Yorkshire Post - YP Magazine

Change of outlook


BBC Interior Design Masters winner Lynsey Ford reveals what she did with her prize, turning a dated annexe into a stylish hotel suite. Sharon Dale reports.

There are many reasons why Lynsey Ford was a worthy winner of BBC2’s Interior Design Masters challenge. While her training as an architect gave her the edge in understand­ing use of light and space, it was her natural talent for interiors, fearless use of colour, gift for creative upcycling and her remarkable talent for DIY that wowed the hard to please judges, including former Elle Deco editor Michelle Ogundehin.

Her prize was a commission to redesign Willow Cottage, a dated, two-bedroom annexe at the fashionabl­e Another Place, The Lake hotel on the shore of Ullswater, though she also deserved a medal for working while pregnant for four months without a single day off to secure her place in the show’s final.

Lynsey was three months pregnant when the challenge started and seven months gone when it ended after a series of Herculean tasks, which involved doing eight commercial design projects with eight different clients.

“It was hard. I spent the first three episodes trying not to be sick. The show’s medic wouldn’t let me lift anything heavy so I had to pretend I had a bad back because at that point I hadn’t had a scan and so hadn’t told family and friends or the other contestant­s about the news. The good thing is that I was so busy, the pregnancy seemed to go very quickly,” says Slaithwait­e-based Lynsey, who now has a baby daughter, Poppy.

While she took a short break to enjoy being a mum, she returned to work on the commercial contract she won.

Another Place, The Lake is the first in a new collection of hotels by the team behind the swish and contempora­ry Watergate

Bay in Cornwall.

While you can simply relax and drink in the Lakeland views, the hotel is also aimed at those who like to be active and offers open-water swimming, sailing, paddleboar­ding, kayaking, cycling and skiing, along with an indoor pool and treatment rooms.

“It’s an amazing place and my prize was to transform the dated, self-contained twobedroom suite with views over the lake, though the main living space didn’t make the most of the outlook so that was my starting point for change,” says Lynsey.

The first job was to take out the small corner window with lots of dividers that broke up the view.

It was replaced with two floor-to-ceiling panes of glass that deliver a much bigger, uninterrup­ted vista of the lake and the fells beyond.

She also created a reading nook with two chairs and a table by each of the picture windows.

“That’s where my architectu­re training came in. I knew what could be achieved and how to make it work,” says Lynsey. “The windows and that view are now the focal point of the room, whereas before it was the fireplace.”

To prevent the fireplace from

fighting for attention, she painted it and the cream walls in Farrow & Ball’s blue-black Railings.

“Before, your eye went straight to the fireplace but painting that and the walls in Railings has made it recede. Plus the views really pop against the dark colour,” says Lynsey, who also commission­ed Hebden Bridge artist Julia Ogden to create a mural for the main living space in the suite, which has a sitting, dining and kitchenett­e area.

The painting features the view from the window, and Lynsey has used the green and rusty orange colours in it as inspiratio­n for her colour scheme.

The semi-circular orange sofa was made bespoke to her design and is positioned to make the most of the amazing outlook and to help conversati­on flow as the curve allows everyone to see each other without leaning over the person next to them. Lynsey has named it the “social sofa”.

The project saw her make good use

What was lovely is that the first guests messaged me to say how much they loved it.

of trusted Yorkshire craftspeop­le and suppliers while indulging her love of upcycling vintage furniture.

The circular mirror on the back wall reflects the view and is bespoke by Sowerby Bridge Glass and the lights above are from Andy Thornton Interiors and Antiques in Elland, while all the lights and switches in the property, along with the gold shower and taps in the bathroom, are from Leeds-based emporium Dowsing & Reynolds.

The old kitchenett­e was replaced by new cabinets made from recycled materials by Slaithwait­e-based Daval. They make better use of the space and allowed Lynsey to use the extra square footage to build a wall that hides a boot room area which features one of her ingenious inventions.

Her stylish boot rack has pull-out struts to hang wellies and walking boots on so they can dry more easily.

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