At home with Cassie Nicholas, Interior Designer

Image of Cassie Nicholas

Portrait photo of Cassie Nicholas, Interior Design Masters 2019 Winner

Congratulations on winning 2019 BBC 2 Interior Design Masters. What did you learn from being on the show?

Thank you! I learnt so much on the show from both the other designers and the judges. One of the main things I discovered is that I am more organised than I think I am. I learnt that meticulous planning and communicating to everyone in the team helps, but also to be able to adapt and change the plans as inevitably nothing ever goes quite as you expect!

What’s your philosophy when it comes to good interior design?

I think interior design is very much entwined with how a space can make you feel, as well as what it looks like. I believe good interior design, especially in your home, can make you happier. Within the home, the process of growing your space and interiors from pieces you find and collect can help to make it really personal. By not being too trend focused, you can create something more timeless and unique.

Green lounge decorated with vintage wooden furniture

Photo credit: Cassie Nicholas

Describe your signature style in three words?

Romantic, authentic, timeless.

What tips do you have for bringing sustainable designs into the home

There are so many ways to bring sustainable designs into the home. When I started designing it was not my first thought, but I soon realised sustainable design is just how I think inherently . As well as an interior designer I have been an antiques dealer for the past ten years. I love antique, reclaimed wood furniture and vintage pieces and feel I get so much enjoyment out of the hunt in finding them. It is extremely fun and not only is it much cheaper, but it also means these pieces have had another lease of life. Plus, you are bound to get a more individual home.

Two images of a bedroom will full length mirror and wooden chair

Photo credit: Cassie Nicholas

We try and buy a lot of our wood for making furniture or shelving etc. from our local Bristol Wood Recycling project. We love going there, getting drawn in by fabulous pieces of wood and trying to create a project around what we have found.

You’re quoted as saying your style is based around authentic character and imperfect beauty. How do you incorporate that into your designs?

I don’t like things to be too contrived or overly styled and I want most decorative things to have a purpose and feel natural. I aim for each space I create to have a sense of the people that use it, whether it’s a restaurant or a living room, and be authentic to who they are rather than what trends they like. I think this gives spaces more longevity and can grow with the clients. Crisp perfectionism isn’t my thing. I love real age, patina and pieces that show their history.

What’s your favourite room in the house and why?

The kitchen. I work at the kitchen table, love to cook and socialise in here too. It is forever changing and it always reflects our everyday. It is my total haven.

Wooden kitchen table with lace tablecloth

Photo credit: Cassie Nicholas

Name three Modish Living products you are lusting over?

1. I love the classic feel to the Hudson Living Wycombe Dining Chairs. They could work well in so many different style interiors.

Hudson Living Wycombe Oak Dining Chair and Table

2. The Bordour White Woodchip Pendant Lights have a great look and I love that they are made out of waste timber! They are a great way to add texture to a room.

3. Linen is something I use a lot, especially at home. I love the texture it creates and how the colours change subtly when washed and used over time. I am always on the hunt for tablecloths and think they can really transform a space and table, making it feel very comforting, layered and cosy. I’ve got my eye on your Lovely Linen collection.

Image of white woodchip pendant ceiling light and white linen tablecloth

Do you have any design rules you never break?

No, I have tried my best to not to ever read what the rules are supposed to be, so I can just do things my own way.

Lounge bar with green velvet sofa and armchairs

Photo credit: Cassie Nichoals

What three things would you take with you to a desert island?

I am very practical, so I know I would want to build something. I think a saw would be useful, loads of seeds to plant some food and a radio, so I can still have some music.

Would you rather go back to age 10 with everything you know now or know everything your future self will learn now?

I think I’d rather know everything my future self will learn now.