It’s been a busy couple of years for Daniel Hopwood, thanks in part to his successful tenure as co-judge of popular BBC show, The Great Interior Design Challenge. Working alongside Kelly Hoppen for the fourth series, he also balanced this with his work as president of the prestigious British Institute of Interior Design, BIID, and running his eponymous interior design practice, Studio Hopwood. In case this wasn’t enough, he is now also running Interior Design Masterclasses with Sophie Robinson to share his expertise and passion with fellow design enthusiasts. Daniel talks to us about how he manages a work / life balance and what people can expect from his masterclass…
What do you think is the secret to success in the interior design industry?
Having the right motivation is essential to succeed in interior design, it has to be a passion. What drives me are people, being curious about their tastes and understanding their lifestyle. From there I aim to enhance their life through tailored design.
What have been your best and worst moments so far during your tenure as co-judge on the television show Great Interior Design Challenge?
Four series in and I still love making the Great Interior Design challenge. I never bore of a reveal, that moment when I walk first time into a transformed room. I never peek before the camera is rolling as you can’t fake that moment of surprise. My worst fear though is if a contestant delivers something way off brief, it does happen.
With several high profile roles how do you manage a work / life balance?
My business started to get really busy just as I started to film GIDC and became president of the British Institute of Interior Design. There was no way that I was going to turn any of it down, least of all the great projects that started landing in the studio. The solution was to ensure that I carefully selected talented passionate people that believe in good design to work with me. That made my life easier. I have a golden rule too, I am happy to work all hours during the week but the weekend is precious time off to re-charge.
What do you think is the biggest threat to the interior design industry currently and what would you do to fix it?
The biggest threat to our industry are people claiming to be designers who neither have the training or experience. The solution is to always engage with a BIID registered designer who have gone through rigorous tests and training to ensure that they are able to handle a project.
How would you describe your own interior style and what is your favourite room in your home and why?
I have just completed remodelling my own home, I’ve heard from other designers that it is the toughest project, they are right! Freshly moved in and still in that honeymoon period, I love everything. I am enjoying the bed especially which is a Spencer from Minotti which is in a beautiful tweed fabric with a deep orange velvet headboard.
You’re running a set of Interior Design masterclasses with Sophie Robinson, what can people expect from these and what type of attendee are you looking for?
One of our masterclass students called the masterclass “a spin class for interior design”. It is a tough day covering the design process, styling, colour and how to run a project. We have a wide range of people who attend from those planning to renovate their own home to those that plan to become designers themselves. We keep the groups to below 16 so that we can get chance to talk to everyone especially over lunch.
What’s your favourite interior space in the world and why?
It has to be the first floor drawing room at Home House designed by Robert Adam built in 1777. The house was designed for parties and consequently exudes glamour. It is now a private club and I’m a member. I’ll often go over to drink tea and gaze at the ornate ceiling.
You’ve just discovered a time machine that can take you to either the past or the future, what year do you go to and why?
1777 to attend one of the Countess of Home’s parties, better make sure that am a guest though not the footman.
How would you spend your perfect day off?
Shopping, preferably in Florence.
What has been your career highlight to date and do you have any ambitions that you are yet to fulfil?
Every day is a highlight. I am so thankful to have managed to make a career out of interior design. My ambition now is to continue what I am doing but I wouldn’t mind a hotel project coming my way.