Winner of the GIDC 2017

Interview with the Winner of the Great Interior Design Challenge 2017, Daniela Tasca York
January 26, 2017 Philippa
Daniela Tasca York headshot

If, like me, you’re a fan of The Great Interior Design Challenge (or GIDC if you’re in the know), then you’ll already be familiar with this year’s very talented winner Daniela Tasca York. If you didn’t manage to catch the show, then fret not – you can take a peek at some of the gorgeous rooms which Daniela designed during the series below . . .

I loved Daniela’s style from the very first episode of this latest series of the fast and furious design competition, where each episode contestants are pitched against each other and challenged to design and create rooms on a very tight budget in only 48 hours. I know, sounds exhausting right? But its addictive viewing! The series concluded last week in a final showdown between Daniela and the also very talented Oliver Thomas. Considering this was her first foray into interior design, I was wowed by how refined her designs were and by her beautiful mood boards!

So, being a huge fan (and also a big interior design geek), I couldn’t resist getting in touch to ask if she’d be like to featured on our blog and share some of her beautiful work here. I was so delighted when she agreed (not only is Daniela beautiful and talented, I discovered that she’s also really lovely as well!). Now I’d get the inside story on the highs and lows of filming – and what it’s really like to be judged by some of the leading names in design! Eek!

I want to start by saying a huge congratulations for winning the GIDC 2017! In my opinion it was absolutely the right result! I could tell watching the show how much the competition meant to you; how did it feel when you heard the judges had picked you as the winner?

Shocked!! I’m still in shock now, I thought Oliver was going to win, as did most of Twitter. I was convinced that I was going to be second and even practiced my losing face!

And how has life changed for you since filming? It must have been difficult keeping the fact that you won under wraps?

Life has become extremely busy, but in a good way, I’ve got my spark back and I’m always happy now, which makes a nice change. I think everyone has seen that change in me actually. It was so hard to keep it under wraps though; friends wondered why I was away for four days at a time, and late replying to texts and calls. I’m a terrible liar so I dreaded the question of ‘what have you been up to?’ I told my family and best friend,  but it was definitely a struggle for them to keep quiet!

Now, I’m a huge fan of the GIDC, so what I want to know is what it was really like to be a contestant!?

Oh it was incredible; the best experience of my life and I would have said the same if I’d have gone out in the first round. The crew were all so lovely and upbeat, despite the long days. My builders and decorators… they need a medal. They’re some of the most talented and hardworking people I have ever met. It was hard work though, much harder than it looked; no sleep, hardly time to eat, and the nerves of being on camera were too much to start with! I look back at some of the things I say on the show and cringe… nerves clearly make me say stupid things!

The show didn’t hide the fact that things did occasionally get stressful. Can you tell us about when you felt most under pressure; was there a particular room or moment which caused more headaches than any others?

Oh they all did! There were only a couple that went smoothly. The bedroom in Bristol was a shocker and I remember feeling really stressed out and annoyed with myself after that one. Also the bedroom in the final was one set back after another. The floor paint wasn’t drying, we had a huge tower in there to wallpaper the ceiling, and then to top it off the tassels for my light went missing for about an hour… hence the exposed staples at the end! But I learnt things from each mistake and have grown as a designer because of it.

And what were the highlights for you?

The highlights were meeting all the homeowners. I had some lovely people and some real characters! I also adored all the different places that the show took me; Cheltenham, Worsely, Bristol and Kingsgate, it was a joy to see different parts of the country and the different architectural styles.

Do you have a favourite room from the show and if so, why is it your favourite?

My favourite room was probably the living room in Bristol. When I first got the brief I knew it was quite far removed from my aesthetic so it threw me in at the deep end and forced me outside of my comfort zone. I used lots of colour, something I’d not done before, and to my surprise . . . I LOVED it! It’s now taught me to be more playful with colour and bold schemes.

And, the question we’re all dying to know the answer to; what was it like being judged by design industry legends Daniel Hopwood, Kelly Hoppen, Michelle Ogundehin and Sophie Robinson?

Intimidating! They are all wonderful though and so generous with advice which I really appreciated. I respect them all so much, so it was pretty frightening to be judged by such heavyweights!

What do you think you’ll take away from the show as you move forward in your career?

To be brave and playful, to listen to the homeowners, and to delegate, delegate, delegate. I’m not a maker or an upcyler, I’m a designer, so I have learnt to step back and watch the professionals work their magic.

It’s obvious from watching you on the GIDC that you have your finger on the pulse when it comes to design trends. I’d love to hear your trend predictions for 2017 and beyond?

I think it’s going to be very glamourous, sumptuous and full of colour. I see brass and terrazzo marble being huge and velvet is here to stay. Lines are going to be softer and more feminine. I think one look that has perhaps had its day now is the industrial look, it’s got a lot more refined and elegant now.

If you could design the interior of any building in the world (and we’re talking total fantasy here, so don’t hold back!), what would it be and why?

Trump Towers!! It’s an eyesore let’s face it! It’s stuck in the ’80s and needs to move forward… but then last thing I’d want to do is have to work with Trump himself. He’d definitely be my idea of the nightmare client!

With your beautiful mood boards and presentations, you made the design process look easy; even though I know it’s not! What advice would you give people who would like pursue a career in interior design? Apart from entering next year’s GIDC of course!

I’d say to practice on your own home, go crazy with it, experiment and see what works and what doesn’t. Take photos of what works and send them out to companies or designers you’d like to work with. Work experience is even more valuable that doing a course in my opinion. To see how the industry really runs is so important.

Finally, now that the show has aired and you can finally talk about it, what’s next for Daniela Tasca York?

Oh so many exciting things! For the past 3 months I’ve had some great work experience at an internationally renowned design studio, now I’ve got 9 exciting design projects on the go as we speak and I’ve also launched my own shop on my website with wallpapers, like the marble one that I used on the show. Cushions, candles and furniture are all coming soon. I’m also writing a book and have been asked to put together some workshops . . . Watch this space, it’s all too exciting!

Wow! What a line-up of exciting projects. I can’t wait to see them all happen over the coming months! Thanks so much for sharing and for digging the dirt on the show (although not as much juicy gossip as I’d hoped for as it sounds like it really was an amazing experience)! 

You can see more of Daniela’s design work over on her website.

Feeling inspired to get decorating in your own home? We’ve put together quick edit of pieces from The Maker Place inspired by Daniela’s style as seen on the GIDC . . .

Join our Mailing List to be the first to hear about new design features and interviews, limited edition products and for 10% off at The Maker Place  . . .

Comments (2)

  1. Super! I loved watching the show this year and adored her colours & styling – a great winner. Great interview 🙂

    Thanks for sharing and joining in! – much appreciated xx Jess


  2. What a fab post Philippa!! I really enjoyed this series of the GIDC and was gunning for Danielle to win!! I was so pleased when they said her name in the final! Fab choice — I loved her finished rooms. Cx #HomeEtc

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