Michelle Ogundehin: Biography

Michelle Ogundehin. Consultant. Curator. Editor. Storyteller. TV presenter. Global influencer with expertise. Internationally renowned as an authority on design, interior trends, the home and contemporary culture. Lover of colour, texture and tiles. Originally trained as an architect, Michelle is also the former Editor-in-Chief of British ELLE Decoration. Her mission? To decode the worlds of style, design and trends, by putting them into context and illuminating the links between our homes and our wellbeing. The purpose? To help more of us become truly #happyinside.

Today she combines brand consultancy with TV presenting and writing, as well as contributing regularly to The Observer Magazine. (Read more below portrait!)

Television Agent: Sophie Laurimore at Factual Management
Literary Agent: Araminta Whitley at Lucas Alexander Whitley

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

She was appointed Editor-in-Chief of ELLE Decoration UK in May 2004, consolidating a relationship with the magazine that started in 1997. During her 13-year tenure at the helm, the magazine rose to its highest circulation alongside achieving record revenues. She also led the title to award-winning creative heights, repeatedly receiving the coveted Consumer Lifestyle magazine of the year award, as well as the personal accolades of both Lifestyle, and Consumer, Editor of the Year. She was additionally appointed Editor in Chief of REAL HOMES magazine in 2007, managed alongside continuing to oversee ELLE Decoration. She masterminded its successful relaunch and profitable sale a year later.

Ever keen to broaden the scope of the ELLE Decoration brand, also in 2007 she launched ELLE Decoration Collections, an annual guide to the world’s best new designs. In 2012, she added ELLE Decoration Country, a bi-annual publication celebrating the world’s most beautiful rural homes, to the portfolio. In the same year, she initiated the ‘Equal Rights for Design’ campaign to prompt a change in UK copyright laws with respect to design (read more here). Enlisting the support of Sir Terence Conran to Sir James Dyson, alongside government ministers and politicians, within 12 months, the issue had been debated in both Houses of Parliament. A year later, new laws were passed that declared knock-off designer classics officially illegal. Finally, in 2015 she debuted the ELLE Decoration Style Consultancy, an interior design service aimed at commercial property developers.

Grand Designs: House Of The Year 2017

Originally 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 two years. She began her publishing career on the launch of Tate Art Magazine under Tim Marlow, followed by formative years at Deyan Sudjic’s Blueprint Magazine, rising swiftly to the position of Senior Editor. She was headhunted in 1997 to join Ilse Crawford, founding editor of ELLE Decoration, as her Features Director. Two years later she went freelance to found her own creative direction consultancy, MO:Studio Ltd, shuttling between bases in Los Angeles and London, while maintaining a connection to ELLE Decoration as its Editor-at-Large.

In this period, she regularly contributed features to The Observer Magazine; penned design columns for Esquire (Sept 97 –April 99) and directed shoots for Nova Magazine (April 2000 – April 2001), as well as writing articles for numerous other prestigious 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.

Michelle was born in Manchester, grew up in London, and now lives in Brighton with her young son and two boisterous Basset Hounds. She is a self-confessed detail queen and clutter clearing obsessive. A lover of colour, pattern, pots, tiles and texture, she was appointed as 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)

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