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From Yorkshire to France: Joanne Hardcastle’s Love for French Interiors and how she juggled filming for BBC Interior Design Masters whilst juggling her own home Renovation!

In the world of interior design, there are few styles as iconic and timeless as French interiors. The elegance, sophistication, and charm of French design have captured the hearts of homeowners and designers alike for centuries. For Joanne Hardcastle, a Yorkshire mum, interior stylist and Instagram influencer French interiors have been a constant source of inspiration.

With a passion for interior design and an impressive background in home renovation, Joanne has made a name for herself in the world of interiors and has an impressive following of almost 70k on instagram.

Her love for French interiors, however, is particularly evident in her work and personal style. As one of the ten designers appearing on BBC’s Interior Design Masters with Alan Carr, Joanne’s expertise in design is undeniable. In this article, we speak with Joanne about her own home and her love for French interiors and how she has incorporated this style into her own home and designs.

Joanne, can you tell us about your interior design style?

My interior style has evolved over time, and I now describe it as dark and modern vintage.

Can you tell us a bit about your house, how long you’ve lived here, and what it was like when you first moved in?

We always wanted to live in this area, and we were lucky to have bought it cheaply from the lady who lived here before. When we first moved in, the house was the worst in the street it was in such a bad state of repair as it had been split into seven bedsits, it even had graffiti in some of the rooms but we could see beyond that because it had good bones and was in the perfect location. Literally as soon as we got the keys we quickly worked on making it habitable. We had our child’s first birthday party a week later, and we’ve been restoring it ever since putting back in the original features like the mouldings and fireplaces.

You’ve been living in your current home for 23 years and have gone through several renovation projects. Can you tell us about your latest project

Our latest project, the basement renovation has been in the planning stages for two years now. We wanted to create a multifunctional space that would make our house work better for us.

I wanted a utility and an office and a snug for guests to stay. There’s lots of hidden storage, a beautiful raised bed and also a really gorgeous teeny tiny bathroom with beautiful pink and gold tiles that I can’t wait to use!

What are your top tips for successful home renovation projects?

Take your time and don’t rush. You need to have a clear idea of what you want before you start and don’t compromise your design choices because that will just end up costing you more in the long run when you inevitably re do it!

Work with tradespeople that share your vision and understand your requirements, a ‘can do’ attitude also helps!

it’s better to save up and concentrate on one space rather than doing bits here and there because then you can see a finished, completed room one at a time.

Always decorate the hallway last, because if you are renovating it will just get damaged in the process!

What advice would you give someone who is looking for a builder for their renovation project?

It’s important to find a builder who understands your vision and can help you with project management. You don’t want a builder who just does what you tell them to do without giving any input. A good builder will make suggestions and help you come up with solutions that you may not have thought of.

Have you ever made any mistakes during a home renovation project, and how did you overcome them?

Yes, I have. One mistake I made was with the kitchen, our builder told us it would take ages to get bespoke windows made and I ended up getting UPVC windows…I absolutely hate them! So my advice would be to stick to your guns and don’t compromise on things that are important to you.

What do you love most about your house?

I love that it’s a family home first and foremost it’s a space that we can all enjoy. We’ve created a home that works for us, and it’s a home that we can be proud of. Every room is brimming with personality, its colourful, eclectic and comfortable, it’s also a great home to socialise in with friends and family.

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

My favourite room is usually the one I have most recently decorated, so that would be the attic bedroom, but I spend most of my time in the dining room, its the centre of the home and where we all tend to hang out the most.

You have a huge following on instagram tell us a bit more about that!

Instagram has opened so many doors for me. I never intended for it to become my career, it all happened by accident after a picture of my bathroom went viral online. I realised it could be a creative outlet for me to take lovely photographs and share my love of interiors along the way, I also discovered a love of writing and have been lucky enough to publish a book too!

You can follows Joanne’s Journey on Instagram @hardcastletowers

How did you get to be on this years Interior Design Masters?

I applied for the show a couple of years ago but it just wasn’t the right time, so when the producers approached me again last year and asked me to apply I jumped at the chance. I had a tough time in lockdown and suffered with my mental health so this was an opportunity to do something just for me and pursue my dreams.

We cannot wait to watch you on the show, what was the best thing about filming it?

The best thing by far was the friendships I have made with the other 9 designers, we have such a strong bond we are such a fabulous support network. I never went into the show thinking I would make friends but we all really bonded and I just love spending time with them all.

Joanne has always been enamored with the beauty and charm of France, particularly its stunning architecture and interiors. She has spent many summers exploring the country’s historic cities and picturesque towns, immersing herself in the local culture and cuisine. Joanne’s passion for French design is reflected in her home, which is filled with carefully curated pieces that showcase the elegance and sophistication of French interiors. Joanne’s love for France is not just limited to her home decor; she is also an avid Francophile who enjoys reading books on French history and culture, watching French films, and indulging in classic French cuisine.

Where is your favourite place in the world to travel and why?

France, Everything is a ritual in France and it makes even the simplest daily pleasures extra special, I enjoy the culture and relaxed way of life because everything stops for lunch, the table is set with beautiful crockery and linens and even a simple lunch becomes an elegant affair. And I am partial to a table scape!

What is your favourite thing about French interiors?

What I love most about French interiors is that you can still see the history, there’s an element of faded glamour, things are exquisite but sometimes a little worn around the edges.

I’m a real history buff so I love looking around old chateau’s and historical buildings where things have been restored after everything was ripped out and burned during the French Revolution, things have been restored but often the floors are still bare stone with minimal furniture.

The French style is relaxed and effortless, a bit faded and always glamorous. Everything is beautiful, and it’s old. My trips to France have influenced my interior design style, and I have brought back many treasures from my travels.

How has French design influenced your own design style?

French design has influenced my own design style in many ways. I love to use vintage pieces in my projects, and French antiques are some of the most beautiful pieces you can find. The French use colour in such an effortless way, and I often draw inspiration from their colour palettes. I like the faded artwork, threadbare velvet chairs and the patina on old leather, I enjoy vintage pieces that have a history about them and a story to tell.

I think Versailles has influenced my love for gold and glamour in my house. I have a golden staircase and I’m having a gold ceiling in my basement renovation too!

I appreciate opulence and adore luxurious things, such as velvet. That’s probably why I love the French style so much.

What is the favourite thing you have picked up during your antique shopping in French antique fairs and markets?

My most prized possession is very heavy metal dolls head mould, it’s really quirky and I’ve never seen another one like it, I paid €50 euros for it and it sits beautifully on my sideboard in the dining room so I can admire it every time I pass!

I have picked up so much beautiful treasure over the years including vintage candlestick holders, embroideries, ornate mirrors and signage, France is a treasure trove of wonderful vintage finds!

French glamour is all about sophistication, elegance, and a certain je ne sais quoi that adds a touch of luxury to any space.

If you’re looking to bring some of that French glamour into your home, Joanne has some tips to get you started:

  • Use Dramatic Colours

French glamour is all about drama and impact, and one way to achieve that is by using dramatic colours in your decor. Think rich, deep shades of burgundy, navy, emerald green, and black. These colours can be incorporated in your furniture, textiles, and wall colours.

For example, a velvet sofa in a deep jewel tone can add instant glamour to your living room, while a dark wall colour can create a moody, dramatic atmosphere. You can also mix in some metallic accents such as gold or silver to add some shine and glamour to the space.

  • If in doubt add gold!

Gold is the ultimate symbol of luxury and glamour, and it’s a staple in French decor. Adding gold accents to your home can instantly elevate the look and add some French flair. You can incorporate gold in your lighting fixtures, picture frames, mirrors, and even your furniture.

For example, a gold-framed mirror can add some glamour to your bedroom, while a gold chandelier can make a statement in your dining room. You can also mix in some gold accessories such as vases or trays for a subtle touch of luxury.

  • Incorporate vintage pieces

French glamour is all about incorporating vintage pieces that have a story to tell. Look for items like antique chandeliers, vintage mirrors, and ornate furniture pieces. You can find these items at antique stores, flea markets, and online marketplaces.

  • Mix and match styles

French glamour is not about sticking to one particular style, but rather mixing and matching different styles to create an eclectic look. For example, you could pair a modern sofa with a vintage armchair, or mix Art Deco pieces with mid-century modern furniture.

Use luxurious materials: French glamour is all about luxury, so be sure to incorporate luxurious materials into your decor. Think velvet, silk, satin, and intake linens. These materials will add texture and richness to your space.

  • Incorporate statement pieces

French glamour is all about making a statement. Incorporate bold pieces like oversized artwork, statement lighting, or a dramatic piece of furniture. These pieces will add drama and visual intere