If you’ve been waiting with bated breath for the next season of Interior Design Masters, then you’ll be pleased to know your wait is over as the popular TV series is back with a bang tonight.
Having grown in popularity since it first launched in 2020, the British reality competition show is now on its fourth season, giving 10 contestants the chance to unleash their creativity and flex their design skills. But what can we expect to see in this latest series?
Interior Design Masters Series Four – what to expect
Presented by funny man Alan Carr with judge Michelle Ogundehin, series four promises to be full of surprises. At an exclusive preview screening Q&A last year’s winner Banjo Beale commented that the competition looked so tough this year, he doesn’t think he’d have won against some of the participants based on what they produced in the first episode.
Temi Johnson, one of this year’s contestants agrees: ‘I was lucky to be surrounded by so much talent and it just makes you want to push yourself creatively,’ she says. ‘I’ve made friends for life and that’s something so much more precious than the show itself.’
With filming taking place over three months, Temi admits it was a tough process. ‘I had no idea when watching the show previously just how much had to be done,’ she says.
‘You have five days to design and find all of the things for your space, from paint to hooks, furniture and styling items. You then have two days to transform the space – and, let me tell you, those spaces were a mess! It was an intense three months, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.’
Small budgets meant the contestants had to get creative when it came to sourcing items this year. ‘With Brexit, the price of wood or MDF has doubled, so you’d spend half your budget on raw materials and a lot of your time at charity shops and scouring Facebook Marketplace,’ says Temi.
‘You couldn’t just order things online. This meant that a lot of the spaces, whilst a reflection of your design style, are nowhere near the quality of the work you’d produce in the “real world”. So that’s super hard because you know you’ll be judged on spaces you wouldn’t ordinarily use certain things for.’
While the show certainly challenges the contestants, it also offers the opportunity to go wild with their designs – something that Temi found ultimately rewarding. ‘I’m really proud for taking risks,’ she says.
‘I think design is subjective so something you love someone else will hate, but from my very first room I took risks. Whether that was with colour or the concept for the space, I wanted an element of playfulness and fun to exist, combined with functionality.’
The process didn’t go without a hitch, however, and Temi certainly had some lows along the way. ‘At one point I was exhausted and had found out that morning that a friend had passed away,’ she recalls. ‘I was known for making last-minute changes, but on this occasion, I just couldn’t make decisions. Trying to be happy on camera when I wanted to go and have a cry was difficult.’
Luckily the other designers were great to work with. ‘I loved my fellow contestants and I think we were really lucky not to have any bad apples,’ says Temi. ‘Even when we were disagreeing with each other – in the group tasks, for example – it was really all in jest and we’d go off for dinner and a drink together right after.’
When to watch
You’ll need to watch the show to find out how Temi and the other contestants got on, but was it an experience she’d recommend to others?
‘You don’t get paid to be on Interior Design Masters so, for me, I just really wanted to have the opportunity to showcase my design ability,’ she says. ‘I also believe that representation matters and it’s no secret that the arts in general (with design as no exception) are lacking in an equal representation of BME individuals. There’s a whole host of reasons for that and my story is an example of how that can happen, so to have the chance to do something I truly loved was my main motivator.’
You can view more of Temi’s work here (opens in new tab) and catch Series 4 of Interior Design Masters on BBC One at 8pm on Tuesday 7 March.
Fancy yourself as a designer? Then check out the Interior Design Masters book (opens in new tab) by Joanna Thornhill, which is based on the TV show and gives you a practical guide to decorating your home.