Great Interior Design Show winner…. Martin Holland!

The Great Interior Design Show 2014

three interior designers are given a budget of £1000 to renovate rooms in one house. The winner of each heat progresses to the next round.

Martin Holland decided to test his abilities to the limit when he got involved with the show. He transformed everything from a fisherman’s cottage in Brixham, houseboats in Hampton Court, 1960s housing, tenements and……..a stately home!

i was thrilled when Martin, who is just as friendly and helpful as he appeared on the show, agreed to be interviewed. Enjoy reading it…..he’s special!


1. Tea or coffee?

Coffee every time. I struggle to function without that first cup of the day. Just a plain Americano always does the job for me.

2. Which week on the programme was the most difficult for you?

Hmmmmm that’s a tough one. The whole experience was such a rollercoaster of emotions. There were incredible highs and then times when I really struggled due to tiredness and trying to juggle my day job and life at home with doing the show whilst always wanting to do my best and push myself even further. I think for me, the most difficult and yet the most rewarding was the final at the Calendar House in Cumbria. I was exhausted by that point in the competition but having got that far I was so desperate to win I knew I had to pull out all the stops. I think that’s what kept me going!

3. What were your dreams as a child?

As a child I always dreamed of doing something creative like acting or being a designer. I loved being on stage throughout most of my school life and even considered going to a performing arts school but was always put off by the uncertainty of the industry. You really have to be the best of the best of the best to succeed in that world and make a name for yourself. I’m the sort of person who plans everything and goes for the safe option which offers security so doing the competition really pushed me outside of my comfort zone and that’s never a bad thing! I always want to be the best at whatever I do and give it my all which is something that’s followed me throughout my life and I think that came across on the show.

4. I think you’d enjoy the work of artists www. . Do you keep a contact book of all your favourite/ most useful go-to people?

What fantastic artists! I particularly like the Lego self-portraits! I tend not to keep a contact book as such as I find social media, such as Twitter, a brilliant resource for making contact with people and keeping up to date with what they’re doing. I’ve met some fantastic people through Twitter. All of my key contacts are stored on my phone so there only ever a call, text or email away. 

5. Do you find it difficult to switch off? Is your brain constantly buzzing with ideas?

Life is so busy at the moment that I’m finding I have to really plan my time and schedule everything down to the last hour otherwise things start to get on top of me. I’m still doing a full time job whilst our new Interior Design business is taking off. And on top of that I also run a Scenery and Costume hire business with my partner Mark. We’re also about to move house which is no easy thing in itself so there’s lots happening! Finding time to unwind and relax is a MUST at the moment.

6. If I came to your house what would I find in your fridge?

I love to cook but surprisingly my fridge is often lacking in food. I tend to buy as I need so things are always fresh. However, there are two things that will always be found in my fridge. The first is cheese. We absolutely love cheese of any kind but I tend to save it for weekends as a treat. The other thing that can always be found in there is a bottle of gin, lemons and tonic water (another weekend treat, although they do occasionally slip into mid-week evenings!) 

7. Your tweet , after winning, said that your head hurt a bit but you were on top of the world and excited. How did you celebrate?

On the night of the final we organised a gathering at a local venue in Nottingham and had food and drinks whilst watching the show with friends, family and work colleagues. I was so nice to have everyone I love and care about there to share the experience with me. I didn’t particularly drink a lot that evening, until we got home and then we cracked open a bottle of champagne and sat on the sofa to take it all in!

8. What’s in store so far for 2015?

2015 has been incredibly busy so far! We’ve been inundated with interest on our website and have a host of potential clients wanting to work with us. It’s now a case of working through these, meeting each person and turning these into actual projects. We’re potentially working at a homes and gardens show in the spring which we’re both very excited about and we’re currently working with offering design consultations to their customers which has proven to be very popular and great fun for us!

9. I believe you’ve recently moved. Are you redesigning the whole house?????

We’ve been packing our house up and moving things out for a while now but the big day isn’t for another couple of weeks. Our new home is, to quote Daniel Hopwood a ‘design disaster’. It’s a 1930’s style property but has an interior that’s a relic from the 1970’s. Cork tiled walls, swirly carpets and a 200ft garden that’s been covered from top to bottom in concrete slabs! So we’ve definitely got our work cut out but we’re both really looking forward to it!

10. You were such a pleasure to watch on GIDC, I Loved your work. Please share your links. Thank you!

It’s been such a brilliant experience. If people would like to follow us or get in contact then please do. We love to hear what people thought about the show and all of those interior design dilemmas out there!

Twitter – @MartinMarkDsgn   


I’ve also included the link to our scenery and costume hire business for those that are interested.

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