It’s week two of the BBC’s Interior Design Masters competition and things are starting to heat up. This week’s challenge saw the budding designers tackle a hotel room at the historic Wotton House Country Estate Hotel nestled away in the Surrey countryside. And while some had triumphs (Dean’s gamble of an all-black room wowed the judges), others had tragedies.
In week one, 63-year-old hairdresser, Peter Anderson from Newcastle, was flying high with head judge Michelle Ogundehin citing his room as one of her favourites, but by week two, Peter (lovingly referred to as Uncle Pete by his fellow contestants) found himself on the dreaded sofa before being the latest to leave the competition.
House Beautiful UK had an exclusive chat with the extremely charming and lovable Peter (who was back in his salon and managed to squeeze us in in-between a client’s highlights!) about his time on the show and how he feels now about that headboard…
In week one you were one of Michelle’s favourites and week two, you were on the sofa! How did that feel?
I felt so shocked. I’d gone from being top of the class in week one to suddenly being on the sofa. I got a bit of stage fright and my mouth went dry, it was horrible. I was disappointed to be on the sofa as I felt like I had ticked all of the boxes, although perhaps I went a little OTT. But I’ve had so much support from everyone on Instagram – I can’t keep up with the messages – and from family, friends and my clients. My clients thought I was going to win!
Do you think with hindsight that your scheme was perhaps too ambitious?
I did take on a lot, including structural work and I ran out of time. Watching it back on the TV, the headboard looked awful. For some reason we couldn’t glue it to the wall, it had to be screwed in and there were screws sticking out! I just felt like I had to do something and, in my panic, I added the knobs last-minute.
What was your inspiration for the room?
The Italian Renaissance gardens that surround the hotel are absolutely beautiful so I took a lot of inspiration from there – it’s got Roman temples and original mosaics, which gave me the lightbulb moment of adding the columns. I also did plenty of reading about the Evelyn family and discovered how passionate they were about botanicals, so I made sure to incorporate those elements, too. I was particularly proud of my bookcase – it made good use of an otherwise wasted space.
Tell me how you feel about your room – and the headboard now.
The headboard – hate it. I certainly wouldn’t do it again. But I still love the wallpaper. I’m definitely not a minimalist. I’m still really proud of my room – I’ve received so many positive messages online about it too, which has been a real confidence boost.
Do you think you did hit the brief?
I think I did. It was eccentric, it was botanical, it definitely had a British charm to it and I included design in it, including structural details such as the bookcase.
You said the room ended up being a bit more eccentric than you originally thought it would – do you think that worked against you?
Yes, I certainly think Michelle thought it was a bit too eccentric. It’s difficult as we’re under such time constraints and so in your moments of panic you start adding bits or doing things that you probably wouldn’t do normally. I needed more time!
When Michelle first walked into your room, she said that it was ‘an assault on the senses’ – what did you think of that?
I disagreed, big surprise! When I was watching the episode back with my family and friends, everyone loved it and I think it genuinely did have the wow factor.
How did you feel watching the comments back?
I was cringing. I really didn’t agree with the comments. On the couch Guy Oliver (guest judge) said he thought my ideas were ingenious and Alan Carr was saying how much he liked the pillars. I didn’t think I was going to be sent home.
What was the hardest part of this challenge for you? Which bit did you enjoy the most?
The hardest part was time management. As well as working full-time in the salon, I had to create my briefs, go shopping for everything I needed and then drive down from Newcastle to Brighton and back again. I don’t know how I did it! I’m not very good with computers so I hand draw all of my designs, which does take more time, but I love it, so that’s what I enjoyed the most.
What is your favourite memory from the show?
I think it has to be meeting everyone for the first time. All the others are just so lovely and the atmosphere was amazing.
What’s next for you?
I’m still carrying on with hairdressing, but I’ve also got a bit of a top secret project up my sleeve. All I’ll say is it involves design and that my eldest son is helping me!
Any advice for those who want to apply for next year’s show?
Think about what gives you the x-factor over other people and do everything you can to make your application stand out. I had no prior experience, but I told them how I had lived through the shag pile of the 70s to the minimalist 2000s and I think they liked that. Just be yourself.
Who designed your favourite room from this week – and who do you want to win?
I loved Banjo’s room – and I was also a huge fan of Dean’s. But I especially loved the colours Banjo used, how he made a feature out of that tiny window and how he created an ambience in such a small space. My winner? I’m going with Banjo – but I love them all!
• Catch the next episode of Interior Design Masters on Wednesday at 9pm on BBC One. Follow Peter (@peterandersondesigns) on Instagram.
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