September 19, 2022


Creative living

Excited for Interior Design Masters? Tour these gorgeous finalist homes while you wait

a living room filled with furniture and a fireplace: Cassie Nicholas living room

© Provided by Real Homes
Cassie Nicholas living room

We don’t know about you, but at Real Homes we are counting down the days until Interior Design Masters series 2 hits our screens. We can’t wait for the latest instalment of the competition, each episode packed with interior inspiration.

The first series featured talented aspiring designers Ju De Paula and Cassie Nicholas who have both gone on to carve out careers in the design world. While we wait for series 2, let’s see how they used their expertise to decorate their very own pads. 

As you might expect, they couldn’t be more different. From cobalt blue and floral prints to dark paint, lace and vintage galore, prepare yourself for a feast for the eyes.

Ju De Paula

Ju De Paula was always quick to cover blank walls in bright, bold floral wallpaper and her love of pattern and colour certainly shines through in how she has decorated her home.

We are obsessed with Ju’s master bedroom: in theory, blue chintz wallpaper, black and white stripes and fuchsia really shouldn’t go, particularly in a place where we’re supposed to be unwinding. But, somehow, she makes it work beautifully.

On closer inspection, the light pink tone in the wallpaper is mirrored in the cushions. The white of the traditional wooden bedframe and ombré bed sheet soften the overall look, so none of the colours jar. Ju shows us how it’s done in striking the perfect balance between busy and calming.

The rest of Ju’s home is, naturally, a riot of colour and texture, floral artwork and practical-yet-beautiful lighting aplenty. Note the use of black and white patterned accessories throughout to help ground the space, and addition of house plants, because greenery is always a good idea.

We’re also very envious of Ju’s office, particularly the vintage writing desk with handy drawers to shove documents and stationery at the end of the day. It’s functional but quirky. 

Wall-mounted candles in your working from home set up? Why not?

Cassie Nicholas

Series 1 winner Cassie Nicholas used her knowledge and discerning eye as an antiques dealer to create some breath-taking schemes that set her apart from the other contestants. 

The Dig Haüshizzle co-founder’s love of lace and all things old and nostalgic translates in her style choices in her home. Entering her living room, we can only imagine, feels like walking back in time. She uses colour, lighting, mirrors and artwork to make a distinct mood.

By painting the ceiling a similar shade to the jade green walls, Cassie has created a really cosy and welcoming space full of visual interest. With plenty of seating, it lends itself to socialising. It looks like something out of a glossy magazine and very much lived-in at the same time.

Cassie’s incredible home also features a bedframe that looks like something from Tudor England. 

Again, in the guest bedroom the ceiling is painted the same colour as the walls, a choice we often shy away from that makes a room ten times cosier. We love the old-fashioned telephone by the bed and the wooden bedside table.

Her traditional Victorian hallway is filled with books and an old-fashioned clock, with fringed lamps casting a soft light, and a lace curtain leading through to the kitchen.

A highlight for us is the kitchen, flooded with light and blending different natural materials, from the cane lampshade to the dark wooden kitchen chairs. 

A curtain has been used to cover a cupboard or perhaps a washing machine – this handy and cost-effective technique adds softness and covers up any electricals in one quick swish.

Interior Design Masters airs on BBC Two on Tuesday, February 2.