Bold colour and floral patterns made interiors expert Ju De Paula stand out the BBC Two series Interior Design Masters. Now being shown on Netflix and hosted by Fearne Cotton, the contestants were given a different commercial brief each week. From holiday lodges, to hairdressers to restaurants, they created rooms with a limited budget and tons of enthusiasm, the competition saw the contestants working in teams. The designs were judged by renowned Interiors expert Michelle Ogundehin who was joined by a guest judge each week such as Sophie Robinson, Jade Jagger and Mary Portas, before a contestant was chosen to leave.
Stellar mentors included Kelly Hoppen and Matthew Williamson among others. As an interior decor fan I adored the series. I particularly loved Ju’s happy and joyful style. And even chose a Designers Guild wallpaper chosen by Ju in her holiday lodge brief for my remodelled master bedroom.
Ju has gone on to launch amazing courses that transform dowdy rooms to colourful and happy spaces. I enjoy following her journey on Instagram and Pinterest and if you’re anything like me, you’ll feel immediately lifted by the colours and flowers which have become her signature look.
I particularly wanted to know how she mixes bold patterns with colour and Ju gives some great tips in her answers! Ju has such a distinctive fun style, she’s incredibly warm and open. If you love bold and pretty interiors you’re going to love this interview!
Hi Ju, Firstly I loved you on Interior Design Masters and love your work. How would you describe the experience working on the show?
Thanks so much, Lizzie! It was magical! I still have to pinch myself when I watch it on the telly. It was like I was living in a technicoloured bubble/ boot camp for six months. Where inside it was all about design, creativity, friendship, stepping out of your comfort zone and growth – the tiny budgets and time scales were unreal. I don’t know how we made it happen. Hands down, it was the best experience of my life so far!
Did you have a favourite contestant?
I LOVED working with Nicki and Kyle. I also got very close to Frank. But honestly, everyone is SO talented, and we created a solid bond during the process. Behind the cameras, we were in bits every time someone got eliminated. I love them all. And we’re now friends for life.
You have a distinctive style which I love, how would you describe it?
Thanks! I describe it as “feel-good-style”. To me, is all about creating playful spaces that make people smile when they walk in. And I love doing that with colour, florals, pattern and whimsical touches.
How do you pair your patterns, any tips for us?
The easiest way to mix patterns is to play with colour and scale. I like to explain it in steps:
Step 1: Choose a hero pattern – a large scale floral, for example.
Step 2: Choose a large scale geometric print that has one of the colours from your hero pattern.
Step 3: Choose a small scale geometric print that has one of the colours from your hero pattern or from the one you chose on step 2.
And that’s it. It’s also good to add a plain fabric in the mix, to make it look less busy for the eye.
Did you study interior design?
Yes, I have a BA (Hons) in interior design. But I learned a lot more by just working with my clients, I started in 2001!
Tell us about your fashion style, I love your headbands where are they from?
I get my headbands from Anthropologie and NamJosh.
What projects are you working on?
I’m expanding my online design school, The Blooming Home Society. So I’m spending most of my days creating courses, managing my wonderful team and helping my students to design their feel-good homes. Love it!
How can we learn from you?
Just visit my website (bloominghomesociety.com), and there are lots of home decor videos, resources and courses to help you create a happy home that feels like you.
You seem to favour big, bold colours. Which are your favourite colours?
Green is my fave colour, but I also love pink and cobalt blue. And I try to add a touch of yellow too, it feels like a ray of sunshine inside the room.
I absolutely adore Ju’s Instagram feed, it’s a virtual rainbow that cheers you up instantly. Huge thanks to Ju for answering m Q’s! Connect with Ju on her website and social media channels:
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