Yorkshire Post - Property
Starring role with the design masters
Joanne Hardcastle is doing it for Yorkshire in the new series of hit BBC TV show Interior Design Masters, which is set to return to our screens soon. Sharon Dale reports.
THE BBC’s Interior Design Masters is an unmissable watch for those who love a TV makeover show with the added thrill of watching contestants compete to create fabulous rooms in record time.
Now series four of the show is all set to air with the first episode going live on March 7 at 8pm.
It promises the usual laughter, tears, tellings off, hands-on hard graft plus brilliant ideas you can steal.
For the uninitiated, it is far more than cushion plumping. Not only does the design have to be top notch and innovative, its execution is hands-on, meaning that many of those competing will have a go at everything from woodwork to decorating.
The prize is a paid contract with a topend commercial business, though exactly which one has not yet been revealed.
Yorkshire viewers get a bonus as one of our own is among the competitors. Joanne Hardcastle, of Batley, is an Instagrammer whose talent for bold interiors has attracted a large following on the social media site.
She’s also a mother of three and co-author of the book The Art of Home, which she wrote with fellow Yorkshire Instagrammers and bloggers Jack March, Marie-Claire Jackson and Wendy Simpson.
“I applied for series three of Interior Design Masters and got down to the last few but didn’t make it in the end and so I didn’t bother applying for season four until I got a call from the casting director who asked if I would. I applied at the very last minute and got a place,” says Joanne.
She follows in the footsteps of three impressive Yorkshire women who all starred in series two of the show in 2021. All have gone on to have successful careers in design.
Leeds-based Amy Wilson, a former marketing and PR consultant, is now a sought-after interior designer, while runner-up in the competition Siobhan Murphy gave up her job as a digital communications manager to devote herself to a new career as a fashion and homeware designer, writer and stylist.
She has designed homeware for Freemans, written a book, More is More Decor, and regularly appears on Channel 4’s Steph’s Packed Lunch.
The winner of series two of the series, presented by Alan Carr and featuring judge Michelle Ogundehin, was the remarkable, multi-talented, Slaithwaite-based Lynsey Ford, who astonished everyone.
An architect by trade, she also has a great talent for interiors and can turn her hand to everything from furniture design and woodwork to decorating and sewing. She now has her own business Lynsey Ford Design and is much in demand.
“I’ve got a lot to live up to,” laughs Joanne, who has three children and is a foster carer.
During the earlier days of parenting, she was kept busy by the children and by a gargantuan renovation project.
When she and her husband, Tim, bought their Edwardian end terrace home in Upper Batley just over 22 years ago, it had been turned into bedsits and was in a sorry state.
Friends and family tried to dissuade her from taking it on but, thanks to her ability to visualise what it could be, she ignored them.
She has never regretted the decision, not least because more recently the property has sparked a new career as a content creator on Instagram working with brands including Emma mattresses and Dunelm.
Posting as @hardcastletowers, Joanne has amassed more than 66,000 followers who have enjoyed watching the progress of her renovation project and its restyles.
The transformation began with rewiring, replumbing and replastering while retaining and reinstating architectural features and vintage and contemporary styles have been cleverly blended to make a beautiful, practical home.
The property also had a kitchen extension and attic conversion to create a spacious four-bedroom home, with Tim doing a lot of the work himself while Joanne watched, learned and mucked in, though this didn’t stop her from having imposter syndrome when filming of the BBC series started.
“The other competitors are so talented and I did feel a bit out of my depth as ‘little old me, a foster carer from Yorkshire’ but I pulled myself together and tried to up my game and give it my best shot,” she says.
A hint that we may see something fresh and interesting when she starts styling on TV, are the stairs in her hall, which sparkle thanks to copper leaf, which was glued on the risers before being varnished.
“It’s amazing because it bounces light around,” says Joanne whose next project is turning her basement into living accommodation with the help of Freebird Interiors, an innovative Sheffield-based bespoke furniture maker who helped her on the TV show.
While she can’t reveal the outcome of her journey on Interior Design Masters or anyone else’s, she says: “I was absolutely terrified in week one but I wanted to show my daughters that by saying ‘yes’ to an opportunity and being adventurous, you can follow your dreams, even at my age, which is 51.
“I had the best time. I grew more confident about my design skills and I learned so much from other competitors while I was there.”
Interior Design Masters starts on March 7 at 8pm on BBC1 and iPlayer. Joanne is on Instagram @hardcastletowers.