Forget The Great British Bake Off and Love Is Blind, for the last month, here at Ideal Home, we’ve been glued to the home decor reality show that is BBC1’s Interior Design Masters with Alan Carr.
Last night Michelle Ogundehien crowned Monika Charchula the winner of Season 4 of Interior Design Masters, with Jack Kinsey as runner-up, in one of the closest finals we’ve seen on the show.
Over the course of the show, Monika surprised viewers and herself with her transformation in skill and confidence. She ditched her early attempts to play it safe and by the final episodes stuck to her dark Victoriana-style roots with incredible results.
Speaking to Ideal Home after her win she explained: ‘In the beginning in the first 3 or 4 episodes I was still scared. I had zero confidence so I was trying to be more neutral in my style decisions. But as the show when on I realised this might be my only chance to showcase my style and what I like, so I slowly became more and more brave in my design choices.’
Her bold choices led to Monika creating a show-stopping groom’s bedroom in a luxury wedding lodge. Despite starting the episode terrified that she had led team member Tom astray by committing to her distinctive style, her gamble paid off with rave reviews from Judge Michelle.
It is a lesson that Monika learnt a lot from and is advice she wants to share with other budding designers or anyone transforming a room in their home.
‘If you want to design your own space yourself, or if you’re doing it as an interior design for someone else just stick to your guts,’ she says. ‘You need to learn to stop and look at the whole space. Stop and look at it and see if you get that gut feeling. If you feel good in that space then you’re doing the right thing.’
Alongside the winning contract to design a London bar – this time without the micro budget and time constraints – what is next for the UK-based Polish designer?
‘I have my own business, it’s called 84 square (opens in new tab) and it started as a furniture upcycling business and now I also do home decorations, I do gilded resin and snake sculptures and snake decor. I would love to continue that and for 84 Square to become a more recognisable brand,’ says Monika.
‘My ultimate dream is to have my own brick and mortar shop where I can have a curated dark interior vibe shop with my home decor.’
If you missed the final you can still catch it on BBC Iplayer (opens in new tab). After seeing Monika’s transformation in confidence and her determination over the course of the show we can’t wait to see what is next for her.