THE TV CARPENTER : Home Makeovers with Wayne Perrey

Wayne chats with Sarah Mitchenall garden landscaper and 'Great Interior Design Challenge' winner

January 17, 2020 Wayne/ Sarah Mitchenall Season 2 Episode 21
THE TV CARPENTER : Home Makeovers with Wayne Perrey
Wayne chats with Sarah Mitchenall garden landscaper and 'Great Interior Design Challenge' winner
Chapters
THE TV CARPENTER : Home Makeovers with Wayne Perrey
Wayne chats with Sarah Mitchenall garden landscaper and 'Great Interior Design Challenge' winner
Jan 17, 2020 Season 2 Episode 21
Wayne/ Sarah Mitchenall

This week I chat with BBC winner of 'Great Interior Design Challenge'
Sarah Mitchenall,
We discuss being one of a hand full for designers who work on both the interiors and garden to create a dream home.
Guest: www..sarahmitchnall.com

Sponsor: To take advantage of the generous 15% discount from my sponsor Thorndown, please visit http://bit.ly/TVCarpenter. Discount code: TVCarpenter

Contact me: Wayne Perrey on Twitter and Instagram.

Music: "What's the Angle" by Shane Ivers



Show Notes Transcript

This week I chat with BBC winner of 'Great Interior Design Challenge'
Sarah Mitchenall,
We discuss being one of a hand full for designers who work on both the interiors and garden to create a dream home.
Guest: www..sarahmitchnall.com

Sponsor: To take advantage of the generous 15% discount from my sponsor Thorndown, please visit http://bit.ly/TVCarpenter. Discount code: TVCarpenter

Contact me: Wayne Perrey on Twitter and Instagram.

Music: "What's the Angle" by Shane Ivers



Speaker 1:

On today's show, I'll be chatting with Sarah Mitchell. She's a garden landscape bank and a winner from series three of the great interior design challenge.

Speaker 2:

If you're an interior designer, you go to the door and no further and if you're a landscaper you should go to the door. And no for her though. Um, so it's been really, it's been really good actually to meet people that can sort of see the benefits of the two together and it's exciting for me.

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the TV happen to podcast. My name is Wayne Perry. I hope you like discussing interior design or garden design because this is what the podcast was created for. My soul aim is really to inspire you to have a go and create your dream house, but by given the tools of the trade from some of the best industry professionals that are out there this week for me has been absolutely brilliant. Um, in a , in a podcasting sense, I've had interviews with major radio stations talking about the podcast and the success of the podcast, but also this is the time where , um, I get booked for shows like the ideal home show in London. So idle a home show, it happens , um, over the Easter holidays and it's a big convention which celebrates everything. Home, interior design and garden design. And people go along and get to see some amazing sets and but also are able to buy hot tubs. They're allowed able to buy furniture or wallpaper or there's so many different levels to it. And I've worked at the adult home show for about, I think six, seven years in different guises. Um, normally I do talks , um , with my business partner , Steph Braun . The DOR I do is, so we do talks on their main stage. So this week was booking for those. So I had been booked to do a few DIY talks , um, and also some upcycling talk . So I'm going to be talking on their craft stage and teaching people how to create , um, candelabra is out of copper. So it still shows people how to use tools, how to drill and cut, which I like and cut pipe and things. But also we're in discussions again to be doing another show garden . So I'm going to be working with Lynn Lamborn who is the miss eco warrior , um, you know, who fights against the war on plastics . So last year we designed their , um , sustainable garden and this year they've asked us to come back again. So , um, we, I co-designed with her and then I build all the carpenter on it, which is really exciting. But also there's something else in the pipeline to do with a PR podcast and I'm waiting for the confirmation, but as soon as we have confirmation, I'll let you know all about it. But back to the podcast , uh , as always , uh, I keep saying as always, just because they're amazing and they've, they've supported this podcast or in the beginning and they've seen it grow and grow and grow. And I just want to say thank you to my sponsor, thorn down paint, throwing down paint art, amazing eco paint. And they create , uh , probably one of the best eco painters out there on the market. So I had a little Amini interview with Ben and Caroline, the owners from thorn down. So have a little listen to this two minute interview and it talks about , um, VOC, which is how things are measured with the effects to the environment. And he explains all of that and how thorn down measures up in those terms.

Speaker 3:

Thorn down is said to be like a high performance eco paint and it's got minimal VOC. Now I have no idea what VOC means. Can you explain that to me?

Speaker 1:

Um , well vac is polar tile organic compounds. So they are , um, sort of natural oily compounds that can evaporate off things like paint , especially spread based paints, oil paints and things like that. And then they can react with other things. And so , um, they're quite nasty and what we want to do is , um, have this little chemical come out of the paint , um , as it dried other than water. So that was very important. And it's , um, modern technology is very good. And the , the choice of raw materials that we had was very high performing. It was just a good time to be producing a pink like that . And so yeah, so we created the paint were not very much, if I praise off levels more. Yeah . So, so does it mean that the actual painting itself, I was econ drinking , it's not, you know , it's good. It's full of something, but it just means it's the bit that comes off the fumes that come off the drying agents that knocked me really bad in glosses .

Speaker 3:

So it's minimal. So , um, when you say minimal, how much is in there?

Speaker 1:

Well, if you like the percentages, it's a maximum of North 0.28% in the workplace. No point no five in the glass back . How many is so small if can it really? It's um, it's zero. But um , with some of the raw materials , um , suppliers can't guarantee that there's absolutely nothing in the whole process. And so we just put in the maximum they think. And that's up to still virtually nothing. I've got to say that for the listeners, Ben is actually smiling at the home. He's come alive,

Speaker 3:

come alive . You're going to have the nerdy math spit to make it work. Because I remember as chatting Caroline , when we were filming , uh , love your garden, we had talks about the eco paint and I said to you, you know, well what is this? You know, there's minus zero zero percentage and you kind of said, well it has to have something in there that has it just be water and it had wash off. I mean it wouldn't work. You know, he said if you're painting a shed, it needs to have something in it for it to work.

Speaker 1:

I told you though , I'm down with the good guys and if you would like to do your little bit and buy paint that is great for the environment, you can contact thorn down.co. Dot. UK and if you put in the code T V carpenter whilst on their website and order from them, you get 15% discount from any of their online purchases. So go to [inaudible] dot co. Dot. UK type in the code T V carpenter. Now it's the main event. We speak to Sarah Mitchell. Now. Sarah was a contestant on the great interior design challenge a couple years ago and she won it and I got to build for her on that show. But what's really special about Sarah is not only is she an amazing interior designer, she won the show, but she started off as a garden designer and she's one of the only people I know who does both garden and interior design. So she'll take on a project and she'll design both of them together so that you, when you open those by folding doors, the garden compliments the interiors and vice versa. So it was really lovely catching up with her. Um , she's also presented at the idle home show. She's done some room sets there as well. And uh, that was the last time I spoke to her, which was a couple of years ago. So , um , it was lovely to catch it with her properly. So I hope you enjoy this interview with Sarah Mitchell.

Speaker 3:

Sarah , Sarah original. Thank you so much for chatting to me on the TV carpet of podcasts . Now I know you from the great interior design challenge I got to build for you on that show in 2016 and you went and won it. Now I know you as an interior designer from that show, but also I've looked on your website and you're a garden designer as well, which is why you're perfect for my podcast. But what came first? Interior design or garden design.

Speaker 2:

Hi Wayne. What came first at garden design came first. I was garden designer for about 15 years before I did, did see . And yeah, that was where my heart was lying for quite a long time.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. So how did it happen that you ended up being in doing the interior design? Show them

Speaker 2:

well, I think um, time offense is a new challenge. I do like a challenge. Didn't quite realize what sort of challenge it would be, but yeah , I think I was sitting there once a winter's day and it was raining and nasty outside and , and gardening jobs. It's all slow to the winter and I just saw it on telly . I just thought, Oh well I'll just apply. Not thinking really anything about it or that I was even going to get on or anything, but just sort of on a whim. Yeah , and it sort of went away.

Speaker 3:

Well, I loved it . I loved working with, we had such a laugh on that show because she , because she was so chilled and so slight. It sounds like you were quite not caring, but you really did care, but your , your outwardly expression was that . Yeah, whatever. And I always think they're the best people because you end up enjoying it more because you almost don't take yourself too seriously.

Speaker 2:

Oh my gosh. I think there's like a Swan isn't it? On the surface you look like you're really calm and underneath I was peddling like crazy just trying to keep on top of it all really. And we didn't meet until Wells was the , and so I was a bit of a, I sort of had got, got it a little bit, it was a bit more together by then I think. Got the best part.

Speaker 3:

I don't remember that one. Cause that one was, it was such these amazing cork chorus to house slum houses that hadn't been touched in years and you weren't allowed to attach anything to the walls, paint anything on the walls. We could [inaudible] everything had to be like eh , breathable paint cause it had like do they add a bit of breathes ? And so we created these huge bright orange panels. Was it, what did we get our engine goal?

Speaker 2:

Does the orange, I mean it was one of those rooms that sort of afterwards you go, wow, that was maybe one step too brave. But the people, to be fair, what made up for all of the dramas to do with the build , um , was that the sort of homeowners were completely up for it. Um, I think they were both , um , opera singers and therefore , um, fairly wacky in their outlook.

Speaker 3:

Yes. Yeah. They like to be theatricals. Yes.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. They even had a party actually when it aired, they had an orange party with orange food and everyone wore orange. Everything there was sending me pictures. Very funny . All sorts of, you were just literally like, I need boxes way . And by that point you were just building, building, building, building.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. Yeah. I think you even had me upholstering at one point. I think some blanket boxes or something. I was like, this isn't in my remit, but I'll have a go.

Speaker 2:

I remember you saying this is cool actually. I'm getting to do stuff I never get to do. It was really fun.

Speaker 3:

You pushed me golf course. Yeah . I'm always singing, but I didn't do the fight . That was the only , um, I did that for show for four years. And your year was a year . I didn't do the final. Did your hap homeowner stock build on that one? If I remember correctly,

Speaker 2:

I wondered if you , you know, you missed , you missed a big one there. Yes, she did. I mean , um, yeah, that went hopelessly awry, but I think she was, she had it in her head that what she was getting was a decorator that would decorate everything that she decided she wanted rather than a designer coming in. I don't think she'd really understood the sort of remit of the show, pour love and um, and inevitably it just meant that there were so many changes going on that she, she just kind of needed a bit of time to sort of self out. I think we needed to reverse and then start again. And we did and she loved it. So,

Speaker 3:

but I always feel that with, with any project, whether it's on a show or even if I'm doing work with like private interior designers and if the clients are living there, they like, I think you painted the ceiling art color and all of these things so that all of a sudden that is like IC , you know, you've got to break an egg to make an omelette. So they just see the worst. They don't see all the bits that go in to make it look gorgeous. They just see the blank base color, which might be hideous, but it's all mixed in when it's all mixed in and led , things look amazing. And I , and you see people having these wobbles and you almost say, just go away. Don't come in until the end till the reveal. And I'm a promise you you'll love it. But in the moment,

Speaker 2:

Oh , there is not a moment in any job I've ever done where doesn't it , how good you are. It's showing ideas , um, to a client, there is always a point at which they wobble and go, is this going to work? And it's generally at the point we were at on that show. Yeah . And it become very good at kind of, you know, helping clients to visualize what's going to happen and then they have to take a leap of faith at certain points and the outcomes are always great, but there is a moment. Yeah, it has a moment.

Speaker 3:

Keep them away. I think that's part of the TV show as well that I think they love the idea of bringing the client in and watching their reaction as you're painting a ceiling, bright gold or something and they'd totally just wobble. Um, have you watched interior design masters? The new one?

Speaker 2:

I did, yes. I've watched the first couple and then , um, and then I didn't as a bit like I spent a lot of time in Australia and I can't watch programs on Australia or either I get really nostalgic or like, ah, some of the same with interiors shows there. I can barely, I can barely bring myself to watch them cause I couldn't remember the, for all of the fear and the anger , those sorts of things.

Speaker 3:

And there's a lot of familiar faces. But yeah, it was abroad . Cause I saw, I looked on your Instagram and I saw there was the picture of the final. Um, and you know, just seeing people, they're just like, Oh my God, it just must bring it all back. The craziness.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. And actually I contacted a couple of them and sort of said, listen, I know how you're feeling. Um, because it is incredibly well wind , um , and brilliant. But you know, it's , it's fairly trauma field too. So I sort of felt for them.

Speaker 3:

So what, like your, you know, I've , uh , looking on your, your website , um, Sarah mitchell.com you've got a passion for bringing in the interiors and landscape designers together. And we will look, we were talking earlier, like we're probably the only designer who does both. Do you prefer one or the other or are they both married together now?

Speaker 2:

Oh God, no. I mean, I suppose what I love about my job, and I'm reveling in it right now because most of my work is working on homes and the gardens connected. I think a lot of people don't do it because the skills to do with landscaping and um , understanding materials and levels and all of those things are, you have to be really skilled to get that right. Um, and have a lot of experience in it. And you know, I've made my fair share of mistakes over the years, but I like to think that I'm sort of, I've got that one nailed and then a few years of kind of indulging myself in interiors. Um, I felt like I'm skilled up on that too. So it's sort of got to the point where I realized my strengths are combining the TIG and it's sort of madness. The amount of times I go to work on people's houses and they've just done , um , an extension and they're doing a part of the garden and it's done really badly by builders. Or I'm working on a garden and they're trying to do the interiors. It's almost like if you're an interior designer, you go to the door and no further. And if you're a landscape, I should go to the door and no further . Um, so it's been really, it's been really good actually to meet people that can sort of see the benefits of the two together. That's exciting for me.

Speaker 3:

Well it's , it's , it's interesting cause you see all these amazing, so you see all these amazing , um, let interior design programs or these, you know, people will have an extension and the famous one, you'll have a big double extension at the back with, by folding doors open out onto the garden. And that happens all the time. We see it all the time. So what are the rules like you come in when you look at that space and especially in London or you know, everyone has that they are there or that dream of watch , grand design, that dream of outdoor indoor living and it's connected with the outside. But like you said, they stop at both ends and we know within the middle of the net never should they cross, but they want to achieve that. What are the rules to create that?

Speaker 2:

Brian was the amount of times that I've seen these beautiful bi-fold doors and then the photographers that are trying to take photographs of them can't, can't because the garden beyond is the shampoo or something like, Oh , it drives me mad. Um, what are the rules? I mean the rules are fairly similar to interiors in that , you know, it's all about understanding how you want to use the space and if you take cleverly, then you can extend your living space outside and um , extend that sort of vision. And then the rest of it is sort of sect building, isn't it? It's creating that vibe that you want to create. Um, but the majority of it really is understanding how you want to use that space and then getting the most out of that space.

Speaker 3:

So like , I've seen it before where people would let the , make sure the levels are the same. So it's like a continuous space, but also the floor materials. Would you say they should be similar?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, we do do quite a lot of that today. I'm trying to run the materials inside and out , um, can be tricky because of the different sort of needs of an outside and material. So, you know, we, we work a lot with stone , um, or creating weirdly thoughtful thresholds so that you've got a really beautiful material ending. And then another one beginnings . So if you're designing a , an extension, but an inside out, if everything from floor AARP , being really thoughtful about the materials and how they marry and how they flirt , that's a really good style.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. And color wise, do you, do, do you try and match up the , um, the flowering aspect of things so it matches the color and, you know , inside the house? So the color palettes the same?

Speaker 2:

Um, no, not normally. I mean what, what I do try and do is say for instance, you have a really , um, it's more about the feel I suppose . So if you have an Uber modern house, then having an Uber modern garbage can feel quite heavy. So what I try to do is create a balance. So say for instance, inside is very industrial. Then often outside there might be areas of wildflower or more organic planting just to soften what's happening inside. But you can do that in a really modern way. Now

Speaker 3:

that's amazing though because I would never have thought of that. It's interesting. It's like in my head I would have gone, well I've got this Uber but modern glass extension. Then my external needs to be as harsh and as hard as as the inside. But actually you're saying to , to counter balance it a little bit to soften it off a little bit.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. And it depends on the age of the property. So often I'm working on older properties and they're putting really modern interiors into them or they're sort of updating the period features inside. And it's , it's just creating a balance. There's a beautiful flow that happens if you can see the inside and the outside working together. So if you are just working on a room, for instance, as a designer, I guess you're constantly trying to adjust areas so that it's got a really good balance and a really lovely vibe. If you add the garden and then you're extending that vision. Do you know what I mean? Does that make sense?

Speaker 3:

No, absolutely. Yeah. I looked on your Instagram and, and it's very, it's very, your personality. Like we're not, when I think of you from the time that we worked together, it's no, but as in it's very muted and like the colors are very rigid and , and it sounds this, and it is, I don't know how to say this. It sounds really , um, vintage-y and but like not that you go to these classic homes, and I remember when I was younger and you'd see like classic eighties but they're really nice, classic eighties that are really rich and tones. Not too [inaudible] always look like they've been there or it's almost like they're old and they've come back round in style that they're, that they're retro vintage-y. Does that make sense? I'm trying, I've just tried to get a feel for everything that I've seen on your Instagram, but everything that I , I know about you as a designer is kind of this retro vintage, luxurious feel.

Speaker 2:

I like them . I like the place and we've been there because that's probably the thing that I'm always trying to aim for in any room or anything is that because you know when you strip something out and you put everything in mew , yeah . It's , it's a bit precious and show homie . Yeah . Whereas you can buy beautiful new SIFO and vintage lights or you know, when you bring vintage in, it definitely gives it a feel of somewhere that's been there forever and that you're comfortable in it. Yeah . So if that's what comes across, then that's great because that is what I'm all about really.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. I loved it because it makes you, it makes you just feel warm and that's what, you know. And I , and I looked at some of your projects, you've done a few abroad as well. What was that one?

Speaker 2:

I worked on a boutique hotel in Myorca actually. Um, and that was brilliant because that was, that was exactly about that , that sort of stripping out this amazing old building and then rebuilding it and the task was to rebuild it with glamour , but um, so that it felt really homey and fun. Um, so yeah, things like that have been quite fun to, to , I'm working on some bonkers projects at the moment. I've got a , um, an extra care home, which is one of the first OB LGBTQ eye care homes in the country. Wow. I know. I mean, I feel quite honored to be working on it. Actually. There's a , there's a couple of us working on it , um, and it's just been extraordinary. I mean, it's just the most brilliant brief and , um, what great things do. But that's exactly that. Again, it's about, you know, they brought me in because they need it to feel extra homey , extra cared for. Um , an extra special, I suppose. So that's been built .

Speaker 3:

Wow. [inaudible] from brief. Wait , and where's that going to be? Where is that base ? Is that Nate you,

Speaker 2:

Oh, that's in Brighton obviously.

Speaker 3:

And LGBTQ Eila care home in Brighton. That just sums it up, doesn't it? Absolutely. It's amazing. It sounds amazing. It sounds amazing. So if someone wanted to contact you or contact you, what sir ? What's, what services do you offer as a, as an interior designer and garden? How does, how does the process work?

Speaker 2:

Well, I mean it's all about finding out about them. Um , fact finding isn't it? I think most interior and garden designers are more Sherlock Holmes than anyone realized this. So yeah, finding out about what they need. And then I did pretty much everything from, you know, electrical plans to final styling. So, but it's all based on every project. I wish. Sometimes I've, I've wished that every project was the same cause then I can just continue with what , not the other, but then not every single home and every single garden and every single project, it's always different. So I'm just sort of flexible and go with it.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, let's see what they need. I always at the end of my interviews and for you know, if it's an interior designer to tell me about their dream space, their dream home or Jame room or garden or dream garden. But for you, because you do both, I want you to describe to me what your dream houses and the overall feel of it and what you're drinking while you're in this space.

Speaker 2:

Oh my goodness. I have so many. Um, okay. So probably they kind of probably, they're really model home in the middle of a kind of Oak Woodland , um, with like wild flowers or way around it. And the home would be built in a really modern way in lots of rooms with color wrapped all around you and perhaps a bit like an artist space. So really, really big open rooms. There's places to exhibit pieces of work and lighting. And I'm just sitting here closing my eyes and mentioning what

Speaker 3:

I imagine you're sitting at home in a , in a crazy cluttered house full of kids stuff. So you're dreaming of the opposite.

Speaker 2:

Well , yeah. How much today? Yeah , I'm busy trying to get my garden office sorted so my house is full of the shared phone now. So yeah, that's probably why I'm dreaming of this incredible open space. What would I be? I'd be drinking a lager Shandy because absolute lightweight,

Speaker 3:

such a classy bird like that.

Speaker 2:

I could lie. The other one would probably be a pina colada. There may be a pink of ,

Speaker 3:

I love that. I love that. I love that. I love that. Or it's been so long. I haven't spoken. I haven't seen you for ages . Last time we met was a , at the angel home show you were designing the interior to these big pods, these crazy, crazy poles . So it's been a while since I, I chatted with you. It's been too long. If people wanted to contact you , um, what's your social media handles? Where's the best place for people to interact with you?

Speaker 2:

Oh, Instagram. I'm Sarah Mitchell and on my website, so ever mentioned to know.com they're probably the best places.

Speaker 3:

Contact you. It's been an absolute pleasure, Sarah , to catch up with you and talk to you and thank you for giving me the insight into creating , uh , the interior design and landscape designs together. So thank you for chatting with us.

Speaker 2:

Oh, thanks for having me, Wayne. It's been lovely to talk to you.

Speaker 3:

How cool is she?

Speaker 1:

I really don't think I got across how, how beautiful her designs are. When I was chatting to her about my impression of her work, if you look on her Instagram, Sarah Mitchell, you'll see that all her grid looks like it's had an Instagram filter through it all has that rich earthy, muted tones, which spot on. Um, but yeah, so if you get chance to check out the Sarah mitchell.com and now it's time just to say a huge thank you to my sponsor, thorn down thorn down dot code at UK. And remember, if you want to get 15% discount, you can go on there and type in the code, the TB carpenter and you get 15% off all their online purchases, but also look out soon they're going to be having their heritage range coming out. So we've got some new colors coming out, which I've been testing on my downstairs hall where we'd been painted. If you remember last week we were discussing that and I'm just in the middle of choosing a few. So , uh , I'll be posting some of those on my Instagram. So I hope you enjoy this week's episode. And don't forget, if you want to leave me a message, you can contact me, Wayne Perry on Instagram or Twitter and uh , I'll get back to you can answer questions. Um , if you've got any ideas of people you want me to interview , uh, let me know on there and hopefully next week I'll be able to let you know what the exciting news is from the interior design. Um, ideal home show, sorry. And uh , hopefully I can reveal all when it's signed off. But for now, all I want to say is thank you for listening to the TV carpenter.

Speaker 4:

[inaudible] .