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

March 16, 2021

Interior Design Masters: Episode 7

The Semi-Final Restaurants: Lesson 10

In Brief: two Hebden Bridge restaurants in need of a brand new look. One a day time café over two floors, the other a popular brunch spot that turns into a classy cocktail bar/dining spot at night. One floor per designer. Simple, right?

Alan Carr

Episode 7: two Hebden Bridge restaurants get a makeover

A restaurant is as much about the atmosphere as it is the food. You eat out for the experience of transporting yourself away from the mundane; to not be cooking or doing the dishes afterwards. It’s about conviviality and community, the modern meeting place for family get togethers, for friends catching up or romantic dinners. Well at least it used to be, and boy are we looking forwards to doing that all again once Covid-19 becomes a distant memory.

In many ways then this challenge really is again a confluence of all that’s come before it. We need the kerb appeal explored in shops. The understanding of the community seen in offices. The transformation potential of showhomes. The fun of beach huts. And the awareness of the ‘customer journey’ practised in salons. Did I miss anything out? Oh yes, add in too the instant impact requirement of the hotel bedroom!

But the special considerations to be played out in restaurants are the day to night dynamics. How do you create a decor that works for just daytime, versus one that has to sparkle in the evening too? Clue, clever lighting helps. How can a space still feel cosy, even if it’s half empty? Especially if social-distancing might require a more-spaced out layout than usual? The dilemmas of design!

Alan Carr

As glorious as Yorkshire was, it was also a touch rainy on filming day.

Michelle Ogundehin

Perching, I’m always perching, on stools or tables. What happened to all the comfy armchairs?!

Lesson 10: Everything must be considered.

One way to achive the above, is that everything is considered. And in this case, I don’t mean that you’ve thought really carefully about which shade of sage green or damson to use (that’s a given!), but that the placement of every single detail, trim and stick of furniture is for a reason. Nothing can be arbitrary. Unless it’s deliberately un-related to all around it, in which case it’s still a considered decision for aesthetic ‘friction’. And should be an obvious star piece as such.

Michelle Ogundehin and restaurateur Nisha Katona debate day time cafe culture.

Placement rationale is about dynamic connection. It enables everything to co-exist seamlessly, because everything is exactly, and only, where it should be — where curtains start and finish, where shelves or pictures are hung, where lights are positioned. Nothing feels awkward or uncomfortably squeezed in because everything has been thought about in terms of its contribution to the whole. No last minute, oh I’ll just stick this here!

Nisha Katona

But should they have painted the ceiling? Guest judge Nisha Katona isn’t sure.

A lot of this can be worked out in the first instance by drawing a plan of a space and aligning all obvious pieces — built-in furniture, very large paintings, wall-hung storage etc. However, if everything is pre-planned, there is a danger that a space can feel artificially regimented and tight. With experience you learn when to tweak something on site by trusting your eye alone, simply because it feels better longer, higher, shorter or in some cases not there at all.

Always in awe of the incredible wider team that make TV a reality. From every runner and camera operator, to the make-up team, directors, producers, editors and of course the trades and set designers!

Guest Judge Nisha Katona, Interior Design Masters Episode 7

The Guest Judge

Nisha Katona is the founder of Mowgli Street Food restaurants. She is a food writer and author of a clutch of great Indian cookbooks and she regularly appears on television and radio as a restaurant, food and business expert. And yet, for 20 years before all that she worked full time as a barrister! We’re all definitely better off for her pivot towards her true passion and in 2019 this was recognised with an MBE for services to the Food Industry.

And Nisha’s snippet of genius to pass on? “The beautiful thing about good design is that it pulls at the heartstrings and teases the imagination. You can judge success by the shining eyes of those who walk through your creation.” Agreed!

Nisha Katona

Interior Design Masters judging

Series Judge Michelle Ogundehin alongside guest judge Nisha Katona: and the verdict is?

Working those silver trousers again! Interior Design Masters: Episode 7

And finally, Wardrobe notes…

Briefing: Oscar De La Renta pink top (bought from The Outnet an age ago again I’m afraid); silver S’MaxMara trousers; Jimmy Choo pink patent heels (an impulse buy on a work trip to New York many moons ago! Barely worn but I KNEW they’d come in useful one day;-)

Viewing: Navy blue S’MaxMara jumper; S’MaxMara rust-coloured linen coat; See By Chloe navy wool/linen trousers; navy Celine boots.

Judging: Pale pink Tibi top; See By Chloe navy wool/linen trousers; Jimmy Choo silver jewelled flats.

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6 replies »

  1. Great blog post. Really looking forward to tonight’s show – it’s starting to get very tense as the final looms. Love your Instagram account which is helping me to understand colour more and tap into what I like, rather than worrying about what people think about what I like.

  2. I have loved this program this year as well as last year!.
    Michelle’s book Happy inside I couldn’t put down, it was utterly brilliant. I look forward to a second!

  3. Hi Michelle. Just about to watch the repeat of the semi final . Felt very drawn to the warmth of the copper bar counter. I like this contestant. Always herself but ready to refine her many ideas to suit the occasion. I literally watched her grow. The pregnant woman was also my choice to go through again for the warm welcoming autumn tones that related to food. Nice one. Thanks for the info on your outfits. Do love your style. I did like the green silk jacket you wore a couple of times. Any details?
    I just decorated a small room I use for books and art work. It’s dark green with a copper domed lamp and the bookshelves .. also dark green I’ve edged in gold finger paint. On top I put a red wooden fire engine picked up by a small Moroccan rug . It has a pretty antique desk that my recently passed lovely husband Dave got for a birthday present some years ago. I also had a go at upholstering a lambing oak chair in a green and red toile. I had my 78th birthday last week. You inspire me. Please do another show soon
    Ria xx

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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.