MICHELLE OGUNDEHIN

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

March 22, 2022

Sophie Robinson IDM3 Episode 3

One of the jolliest people on your tellybox, Sophie Robinson is considered the Queen of Colour with a signature look that’s nothing if not vivacious. And yet her route into design was not a traditional one.

Here come the girls! Interior Design Masters Guest Judge Sophie Robinson and Michelle Ogundehin on location at Gordano Secondary school.

But before we get into that, Sophie joins me as a Guest Judge in Episode 3 of Interior Design Masters. We headed over to the Gordano School in Portishead, North Somerset to see how our designers had tackled the school’s common rooms. Eight contestants working in pairs on 4 very differently themed rooms.

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Michelle Ogundehin and Sophie Robinson on set in Brighton for Interior Design Masters, Season 3.

So where did SOPHIE start?

Sophie first studied 3D Design at Brighton University with early aspirations to be a designer-maker. This was followed by woodwork, jewellery, ceramics and metalwork before majoring in plastics. It wasn’t until she joined BBC Good Homes magazine as a stylist designing room sets for shoots and writing features, that her interior design career began to blossom.

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At home with Sophie Robinson photographed by Alun Callender

After going freelance she’s worked with many other popular magazine titles as well as some of the UK’s most loved retailers. She even did a stint as a UK rally driver! Alongside all this you’ve probably seen her pop up on your televisions too in DIY SOS and The Great Interior Design Challenge.

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Always time for a quick photo in Michelle’s design studio. Interior Design Masters, Season 3.

But most recently, she’s been designing room schemes for her very own Channel 5 TV show: Dream home makeovers with Sophie RobinsonAs she puts it, “this is a show all about the power of paint, pattern, furniture and furnishings to completely transform the way you feel about your home.”

And don’t forget the super popular podcast, The Great Indoors, that she co-hosts with fellow interiors nut, Kate Watson-Smyth, And if you want to discover your inner Sophie and find out what colours make your soul sing, then you might want to check out one of her online courses too. You can find everything on her website.

And for a whole bunch of stuff that you won’t find anywhere else, read on…

Sophie Robinson

At home with Sophie Robinson photographed by Alun Callender

In conversation with… Sophie Robinson

Tell me five words that describe you. Colourful, generous, creative, positive, exhausted.

What book are you reading right now? Skin care by Caroline Hirons. I’ve never been interested in beauty or skin care but was recommended this book and devoured it. How have I been going so wrong for so long! Top take away, wear SPF on your face EVERY DAY!

What keeps you awake at night? Nothing. Sleeping is my superpower

What words or phrases do you most overuse? Wow, I love it!

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with? Anyone with poor hygiene habits

Who would you most like to meet, dead or alive? Dorothy Draper

What do you consider your greatest achievement? Being part of the team at BBC ONE’s DIY SOS was a real career high. Along with over 400 other volunteers and production crew, we built a 5 bedroom house from the ground up in just nine days for Garry and Kyle and their four adopted kids, all who had specialist needs from the design. Having worked in design and construction for 20 years the achievement was mind blowing and life affirming. I was proud to have played my part as the interior designer contributing to creating a home that delivered on a practical level, but also gave them a home too.

Be kind, aim high and dare to be different

Have you ever failed at anything? I see being unsuccessful to have a second child one of my biggest failures. Infertility is hard to reconcile. And I failed my driving test first time, and then went on to become a rally driver so there!

What was the first piece of furniture you bought? An antique mirrored side table from Snoopers paradise in 1993 for my first student flat in Brighton. I still own it and its pride of place in my living room.

Do you collect anything? Everything! I’m a true maximalist so if I can collect it I will. Paintings, vases, coffee table books, cushions, rugs…I could open a shop!

What’s your favourite snack? Dark chocolate. I go weak for Booja-Booja

If you were an animal, what would you be? A bird, as I imagine flying would be just an amazing adventure and probably a colourful variety so I could show off my rainbow plumage!

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One of Sophie’s Dream Home Makeovers!

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? My loud laugh. Then again, maybe not!

When you were a child, what did you want to be? An interior designer and an Olympic horse eventer.

What do you think you’d taste like? Angel delight. Light and frothy with a sickly sweet after taste, but full of fond nostalgic feel good vibes.

What was your worst subject at school? Physics. Both my husband and son are engineering, physics, space geeks. Listening them talk makes my head hurt.

How do you relax? In a hot tub

How do you define luxury? Foreign Travel. I think we have to really think about how we get too far flung places in a more sustainable way, so I now see flying as a luxury rather than a given.

Do you believe in luck? Absolutely 100%. The trick is to make it work for you by being ready to seize the opportunity and make the most of it when you get it.

Do you have a motto? I love this one ‘Be kind, aim high and dare to be different’.

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At home with Sophie Robinson photographed by Alun Callender

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Writer, Author, Brand Consultant & TV Presenter

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