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EPISODE 2: HOTELS • Interior Design Masters, BBC2 & Netflix

Bringing breezy Miami style to a tired seaside hotel room

This week’s challenge was to transform a shabby hotel room in Bournemouth. I had two days and a budget of £1,500 to create a peaceful haven by the sea.

One of the biggest challenges we all faced as designers was that we had to ensure all the materials we used met hotel safety regulations. These were many and complex, but the most important was that all materials had to be fire retardant. It wasn’t easy, especially given our tiny budget and tight timeframe, but I was keen for it to not impede the design and style.

Head Judge Michelle Ogundehin said "Nicki does like to play with form and shape and layering and raw details are her signature style".


(Scroll down to see before)




I have long wanted to create the perfect hotel room. Our brief was to create a design in our ‘signature style’ – always an exciting opportunity. This week’s plot twist was a big one. It was only after we’d finished our designs that we were told the hotel was a themed hotel, aimed at chocolate lovers, hence all the brown! My team Ju, Trish and I were given a white chocolate theme. We put our heads together as to how we could adapt our already designed individual rooms to the new and very different brief and plan and buy everything we needed in less than a week.



We were told: “The hotel has not been decorated in ten years. It is crying out for a facelift. The owners want updated and modernised rooms that are individual and unique. They expect to see a sense of the designer’s signature style in the finished design. The quality of the wall behind the papered surfaces cannot be guaranteed.”

The hoteliers expect rooms that:

Show the designers unique 'signature style'.

Rooms must include clothes storage for short stay,

a bedroom chair,

an area for tea and coffee making facilities.

Incorporate the existing carpet and recessed ceiling lights

Include a new, bespoke headboard design.

We had £1500 and just over a week to research, design, source, purchase and receive out items ready for the transformation.

We could reuse the divan beds, however – the budget had to cover everything from paint, to wall coverings, fire retardant fabrics or FR treatments including everything required to make the bespoke headboard – through to curtains and building materials. Window dressing fixture and fittings, bed linen, soft furnishings, accessories and artwork were all also included in the budget. Finally the budget also had to cover shipping and packaging – which often came out very high due to the speed in which we needed to receive the items.

Decorators and trade times where shared between each team.



The change to the brief involved a rethink of my original plans. However, the new pale theme allowed me to show a very different side to my design repertoire. This room was all about light, space, and Miami-inspired ice-cream colours. The result? I banished the boring brown and introduced the fun, vibrancy and colour of a stick of seaside rock.

I wanted the room to be a delightful energising space.

I was keen to incorporate current materials. Terrazzo made me think of chocolate sprinkles so I incorporated this pattern into the bedding.

I designed and built a new hanging area out of brass poles and socket ends.

Fun twin mirrors for a twin room. I created a suspended optical illusion with asymmetrical mirrors.

Signature style

My style is modern contemporary, with a leaning towards graphic shapes – so it was key that my choice of materials in incorporating the white chocolate theme also stayed true to my style.

Tastefully incorporating the white chocolate theme yet staying true to my signature style: I wanted to ensure the white chocolate theme was subtle, not tacky. I used materials that echoed the images that sprang to mind when I thought of white chocolate. We included matt white mosaic tiles inspired by chocolate buttons on table tops. I used terrazzo to echo the sprinkles on white chocolate jazzies. I used a grid wallpaper to resemble white chocolate chunks. 

The brief requested that a new bespoke headboard should be included in the design. I had a twin room but designed and made one complete head board which stretched across the two beds. This meant there was the option to push the beds together if guests wanted to. I am a very hands on kind of person, and really enjoyed making the head board. However, normally this is the kind of thing I would leave to the specialist upholsterer. Budgets were tight so we all get involved with the making.

I had a T-bar light which was adapted in length and wired so each guest could control their side via two brass toggle switches next to the beds.

I designed this neon typographical artwork to give the room youth and vibrancy. An electrical injection of energy. A mix of ice cream and neon – the perfect Miami combo.  

As it was a twin room, I thought it would be a nice touch that each guest had their own mirror. I created asymmetrical mirrors. These were hung as an optical illusion to appear that they are suspended or free-standing – but are in fact securely fixed to the wall from behind for safety reasons. // The table top design finish was amended to mosaic round tiles to represent chocolate buttons. // I used brass materials for a luxe feel including brass trim, brass tubes and socket elbows and ends to create a bespoke hanging area for clothes.


I used grids and rounded shapes, plus a fresh and vibrant pastel beachy colour palette and small touches of botanical styling –  inspired by art deco Miami vibe.


White matt mosaic round tiles Click here

Angled brass trim Click here

T-Bar Brass Pendant Light, Spark and Bell Click here

Brass tube 19mm Click here

Round mirrors, Zara Click here

Cushions, H&M Click here

Duvet cover, Find similar here

Wallpaper, Rachel Powell, Tyler Grid wallpaper, Click here

Side table, Habitat, Bumble Click here

Faux monstera stem, Hello Flora, get the look


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