The Winner of UK’s “Interior Design Masters” Lives in an Utterly Stunning Victorian

published Nov 11, 2020

The Winner of UK’s “Interior Design Masters” Lives in an Utterly Stunning Victorian

published Nov 11, 2020
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Bedrooms
Square feet
1200
Sq ft
1200

Name: Cassie and Edward Nicholas
Location: Bristol, UK
Size: 1200 square feet
Years Lived In: 3 years, owned

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I don’t know about you, but 2020 has been a year of tackling home DIY projects for me. Staying home and binge watching interiors shows like “Home Edit” and “Amazing Interiors” hasn’t helped my problem, and my husband is left wondering why I’m forever rearranging our furniture in the living room.

Credit: Viv Yapp

One of these shows that I’ve really enjoyed watching is “Interior Design Masters,” a BBC smash hit that landed on Netflix last year. In case you haven’t watched it yet, it follows 10 aspiring designers as they compete to win a major design contract, which involves redesigning a new bar at a trendy London hotel. The contestants are given different tasks and challenges each week and are judged by former ELLE Decoration UK editor-in-chief Michelle Ogundehin, with guest judges like fashion designer Matthew Williamson and home designer Jade Jagger. The show is full of useful tips and tricks, ranging from minimal to maximal, which will certainly inspire you to tackle some more projects in your own home.

Credit: Viv Yapp

The winner of this show’s first season lives in a stunning home in Bristol. Cassie Nicholas shares this Victorian terrace with her husband Edd and their dog Beecher. And similar to the show, they’ve tackled a lot of the projects themselves since moving in three years ago. “We have been very involved with every step of our house, like designing and building the kitchen ourselves including the parquet worktop,” Cassie says of the beautiful worktop they have created themselves, not least by reusing parquet flooring (genius!), reclaimed from a village hall. The range cooker and Belfast sink are both second-hand purchases from Gumtree. And the beautiful and very unique curtains under the sink were all vintage and sourced from the Malvern Flea market. She loves the hunt so much, she’s co-founder of Dig Haüshizzle, a collection of incredibly cool antiques and more by Edward and Cassie.

Credit: Viv Yapp

Cassie and Edd have certainly been busy fixing up this house, but it hasn’t all been easy. “We learned how to do so much, and are quite hands-on people, so we really liked learning. The one thing that totally beat us, and I know we will in future always get the professionals in for, is fitting plaster coving. We tried to cut one corner and it was so awfully wrong that that was it; we got someone in and they’ve done the most beautiful job!”

Credit: Viv Yapp

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: My style is quite classic and often with a nod to history and nostalgia. I want every space in my home to have a very comforting feeling for myself and visitors. We are forever hunting for antiques and vintage pieces; I feel they can create so much excitement for me in individual pieces. I love how every piece is unique in its history and wear. The imperfections can make it for me, too. I like things to be authentic and to know most pieces we have we are only custodians of. Many of them have already had lives elsewhere with other people and will go off to other people after they have been with us, which is something I really like. 

Inspiration: I am forever inspired by studios and homes of artists. There is something about a home or studio that is forever working—it becomes layered, I love the imperfections of a working space. 

Credit: Viv Yapp

Favorite Element: We have been very involved with every step of our house, from designing and building the kitchen ourselves including the parquet worktop. I love so many of the details from the touch of mosaics, to a beautiful wooden light pull given to us as an anniversary present. I really like that we split off the lounge as a separate space; it was originally open-plan but I prefer spaces more cozy. Working from home it also allows for the living room to become the space totally non associated with work, stays tidy, and is always ready to relax in. 

Biggest Challenge: The one thing that totally beat us, and I know we will in future always get the professionals in for, is fitting plaster coving. We tried to cut one corner and it was so awfully wrong that that was it; we got someone in and they’ve done the most beautiful job!

Credit: Viv Yapp

What Friends Say: Mostly I think our friends just think our home is a nice place to hang out. It’s really welcoming and the fact people feel at home here is the best thing I can really ask for. 

Biggest Embarrassment: We lived in this house for three years before touching the bathroom. It was on the verge of being incredibly cool, but it was grubby and it just wasn’t. It had a 1980s copper-tinted mirror to the whole one wall, which we toyed with keeping. It was certainly always a talking point. 

Credit: Viv Yapp

Proudest DIY: The kitchen wall was a happy accident that worked out so well. When we took the old cupboard off we really liked the layers of colors that were left behind but the wall was full of holes and was super dusty and really needed replastering. Instead of trying to keep some of these colors we set out on a massive filling and sanding mission. We’ve done a watered down white coat firstly on the freshly filled and sanded walls and we liked it so much we kept it like that! 

Credit: Viv Yapp

Biggest Indulgence: Artwork. We have been buying art since we met in 2004 so we have quite a fair collection going on now and we love finding pieces for our business, too. 

Best Advice: Take it slowly. The more your decor is a process rather than a quick fix I think the more likely you are going to like it in the long run and not want to change it. Keep it personal, don’t look at the trends and don’t worry about what other people think of it; it’s your sanctuary.

Resources

Credit: Viv Yapp

PAINT & COLORS

  • Kitchen and dining room — Farrow & Ball “Wimborne White”
  • Lounge — Valspar “Rippled Jade” on the walls and “Hunter Green” on the ceiling
  • Hallway — Valspar “Wild Monsoon”
  • Main bedroom — “Brilliant white”
  • Guest bedroom — Valspar “Sunset Rose”
Credit: Viv Yapp

KITCHEN

  • Kitchen worktop — From eBay reclaimed from a village hall 
  • Range cooker — Secondhand from gumtree 
  • Belfast sink — From gumtree
  • Radiators — Cast Iron Radiator Company
  • All curtains vintage — Malvern Flea market
Credit: Viv Yapp

DINING ROOM

  • Sofa — Sofa Workshop
  • Large print — Connor Harrington
  • Larder cabinet — From a private sale
  • Coving — Plasterceilingroses.com
Credit: Viv Yapp

BEDROOM

  • Bed — Antique from Holland
  • Pink curtains — IKEA
  • Chest of drawers —Ardingly antique fair
Credit: Viv Yapp

HALLWAY

  • Stair runner and top landing rug — Roger Oates 
Credit: Viv Yapp

BATHROOM

  • Suite — Victoria Plumbing
  • Tiles — Standard white squares from B&Q
  • Flooring — onlinecarpets.co.uk

Thanks Cassie and Edd!

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