Interior Design Masters exit interview: Ash Appleton (2024)

Ash Appleton from London is the second to leave the new series of BBC's Interior Designer Masters.

Team work failed to make the dream work for Ash, who toiled alongside Ben and Jess to transform a tired classroom at Chester Zoo into an Indian-inspired hideaway. Head judge Michelle Ogundehin, joined by interior designer and House Beautiful columnist Sophie Robinson as guest adjudicator, were baffled by the boat – Ben's idea – and disappointed that nothing hung happily together.

The second episode of Interior Design Masters 2024 sent the remaining nine aspiring designers off to work in groups of three to create schemes reflecting the wildlife of India, Brazil and Madagascar. Each designer was given a budget of £1,000.

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Speaking exclusively to House Beautiful, interior therapist and blogger Ash, 57, (find her on Instagram @anafricaneye and visit her website says she was gutted to leave so early, but the experience has given her the confidence to put 'Africa modern' on the map.

What's the one thing you did well and not so well in your task?

I’m not going to say I did anything well, because what I did was all below my standards. There is no time to do anything. Also at this stage, you don’t really know the people you’re working with so you’re trying to skirt round each other.

Going out when I did was very disappointing, but it gave me an opportunity for personal growth. I am who I am irrespective of what I did on the show, and what I am is enough. I'm more confident now, I really know what I stand for.

Interior Design Masters exit interview: Ash Appleton (4)

Ash, Ben and Jess transformed an old classroom into an Indian-inspired hideaway

Michelle liked your hot pink stencilled wall. What inspires your love of colour?

    My style, Africa modern, is about the energy of modern Africa: it's about joy and colour, it's bold and in your face. It's mixing metals and materials, it's dynamic and vibrant and it's about a sense of fun. It's showing the world that modern Africa is not just about mud huts or townships. It's busting the myths about African interiors, the colonial legacy, and how things looked in Out of Africa, all very romanticised with safari lodges. It’s about urban life and living in cities. I have a house in Nairobi too.

    Interior Design Masters exit interview: Ash Appleton (6)

    Ash's living room in Nairobi is bright and colourful

    Tell us one thing that goes on behind the scenes that viewers don't know...

    The number of people involved in making the show, it takes a village. There are so many moving parts.

    What surprised you most during this whole process?

    How much everyone loves what they do: the sound guys, the production people, there is so much enthusiasm. It is very, very inspiring that they are so passionate about the show.

    Interior Design Masters exit interview: Ash Appleton (8)

    Ash with her fellow IDM co-stars

    Do you think you have what it takes to be an interior designer?

    Yes, I was a lawyer before, working for the UN, travelling the world, but people would always be asking my advice on what they should do with their homes, so I started my YouTube channel. I’m excited that I’ve finally found what I’m supposed to be doing.

      I do think it's essential to have some sort of training to be a professional interior designer – I’m registered with continuing online training. People need to have confidence in you; their biggest investment they have is in their homes.

      Interior Design Masters exit interview: Ash Appleton (10)

      A balcony with a view: colour adorns every area of Ash's home in Nairobi

      What's the difference between an interior designer and an interior therapist?

      My take is about helping people create homes that help them be the best version of themselves. Your home is your bedrock – you go to sleep there and you wake up there. Even if you have difficult living circ*mstances, your home has to serve as your sanctuary.

      Time to manifest! Tell us, what do you think you’ll be doing this time next year?

      I want to be gaining increasing prominence in the Africa modern interior design space, that's what I really want to be known for. I want to be the person occupying that space, the one people come to when they want to learn more. I would love to be involved with East Africa-inspired homewares, writing a book and appearing on TV.

      • Interior Design Masters with Alan Carr airs Tuesdays at 8pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer

      Follow House Beautiful on TikTok and Instagram.

            Interior Design Masters exit interview: Ash Appleton (12)

            Jayne Dowle

            Freelance homes and property writer

            Jayne specialises in advice stories for House Beautiful magazine and writes about a wide range of topics, from gardening and DIY to decluttering and mindfulness. Based in Yorkshire, she has recently renovated a 1920s house, where she lives with her family.

            Interior Design Masters exit interview: Ash Appleton (2024)


            Who left Interior Design Masters? ›

            Interior Design Masters viewers were still angry over Domnall Starkie exit. leaving the page.

            What should I bring to an interior design interview? ›

            Apart from an innate artistic creativity, a diploma in interior design is typical. You may want to initially screen for experience, unless you are looking to fill a junior role. It is a good idea to ask candidates to bring a portfolio with samples of their work at an interview.

            What happened to Cassie from Interior Design Masters? ›

            Cassie now works within both residential and commercial interior design. Alongside interior design she works as a product and interior photographer and stylist as well as sourcing antiques for Antique Brand, Dig Haüshizzle.

            What happened to Siobhan from Interior Design Masters? ›

            Today, Siobhan continues to make waves in the design world, she was a finalist designer on the hit BBC show, "Interior Design Masters" alongside Alan Carr, and is a regular presenter on "Steph's Packed Lunch" on Channel 4, as well as appearing on "Lorraine" and "Good Morning Britain".

            How do you ace an interior design interview? ›

            Practice body language, speech, answers, and other important facets that will come up during the interview. While it is always good to stay positive and hope for a similar result, you should also prepare yourself for the opposite. Visualize both best and worst case scenarios and how you'll conduct yourself during each.

            How do you nail an interior design interview? ›

            The interviewer wants to learn HOW you work. Be honest about challenges you faced and how you overcame them. Show off your hand drawing skills. Computers and CAD are great tools, but potential employers want to know you can hand sketch well in a pinch.

            Who is Joanne from Interior Design Masters? ›

            Joanne is a Yorkshire born-and-bred interior designer and stylist, a content creator, she was on the BBC's Interior Design Masters and she's a writer.

            How old is Joanne from Interior Design Masters? ›

            Charlotte Fisher36Lawyer
            Joanne Hardcastle51Foster Carer
            Buse Gurbuz28Interior Designer
            Karl Mok31Architectural Design
            6 more rows

            Who hosted Interior Design Masters before Alan Carr? ›

            Interior Design Masters has been hosted by iconic comedian Alan Carr since 2021, with the arrival of series two. Before Carr, the show was fronted by presenter Fearne Cotton.

            Who is Tom in Interior Design Masters? ›

            I'm a South London based interior designer and stylist and a keen creator of beautiful things! My design approach and budgeting skills were honed creating bespoke events and theatre sets before working with an established interior design company here in London for over 5 years.

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