Local mural artist, budding interior designer and Instagrammer Richard O’Gorman threw himself into BBC One’s Interior Design Masters. It wasn’t meant to be, but we love him anyway
Interior Design Masters is back and if you haven’t watched, here’s what to expect – stress, emotion, lols, designer chat, but mainly emotion and stress. The premise of the show is that 10 budding interior designers compete in numerous design challenges judged by Michelle Ogundehin and a guest judge each week all hosted by Alan Carr.
Obviously, Carr brings joyous camp and all the welcome funnies. This series, there were two Brummies on the starting blocks. We picked one to interview, Richard O’Gorman aka @househomo and some might say we backed the wrong horse as unfortunately Richard left on the very first show. We would say Design Masters missed a trick.
We’ve interviewed a lot of people over the last nine years and Richard might just be the nicest. He bought a house in Birmingham just before lockdown and was furloughed from his job as a model booker soon after so took the opportunity to decorate his home. He says: “I was looking at three months off work and I thought I’ll never get this opportunity again. No excuses.” Richard set up an Instagram account mainly to show friends what was happening with the house as due to restrictions no one could visit in person. He had never picked up a paintbrush before and an art teacher at school told him to give up art. Inspirational!
Richard’s idea of decorating his house might be wildly different to yours or ours – you won’t find a hint of magnolia or Farrow and Ball Railings here. His speciality has become mural art encompassing wonderfully playful shapes and colours creating an utterly joyful vibe. Instagram agrees and his following grew quickly. So much so, that when his furlough was up and he subsequently lost his job, he decided to focus on Instagram full time. It was his little sister who persuaded him to go for it. Richard says: “She’s my guiding light and she said, ‘look you’ve got something good going on here, just ride the wave’ and I’m glad I did.”
After the end of the first series of Design Masters, Richard’s friends and followers urged him to go for it. He actually didn’t have a TV and hadn’t seen the show but quickly caught up. Filmed in June 2021 in scorching temperatures, the process was actually much quicker than you might imagine with one week to source and two days for installation which was intense. Given it took Richard five weeks to do his dining room (pictured), it was a big ask!
Working in twos, Richard was paired with Molly who he describes as a ‘perfect fit’. He says: “She walked in in that blue dress and beret and I thought ‘this is my kind of girl’.” Sadly, the judges didn’t think their rooms were as successful as some of the others and they found their places in jeopardy. Ultimately it was Richard who left the show. The guest judge in week one was the lovely Matthew Williamson. He sought out Richard after the decision and sat him down for a chat and gave him some great advice.
Not originally from the city, when Richard moved here he knew no one other than friends of his ex, but we’re proud to say he was given a big Brummie welcome. He says: “I moved here with no friends and found a family in the Gay Village- such a supportive bunch of people.”
Fellow Brummie Abi is still in the running on Design Masters as we write, so we’re throwing our support behind her. Go Abi!