May 30, 2024

The fifth week of Interior Design Masters sent the five remaining contestants to city centre apartments in Sheffield, where they were each tasked with transforming drab rentals into smart pads for young professionals on a budget of £2,000.

Head judge Michelle Ogundehin was joined by interior designer Shayne Brady, specialist in luxury interiors, to decide who would progress to the quarter final and who would be served with an eviction notice.

Only Anthony and Ben went straight through, while Francesca, Matt and Roisin were all called to the sofa. While Michelle praised Francesca for her ‘joyful approach to design’ and having the verve to consistently create her very own Francesca-world, the apartment’s Matisse-inspired scheme was criticised by Shayne as looking like a nursery.

Speaking to House Beautiful, Francesca Kletz, 36, from Hackney, east London (find her on Instagram @Francesklondon and at francesklondon.com) shares her show tunes secret and admits her mission is to spread more silliness in interiors.

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

The space felt so depressing and grey. I wanted it to feel spacious and light and get rid of the boxiness. I think with all the colours, I did that well. The thing I did less well? When I think of ‘young professional’ I think maybe a fashion person, so maybe I struggled a bit with that. Also, I wish I’d gone in a little harder on my textiles to create a slightly softer space. I make all my own clothes – I got a sewing machine when I was 16.

interior design masters, francescas room makeover

BBC/Darlow Smithson Productions

Francesca transformed a rental on a budget

interior design masters, francescas room makeover

BBC/Darlow Smithson Productions

Francesca’s apartment makeover in Sheffield

What’s it like, design-wise, living in Francesca World?

It’s great fun. I was bullied at school, always treated like I did things differently. Now I’ve created a bubble [Francesca lives with her husband, Robert, a director, and their three-year-old son]. When I wanted to paint my whole flat pink, having the confidence to do it makes me happy. There’s a blanket box I designed and upholstered in my bedroom. It’s all frilly and floral, kidney-shaped. Every time I wake up and I see that, I smile. It’s so fun and kitsch.

interior design masters, francesca's pink flatpinterest
Francesca Kletz

Francesca’s pink flat

a chair with a flower patternpinterest
Francesca Kletz

Francesca’s upholstered blanket box

Tell us one thing that goes on behind the scenes that viewers don’t know…

The vans. You see us unload our rental vans, but not all the contestants can drive. So we share – I shared with Ben. We both love our musicals, so they were our soundtrack. We used to have the most fun. Every time Ben was falling asleep on a long journey, I’d turn up Fiddler on the Roof really loud. Attempting to parallel park was a nightmare. I literally had to YouTube how to reverse in a van. It was battered by the end, I destroyed that van.

What surprised you most during this whole process?

It’s surprising how emotionally invested you are in everything, It’s just eight hours of television, but four months of filming. Some of the people in the cast I consider some of my best friends now. Roisin and I are really close. Ben describes us as the Powerpuff Girls.

interior design masters with alan carrpinterest
BBC/Darlow Smithson Productions

(Left to right): Francesca, Roisin, Anthony, Matt, Benat

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

Yes. I had done no interior design before, only my own house. I had never seen my own style elsewhere before going on the show. I’ve had a lot of positive response, I loved the way I felt about my finished spaces, I just loved it. Every time we got a new brief it was really exciting.

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

I’d really like to be doing more interior design. The dream would be to do a chic Pee-wee’s Playhouse B&B. I love doing this. I love to talk about subversive design. I came from an art history background, that was my degree, followed by studying creative writing at the University of East Anglia in Norfolk. I’m trying to figure out the correct way to marry all this together. I want to spread a bit of silliness around. That’s my mission.

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Riviera Stripe Yellow Ceramic Vase
Riviera Stripe Yellow Ceramic Vase
Credit: Oliver Bonas
Milo Scallop Blue Wool Rug
Dunelm Milo Scallop Blue Wool Rug
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Habitat Studio Side Table - Green
Habitat Studio Side Table – Green

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Credit: Habitat
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Lacquer Scalloped Tray
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Calle Glass Taper Candle Holder
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Checkerboard Cushion, Lava
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Headshot of Jayne Dowle

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.


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