Interior Design Masters's Paul Andrews: 'From the first 24 hours of meeting, we all got on'
We sat down with semi-finalist Paul to talk about his experience on the BBC One hit show
If you've been watching Interior Design Masters this year, you'll know that visual designer Paul Andrews quickly became one of the standout contestants of series three - not least for his (semi-)ironic pronouncements including referring to himself as a 'creative genius'.
We sat down to chat with Paul after his exit in the semi-finals - and although eagle-eyed viewers noticed he looked less than thrilled to be heading home, when we spoke to Paul he had only great things to say about his experience.
'It was a real education from beginning to end,' he said. 'The more you take on the more you want to do and challenge you throw more into it. And you do more building and you show as many skills as you can.'
Paul said the atmosphere on the show was 'wonderful', and that the 10 original designers hit if off from the very beginning. 'Genuinely, literally, from the first 24 hours of meeting we all got on so well,' he said.
The good vibes continued off-screen, too. 'You're kind of running on adrenaline. Not only are you on this kind of creative buzz, but you're working really long hours,' he explained. 'So we'd all just go to a restaurant, go to a bar, and everybody would chill out and calm down.'
Paul told us it was his diverse influences and willingness to adapt to the demands of each brief which proved key to his success in the show.
'I appreciate so many different styles - I don't have one,' he told us. 'One of the questions early on was like, "Well, what's your signature style?" And it's like... well, I appreciate Art Deco, I appreciate Constructivism and really quite hard Brutalism. I equally can appreciate modern country and really kind of soft Hamptons-esque lakeside retreats... It depends what the client wants.'
But when it came to impressing demanding judge Michelle Ogundehin, he admitted she kept the designers on their toes.
'The unique thing about Michelle is from one week to the next, you never know what she's going to pick up on. She zones in on the detail,' he said. 'She's just so passionate about what she does.'
And as our chat inevitably turned to next week's final, Paul said it was impossible to say for sure whether Banjo or Amy would take the crown.
While fan favourite Banjo's designs have received rave reviews from viewers and judges alike throughout the series, Paul said the outcome of next week's final is by no means a done deal.
'It's a bit like Strictly Come Dancing. You're only as good as your last dance,' he told us. 'It could be anybody’s race.'
As for Paul himself, fans of his work will be pleased to hear he is planning to move into interior design full-time. 'I'm still transitioning out of fashion, but I now want to do this full time,' he told us.
'I've done so many corporate jobs… this for me, it was like going back to art college. I just want to carry on being creative as long as I can.'
Tune into next week's Interior Design Masters final on Wednesday 27th April at 9pm on BBC One - and click here to read our all interviews with past contestants.