Interview with Rochelle Humes

Rochelle Humes is a TV presenter, entrepreneur, influencer and former pop star who recently presented on TV series started Interior Designer In The Making.

The lovely Rochelle Humes regularly guest-hosts This Morning, and since 2019, she has co-presented the BBC game show The Hit List alongside husband Marvin Humes.

The 33 year-old Rochelle Humes revealed that she felt ’embarrassed’ of growing up in a mixed raced family as a child but has always had a positive attitude. Rochelle Humes was born in Barking, London, on 21 March 1989 to Roz Wiseman and her father who’s of Jamaican descent.

Read below as the star discusses her most challenging TV series to date.

Rochelle Humes: Interior Designer in the Making Picture shows: Rochelle Humes

Hi Rochelle, it’s been a while since we last spoke to you at MarkMeets. What inspired you to want to become an interior designer?

It’s something I’ve always loved since I was a little girl. When I was a kid, I would change my bedroom around continuously. When I got a bit older and I started thinking about what I wanted to do, interior design was always high on the list. I’d say it was an instant passion and it’s just something that I’ll always enjoy. I’ll never get bored of it!

In the series it mentions that you have done up five of your own properties. How did the experience of doing up other people’s homes differ from doing your own?

I think there was a lot more pressure when doing up properties on the show, because I was obviously playing with other people’s money, and constantly managing expectations. I didn’t know what they would expect from me for the end result. It’s just so subjective – one design idea might look one way to one person, but it might be delivered completely differently by another. It’s a real job to get to know someone and their tastes.

From the series, which of the houses/rooms that you designed would you want to live in or recreate yourself?

There was one house in West London, Henry and Laura’s, that I absolutely adored. They put a big glass extension on the back, and it was really beautiful. It was a nice eclectic mix, and they definitely had their own sense of style, but it was so gorgeous.

You worked with your friend and fellow interior designer Sally O’Connor in the series, what was the best advice she gave you?

I’d say that the best bit of advice Sally gave me was at the very start. I was given a situation where a couple wanted a really opulent Dubai-style, but then everything they sent me was quite bright and minimal – the two styles were really conflicting. So, the first piece of advice Sally gave me was to ask for as many pictures as I could get of things that the clients loved. I’m glad I asked for all those pictures!

How do you know where to start when transforming a space?

It’s the classic one, as I’ve done homes up before where I’ve not lived in it yet and just gone for it. That has been great, but at the same time it’s the age-old thing where you do really need to live in a house for a bit. If you’re decorating a lounge and you’ve lived there for a while, you’ll instantly have a hunch of exactly what should be where. Sometimes you just focus on getting a house, moving in, and doing it up, when actually, you really do need to get a feel of the space for a while before that process starts.

How do you adjust to your clients taste from your own?

I think that’s the thing that I actually found quite hard. Like I said, it’s so subjective and so personal, everybody really does have a different style and a different understanding of what style is. There were a couple of situations where I was a bit like ‘please, we can’t have this here’, but at the end of the day that’s when you need to step away, and if you’ve got a client, your ultimate goal is to make them happy.

What were the main challenges you faced as a newbie to interior design?

I think my main challenge was working with couples as you try to please everybody. You almost end up becoming a marriage councillor! It’s a case of getting them to compromise, which I found quite interesting. There were some cases where the husband would say ‘we’re doing it ourselves’, then the wife would say ‘no, this is how much budget we have’. I’ve learnt that it’s a real people person job.

What are the biggest learnings that you have taken away from filming this series?

I think one of the biggest learnings is to trust your gut. Things always take longer than you set out and, a lot of the time, you have to be patient. Someone might say ‘that’ll only take three weeks’, and then you get a tradesman in and it’s a completely different story. It was quite refreshing to see that it doesn’t only happen with me, and it really does happen across the board. You always need to set yourself more time than you think and, as is the case on a lot of occasions, budgets can easily overrun, but you can be more resourceful than you think. You can upcycle and there are so many different ways of giving a space a facelift without having to commit to a brand-new kitchen. There are so many little tricks now, for example you can get worktop wraps. I’ve seen it where you might get an older worktop and now you can give it a marble look. There are lots of cost-effective ways, so if you are bothered about an aesthetic of a place and you don’t have a big budget, there are little easy ways of updating it.

You use a mood-box in the show, can you explain the importance of this.

It really does get clients excited. You can show a lot on screens in the form of plans and pantones, but nothing reads on screen like it can in the flesh. It’s essentially a real tactile box for them to try swatches and fabrics or maybe wall coverings and rugs and so on and so forth. They can have a good feel and see what they look like in the space. Also, when you’re painting a room, tones can be really important. You can say grey, but it could be a blue-grey, or a warm grey. It’s good to put paint swatches in too, as it’s basically like one big shopping list for them. They will take the box with them when they start shopping for the carpet, the paint etc. A lot of the clients actually found that the mood-box was like their bible and became really reliant on it.

That’s really interesting! We can see in the series that some couples go completely with your plan, but others use it as a base and go on a slightly different route. How did you find that?

Well, ultimately that’s what you do. Sally and I have worked together for many years and sometimes I’m like ‘Sal I love this but I’m thinking…’ The space has to feel like you and you should have an interest in it. Then you can meet other families who really don’t have a clue, and they’ve found the process really overwhelming, so they want to follow your plan to the letter.

What was the most rewarding part of the process for you?

Obviously the end game. For me, it was just seeing people really happy with the end result and getting what they wanted out of those spaces. There’s always something really satisfying about it. Also, I’m there planning it, so to be able to see it actually look like the plan when it’s all done is really nice.

There are some emotional stories throughout the series. What makes a home so important in these cases?

Your home holds onto so many memories. Some can be great, which can be hard for example, because you could have had a bereavement, and some can also be awful, and you want to try and rewrite that. We had one guy that lost his mum, and he really didn’t want to change her house, but his wife was desperate to. I think it can be hard for many different reasons, but it’s just about being sensitive to that. Your home is a really important place.

If you could choose anyone in the world, whose house would you most like to design?

Maybe not design, but there are lots of houses that I’d like to have a snoop in. The houses that I love are already incredible. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley has a gorgeous home. I watch Architectural Digest’s YouTube channel and they did a piece on hers where you got a sneak peek inside. I’d also love to have a look around Kim Kardashian’s house because what you see of it looks so white and is done all perfect. She’s got four children, so I’m just intrigued to see if it actually stays like that.

Rochelle Humes: Interior Designer in the Making is a new 10-part series on UKTV’s premium entertainment channel, W.

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Renée Bourke

Renée has carried out many celebrity interviews for us from boybands to hanging backstage at showbiz parties. The Aussie stars acting credits include Home and Away + Across The Pond.


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