Michelle Ogundehin: Biography

Internationally renowned as an authority on interiors, trends and style, Michelle Ogundehin is an editor, writer, consultant and TV presenter, an influencer with expertise and the award-winning former Editor-in-Chief of ELLE Decoration UK. Her first book, HappyInside: How to Harness the Power of Home for your Health and Happiness, will be published in June 2020, sharing her philosophy on the link between our homes and our wellbeing, and the first series of the 8-part BBC2/Netflix series, Interior Design Masters, in which she was Series Judge alongside Series Presenter Fearne Cotton, was screened Autumn 2019. She continues to share her passion for the home and design by regularly writing for The Financial Times and Dezeen, the world’s most influential online design magazine, as well as contributing to many other prestigious publications worldwide.

Michelle has also presented four series of Grand Designs: House of the Year alongside Kevin McCloud and appeared on many 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.

Her mission? To decode design by putting it into context — joining the dots to inform and inspire. As she puts it, “Design shapes the world and trends flavour it, but style is what you choose, and home is where it should all come together, so a good translator is essential!”  The purpose? To help more of us become truly #happyinside.

Instagram @michelleogundehin

Pinterest @michelleogundehin

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Agent: Sophie Laurimore at The Soho Agency

Grand Designs: House of the Year 2015. Photographer Emma Webster

Originally trained as an architect at London’s renown Bartlett School, she worked in architectural offices in both London and New York, before beginning her publishing career at Tate Art Magazine, then edited by Tim Marlow (currently Artistic Director of the Royal Academy). This was followed by formative years at Blueprint Magazine under Deyan Sudjic (now the Director of the Design Museum), until she was headhunted in 1997 to join Ilse Crawford’s ELLE Decoration as her Features Director.

In 1999 she founded the MO:STUDIO creative consultancy, shuttling between bases in Los Angeles and London, albeit maintaining a connection to ELLE Decoration as its Editor-at-Large and regularly contributing to Esquire, Nova and The Observer Magazine in addition to many other prestigious publications 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; and Sunday Times Style.

Illustration by Ayumi Takahashi as seen in Alyson Walsh’s book ‘Know My Style’

However, she chose to consolidate her relationship with ELLE Decoration by accepting the role of Editor-in-Chief in 2004. During her 13-years at the helm (2004-2017), she led the title to award-winning creative heights, record revenues, and its highest ever circulation, as well as repeatedly being awarded the personal accolade of Editor of the Year.

She launched ELLE Decoration Collections in 2007, an annual guide to the world’s best new designs. In 2012, she added ELLE Decoration Country to the portfolio, a bi-annual edit of beautiful rural homes, and three years after that, 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 declaring knock-off designer classics illegal.

A lover of colour, pattern, pots, texture and tiles, Michelle was born in Manchester, and now lives in Brighton with her young son and two boisterous Basset Hounds. Michelle was also a Trustee of the V&A from 2008-2015.

Michelle Ogundehin Photographer: Ben Anders

Michelle Ogundehin in situ at the ELLE Decoration penthouse she designed for Greenwich Peninsula. Photographer: Ben Anders

Michelle Ogundehin hostess of the British Design Awards with guest Sir Terence Conran. Aqua, November 10, 2009, London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)