published in association with Blueprint Magazine.

Tasty: Introduction to New British Design
Exhibition Guide. In association with Selfridges

AWARDS

PPA Magazine Awards 2017
Nominated for Specialist Consumer magazine of the Year

PPA Magazine Awards 2013
Winner Specialist Consumer magazine of the Year

Nominated for Consumer Editor of the Year 2013

BSME Magazine Editors Awards 2012
Nominated for Lifestyle Magazine Editor of the Year

Highly Commended for Campaign of the Year

PPA Magazine Awards 2011
Winner Specialist Consumer Magazine of the Year

Highly Commended Consumer Editor of the Year

BSME Magazine Editors Awards 2011
Nominated for Lifestyle Magazine Editor of the Year

PPA Magazine Awards 2009
Nominated for Specialist Consumer Magazine of the Year

BSME Magazine Editors Awards 2007
Nominated for Lifestyle Magazine Editor of the Year

PPA Magazine Awards 2006
Highly Commended Consumer Lifestyle Magazine of the Year

PPA Magazine Awards 2005
Highly Commended Consumer Lifestyle Magazine of the Year

BSME Magazine Editors Awards 2005
Nominated for Fiona Macpherson New Editor of the Year

PPA Magazine Awards 2004
Highly Commended for Consumer Lifestyle Magazine of the Year

TRAINING

QuarkXpress. Advanced Applications, The City Literary Institute, London
Completed January 1995

Management Diploma. Marketing Option, CITE Associates, London
Completed January 1994

Diploma in Architecture, Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, London
Sept 1991– June 1993

Typography: design and application in magazines. Fashion Institute of Technology, New York
Completed June 1991

BSc(Hons) Architecture 2.1 Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, London
Sept 1986 – June 1989

TALKS

For the many talks associated with Happy Inside please see Happy Inside: Press Coverage

Chelsea Harbour Design Centre March 2019
Chair of panel discussing the business of design. Speakers included Maria Speake, co-founder of Retrouvius, Shalini Misra director of the Shalini Misra Studio and Staffan Tollgård, co-founder of Staffan Tollgård Design Group

Talking Interiors Soho House 2018/2019
Curated a trilogy of talks discussing Brands, Influencers and the Power of Colour to celebrate the launch of Soho Home. Details here

Design Matters April 2018
In Conversation with On-Design founder Justyna Sowa. Watch film here

Liberty London April 2018
Meet the Experts ‘Speed Dating for Design’ event in store

Liberty London March 2018
In Conversation with Fine Cell Work founder Katy Emck OBE

FoundHer Festival July 2017
In Conversation with made.com founder Chloe Macintosh

British Institute of Interior Design June 2015
Keynote speech at annual conference: ‘Interior Design on TV: Good, Bad or just plain ugly?

Victoria & Albert Museum 2015
London Design Festival debate: ‘Designing for Today’s Digital World.’ Chair with guests Sebastian Conran, Ruth Wassermann, Katrin Baumgarten and Fabio Del Colle. V&A. Lecture Theatre. Watch talk here.

Chelsea Harbour Design Centre 2015
Conversations in Design with Doshi Levien (March 15)

Chelsea Harbour Design Centre 2013
Conversations in Design with Michael Anastassiades (Mar 13)
Tom Dixon: The British Maverick (Sept 13)

Eighth Annual Design Leadership Summit, New York, 2013
Talk: The Alchemy of Modern Magazine Publishing alongside Lucia Van Der Post and Marco Velardi

Victoria & Albert Museum, 2013
In Conversation with Cath Kidston, Lecture Theatre talk

Victoria & Albert Museum, 2012
London Design Festival debate: ‘Does British Design Matter?’ Chair with guests Tom Dixon, Cath Kidston, Tristram Hunt MP for Stoke. Hochhauser Auditorium, Sackler Centre

Chelsea Harbour Design Centre 2012
Conversations in Design: Paul Cocksedge (Mar); Rosita Missoni (Sept)

Chelsea Harbour Design Centre 2011
Conversations in Design with Lee Broom (Mar); Barbara Hulanicki (Sept).

Victoria & Albert Museum, 2011
In Conversation with Tricia Guild, Lecture Theatre talk

Chelsea Harbour Design Centre 2010
Conversations in Design with Ilse Crawford

Victoria & Albert Museum, 2009
In Conversation with Edmund de Waal, Lecture Theatre talk (Sept 09); ‘Fantasy and Fear in Contemporary Design’, ticketed gallery discussion with exhibition curator, Gareth Williams (July 09).

The Barbican, London, 2009
Guided Exhibition talk: ‘Le Corbusier, his private domain vs public projects’.

The Brighton Art Fair, Brighton, 2008
Opening evening introduction: ‘Why Art Matters’.

Selfridges, London 2007
Opening evening introduction: What is style?

Hachette Filipacchi International Editor’s Conference, Paris 2006
Keynote speech: ELLE Decoration: the evolution of the brand

Habitat, London 2005
Keynote conference speech: ‘Promoting desire in design; how to seduce and sell’.

Hachette Filipacchi International Editor’s Conference, Paris 2004
Keynote speech: ELLE Decoration: filling the gap between interiors and inspiration

 

Ends

Writer, Author, Brand Consultant & TV Presenter

Michelle Ogundehin is internationally renowned as an authority on interiors, trends and style. She is an influencer with expertise and the multi award-winning former Editor-in-Chief of ELLE Decoration UK.