Getting deep down and detailed at Sophie & Daniel's Design Masterclass

I'm waking up in Brighouse, but my head is still in Belgravia, buzzing with tales of crystal butterfly bath taps and millionaire man caves. 

Why? Because yesterday I met Daniel Hopwood and Sophie Robinson, hosts of The Great Interior Design Challenge, and along with 14 other decorating obsessives, we took a crash course in interior design, celebrity stylie.

Me, Sophie and Daniel, bonding over a shared love of the leopard print and pink combo.

Me, Sophie and Daniel, bonding over a shared love of the leopard print and pink combo.

The Sophie and Daniel Design Masterclass is an intensive day long lesson in the do's and don'ts of decorating. 

As an experienced interior designer, practicing in London, Daniel is all about defining the design process. He may sound awfully posh, but in real life he's a funny, friendly, floppy haired font of technical knowledge.

Despite being fortunate enough to work with some eye-watering budgets, Daniel has a practical, pragmatic approach to design and readily shares his prized suppliers and sources over the course of the day (and in between courses over a delicious Sloaney style pub lunch).

You get a chance to stroke the samples of wallpaper he likes to use and floor coverings he favours, whilst noting down his top tips in your personal Sophie and Daniel notebook. But Daniel leaves most of the fluffy stuff to the lovely Sophie, focussing instead on the fundamentals of the design process, such as good spatial planning. 

Sophie Robinson is a shiny, bright bubble of colourful energy, bursting with inspiration for bringing a scheme together. 

Wearing a tin foil pleated midi skirt, matching trainers and a shocking pink sweater, Sophie was a bit like a slightly unbalanced ballerina emerging out of the classical musical box Daniel had opened. Instead of delicately piroetting to the music, Sophie jams. She rocks the colour combos, she twerks in the face of matchy, matchy styling and she gives boring beige the high kick. What else would you expect from a woman who wears these to meet her public?

These babies had to make it on my Instagram stories

These babies had to make it on my Instagram stories

Sophie's background in magazine styling means she is the queen of sourcing soft furnishings. She leaves no cushion unturned as she whizzes through the possibilities of adding personality to your schemes through colour choices and pattern preferences.

I was lucky enough to sit next to her over lunch and she's every bit as sparkly in conversation as she is on the telly. What you might not see on screen however, is a hard working mum, busily juggling her career and family life like the rest of us.

As I offloaded a barrage of personal decorating dilemmas over starters (It was £245 folks, I was getting my money's worth) she may have stifled a yawn, but she was fresh from five days filming of DIY SOS so I quickly forgave her and we compared screen shots of our little boys instead.  

The other great thing about doing these types of courses is the like minded creatives that you meet in your class. You can't help but get your phone out and show them the kitchen work in progress or the bathroom makeover you nailed. You pick up new ideas, swap tips on paint brands and come away with a greater sense of belonging to this lovely, decorative community we call interior design.

As we posed for pictures with our new telly friends, all a bit reluctant to leave the class and head off back to norms-ville, for me it felt a bit like the end of a tough spinning class. We were all a bit hot and exhausted, but mostly just buzzing from the experience of flexing our creative muscles together. 

Team Design Masterclass

Team Design Masterclass

Sophie and Daniel are hosting more Masterclasses on 25th January and 25th March. Visit for booking details.

There's also a book to accompany the TV series which might make a very nice Christmas pressie for any interior geeks like me who recognise the twofold benefits of owning lovely coffee table books:

1) Great when you've run out of magazines and are need a quick flick with your cuppa.

2) Essential for staging the perfect shelfie

Buy your copy here.


Happy Sunday all, don't know about you but I'll be mostly making mood boards!

Claire x