If you’re looking for a beautiful holiday home as your escape to the country staycation, then a purpose-built villa on an exclusive estate might be a very tempting property option.
And if the interior design inside has been created for a competitive television programme, and it won, and you get all the luxury furniture and gorgeous finishing touches as part of the sale, that is surely too tempting to ignore?
Happy days then at this villa – all you have to do is turn up and start enjoying your holiday surrounded by the designs of the eventual winner of BBC2’s Interior Design Masters.
Presented by comedian Alan Carr, this popular television programme saw amateur interior designers with creative talent compete against each other over an eight-week series.
Their ultimate goal was to try and get to the final and win the ultimate prize – a career defining professional design contract with a luxury Lake District hotel.
Each week, the contestants redesigned and transformed a space within a property, including an office, hotel, salon and even a beach hut, giving them all a chance to showcase their design prowess, clever design solutions and unique creativity.
And each week one contestant left the process after the final designs were judged by magazine editor, designer and author, Michelle Ogundehin, accompanied by a different famous guest judge every week.
Come grand final week in March and the two remaining contestants were Lynsey Ford, an architect from West Yorkshire, and Siobhan Murphy, an NHS worker also from West Yorkshire.
The finalists were given the challenge of designing an interior for a 5-star luxury holiday villa on an exclusive resort estate in Trewhiddle near St Austell, Cornwall.
Michelle gave both finalists some words of advice before they dived into transforming their allocated four-bed villa into a visually-stunning interiors feast.
She said: “I want to see ambition, ideas and a level of finish that really respects the luxury end of the market, so you’re going to have to take everything you’ve learnt so far and put even more design fairy dust on top of that because I need to know who has got what it takes to make it as a professional designer.”
Spoiler alert as the whole series can currently still be viewed on BBC iPlayer…
For the final Michelle was joined by fashion designer turned interiors expert Matthew Williamson and podcast host, queen of colour and former presenter of The Great Interior Design Challenge, Sophie Robinson.
The finalists were challenged to create a stunning new interior within their allocated villa in the open-plan kitchen, dining and living space, in the downstairs hallway, plus two bedrooms and a mezzanine landing.
The pair had only 10 days to plan and prepare their interior design and then three days to create their final interiors scheme onsite, aided by a team of tradespeople and a past contestant chosen by each finalist and invited back to the process to assist.
Siobhan was given a family retreat as a theme to style her villa and Lynsey was asked to create a scheme appropriate for a ‘girls’ getaway’.
In the end, Lynsey took the crown for her opulent and luxurious transformation of Villa 5, saying her scheme was all about the senses.
She says: “Every space I create is really all about the people who use it, how they use it and how they feel when they are in it – thinking about all the different senses, the touch, the vision, the warmth of the colours you use – so when they walk in there, they feel something.”
Lynsey’s final creation was based around dark tones, pops of colour, practical solutions to everyday living and design, plus the addition of statement artwork, lighting and furniture.
Opulence was added in abundance to create the luxury retreat vibe via tactile textures such as velvet and metallic accents.
Lynsey says many of the tones chosen were influenced by nature and the outside natural world surrounding the villa nestled within this beautiful county.
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The accent theme throughout her newly transformed spaces was tropical, with appropriate patterns popping up on cushions, headboards and even a huge mural in the living area.
Lynsey’s winning interiors scheme included a slatted partition wall between the kitchen diner and lounge to create a broken-plan scheme.
But using slats meant still keeping the sociable nature of the space and the visual and light flow circulating through the large room.
But this added feature pushed the boundaries of practicality by having a bench fitted on one side and a TV on the other, meaning this necessary addition to the lounge was not taking up floor space or visually dominant – it solved the problem of what to do with the television.
The slatted wall was a big hit with the judges.
Matthew was impressed by the addition of the slatted screen saying “I love that divide, I think that’s genius, I can sense an architect in this designer” and yet as Michelle pointed out, you are not totally blocked off from each space by this partition, there’s still a visual link through the slats.
Another highlight of Lynsey’s design that the judges especially gushed over was the kitchen island.
Lynsey added a curved side to the structure to bring in a softer line in a space surrounded by sharp corners and straight-lines.
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But the island was also the perfect place for the group staying at the villa to congregate and socialise while activity is taking place in the kitchen which until Lynsey got her creative hands on it was all outward facing; the simple addition of a kitchen island has changed the focus to inward facing, with the island as the sociable centre.
Michelle says: “The genius bit is the curve, it would have been so easy to have thought square kitchen, square island and to reference the screen (room divider) with the outside of the island – brilliant.”
In the hallway, Lynsey went for statement dark walls, a 5ft bespoke art installation and a cluster of smoky-glass pendant lights.
Plus, a fan of upcycling bargain furniture, Lynsey made sure a few revived pieces were included as important statement items within her overall scheme, such as the deep purple drawers in the hall, sideboard in the living room and dressing table on the mezzanine level.
The kitchen units were refreshed with a new coat of dark, contemporary grey and the beauty of the location surrounding the villa was not forgotten, with a collection of framed photographs on the hall wall creating a warm welcome, greeting any group arriving at the villa.
The large expanse of double-height wall above the stairs was calling out to make a statement and Lynsey delivered here too.
Her bespoke piece of wall art made up of wooden blocks painted in various, toning shades that can be found throughout the villa cleverly ties all the shades together in one place, ensuring the artwork continued the consistency of the scheme, as well as bringing texture and a 3D element to the previously bare wall.
Sophie Robinson was wowed by the scheme as soon as she entered, saying: “There’s a lot to delight the eye and the senses as soon as you walk in, which is a wonderful first impression!”
On the mezzanine level, Lynsey created a space for pampering and a ‘getting ready to go out’ area, a social space between the two bedrooms perfect for a girls’ getaway weekend.
Matthew was impressed, saying: “It’s smart, she’s turned it into a little salon, a boudoir.”
In the bedrooms, the judges felt the introduction of lighter colours, as well as the continuation of the dark tones from downstairs to ensure a visual linkage between the two floors, gave the slumber spaces a fresher, brighter and more ‘Cornwall vibe’.
But added luxurious textures, patterns and colours still kept the opulent and glamorous feeling that is at the core of this scheme.
And there’s more slatted wood on the wardrobe doors, ensuring the downstairs design is again referenced and linked upstairs, visually joining the two levels.
At the end of the process, and before the judging began, Lynsey was exhausted, saying: “The last few days have been a total emotional rollercoaster, standing here now with every part of my body aching, including my brain, I couldn’t have given it any more.”
And she didn’t have to as the judges decided her girls’ getaway villa interiors scheme made her the winner of Interior Design Masters 2021.
Lynsey’s reaction to winning the competition was priceless, exclaiming: “What just happened?! I think I’m in shock, totally and utterly blown away!”
And now the villa is on the market, you could be owning a piece of TV interiors magic that comes with a priceless element, as the design and furniture featured on the show comes with the sale.
As well as the four bedrooms and that sociable living space, the villa comes with three ensuites and a bathroom all very contemporary but just maybe missing that designer touch – maybe the new owner could commission Lynsey to come back and design the bathrooms too one day.
The villa, being sold by owners Natural Land who have been renting it out as a holiday let via Together Travel, could be your perfect place to enjoy a peaceful staycation for years to come with all the stunning beaches, rolling hills and pretty stone villages of Cornwall on your doorstep, that is, should you ever want to leave Lynsey’s masterpiece.
Currently, series 2 of Interior Design Masters, including the final episode, is on iPlayer.
The four-bed villa is on the market for £350,000, contact Natural Land on 01625 839710 or Wright Marshall estate agents on 01565 621624 for further details.