Interior Design Masters 2021, The Final: Murdered by a Lovely Rioja

I love the disparity between Siobhan’s pink retro wonderland of a bar and her very smart, office ready husband. Couple goals.

It’s the final and it’s come down to a battle between Maximalism and Practicality – two of the four horsemen of the Interior Design Apocalypse, the other two being Faux Marble and Charlotte.


Siobhan, Our Rainbow Overlord

A true maximalist wonder woman, she’s never met a golden ornament that she doesn’t love and the same goes for wigs. It’s never the same twice with Siobhan who over the course of the series has tried every colour combination she possibly could and really stretched the briefs she was given – we all remember the minimalist hotel room! But her designs are never short of stellar.

Lynsey, The Practical Architect

Ingenuity is the name of Lynsey’s game – there isn’t a single storage issues that she can’t solve with a bit of MDF and a prayer. Her first few designs may have bordered on casual and expected but as the series has gone on we’ve seen her confidence grow and her design power pushed to the limits.

As it’s the final Lynsey and Siobhan will be taking on the biggest challenge yet – an entire 5-star luxury holiday villa at this Cornish villa complex that looks like a very stylish fleet of warships

The Spanish Armada would stand NO CHANCE!

When Michelle tells them they’ll be doing the entire villa, she really means the entire villa with them tackling the kitchen-dining area, the lounge, the entrance hall, the weird mezzanine bit and two bedrooms. The only area not being touched is the bathrooms, which is a pity because I would have loved to see Siobhan gold-leaf a toilet.
It’s a lot to have to plan and Lynsey is already looking like she’s seeing her entire life flash before her eyes

It could also just be the gestational cramps though.

Each of them will also have their own separate briefs with Siobhan getting Family Retreat and Lynsey getting Girls’ Getaway. Both these briefs are a little bit off considering the villas only seem to have 2 bedrooms and both of them are double beds which isn’t ideal for a family or a group of women on what I imagine is a swanky hen-do.

Due to the amount of work they’re doing, each of them will be allowed to pick an eliminated designer to help them, Siobhan does us all a huge favour and brings back Paul, mostly because she is hanging up umpteen wallpapers but also because he’s the only one of the lot who will relish the opportunity to take a trip to the other team and psych them out – he’s a TV goldmine. Lynsey on the other hand plays it tactically and brings back someone who she thinks will be able to give her honest critiques on the brief by going Full Prosecco Stormfront and bringing back Amy, who lest we forget created a miniature replica of an Ancient Greek amphitheatre in an office

Honestly, iconic.

They’re given 10 days to mull over their projects and order all their gubbins!

Lynsey: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

With a brief like “Girls Getaway” there are a lot of potential clichĂ©s to work around that could really bring down the luxurious aesthetic that the owner obviously wanted and Lynsey did a very good job is avoiding them while still keeping the space very feminine and sleek looking with her colour palette of quite dark blacks with accents of blushy pinks and gold.

The hallway is obviously the mood setter for the rest of the villa and she did a very good job of introducing her aesthetic with it

the combination of colours, textures and prints really reminds me of the Monty Bojangles chocolate boxes, which are pretty much a go-to for any last minute gifts for a friend.
The centre piece is obviously the mammoth piece of wall art that resembles some sort of hellish game of Tetris

On which Lynsey spent what seemed to be 70% of her time trying to piece together like she was competing in the annual global jigsaw tournament (is that a thing? If it isn’t, it should be). The best part of it though was that once she was done piecing it all together she then passed on the duty of gluing it all down to Amy at what seemed to be 9 o’clock at night

When it came to hanging the goliath of the wall art world there were a few wooden brick tragedies

AMY, YOU HAD ONE JOB. That’s a lie, she was in charge of both gluing and painting an inordinate amount of woodwork black, because boy was there a lot of black in the kitchen

It’s very well balanced with the warm toned stone flooring that picks up the gold accents – and adding an island to the kitchen was a genius idea on Lynsey’s part and exactly the sort of design element that you’d expect from her.
She also managed the proportion of the kitchen-diner and the lounge very well, separating the spaces with a slotted wooden divider

again, I don’t love pale bare wood but with the lamps (she really loves those metallic hoop lamps, they were in her hotel room too) it does look much more golden and pleasing to the eye. I’m still not entirely sure it gels with the lux kitchen and the slightly art-deco hotel lobby lounge she has going on

Those sofas are hands down the best sofas we’ve seen this series – that rusty velvet with the gold and the ridged texture? Divine.
It all feels very plush and sophisticated – almost to the point of intimidatingly stern – it could have used a few more soft furnishings, and Sophie was right it needed a footstool, but also side tables would have been nice! The room also ends very abruptly with that stark white French door – it feels like an incomplete fantasy, but I’m not sure there is anything Lynsey could have done to stop it.
I am also very concerned about that white rug that is going to get absolutely murdered by a lovely rioja within three visits.

As for the upstairs, Lynsey has seemingly turned the mezzanine into its own little Hollywood-style dressing room

It’s a little weird and feels very much like she found a few pieces of furniture she really loved and couldn’t fit them in the bedrooms so lumped them all on the mezzanine. Also, can we address the fact that someone on this show clearly got one hell of a bargain on these headless animal lamps because they have been in just about every design on the show so far – it’s like playing a game of Where’s Wally? except Wally is now a bisected antelope.

The luxuriousness of Lynsey’s design somewhat dissipated the moment you got upstairs with a lot of the rich, unctuous colours being dropped almost completely – I get that you want a bedroom to be a calm, safe space but these just seem a little undercooked

There’s isn’t much wow factor to them and they feel like something someone might have at home which is exactly what you don’t want when you’re staying at a luxury villa.
They’re also far too similar except for the slight colour change, which might minimise arguments over rooms but I’m still getting over the fact there’s only two bedrooms.

Overall it’s a really lovely place that Lynsey has designed but it definitely felt a touch unbalanced but I can see why you’d prioritise the communal spaces given the budgetary and time limitations.

Siobhan: Keeping It In The Family

I know, we all wish Siobhan had been given the Girls Getaway brief, but luckily for us she did it anyway! Who cares about rich families? It was her last chance on the show to truly go all out with colour and while she might have limited herself slightly, she was still going bold with her floor to ceiling teal lounge

I do think that Line of Duty has potentially ruined the age of teal for everyone considering every house they use seems to have teal walls

but it works phenomenally well with her mustard and black accents

There is A LOT of little knickknacks and gubbins floating around which can be taken two ways – one it adds a lot of interest and texture, making for a very engaging and lively space for a family. Or 2, it’s a toddler death trap. It was clear that Siobhan was imagining the space for a family with older children, BECAUSE WHO IS TAKING A 3 YEAR OLD TO A LUXURY VILLA, SOPHIE? That’s just asking to not get your deposit back.
That being said, the lounge space is a little cramped

There’s not really an opportunity to play a rowdy game of Twister without rearranging the furniture is there? Although I’m not sure Penelope and Quentin and young Bartholomew are going to be playing Twister. It’s chess or nothing with them.
Her statement lighting piece is very fun

I almost wish it had been made with retro metallic shades so that it was richer and more vibrant, at least on camera it looks a little washed out, but I love the houndstooth dropped ceiling – I’m a sucker for it.

Out in the hallway Siobhan had gone for high impact with a gold leaf crane mural made by Daniel Bland who did a phenomenal job

I really love that throughout the series Siobhan had used every opportunity to champion local artists and credit them properly – it’s not cheap and she could have easily not done it and saved a huge chunk of her budget, it’s just a nice thing to see and makes for that extra bespoke feeling.
The judges seemed strangely cool to the idea of Siobhan’s hallway but I thought it was phenomenal and had so many points of interest that it felt truly panoramic without being overwhelming

I adore the way she gilded the different facets of the ceiling, I’m not wildly keen on the balloon-esque chandelier but I like the soft glow you get from it that really brings out the gold leaf. I am slightly concerned about the fact the mirrors appear to be made up of hundreds of tiny little gold skulls


What she did with the mezzanine though is nothing short of genius, turning it into a fun youthful hangout is just a really good use of the space

and she’s right, often kids don’t want to hangout with their parents on holiday and giving them their own space that isn’t their bedroom is a clever use of the space.
Her maximalist self was well and truly unleashed in the bedrooms which much like Lynsey are almost identical except for a slight change in colour scheme. The slightly distorted looking headboard really reminds me of the art pieces by Korean artist JeeYoung Lee

I much prefer the yellow one for completely personal reasons, that particular shade of Tuscan Red will only ever remind me of the boudoir bedroom from Changing Rooms that reduced some poor woman from Norfolk to tears. Just to clarify, Siobhan’s bedroom is SIGNIFCANTLY better than that 2000s nightmare.
There is of course the issue that neither of the bedrooms feel particularly geared towards anyone under the age of 18, or maybe a very sophisticated 15 year old.

Siobhan gave us a very lively design that was truly stunning to look at but might have missed the brief every so slightly in certain areas but I think her main strength was that every part of the villa felt designed and taken care of.


It’s been a tough race between Lynsey and Siobhan for most of the series and you could genuinely see Michelle struggling to make a decision and contemplating a double win for the two of them. Honestly, give them a hotel each, it’s 2021, who cares anymore? They both deserve it.

In the end Michelle is contractually obligated to choose 1 winner and the new Interior Design Master is…

I may have been championing Siobhan from day 1 but Lynsey is a thoroughly deserving winner and I have no doubt in my mind that she’ll make the absolute most of the hotel contract she won.

As for our glorious runner up Siobhan,

I can’t wait to see what she does next, give her 2 years and she’ll be a design monolith, I’ll put money on it.

A massive well done to every single one of the designers this year, you’ve made some very memorable television. Bring on the next series!

And of course, our final picture wall

TOP ROW: Siobhan, Charlotte, Barbara, Jon
MID ROW: Amy, Micaela, Paul, Peter

2 thoughts on “Interior Design Masters 2021, The Final: Murdered by a Lovely Rioja

  1. grace

    hi hi! very fond of this blog! hoping that if the masterchef scheduling dartboard aligns, you decide to review season/series 3 of interior design masters?
    sending lots of love from California!

    1. Ariadne

      Hi! I’m really sorry but I just couldn’t fit it in – however I am planning on doing an end of series write-up and talking about the highlights of the series. And some of the lowlights – I couldn’t not talk about the be-knobbed headboard, it keeps me up at night.
      I also hadn’t realised how many people would want me to recap it so if it comes back for another series, I’ll certainly fit it in!

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