Series 4 ~ Episode 4 ~ Shops
There’s always one week when I violently disagree with Michelle’s decision regarding who to eliminate – and it turns out that for Series 4 of Interior Design Masters that week was Shop Week. I’m fuming!!!!
However I’m running ahead of myself. I will take a deep breath, put my Michelle Ogundehin voodoo doll back in the drawer, and firstly recap this week’s challenge. Three independent shops in posh Harrogate were desperate enough for the publicity to allow our would-be designers loose in their retail spaces, with each shop requesting a full makeover.
I’d not fallen out with Michelle by this point of the programme, so my notes for this section read ‘Sheepskin Shop – Tom & Temi’; ‘Shoe Shop – Ry & Jack; ‘Fashion Store – Monika & Peter’, followed by ‘I LOVE MICHELLE’S DRESS!!!!!!!’ I’ve not been wowed by her fashion choices so far this series (and decidedly disappointed in her sleeve selection), but I LOVE MICHELLE’S DRESS!!!
"It's like I had Sean Bean inside me"
I also didn’t think I could love Alan Carr any more, but his Sean Bean quip had me in stitches. I thought Fearne Cotton was a bit hard done by after being replaced by Alan after Series 1, but he was an inspired choice – funny, and pokes fun with no hint of malice or nastiness.
Back to the show. Each pair had to pitch their individual designs to the shop owners, who chose the one they liked best to be ‘Team Leader’. The sheepskin shop chose Tom’s design (primarily because Temi campaigned on an anti-slipper agenda), but asked that Temi’s ideas for the shop front be incorporated; the shoe shop chose Ry’s scheme; and the fashion store/event space favoured Monika over Peter…….whose actual job is a Visual Merchandiser. Hmmmm. Smug Tom bossing around sassy Temi; Anxious Ry in charge of series favourite Jack and Disorganised Monika organising ‘I only like white’ Peter…….what could possibly go wrong?
On arrival in Harrogate, their first task was the clear the shop of their current stock, fixtures, and fittings. Disorganised Monika surprised absolutely no-one by commenting that she hadn’t realised that they would have to do this and hadn’t taken account of this in her time plan. Having learnt absolutely nothing from previous tasks she presented her carpenter with a huge amount of work to complete in the allotted two days and by lunchtime on Day 1 was already worried about not finishing in time.
Ry was also worried. He’d lost his pzazz. Mislaid his mojo. ‘Something is niggling me as I feel a sense of dread’ he unwisely said to camera, showing a lack of confidence in his design. I began to worry about Ry.
"I would like to say on record that I don't like it"
Tom and Temi, on the other hand, showed no lack of confidence. Despite not being picked as Team Leader, Temi was not afraid to let Tom know what she thought of some of his decisions – and to his credit he didn’t throw a hissy fit but instead they bickered good naturedly throughout the process with regard to colour choices, arrangement of cushions, folding of blankets etc. One particular highlight was Temi telling Tom that the colour of his pegboard trainer display looked like poo. I really enjoyed their dynamic and I’m sure at least one tv executive is today working on a idea for a spin-off show for the two of them.
Comfortable relaxing chair
Alan disappointingly arrived on foot for this episode (had all the budget been spent on Michelle’s frock?), but he more than made up for it by immediately getting stuck into Peter’s choice of ‘chairs that look like art pieces’ for the fashion shop. While Monika was tearing her hair out trying to keep up with amount of work her scheme involved, Peter’s contribution seemed mainly to consist of mounting a saddle on a mini school vaulting box and then mounting some large yellow knitting onto a plastic chair. Meanwhile Monika was again haemorrhaging time making a ‘sales grid’ when she would have been better off nipping down the local garden centre and buying a piece of trellis. Or even better off by not doing it in the first place.
Monika’s woes didn’t stop with the till trellis. At the end of the first day her decorating team gave her the bad news that the paint she had purchased to paint the floor was oil-based rather than water-based and so would require 16 hours to dry……cue the now weekly shots of Monika crying over something that she could (and should) have anticipated.
Day Two dawned, and Ry had found his pzazz, Jack was trying out his new kissing chair, Temi & Tom were still bickering, Monika’s floor had dried, and I have no idea what Peter was up to. Probably doing some more knitting.
Monika had a heart to heart with her carpenter, who was decidedly gloomy about the prospect of him finishing all her display boxes on time; Ry and Jack had an encounter with a pigeon that had taken up residence on top of the lettering on the outside of the shop; Temi admitted that she was folding blankets up all wrong just so that Tom had to re-fold them; and Peter….er, no, still nothing.
"You're not a very positive person, are you?"
The final few minutes revealed Ry frantically putting shoes on a display table (does he not know that this is considered very bad luck?), Monika running round hanging up clothes, and Peter having to deal with the carpenters dropping his large orange ‘O’ on the floor and smashing it. Each team were happy with the results, with formerly-anxious Ry declaring that ‘I feel that this is mine and Jack’s best work yet’. Oh dear.
Not Mary Portas
Judging time and Michelle appeared with guest judge Ross Bailey (was Mary Portas busy?) to view the finished shops. First for inspection was the sheepskin shop, where the judges were in agreement that Team Tom & Temi had ‘nailed it’. I agreed: the shop looked like the two designers had worked together rather than just divide up the space between them, and even though there was a huge amount of stock to display it was still warm, inviting, and exceedingly tactile. Michelle may have even used the word ‘cohesive’.
The fashion shop was next, and Monika’s paint drama appeared to have been worthwhile as Ross loved the floor. He was also very impressed with the multi-purpose display boxes on casters that swivelled round to turn into tables for when the shop was used as ‘an event space’. I liked the idea of the display box/table, but presumably for budget reasons they had been made in a material that would (a) get really stained and grubby after one spilt drink; and (b) was a major splinter hazard.
Less popular with the judges was the sock trellis, which admittedly looked awful and had definitely not been worth the time spent on it, and even less popular with the judges was the even more awful knitwear chair. I hated it too and thought that Peter was definitely a goner, which shows just how much I know.
Last to be judged was Jack and Ry’s shoe shop. The judges didn’t like the window display (Ry ignoring the advice of his decorator that ‘you couldn’t see into the shop’ was coming back to bite him). They did like the general colour scheme, Jack’s handbag display, and the rug (I’m beginning to suspect that Michelle has got A Thing About Rugs), but didn’t think that enough thought had gone into the stock display. I agreed with them – the shoes that had been displayed on the table were fairly uninspiring and needed something with a bit more of Ry’s lost pzazz to elevate them.
The shop owners were given a tour of their new premises and all seemed very pleased with the results. I’m guessing that some of this was put on for the cameras, as having looked at the Instagram feeds of the three businesses, the fashion shop has got rid of the trellis, the display boxes, Peter’s chairs and changed the window design. The shoe shop has kept things more or less the same, as has the sheepskin shop (although the latter has sadly announced that it will be closing down this summer).
So to Brighton, and the news that Tom and Temi’s shop had been judged the best and that they were safe for another week. Peter, Monika, Ry and Jack were despatched to the Sofa of Doom – the first time for Ry and Jack – and grilled by Michelle. Monika was once again warned about having to plan better (her revelation that she suffers from ADHD means that she struggles with timekeeping), Peter got off lightly despite the awful chair, Jack was praised for his handbag display, which left poor Ry to be eliminated for the heinous crime of not displaying shoes in an alluring manner.
I may have mentioned this previously, but I Am Not Happy. Having been one of the stronger designers in the first few weeks, Ry admitted that his creative juices were drying up – but it was still harsh to be eliminated after one poor week. I think the competition is Jack’s to lose, but I definitely think that Ry could (and should) have gone further. I feel that Peter is living a charmed life – if he can survive knitwear chair, what is it going to take for Michelle to cast him off and send him home?