Hello and welcome to the next installment of the Great Indoors podcast. On today’s show, we review the latest in interiors TV, Interior Design Masters on BBC Two, we chat about the findings from the recent home happiness survey AKA The Good Home Report and we look at the return of statement interiors – walls and floors. You can listen to the full episode here. We are now on episode 4 in the fourth series and a huge thanks to Topps Tiles for sponsoring us and of course our producer, Kate Taylor.
So first up, we are all obviously huge interior design fans and Kate and I are huge TV fans, so we now have the perfect combo, a new Interior Design show! Presented by the lovely TV and radio presenter Fearne Cotton and judged by former Elle Decoration editor-in-chief Michelle Ogundehin, Interior Design Masters is a welcome return of interiors to our box. Aired every Wednesday at 8pm on BBC2 it’s a bit of a mash-up of The Apprentice and The Great Interior Design Challenge. This time the difference is that the designers are semi-professional which has really upped the stakes and of course, it still makes for great viewing with the usual expected characters – I want to know your favourites! Unlike GIDC the challenges are commercial projects (no quaint country cottages in this show!) and the series kicks off with a show home then a hotel. It’s TV gold as you end up shouting at the TV, Kate is already ticking off her design crimes, however!
We are reminded by the judges that there is a brief to be followed and judge Michelle makes the point that a good designer will not impose their style and taste and be able to fulfill a specific brief. By the end of this process, the prize is a contract to design a hotel, so they are going to have to show true design skills, manage a budget and prove their versatility – it’s a tough game! Keep an eye for me in episode 4 where I pop up as a guest judge with the challenge being university halls of residence. You can catch up on iplayer here and the series will be coming to Netflix at some point.
Back in June, some rather detailed research was carried out by The Happiness Institute, commissioned by Kingfisher to look into home happiness and the results are quite fascinating. Kate was quite cynical when she first came across it but when she landed on the stats it was a different story (she is the stat queen after all). They asked just under 13.5k people in ten countries 44 questions (quite an ask) they found that 73% of people who were happy in their homes were happy in their lives. If you imagine a pie chart of overall happiness the biggest slice is your mental health at 17% and in 2nd place at 15% is home happiness – more than your physical wellbeing, your earnings and your job – that is quite a piece of insight!
Meik Wiking, the CEO of the Happiness Institute, based in Copenhagen, says what he found fascinating is that people are looking for happiness in the wrong places – and it’s literally on our doorstep. So, it’s ok to yearn to get the paintbrush out and get some DIY done and make your home your happy place. Another point that stood out for us was that it’s not all about size – it’s more about creating a sense of space rather than the overall square footage.
We both picked up on another big point – whether you own your home or rent it has little influence on your happiness, and with the rental market growing here in the UK, it’s encouraging that not being a homeowner doesn’t directly influence your well being.
You can read more about the ‘five ways to make a happy home’ on my blog post here
I have always been passionate about creating a happy home and all the elements that help you achieve it. Following on from her successful Happy Place Podcast, Fearne Cotton created her own Happy Place Festival as she is very interested in mental health and wellbeing and I knew I just had to be part of it, read about it here.
So a bit of a touchy subject for Kate, whether we call it a feature wall or statement wall, but I wanted to talk about statement floors too. Sees there is no end to ways you can make a wow in your pad. We’ve recently seen an upswell in bold floor designs which utimately dominate a space. It’s quite a commitment which is why I sadly see so many people go for a more neutral option. Although many of us are getting braver and going for bolder and colourful options – going back to happiness in the home, we are creating homes that we love and adding our own personalities. We are generally staying in our homes for longer so more willing to make that investment and go for it. We both agree not to play it safe as you will regret it in the long run, once you’ve discovered your style it will give you such a sense of pride and a real boost.
We are loving patterned tiles and they are everywhere now, available in such a variety of colours, patterns, and budgets, they can be used in pretty much any room. If, like Kate, you have trouble visualising a patterned tile floor in situ, take a look at the visualizer tool by Topps Tiles which allows you to select a room similar to yours and choose from a multitude of tiles to add on walls or floors. Being able to understand how your room will look with pattern is essential in giving you the confidence to make the purchase.
You don’t need to commit to a full-on patterned tile, you can be creative with plain tiles, like the classic metro tile, and lay it in different ways, herringbone, vertical or stripes for instance. Or why not go for a coloured or even glittery grout for a more subtle, yet unique finish. You can see a post I did recently on patterned flooring here
Check out our Facebook group The Great Indoors Podcast here and come and join in on the conversation. We’d love to hear your opinions, design ideas, and of course design crimes!