The final of the Great Interior Design Challenge......the winning story!

Following a whirlwind Summer of filming in locations throughout the Country, Tuesday evening saw the final of the Great Interior Design Challenge and the moment came when at last I could reveal to all the victory at being crowned the winner of Series 2!

Since the show went out, I’ve have had an unbelievable response from the public and some wonderful messages, comments and congratulations. The launch of our new business venture has certainly proven popular and there have already been some fantastic proposals for projects which is certainly giving us a lot to think about as we go into 2015.

The GIDC journey has been a rollercoaster of emotions for both us, all starting back in April of this year when I first applied. After a couple of interviews with the producers and a test shoot, they decided that they wanted me on the show and that’s when the journey really began!

My first room was a fishermans cottage in Brixham and the homeowner I worked for couldn’t have been any more perfect! I’m still in contact with her now and she’s been overjoyed to see me go all the way in the competition. Following that I then went on to do houseboats in Hampton Court, groovy 1960s housing in Surrey, tenements in Edinburgh and finally a stunning Stately home in Carlisle.

Each time I won my way through to the next round, I became convinced that my time would soon be up and that there would be somebody better just around the corner who would take my place. To have got into the final and then to have actually won was so overwhelming and even now I don’t think it’s fully sunk in.

The whole process from start to finish was one of the most exciting, exhilarating, exhausting things I’ve ever experienced and a once in a lifetime opportunity, not just for me but also for Mark who was there every step of the way. The evenings that were spent planning design schemes, sourcing products and then pulling it all together in such a short period of time. Not for the faint hearted or work shy I must say. But then it isn’t called a challenge for nothing!

There were stressful times and I won’t deny that by the end I was ready to drop but when the moment came that I was told I had won, it all became worth it and I was so glad that I had worked as hard as I did.

So what’s next? Well for those that saw the final, you will have seen I was helped by my partner Mark, who already works as a set and costume designer in theatre. As a design duo, we’ve now launched MartinMark Design and we’re both incredibly excited about this. We’re both firm believers that you only get out life what you put in and this for us is now just the beginning of what we hope will be the start of something wonderful.

My time on the show saw me work with some amazing individuals. So much effort is put into each episode and I for one could not have achieved what I did without the support of Studio Lambert and the brilliant people that work there. The crew and staff are all so special, each in their own way and they all made the whole experience so memorable.

Daniel Hopwood and Sophie Robinson are two of the most inspirational and talented people I’ve ever come across and I want to thank them for their support and for pushing me out of my comfort zone and into a whole new way of thinking.

I hope you all enjoyed watching the show as much as we did making it and I hope you can follow our progress as we venture into this new world. 


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Martin Holland