1 Become Your Own Interior Designer - The Battered Black Book

Become Your Own Interior Designer

By Amira Hashish

If embarking on a home revamp seems rather daunting, fear not. Thanks to the rise of online workshops with some of the world’s leading designers you can learn from the best and gain access to the crème de la crème of the interiors world without breaking the bank. From a step by step guide to renovating with Rita Konig to lampshade painting at one of London’s loveliest hotels, these innovative platforms and events will enhance your home makeover skills whilst helping you have fun along the way…

The Ultimate Guide to Interior Design With Rita Konig

Known for her sumptuous but liveable style, Rita Konig’s interior schemes are coveted by the A-List set. The likes of Vogue, The New York Times, House & Garden and The Wall Street Journal celebrate her approach to design but it is more attainable than ever thanks to an online course by Create Academy. Rita opens up her little book of secrets to offer online tutorials from the comfort of her living room. Throughout more than five hours of video lessons, Rita delves into the techniques, suppliers and materials she uses. She also encourages her ‘students’ to be confident with their own skills and discover how decorating can be a little less daunting and a lot more fun. There are plenty more courses to explore on Create Academy as well. Through beautiful, thoughtfully curated videos, the expertise of today’s leading figures in food, interiors, gardening and craft are just a few clicks away.

Enrol me: £127, createacademy.com.

Firmdale Hotels’ Creative Workshops

Kit Kemp has inspired so many interior design lovers with her fabulous Firmdale Hotels and now she is opening their doors to those keen to learn from the best. Leading arts and craftspeople are hosting a series of Creative Workshops at the Ham Yard and Haymarket Hotels this spring. On March 17 set designer and decorative artist Tess Newall will give attendees their very own handmade card lampshade to paint and take home. Inspiration will be drawn from the shapes, colours and patterns found in Kit Kemp’s hotel interiors and in Tess’s own collections. On March 31 you can learn to paint interiors in watercolour with artist, author and host of the cult weekly painting challenge ‘Room Portrait Club’ SJ Axelby. It is over to world-renowned florist, author and designer Willow Crossley on April 17 for a flower arranging workshop on the Roof Terrace at Ham Yard Hotel. Ticket prices include all materials, morning coffee, lunch in the hotel and your completed item to take home.

Enrol me: from £195, firmdalehotels.com.

The Expert

British born, Los Angeles based interior designer Jake Arnold, who counts the likes of John Legend and Chrissy Teigen amongst clients, had the excellent idea of bringing together his network of movers and shakers from the design world to launch a platform called The Expert. The premise is that you can book a video consultation with designers of every kind at varying budgets. Appointments range from £125 to £1,250 and you can opt for a one-time consultation or several video calls for something more in-depth such as a full-scale home renovation. Gaining 1:1 advice from designers who are at the top of their game will give you an instant home makeover knowledge boost.

Enrol me: theexpert.com.

MasterClass: Kelly Wearstler Teaches Interior Design

It doesn’t get much cooler than California design queen Kelly Wearstler. Her eclectic but soothing approach has become the epitome of the modern American home aesthetic whilst the Proper Hotels she puts her stamp on are the stuff of dreams. In her MasterClass series, she goes behind the scenes to demystify interior design. She teaches you to make any space feel larger and to choose colours, materials, and textures with confidence. Through her 17 video lessons, she also offers an insight into where she uncovers her collections of art and objects to create spaces that tell a story.

Enrol me: £14/month (billed annually) for all classes and sessions, masterclass.com.

Upskill…With a Little Help From Noah

Noah is an online platform selling Craft Starter Kits that help you take the first step into a new hobby. Ever fancied making your own pottery? How about learning how to make DIY Jesmonite & Terrazzo? Perhaps some scented candle making is on the cards? Noah’s kits offer step by step guides to making whilst supplying everything you need to turn your new learnings into reality. Fun, informative and fuss-free. 

Enrol me: from £26.25 per kit, noahsbox.com.

Paint a Piece of Furniture at Minerva Workshop

This short course aims to introduce the wonders of chalk paint when upcycling furniture. A range of painting techniques are demonstrated such as how to apply paint, age products and apply finishes to ensure your furniture or walls looks good for the long-term. You will use various chalk paints, waxes and finishes and take home painted board to use as a future reference. There is also 10% off any Annie Sloan paint you purchase on the day which could come in handy. Minerva Workshop in Kentish Town offers several other great workshops too, including a regular Design Surgery with textile designer and doyenne of repeat pattern Sarah Campbell.

Enrol me: from £85, minervaworkshop.co.uk.

Tablescaping With Wild at Heart

There is an art to tablescaping and Wild at Heart are here to help. In this workshop, you will learn how to create beautiful bud vases to style alongside tapered candles and tea lights. The team will walk you through the tips and tricks of how colours, themes, placement and flowers come together so that you can wow your dinner guests with your table wizardry. 

Enrol me: £225 per person, includes a set of six bud vases, three tea lights and three tapered candles, wildatheart.com.