Daniel Hopwood and I have been working together for 4 years, latterly running courses in Interior Design master classes in Interior Design. We first met on a screen test for The Great Interior Design Challenge back in 2013. We came from completely different parts of the design world. In fact different planets if I’m honest. Dan arrived for the screen test in tight Italian slim pants on a moped, fresh from his Notting hill studio. He was brimming with suave sophisticated charm and his design knowledge ran deep. But it quickly became apparent to me, as we were asked to discuss the design problems in a classic Victorian semi that he had little idea of how ‘regular’ people live! And by regular I mean people who don’t get their whole house remodelled using their annual Christmas bonus. It was all chaise longues and Aspidistras, until I pointed out that the woman of this household probably didn’t have much time for reclining. “Oh Yes, she’s probably got the ironing to do” he acknowledged. I stifled a snigger but thought to myself “Is this guy for real?!’.
Fast forward four years and we have cemented a strong professional and personal friendship. Together we make up the whole spectrum of design, from Billionaire penthouses to up-cycling vintage suitcases. I think that’s why the clever producers of The Great Interior Design Challenge were so genius to cast us together. Interior Design isn’t just the remit of high-end designers but for anyone who has a home to live in. My job as a magazine stylist has been to empower and inspire people to design and decorate their homes themselves on a budget. Great design should and can be accessible to all and that’s become our mutual mission statement.
And it’s with this in mind that Dan and I conceived our idea to run Master classes in Interior design. We felt that by bringing together our unique specialities in design we could make a really rich, diverse and informative day for people who either wanted to follow a career in design or wanted to fine tune ideas on how to make their own home look and feel fabulous. Dan gets all nitty-gritty about the design process; from interpreting your own unique sense of style, or interpreting that of your clients, all the way to creating a simple spread sheet in order to manage the budget. My expertise is in decorating and styling so I get to divulge how to crack a mouth watering colour scheme, all the way through to styling up the end result for a magazine worthy finish. And there’s something in it for us too. We just love to meet like-minded design fanatics and discuss all things interiors. We purposefully keep the groups small to just 14 people so we all have plenty of time to discuss career aspirations or kitchen remodels over lunch and coffee.
We always come away from the days absolutely buzzing, and exhausted. Everyone tends to make sure they get their monies worth as we pour over scribbled house plans and paint charts and squint at pictures on smart phones, to give our advice on the best solution. I love to discuss with people that there are other career choices within design other than the traditional route of the professional Interior Designer. Daniel is one of the most connected people in the business and if you are serious about carving a career in this hallowed profession then you can’t beat having a one to one with him.
So why not come and join us on the next one. We’ve got new dates for the New Year that and you can book in a flash on our Eventbrite page. The January one even comes with the option to include a VIP gift bag, so it pop it on your wish list for Santa!